Branding basics 101
Have you ever wondered what a Brand is? Or on the contrary, maybe you're planning to start-up a Brand yourself? In this screened-guide, we'll take you through a-walk-in-the-Branding-park.
This 'park' of Branding has long been around; you might see them on towering-advertisement boards to small-printed-flyers flung about, and in more recent times, on the flat-screens of our tiny-devices. We're engrossed in this Branded World, so much that Brands are ingrained into our minds, whether we want to admit it or not.
Jumping right into 'what Brands are' might be a little intimidating, but the quintessential part of Branding is that they're just companies who create and market an experience they want you to feel or interpret before you purchase their product(s) or services. Brands are the literal 'Faces' of a company.
A Brand's inventory includes the choice of words they use, the colour, materials; all of this helps further enhance the image of the company in a person's head. A good company knows that 'Branding' is the one that sells. So where do I start, you ask? Below are tips and stratagems that will help you make that 'Brand' that stands-out.
What is Branding?
Branding doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to use a hot-rod to stick-poke a horse into claiming it. Branding is a process -- a process of research, development, and applying a unique feature of flair that helps consumers identify your products or services from the rest.
Branding is so widely used by known companies around the spinning-globe, as statistics show that close to 60% of customers selectively purchase Brands that they know of, whereby 21% purchase products because they like that Brand.
Branding is without second-thought an organisation's strongest asset.
- Branding provides businesses with an identity, customers will flock to a company which seems relatable to them.
- Branding is memorable, it is an illusion of a personality of your company that helps customers distinguish your Brand from others.
- Branding comes hand-in-hand with Marketing, further promotions of products will have a 'piece' of the Brand's persona along with it.
Here are some Branding Lingos that you should know:
This refers to how well-known your company is to the general market with your Brand. When a Brand is widely known to the public, words such as 'Trendy' and 'Popular' are used to further establish the importance of that Brand.
An extension relates to -- and when a Brand develops new (or Niche) products in other markets. A product such as the Honda Lawn Mowers is an example of how Honda - an automobile company - 'Extends' and expands to other foreign markets.
The personality of an establishment. This is what a company wants to leave in the minds of their customers, a Brand Identity comprises of Values, how they typically communicate with the public, and how they sell their products or services.
A process of creating and maintaining a Brand. This is typically broken down into two parts - (1) a physical-form of style, packaging, and colour choice; and (2) the other is formally how a target audience perceives the latter.
Recognition of a Brand is the main dish of the multi-level cuisine. Brand Recognition relates to how consumers are able to recognise and identify a Brand without seeing the companies name, such as Logos, Tagline, Packaging and Advertisements. This method is most sought for when it comes to Branding.
A lot -- and we mean a lot goes into Branding, it is a test on creativity and the ability to convince the world into understanding why your Brand is better. So if you're up for the challenge for fame and glory, or maybe you're planning on re-branding your company. (a new paint job?) Here are 6-steps that help you do just that.
1. Knowing and Understanding your Personas
It may sound like a work of fiction -- Persona, an aspect of someone's character that is presented to or perceived by others. When used in Branding, Persona's are 'characters' (made-up) to create qualities of real consumers you're trying to reach.
82% of companies obtain better prospects by using buyer personas. Needs, Goals, and Buyer behaviour are just a few aspects of information to look at when researching for potential customers online. Free tools such as MakeMyPersona will guide you through multiple questions to create a Persona for you.
2. Developing Brand Identity and voice
After the process of identifying a buyer persona, you can start working on a Brand Identity, an exposure to create Awareness and a Voice of what your Brand is.
When it comes to Brand Voice, there can be 2 ways to handle this; a more Vocal Public communication or a more subtle copy. When producing either one, you have to keep your Brand in mind, while writing or creating information about the 'internal look' of your Brand to the public, making your Brand more 'human'.
3. Be consistent in Social Media
At this stage, you are sure of what Personas you will be targeting, and what to tell them about your Brand, so to execute this, you will need a loud voice.
Social Media is prominently used by almost every person on this chunk we call Earth, so it is with upmost importance that you figure out where to find them (online) and how they behave.
With the help of Online Research tools, prolific amounts of online-profiles are mainly found on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
By paying close attention to the data provided, find out where your soon-to-be online customers are, (which platform) so it will help you allocate your resources on the more-important percentages of likely-buyers. This process can be hefty and time-consuming, for more efficiency, it is best to work on a 'Social Media Content Calendar' to distribute and work properly with team-effort.
4. Creating a Blog
Although this may seem like a waste-of-time, creating a targeted-persona Blog is the most crucial in-Inbound Marketing. It helps reach qualified buyers by publishing informative content that matches the information that they like.
As you frequent your Social Media timeline, you will be able to see, more-than-you-can-count Blogs or Websites with informative content. It ties in with their overall scheme of Content Marketing. Maintaining your blog is inexpensive but very time-consuming. So the most time and resource-saving method is (again) by creating a 'Blog Editorial Calendar'.
5. Customer Service
When it comes to Online retail, customer service is usually the fight-or-flight for possible-customers. Customer Service (if you handle a lot of customers) is very important in maintaining a transparent and helpful image to the public.
An advantage to state is that excellent Customer Service will actually Save companies a ton of money from Marketing and Advertising, this is because of customers calling in to make an enquiry, instead of spending thousands on a design just to tell the public of a 'possible' fix.
Whoever you're serving, Customer Service's goal is to create a delightful experience, it doesn't cost you much to just talk to customers. In the United States, businesses lost about $41 billion dollars each year because of bad customer service.
Especially if you're a new Brand trying to fight in a pit full of bigger and 'badder' organizations, you're going to have a bad time. You might not have the potential Reach -- well not very far.
When things get tough, or if you're wanting to reach other markets, one way to reach a larger audience is to partner with a Brand that has a larger audience base.
But don't just pick any Brand that comes in your way, do some background-check on companies that have a similar target audience as yours. When collaborating with another company, always make sure that you have something to provide them with, logically, it should always be a win-win scenario, no charities here.
If you're not so lucky in finding similar companies to conjoin with, a well-known or respected non-profit Organization will work just as well. The reason for this? Millennials have a buying power of $200 Billion annually.
Building up a Brand may seem like a perplexing or troublesome process, especially when you do not have the resources at hand. But don't be let-down because of that! There are many other ways of starting a Brand without breaking your bank. It may be an unnerving journey, but with proper strategies and logic, and of course fun, your Brand will be sky-rocketing in no time!