There has been much talk about the importance of branding and how it defines the identity of your business. Your brand gives your company its personality. But what is a brand, exactly?
A Brand Defined
A brand is essentially the way an individual, a product, or a company is viewed by those who encounter it. It’s not just a logo or the name of the company, it’s actually about the emotions that are invoked when recognized.
A company’s brand is not something that we can experience through our five senses. It actually abides in the minds of the people. These people include the media, investors, employees, and more vitally, the customers.
To put it more simply, a brand is a perception. It is these very perceptions that move customers to purchase.
Why Branding Matters
To say there’s a lot of competition is an understatement of massive proportions. The only way to capture and hold an audience’s attention is to invest heavily in building a robust brand.
Branding enables your business to be easily identified and recognized among a sea of competitors. Without a brand, your business would be easily forgotten. You need a solid foundation on which to build a brand so that your business remains top of mind with your customers.
Even if your prospective customers are not quite ready to make a purchase, they will greatly benefit from all of the color schemes, logos, and copy you use. It’s about using all these components cohesively to communicate your brand. When your customer is ready to purchase, if your branding has made a significant impact, they will remember you and purchase from you.
The Elements Of A Brand
When it comes to branding, there are quite a few components which are: brand archetype, brand compass, competitive advantage, brand personality, and visual and verbal identity. Let’s explore each of them:
When it comes to archetypes, they demonstrate ideas that most humans can relate to. They are universal concepts that all human beings understand. Therefore, by identifying your brand archetype, you are able to express your brand through the story, in a way that powerfully resonates with your audience.
Your brand compass answers the powerful question of “Why”? It comprises five parts: vision, mission, purpose, values, and strategic objectives. Together, they make up a synopsis that explains the overall values of your brand.
Your competitive advantage is what sets you apart from the competition. In order to accurately define your competitive advantage, you will need to create a structure that keeps in mind the “unique value” your business brings, your competition, and the type of customers you have.
Brand personality has to do with the distinctive characteristics and behaviors that are tied to a brand. Its personality is the way it would look and sound if it were a real human being. It is through the personality that “highly personal relationships” can be formed. It is also the brand personality that makes it recognizable to loyal customers.
Your brand’s visual identity is the consolidated system of visual components that helps you to be recognized and stand out. This can include your iconography, typography, photography, color scheme, and logo.
Unlike your visual identity, your verbal identity encompasses all the messaging and wording that also helps your brand stand out and make it recognizable to your audience. Your verbal identity can include your brand voice, your brand story, brand messaging, your tagline, and your name.
How To Build A Successful Brand
So now that we have explained the importance of building a successful brand, how do you do it? Let’s take a look at the steps you can take to build a successful brand today.
1. Study your target audience and competitors
Who are your potential customers and your current competition? Look up your product or service category on Google and see who your direct and indirect competitors are.
2. Choose your focus
Focus all your efforts on finding your unique value proposition. This is what makes you competitive and will help you build your brand’s messaging.
3. Pick a business name
Your business name will determine your web domain, your marketing, your brand logo, and your trademark registration. Choose a name that is difficult to duplicate, and difficult to confuse with other competitors on the market.
4. Write a catchy slogan
A slogan can be a catchy phrase that can be used as a tagline on your website header, as a tagline in your social media bio, or on your business cards. A well-thought-out slogan is concise, makes an impact, and it also boosts awareness.
5. Pick your brand colors and font
Choosing your colors and topography is important, especially when you create your business website. Remember that when you choose your colors, they should invoke a feeling among your audience.
Keep your fonts simple. Just choose two fonts: one for your headings and another for your body text.
6. Create your brand logo
Your brand logo is the “face” of your company. Ensure that your brand logo is: easily identified, unique, and scalable. Unless you are a design professional, consider outsourcing this part of your business.
7. Share your brand
Your brand should be consistently used throughout your business and any marketing channels you use. This way, any time your potential customers interact with your brand, be it online or in-store, they will make a decision as to whether or not they resonate with your brand and purchase from you.
Your brand is a living, breathing thing that must continue to evolve in order to improve. This will also involve enhancing your customers’ and potential customers’ perceptions of your brand as markets, fashion, and consumer needs change. In order to be successful, you need to continue to make adjustments to your brand as needed to reaffirm your values and remain in the minds of your customers.