A brand isn’t just a label… it is an experience.
It is that experience which makes Nike more than just sports shoes, McDonald’s more than just burgers, Apple more than just smart devices.
A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another
– Seth Godin.
Consumers perceive brands not on the basis of how pleasant they sounds; they interact with the products, and their experiences help shape their expectations, memories, and relationships.
Every time the consumers see your brand (the name, logo, business card, etc.), it reminds them of their interactions and experiences with the product. These experiences with the brand have an influence on the consumers’ purchase decisions. That’s why leading companies like Amazon, Apple or Google focus on creating “experiences” they want the consumers to have when they make a purchase. They create a brand…not just a label.
The result? The brands that nurture experiences are loved and preferred over a long lineup of products.
Today, branding has evolved as a buzzword that every company uses. However, some companies do not understand its meaning and purpose. Why do organizations need an effective brand strategy?
In this guide to branding, we will discuss how you can create and manage a powerful brand that will give your business a competitive edge.
What is branding?
Until some point in time, branding was perceived as just a name, design or logo, slogan, or a mix of these elements that help distinguish a product, service, or organization from another. However, in today’s competitive environment, branding means much more than a logo, and it is, in fact, imperative for the success of a business.
As defined by Jay Baer,
Branding is the art of aligning what you want people to think about your company with what people do think about your company.
Branding is not just about creating an awesome logo, a fantastic slogan, or a website design. It is a process of creating memorable impressions on the minds of your consumers, aligning what they expect and what you offer. Branding is a marketing practice that distinguishes your product, service or company from the competitors, helping your business be remembered, admired, and preferred.
Branding is an iterative process that includes several components like customer service, advertising, logo, reputation, and promotional merchandise. These aspects work together to build a unique and appealing professional profile.
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Why is branding important for your business?
The impact of branding on your business is remarkable. Effective branding can transform consumers’ perceptions of your brand, improve brand awareness, and drive new business.
Discussed in this guide to branding are the reasons why branding will be an important marketing strategy for your company.
- Get recognition: One of the most vital reasons why branding is crucial for your business is because it gets you recognition. Your brand is the face of your company that gets you noticed and helps stand out in the competition.
- Improve business value: Branding is an important element of your advertising and marketing efforts. It adds a strong impact and recognition that helps increase the overall value of your business.
- It can influence purchase decisions: Today, branding can be an important deciding factor, influencing consumers’ purchase decisions. According to a survey, an average of 60% consumers said they will prefer buying from known brands, while 21% of them said they have purchased products because they liked the brand. For instance, the brand “Apple” itself invokes the consumers to buy, irrespective of what the products offer.
- It makes your business remembered: Branding is a powerful strategy, which, when done right, can help consumers differentiate your business.
- Creates trust: A well-strategized and professional brand can help organizations build trust in the marketplace, driving more business.
A guide to branding: How to create a powerful brand
There are numerous elements that go into building a brand that is professional, strong, and trustworthy. So, here is how you can create a powerful brand – or begin rebranding to realize its full potential.
1. Determine your target audience
The cornerstone of a strong branding strategy lies in the consumers it targets. Branding is a powerful tool that leads to increased awareness, recognition, loyalty, and revenues. And all these stem from – your consumers. The most successful branding stories are built around how intelligently they catered to offering valuable experiences to the consumers. So, it all begins with who your target audience is, what are their buying interests and preferences, and how to create a brand that meets their expectations.
If your consumers are unable to associate with your brand, it will fail to build awareness and trust in the marketplace. This is why researching your target customer is an integral step to build a strong brand. Whom does your product or service serve? Who is your preferred target audience? Getting answers to these questions will help influence your branding strategy.
In this regard, you can use advanced point-and-click survey software that helps discover what your consumers truly want. Using this powerful tool, you can generate leads and gain in-depth insights into your audience that you can use for effective targeting and segmentation. We help you engage more meaningfully with your brand, delivering better experiences and impressions. Book a demo to get insights on your customers that can aid in strategized branding.
2. Set your benefits, values, and mission
What is the one thing that is unique about your business; something that no one else can replicate? It is your brand.
Therefore, you must ensure that you create a brand that is built on the foundation of elements that define your organization: its benefits, key qualities, and ethos that make it unique. Your brand should reflect “what sets your business apart from others.” It is not just about your products or services, but how they cater to consumers’ evolving needs and aid in success.
Your brand should also base upon your company’s mission statement, i.e., why your business exists and why should your target audience care about your brand.
Create a brand that effectively communicates the purpose of your company. That means every element of your brand – tagline, logo, voice, personality, and imagery – should reflect your company’s mission.
3. Build a brand identity
Most consumers recognize a brand by its logo, and sometimes its tagline or brand colors. This indicates that the brand has built its identity in a successful manner.
To implement this strategy into your branding process, you will have to conduct an audit of your company/product/service to understand its position in the market and among the competitors. This can provide valuable insights on how to create an inspiring brand identity.
It is crucial to crafting the design elements of your brand based on the positioning of your business.The above branding example of Cisco clearly indicates that your brand identity plays an integral role in increasing your brand awareness. If your brand is able to target the right audience and influence them, your business will be remembered.
4. Tell a story
Interesting and engaging stories are the best ways to connect with your consumers. Your logo, imagery or color palette does matter, but not as much as the story you narrate through your brand. Though we all think that our consumers are logical and rational buyers, the truth is – they are mostly driven by their emotions. Consumer buying preferences rely upon their emotions and that is how they make purchase decisions.
Smart brands that use emotion to narrate a story connect best with the audiences and on a new level. Try using emotional words or add an element of humanity by expressing vulnerability. You might not have an awesome story to tell, but it is your job to present something your consumers would love to know.
5. Create a visual treat
Now that you have understood your target audience, your USPs, and an intriguing story to narrate, move on to create a stunning visual design. It includes your logo, typography, color palette, imagery, and other components that will give your brand a face.
Check the below image to understand what your visual brand assets include.
6. Implement your brand
The constant use of your brand name across all marketing channels and media can result in an increase in both brand awareness and perception.
Brand implementation can be critical to get your brand off to a great start, and help raise recognition of who you are and what your business does. Whether it’s your first ever branding effort or you’re experiencing a rebrand process, the visual aspects of your brand should be distinct, memorable and consistent.
Make your brand work, integrating it across every aspect of your business. It should be at every touch-point with your customers, right from your business center, website, packaging, social media, customer service, advertising, and office stationery.
Big brands speak to the souls of their audience
Branding is your company’s name, color palette, logo, style and voice, design and imagery. It’s also much more. A brand is surrounded with that intangible feeling that your audience has when they are exposed to your brand or interact with it. You know… that experience that we mentioned in the beginning.
That’s how supercharged brands differentiate from all the others. The tangible components of a brand contribute to this distinction— a brilliant logo, a witty tagline, an authentic manifesto, and a clear and strong brand voice — but truly thriving brands succeed when they focus on the big picture. Big brands get to the heart and soul of their target audience.
Keeping these strategies in mind will help you build a strong brand that others can resonate with. Leverage Axis CRM and marketing automation tool to streamline operations, improve customer satisfaction, and create a powerful brand presence. To schedule a call with us submit a short application form, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.