Branding is not just about the logo or catchy slogan. Building a strong brand takes time and dedication to your business, but it is worth the effort. If you are looking for ways to improve customer loyalty and generate new customers through branding, read on! In this blog post, we will discuss 6 steps that will help you craft an identity for your brand and grow in both strength and value.
1. Create a Branding Strategy
To create your branding strategy, you will need to identify what it is that you want for the future of your business and how branding can help make this happen. Creating an eye-catching brand in tandem with messaging which resonates with customers is just as important now more than ever before!
Your branding strategy clarifies which direction your business should take to stand out from the competition, or how you can make it more accessible for potential customers by helping them understand what sets you apart and why they need to buy things from your company. This step in the process starts with identifying who your target audience is and discovering what they are interested in.
When you know who you are marketing to, you can then apply a brand strategy that matches up with their interests. For example, if your target audience is children or teenagers who love to play video games, make sure that the colors used in your ads are bright and playful! Or, if your target audience is parents who are struggling to juggle work and home life, focus on the fact that your company offers flexible hours.
You should also have a brand strategy for what you offer outside of marketing materials: For example, does your business specialize in providing high-quality products? In this case, make sure the packaging is well designed or includes guarantees or warranties!
It’s also important that you make your brand consistent across all of the different marketing materials- so if your logo is bubbly and bright, use it on everything from ads to brochures. If your company motto is “quality products at fair prices”, make sure this stays in every ad and brochure as well!
When you carefully consider your audience in tandem with the products and services that you offer, you can craft a strong, memorable identity that will make your company the top choice for potential customers!
2. Research Your Market
If you want to be successful with your branding efforts, make sure to do your research! You need to understand where your business fits into the market and what position it plays in the minds of your audience.
To start, consider these key areas to begin your research:
Your Target Market
Creating detailed customer profiles will allow you to better understand your customers. You can then tailor your branding efforts to appeal specifically to these desires and needs, rather than just making assumptions about what they want.
The more time you spend understanding the various aspects of your target market, from their goals and challenges down to their preferences for certain colors or messages on the packaging, the better off you will be! Determining what motivates them and how they live their lives can shape how you communicate with them, as well as determine what type of content appeals to them most.
Your Products and Services
How can your company make the world a better place? The best way to find out is by discovering what people want, understanding their needs, then designing products that match those desires while still meeting your own standards of quality.
Having customer-focused products and services is the best way to create a strong and sustainable brand. When you create products and services that fit the demands of your potential customers, it will be easier for you to achieve success. Give them what they’re asking for!
A great example of a company that has made its customer-focused product and services the central focus is Patagonia. The outdoor clothing brand stands for environmentalism, so they make sure to use only sustainable textiles in their products. They also have an extensive recycling program because they don’t want any unnecessary waste left behind on mountains and trails.
The Patagonia company’s strong focus is in line with their mission statement, but it’s not just about the environment – in fact, this focus helps them create an identity that aligns well with what potential customers want from them, hence creating a successful brand and loyal customer following.
The Competition: Know Thyself
It is important to know the competition before you begin. Find ways you can stand out and differentiate from your competitors. There are many ways to do this, but the most important one is knowing what you want from the brand identity of your business.
You might find that there’s an overlap in customer interests with other brands, or maybe they don’t offer a service you need – either way it helps to know as much about the competitive landscape before you start.
There are many different ways to define your competition: by country, market share, revenue size, location, product offerings, brand awareness, customer type.
Figure out how you can improve upon your competitor’s offerings and it will make your brand stand out. Maybe your products or services are more convenient? Or they have better quality? Maybe your offer incomparable customer service, or better value?
If you’re not sure who your competition is, ask around. The people most invested in the success of your business know better than anyone else where they may fall short.
Think about how to communicate what sets your brand apart from others – this will help you create an identity that resonates with customers and gets them excited about purchasing from your company over theirs.
3. Create Your Messaging and Unique Value Proposition
The more you know about your market and positioning, the easier it will be to create an effective message. This is what separates a successful company from those who are struggling – knowing how customers feel when they use their products or services, as well as understanding their needs better than anyone else in the industry. This knowledge must go into every single thing you do for them so that they understand exactly why using your product makes life just a little bit easier.
If you want to be the go-to for your niche, itís time to create a message that will set you apart from everyone else in this market. This messaging should show how what sets us apart, and it’s not just our product or service but also who we are as an organization.
“We offer excellent customer support and care about every individual on their journey of success with _____ company name here____ .”
Some example unique value propositions are:
- “We work hard to make your world simpler and better by providing the best service, as well as understanding their needs better than anyone else in the industry.”
- “We offer outstanding customer service, which is the key differentiator of our company. We have created a customer-centric culture and it’s important to us that everyone feels like they are an integral part of our success.”
- “Our goal for each client is to make their life easier with _______ product or service name here____. ”
- “Our focus is to create a customer-centric culture.”
- “We want to make sure that everyone feels like they are an integral part of our success, and we do this through outstanding ________ product or service name here____ .”
- “We are open on Sundays.”
- “We will accept returns after 30 days.”
You get the point. Take some time and make sure you craft clear unique value propositions that you can portray in all of your brand messaging and marketing materials.
4. Create a Branding Plan
Now, choose the personality, tone, and design elements that will help to convey this message to your audience. Your planning should include where you will communicate with your market and what content you will offer them. For branding to work, everything should be consistent and in harmony with the message you outlined in the previous step.
Next, your branding plan should reflect the personality of your business, the tone, and the visual elements you want to create for your brand. Everything should tie in together, and you should be able to tell the tone of a brand from its design alone.
So, before you even begin writing your copy or designing that logo, think about which one of these eight tones will best represent your company and what mood it wants to convey:
- Traditional – a sense of tradition and stability
- Modern – an up-to-date, contemporary feel
- Personable – friendly and warm; customer-focused
- Official – authoritative or official-sounding tone and style
- Organic – natural feeling environment with organic materials used in the design
- Playful – information, fun approach to a brand
- Dynamic – a sense of energy; fast-paced, always on the go
- Refreshing – more like a breath of fresh air. Clean and new feeling tone.
Some hundreds more moods and tones can be applied to a brand, but these are the eight primary ones. Once you’ve chosen the one that represents your company best, you can move on to creating taglines, mottos, and visual elements (like logos, fonts, colors, etc) that best reflect the overall mood of your brand.
In an ideal world, one mood would be enough for a business or company but the truth is that it’s more complex than that and you need to choose the right tone (or creative) direction based on who you’re trying to reach and what they want from their experience with your product. You may find that a mixture of two moods is the way to go, such as if you’re a company that’s known for their serious and professional side but also wants people to know about your playful spirit.
Your brand identity should not only reflect who you are now but it needs to be flexible enough so that it can continue to grow with your business. Taking the time to identify your different messages will help you craft the foundation for a brand that is authentic and consistent with those values.
5. Implement Your Brand Identity
Your company should always be on the lookout for ways to improve its marketing. Once you have implemented a brand identity, you can keep it fresh through feedback, monitoring your market’s response, or re-branding when necessary!
Many changes can happen which could require rebranding, like if the company is changing its target audience or there has been a significant change in the market as a whole. Re-branding might also be necessary when companies want to update themselves with new branding and remain relevant in times of constant change and progress.