Companies don’t just sell products or services. What do we mean by that? Companies and businesses are known for their products and services, yes, but they are much more than that. They sell experiences, values, stories and emotions attached to their product. In other words, what differentiates a brand from a regular product or service-based business? An identity and that’s what branding is about.
According to a Gartner 2020 CMO Spend Survey, 37% of CMOs stated that a brand strategy is crucial for successful marketing and showcases an increase of 20% per year. According to the same survey, 65% of marketers felt that brand strategy fuels buying behaviour among existing customers.
Branding is the process of creating a unique name, design, symbol, and image that identifies and distinguishes a product or service from others in the market. It is the representation of a company’s identity and the promise it makes to its customers.
Branding is more than just a logo or tagline; it encompasses everything from the values, personality, and voice of a brand to the emotions and experiences it evokes in its customers. Effective branding helps a company establish a strong presence in the market, build customer loyalty, and differentiate itself from competitors. A brand strategy helps the business create consistent messaging and scale while improving customer perception of the brand.
We have seen some of the world’s biggest brands perfect their branding strategy, for example, Apple, Starbucks, Nike, and Coca-Cola to name a few. No matter what industry your business belongs to, proper branding will help your business grow in ways that just marketing will not be able to achieve. Without proper branding, marketing will not be as impactful. In this article, we are going to break down some of the simplest steps to get your branding right.
Define a Brand Identity
Before looking into the logo, colours, language, tone or tagline, a business should establish its brand identity and archetype. A brand archetype is derived from Carl Jung’s personality archetypes. You must establish what your brands stand for, including your brand’s core values and what makes you different from other brands. For example, there are multiple shoe retailers in the market but it’s the branding that helps a customer identify the ones they want to show loyalty to.
This can happen before or after you pick a brand name, but this is important to be able to choose the perfect tagline for your brand. Is it necessary to have one? Not really, but is it helpful? Absolutely.
A tagline that holistically reflects your product, values and USPs will definitely help your business create an impactful identity. Disneyland’s tagline “The happiest place on earth” reflects exactly what it stands for.
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Pick a Brand Voice and Tone
If your brand is a person, what language would it use and what’s its style? That is exactly your brand’s voice and tone. If your brand had to address a group of people at a dinner party, what would they say and how would they say it? There are various ways a brand’s voice and tone can change the way the brand is perceived. Is the brand quirky or formal? Is it entertaining or informative or both? Is the brand political or is it more neutral?
Identify your Brand Audience
This works for both B2B as well as B2C companies. Knowing who your business addresses will help you communicate with them better and in a consistent manner. Build a customer avatar and narrow down your target audience based on demographics, age group, geography, etc.
Your brand visuals create the first impact. So it is extremely crucial to have your brand kit in place. A brand kit is an all-inclusive document that clearly lays down what the brand is and isn’t. It’s the dos and don’ts of your brand. Your brand visuals include your brand’s logo, colour palette, font and typography, photography, and iconography.
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Brand Story and Message
Now that you have all the above in place, it’s time to create a brand message, including your brand origin story! A brand story helps a customer connect with a brand on a deeper level. For example, Toms Shoes has an origin story that leads people to buy their shoes.
Once this is in place, you can create brand awareness. Brand awareness is spreading your brand message through marketing.
Even though the specifics for B2B and B2C may be different, the above 5 guidelines work for both! Effective branding helps establish a strong presence in the market, builds customer loyalty, and differentiates a company from competitors. By following these simple steps businesses can create a brand that resonates with their customers and helps them grow in ways that just marketing alone cannot achieve.