Last week we went on and on about how vital a strong brand is for your business. Today, we want to tell you what branding is all about, and what a strong brand is made of. So here is our favourite definition of a brand: 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. And what components should your brand be comprised of? Let’s take a look at 5 key ingredients necessary for a bang-up brand:
We’re starting off with the basics here – brand identity. Your brand identity is basically how people identify you visually. It is the easily-recognizable physical representation of your business. We’re talking about your logo, company colour, punch line, and other visuals. What you are going for is a brand identity which represents you, and you alone. It’s ok to get inspiration from companies that have been in existence much longer than you have, but remember to make it you. You cannot afford for your brand identity to be mistaken for someone else’s. Catastrophe!
Simply, the set of qualities attributed to your brand. Think of your brand as a person; a person with a unique emotional and psychological makeup. And here is the cool part; you get to decide what that personality is. How playful or sober, or how ingenious or traditional you decide for your brand to be will become a part of your brand personality. Every element of your brand – colour, logo, typography, etc – adds to the personality of your brand.
On to positioning. This is the market segment you carve out for your business; the people you are reaching out to and how you reach out to them. Defining your brand positioning helps you tailor not just the content you put out, but every other part of the business. Your packaging, pricing, and marketing strategy cannot be effectively determined without defining your targeted market segment. This is what helps you determine the added value for your customers.
And what’s a brand without a promise, right? Your customers need to know what you are bringing to the table in exchange for their loyalty. What kind of experience are they guaranteed to have with you, and what void are you filling in their lives. You must be able to clearly express these to your potential customers before they ever buy into you.
If there is one thing you must drum into your target audience, it is: WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT FROM THE REST? There is a very high likelihood that the product/service you are offering is already being offered by another brilliantly-run company. What your brand needs to say on all levels is why your customers should choose you, and not your competition. Tell them how you stand out of the crowd – be loud and be ready to deliver. They are coming to you for your differentiators.
That’s it for today! Now that we’re done talking, how about you take a close look at the brand you have built/are building to make sure all these vital elements are included.