Whether you’re a fresh new start-up on the tech scene or an established multi-national corporation, branding is a critical factor in ensuring your company’s continued growth and success.
But, exactly, what is branding? Branding is a marketing practice used by a company to become easily identifiable and distinctive against the competition by using its name, logo, tagline, and other elements. And it’s a necessary component when it comes to securing yourself in the first place.
In the following article, we will discuss the significance of branding, how to create a branding strategy from scratch, and why it is an important first step in your branding efforts. In addition, we will provide you with a plethora of branding ideas to get you started.
Why is branding important?
Branding is important because it influences how existing and potential customers perceive your company. Branding also aids in the generation of new business, the retention of existing customers, and the expansion of brand equity.
What is a branding strategy?
As with any large project with multiple stages and team members, it’s best to develop a strategy to help guide you through the process. A branding strategy can last any length of time (from a few months to several years) and can include elements such as:
- The long-term objectives of your branding campaigns
- How you intend to achieve these objectives on a step-by-step basis
- Key stakeholders in charge of various projects
- How will this benefit the customers?
- Analyze your competitors
Branding tip: Creating a brand is not the same as creating a branding strategy. Building a branding strategy entails utilizing your core brand’s assets such as your logo, color palette, websites, and social media accounts to convey a feeling, emotion, or purpose to your target audience.
It is critical to consider the following when outlining your objectives:
- Brand awareness: What aspects of the brand do we want customers to recognize?
- Positive brand associations: What is the first thing that comes to mind for a customer when they think of us?
- Brand loyalty: What does a regular, loyal customer look like?
- Perceived quality: What features of our product or service will customers highlight when referring us?
- Brand preference: How can we persuade customers to choose us over our competitors?
- Brand experience: What will customers say after their first experience with our product or service?
Why is building a brand strategy important?
Creating a branding strategy has several positive consequences. Here are a few examples:
- A branding strategy helps align your marketing efforts
One of the most obvious advantages of a branding strategy is that it will help you align all of your marketing efforts—and ensure that your campaigns, imagery, and social media marketing are all on brand. It also serves as a framework for any marketing brainstorming sessions.
Having a consistent brand strategy allows you to communicate more effectively with your customers. And the more consistent your messaging is, the more likely it is that you will attract and retain loyal customers.
- It helps align multi-disciplinary team
It not only provides consistency for your customers, but it also provides a focus for your employees.
Large projects with varying specialties can sometimes become unclear and more complicated than intended.
A clear branding vision allows you to return to the drawing board regularly to refresh and ensure that every decision contributes to the overall branding goal.
- It helps you evaluate what worked and what didn’t
Reflecting and analyzing how a large project is performed is an important part of any large project.
A branding strategy reminds the team of the goals and allows them to easily assess whether or not they were met.
How to build a branding strategy?
- Define your brand:
The first step in developing a brand strategy from the ground up is to define your brand. This can be broken down into several categories:
- Brand personality: A brand personality is a collection of human characteristics associated with your company. Creating a consistent brand personality that pervades all of your external-facing communication aids in the development of brand equity. When developing your brand personality, it is critical to ensure that it is consistent with your products or services. For example, if you are a law firm, you most likely want to be perceived as trustworthy and strong. However, if you work for a creative agency, you will want to be perceived as creative and playful.
- Brand voice: Brand voice, like brand personality, is about ensuring consistency in grammar, tone, and word choice so that they accurately communicate the brand. It is the method by which a brand communicates its brand personality to its external audience. Personalities such as friendly, approachable, and understandable are some of the most common themes used by brands.
- Brand identity: Your brand identity is comprised of visual elements that aid in the communication of your brand. The color palette, graphic design, logo, and images are all examples of this. The goal of these visual aids is to make it easy for new and existing customers to distinguish.
- Brand values: Nowadays, a brand is much more than the products or services it sells; it is also about the values and ethics it upholds. Customers want to believe that their money is being spent wisely, and incorporating your values into all of your messaging can help them do just that.
- Determine your brand objectives:
Similar to what was mentioned earlier in the article, it is critical to define the goals of your branding efforts. This typically includes brand awareness, brand associations, brand loyalty, perceived quality, retention, and conversion.
- Identify your focus audience:
It’s not uncommon to want to build a brand that appeals to a diverse range of demographics; however, it’s critical to identify who your key audience is for various branding campaigns so that you can target them to different types of audiences. It’s critical to put time and effort into narrowing down your target audience and experimenting with how to best communicate with them.
- Visual Identity:
Using the power of design to help communicate with your target audience is a critical component of any branding endeavor. This is where a branding kit comes in handy. When considering your branding strategy, consider whether the visual elements of your brand—think logo, brand colors, fonts, and photography—align with the overall branding strategy and what you want to achieve.
Maintain consistency in all aspects of your branding, from tone to aesthetic appearance. While brands undergo makeovers every few years and develop new styles as the times change, any changes you make to your brand should be deliberate. Make sure you have good, solid reasoning behind any drastic changes you make. A good brand doesn’t need to change all that often, so when you lay the groundwork, make sure you’re willing to build on that specific branding for the foreseeable future. Continuity, Continuity, Continuity!
Contact us for your branding strategy, and we won’t disappoint you!