When we think of a brand, we often think of logos and colour schemes. Although creating a logo is one step towards developing a strong brand, a brand is so much more than just a nice logo or visual elements – it extends far beyond that to all aspects of customer interaction.
Building a successful brand is the first step in an effective marketing strategy and is one of the most valuable assets a company owns. Brand building will not happen overnight, it is a continuous process that evolves with your business, but that doesn’t mean it has to be overwhelming. You just need a strategy to build the necessary groundwork that will ultimately result in a positive image that allows you to stand out from the competition.
1. Define your brand vision, mission & values
Building a strong brandstarts with defining your brand vision and mission. It ultimately determines what your brand stands for – the purpose, the values, the promise of your brand: who you are and what you stand for, what problems you solve for your customer, what makes you unique in your industry, how you want to be perceived by your customers, how you want them to describe their experience with you.
Having a clear definition is the first step in building a brand and outlines how you want your customers to see you, and in turn, will help build an effective brand. You brand promise doesn’t need to be complex. It is more important to have a simple brand promise and deliver on it!
2. Know and understand your target audience
When it comes to brand strategy, don’t make it about you. Your audience doesn’t care about your favourite colour or that you’re naming your business after your children. They care about their own favourite colour and that your business name resonates with them.
It is fundamental to understand your target audience to define your brand. Knowing the demographics – age, gender, geographical location, how to reach them, …, and learning what they want from your business is crucial in crafting the right messaging. Be specific – the clearer the picture, the more successful you will be!
3. Be authentic & focus on generating value for your customers
Once you’re clear on your target audience, the next step is to create strong messages and an authentic story that customers can connect with. Everything you brand does needs to add value to your customers lives.
Don’t try to be something you’re not! Don’t copy what your competitors are doing! Craft the core ideas, points and values you want to communicate with your target audience. To establish a lasting relationship with customers, you need to make them feel that their need and expectations are being met. Be unique but be you!
4. Design your style guidelines
When you think of branding, that first thing that comes to mind is the logo and tagline. A strong brand needs a coherent visual identity that creates a unique look to make it easily recognisable. A style guide determines your logo, font, colour schemes and visuals as well as the do’s and don’ts of how and when to use them. The logo and graphics should be simple but eye catching while conveying a positive image of your brand !
5. Promote your brand & be consistent
Many companies make the mistake of changing things up depending on their audience or their communication channel. To build a strong brand, you need to have visible but with a consistent look, feel, tone of voice and experience throughout the customer journey – physical products, stores, websites, social media, marketing materials…This does not mean that there cannot be variety, but your brand needs to be instantly recognizable and every aspect should make your customer’s feel the same way about you.
Building a strong brand is far more than just a logo or visuals. And it’s not a short-term investment. It is a continual process to create a strong, memorable brand that connects with your target audience and sets you apart from the competition. Focus on knowing who you are and who you are serving, keeping it simple and consistent and adding value.
Are you getting the results you want from your branding efforts? Contact us if you have any questions or want to discuss how to update or create a strong brand.