Creating an Established Brand
What is a brand? Simply put- A brand is the customer’s perception of a business. Branding is one of the most important exercises which differentiates a business and attracts new customers towards it. A survey shows that 59% consumers prefer buying new products from an existing and known brand to them. A brand which is recognized and is respected by customers is an invaluable asset to any company. The importance of branding can be understood by the famous quote of marketing expert Philip Kotler which is “The art of marketing is the art of brand building. If you are not a brand, you are a commodity. Then the price is everything and the low-cost producer is the only winner.” The steps in building a good brand are as follows:
Determine Target Audience
One of the most fundamental steps in creating a sustainable brand is to identify the target audience to which the company will focus upon. It is well-known fact that a company cannot be everything to everyone. It is critical to finalize who the company is trying to reach out and cater to. Once finalized the behaviour and characteristics of the target audience. A deeper understanding the target audience provides the companies clearer understanding of how to create a brand identity for the target audience. It also helps in designing better marketing campaigns and advertisements, focused on the target audience.
A thorough brand audit exercise is important as it gives an understanding of the company as to where it stands in the competitive market. It provides clarity on who are the company’s customers. Brand audits also establish what the consumer’s perception of the company is and its products and what influences their purchase decisions. Generally, competitor analysis is also undertaken in a brand audit to understand the competitors and the strategies to be adopted for better brand positioning and differentiation in the market.
Creating Mission Statement
It is important to create a mission statement as it communicates the purpose of existence of the company to the stakeholders. The mission statement also differentiates the company from the competition and defines the target audience to whom the company is catering to. The branding exercises have to be aligned with the mission statement of the company.
Communicate Offerings and Value Proposition of Brand
Companies should clearly specify and communicate the offerings of their brands to the customers. The brands in order to be successful should not only offer what the competitors are not offering, but its offerings should also add value to the daily lives of customers. The product offerings should focus on and very precisely articulate to the customers the value and the benefits which creates a uniqueness for the brand.
Brand Logo and Tagline
Developing a brand logo and tagline is an important task in the branding exercise. The logo and the tagline become part of all the visual collaterals of the company. Customers will be able to recall the brand from its logo and tagline. Thus, it is important to develop a good brand logo and tagline.
Building Brand Voice
The brand voice decides how the company communicates with its stakeholders. The brand voice consists of the look of all branding materials, documents, website, collaterals etc. of the company. The brand voice should be distinctive from competitors and should be aligned with the mission and company’s value.
Building Brand Identity
Brand identity is built slowly over a period of time. Brand identity is how the consumers perceive and see the brand. Brand identity consists of the tangible features of the brand like the logo, tagline, colors, symbols etc. Brand identity can be built through carefully designed advertisement campaigns and social media campaigns. It involves communicating with the target audience on various platforms. Building brand identity is important as a good brand identity leads to brand loyalty, the credibility of the company and better financial returns.
Consistency in Brand Building
Unless there is any fundamental change in the company’s business or the purpose of the brand, the brand voice developed should be adhered to. The branding should be consistent as inconsistency will create confusion among the customers and will negatively impact the image of the brand.
Embedding Brand Building Internally
The company and all its staff should embed the brand they are promoting. They should be the ambassadors of the brand. All the staff- existing and to be hired- should align themselves with the mission, vision and the values of the company and the business.
Brand building is a critical task in growing any business. An effective brand building can upscale any business quicker and can create a deep connection with the customers. Branding also helps develop trust on the brand and leads to brand loyalty. Hence, branding should be thought of a continuous process instead of a one-time exercise. As a previous Nike and Starbucks executive famously quoted “A brand is a story always being told.”