A brand is the face of your company. It’s what customers see and remember about you. The purpose of a brand is to set expectations for who you are, and to create an emotional connection with your audience. A strong brand allows for differentiation between competitors in the marketplace, as well as creates a sense of belonging that brings people closer together. In this article, we’ll talk about the five key elements for building a strong brand identity.
Branding That Speaks to Your Audience ñ The 5 Elements of a Strong Brand Identify
1. Your Company’s Purpose
Why does your company exist? This is the main question your branding should answer about your company. It should explain how you want to change the world for the better, and at a glance, people can understand where your values are coming from to get an understanding of who you are as a business.
To create a strong brand, you need to identify the core values that drive your business. What do you stand for? Your why should be at the center of everything you write and say about your company. How would people describe what it is you do in one sentence? Why are we different than other companies doing this same thing?
Your company’s purpose should be the driving force behind everything you do…including your branding. It defines not only how to position yourself in the market but also why people would want to work with or purchase from you.
If they can understand why you started the business in the first place and what it means to you, then they’re more likely to buy into your mission.
2. Establishing your Position in the Market
Your brand identity tells people what position you occupy in the market. It says not only what you do, but how you do it uniquely from anyone else: “We’re the ones who does xyz!” In a market full of competitors, it shows how you stand out.
Part of successful branding is to understand your competitors and the unique place you fill in the market. It involves getting in touch with your natural strengths so you can play to them.
Who are you in the market? What do people see when they look at your company’s branding? That brand is what defines not just what your company does, but how it stands out from all other competitors in this overcrowded marketplace. Your unique selling point needs to be clear cut so that customers know exactly where to turn for their particular product or service need…something no one else can provide in the same way that your company does.
Don’t make assumptions here…it’s a matter of understanding where you fit in the marketplace and what your competitors are doing. The better you understand what’s happening all around you, the better able you’ll be to create a brand that speaks directly to your target audience.
3. Personality is Key!
Brands need to have an identity that resonates and fits with their audience, so personality is key! Your brand communicates this personality through your tone of voice which should be friendly yet memorable so as not to sound like every other marketing company out there. Fortunately, you can figure out what type of personality your business has by looking at competitors and natural strengths or simply asking customers why they prefer buying from you over someone else!
Developing your personality is just the first step to building a strong brand. Once you know what type of tone your voice should have, you can start planning out how it will be communicated through creative material like ads and social media posts.
If your company’s personality is hip-and-cool, then keep up with current trends in pop culture or create relevant jokes that appropriate for your demographic. If you’re a more classic company, then pull inspiration from old-world elegance and historical figures like Audrey Hepburn or Wonder Woman!
Keep in mind, your brand should never be confused for someone else’s (especially the competition). It might sound straightforward at first but it can get tricky when there are many companies in the same industry as yours…the goal here is to be different enough so you stand out.
4. Keeping Your Design Elements Consistent
Design elements play an important role in branding. They work on a subtle level to tell your audience members that it’s you and show them consistency. Design is more than just logos and colors, but design elements are still very important because they bring the brand’s message together visually at every point of contact with customers or potential buyers.
A strong brand will never have design inconsistencies and each element should be used to build on the message of the company. For example, if a company’s colors are red, white, and blue, then their logo would need to match this color scheme as well. This doesn’t mean that every aspect has to match (maybe there is an alternate version of the brand’s logo that is all white, all red, or all blue), but there should be consistency.
Other design elements like typography, fonts, and messaging should also work together to help create a cohesive brand.
Every element of your company’s branding will be telling the story about what you do or who you are. Make sure that those messages work well together by using elements from one another to build a strong message for your audience.
5. It’s All About Your Audience
Your content is targeted to a specific audience, talking about their problems and addressing their needs. For a strong brand identity, you need to know your audience well and focus on them, not you or your products and services. Your branding discusses your offerings in terms of the unique benefits to users.
Your content should be targeted to a specific audience and speak directly to their problems and needs. You can create an engaging experience by discussing your offerings in light of the unique benefits they give back to your customers.
When you focus the messaging of your brand on the audience and their needs, it’s a win-win: you get to reach an engaged demographic that is interested in what you have to say, while they are getting help with their own problems. You should always be in the mindset of identifying what your audience wants, needs and desires from you before even thinking about how to promote yourself. You want to take on the role of a customer service agent-you are there for them!
A great example of this is Dell. They have a line of computers for every need, and they don’t focus on themselves at all-they show how their products can solve customer’s needs. Dell is clear about what the customer wants and doesn’t try to justify or rationalize anything beyond that.
How to Create a Strong Brand Identity
Strong branding isn’t an instinct, it requires careful planning and strategy to establish an identity.
Achieve your business goals by clarifying why you do what you do and how your message will resonate with people. A good brand reflects who you are, where you’ve been, and what you offer to the world.
Once you have a clear understanding of your audience, industry, and competitors, you can start preparing content. A good customer profile helps you understand your business’s target market so you can address their needs and speak to them directly.
Once youíve thoroughly explored the competitive landscape and developed a thorough understanding of your existing market, youíre ready to develop a clear message and unique value proposition. By following these guidelines, you are ready to implement your brand and watch the results to see what effect it has.
Now it’s your turn!
Let’s hear from you! I’m adding a few questions to get your responses…share your thoughts in the comments below!
- What kind of business goals, including a company’s ultimate mission and values, should the brand identity reflect?
- What do you think is the most important element in developing a strong branding strategy?
- What words would you use to describe your business to someone who knows nothing about it?
- If you could rebrand your company right now with anything (color scheme, fonts that are available), would there be any changes if so what type?
- Where does personality play into building a strong brand identity for your company or product/service?