When businesses and startups think of branding, they often look to large companies such as Pepsico and Adidas with their multi-million dollar brand awareness campaigns and elaborate eye-catching designs.
Whilst this is certainly one aspect to building a brand, it’s not the only way and arguably not the most important.
If we were to look at building a brand from a more logistical perspective, we could split it into three sections;
and ‘brand experience’.
These are the three key areas that every business should be utilising regardless of if you’re a company of 5 or a company of 500 employees.
Remember, the very first thing a user or customer will interact with even before your product is your brand, so it needs to be crystal clear.
Before you even think about taglines or impressive new logos, you first have to look at the heart of what your company does.
Your brand’s ‘mission’ defines your exact purpose and how you aim to solve a problem for customers.
The ‘vision’ represents your businesses key qualities that you aspire to possess once you’ve completed your mission.
Similar to the above points, the ‘values’ represent the core principles that inform your brand’s tone of voice and how it sets you apart from potential competitors.
Finally your brand’s positioning signifies your target audience, and their customer personas.
Spend some time brainstorming your mission and vision statements, along with the values you wish to represent. The most important thing is to be clear about your message and how your product or service remedies a user’s pain points before moving on to your future goals.
To understand your brand’s positioning you will need to do some competitor research to look at brands you aspire to as well as brands that appear as true competitors on SEO auditing software.
The next stage of creating a compelling, well-known brand is your brand identity. This involves the ideation and creation of the visual assets that most people associate with building a brand.
Designing the brand identity might not be in the exact same order as listed here, and often companies will go through several iterations of design until they’re happy.
Starting with logo design, it’s important to have a simple but impactful logo that represents the brand’s purpose and vision as it will ensure that customers will remember you when you pop up on online adverts or social media campaigns.
It’s also important to stay on brand with the industry you’re in. If you’re in the financial services industry, then don’t go for wacky or neon colours unless you’re really trying to separate yourself or already have a well-known brand. Similarly, if your business is a children’s retail shop, then don’t use monotone colours or staid typography to represent your brand.
Your tagline represents the brand’s vision and must be as clear and impactful as possible.
It’s worth writing a few out and then asking customers or market researchers what they think your business does and what it represents. You might be surprised at some of the responses you receive.
The visuals of your brand helps to create a narrative that puts the focus on the customer by using a combination of visual assets (images) and video.
Just like the logo design, it’s important to research competitors and other companies in your industry to make sure that you’re using visuals indicative of what you do. It’s often tempting to subvert the norm, but by doing this you’re making an already difficult job even more of a challenge and customers rarely respond positively if you’re an unknown brand.
The tone of voice is also crucial across all marketing channels. We’ll go into this in more depth when covering the content strategy in a later article, however, just note that it’s important to be clear and consistent throughout.
The brand experience is the final part of the process in building your brand, and it involves how customers and users interact with the touchpoints themselves. This covers marketing, which involves social media campaigns (both organic and paid), PPC campaigns, building a website that stands out, and email marketing to name a few.
If your company has deployed apps for their service, then it’s important to create a seamless experience that takes the customer through the funnel with ease.
This is an area where even the most well-known brand falters; just check the app store to see negative reviews about apps crashing or not allowing users to cancel their services, which creates the sense of dishonesty and in turn can damage your brand.
Does your company have a shop or pop-up stand at a convention? Then you should take note of how your employees interact with customers face-to-face at these various touch points and what their experience is like from start to finish.
Customer surveys can be useful for this, as well as taking a trip yourself to see how it would feel in their shoes.
Finally it’s important to understand your overall service to ensure that you continue to delight customers after they have invested their time and money in your brand. It might be tempting to deliver bold yet empty promises, but again this will only damage your brand and make you seem untrustworthy. Honesty, honesty, honesty!
Whilst the processes of building your brand are quite formulaic, your brand can and will evolve and change over time to match the current market, the mood of the economy and people’s buying habits, and the ever-changing services.
Another important note when it comes to your collateral is security. It is absolutely vital you protect your brand by trademarking; not only does this give security but it also creates esteem for your business.
enotions can help not only to build your brand but also protect your company by trademarking your assets. Get in touch today to find out how we can give your brand a breath of fresh air.