How Branding Works
The distinction between a generic (or non-branded) product or service and a branded one is that the former is acquired solely for justifiable reasons (e.g., acceptable quality, fair price). In contrast, the latter is purchased for emotional reasons (e.g., feels good to me, shows my knowledge). Brands can also command a greater price for similar but unbranded items and services because of the emotional factors driving the brand purchases. As a result, most businesses and organisations are attempting to establish their brands.
Simply said, your brand is determined by a customer’s overall impression of your company. In today’s market, a strong brand must be reliable in communication & performance across various applications, including;
- Website And Online Marketing
- Storefront Or Office Setting
- Publication Of Content
- Print Materials, Signs, & Packaging
- Customer Support And Sales
Branding takes time, even months. Developing a brand is a process that necessitates a plan. However, consistent effort will result in long-term consumer connections. This can result in a constant increase in leads and sales, as well as referrals and promotion of your services or products. Following are the seven essential steps required for developing a strong brand.
Determine/Develop Your Brand’s Purpose
Remember that people buy brands for emotional reasons. There are numerous options for any particular product or service, and people prefer to choose brands that correspond to their beliefs, perceptions, and desires because it feels better. Strong, successful brands have a clear purpose, a set of core values, a philosophy, guiding principles, and a mantra that resonates with those who share these values. Essential questions to ask yourself when developing your new brand:
- Why am I here at this brand?
- What distinguishes my brand?
- Why should someone care about my brand?
These vision/mission questions go beyond your service or product’s specific attributes and benefits. However, they are crucial in providing your target audience(s) with a reason to choose your brand over similar products & services.
Understand Your Competitors
Understanding what your rival companies are doing and saying in the consumer market is extremely crucial as you develop your brand and it will remain an important aspect throughout its life. To effectively distinguish yourself from your competition, you must understand the perceptions they hold in the minds of your core demographic.
A simple and efficient way to handle the characteristics and flaws of your competitors’ perceptions is to use a perception model like this one:
- Analysis of their messaging
- Customer testimonials & social media comments
- Opinion research among their customers
These three methods will give you a received perspective and an indication of your competing brands’ brand strategy.
Choose your primary & secondary target audiences
Branding is fundamentally about focusing on a distinct point of view and purpose. Undifferentiated generic or unbranded products and services compete primarily on functional variables such as price and availability. As a result of steps 1 and 2, you must identify your ideal intended audience because you’re looking for individuals who like and believe in your brand.
It is beneficial to create consumer profiles, or identities, that bring to existence the people you are trying to reach. Start by determining demographic variables such as age, gender, education, and occupation, and afterwards add psycho-social variables such as hobbies, incentives, preferred brands, personal characteristics, and so on. Your brand messaging and marketing efforts should be guided by your customer personas.
Create Your Brand Strategy
A strategic brand platform that illustrates your brand’s goal and mission, how you want to distinguish your brand from competitors, and the perspectives you want to own in the minds of your target audience can help guide and structure your brand. It is critical to put these in writing and have everyone comprehend and agree on them to build and maintain a strong brand.
Create an Engaging Brand Narrative/Story
Storytelling is effective because it has been the primary means of connecting individuals with knowledge and concepts. Stories do more than just communicate; they also foster familiarity and trust. They are remarkably proficient at conveying abstract and complex ideas. People recognize and recall stories better than general or conceptual information.
As a result, the most powerful and successful brands excel at telling meaningful and intriguing stories that bestow understanding and relevance to such brands. Using one or more narratives to illustrate your brand’s value, purpose, and exceptionalism, in our experience, is critical to greater brand success.
Develop a Brand Identity
After you’ve created your brand story, it’s time to make an identity for your brand or revamp the essence of your established franchise. This includes the brand’s name, logo, and voice. Share your brand strategy with whoever is designing your brand’s new identity, and create a creative brief that provides additional guidelines to the creative design process, including illustrations you admire and creative instructions you would find counterproductive, if not objectionable.
Keep The Brand Alive
Finally, developing a new brand identity and expecting it to become great overnight is unrealistic. A brand is similar to a reputation: it takes time to build and can be destroyed instantly. As a result, you are always focusing on brand equity. You must “live” the brand to be successful. This means that you must genuinely encompass the advertising strategy in all that you do.
New hires must be educated on the brand. Partners must understand the brand’s image and contribute to it. In the short and long term, consumer interactions must be coherent with the brand’s values, promises, and pillars. Brand building is a never-ending process.