Here we will discuss how to build a brand, the importance of branding and different ideas for building a brand. When thinking about branding, most of the people relate the term with some design elements like logos, colour schemes and catchy headlines. But in reality, these are only identity creating materials.
Such materials bring an image and increase the recall value of the product or the company. So these are literally vehicles which carry the brand promise to the target audience.
What is branding? Branding is a marketing process of creating a name, symbol or design, which identifies and differentiates a product or service from others. It means creating a positive perception about the product or company in the minds of the target audience.
So now the next question is ‘What is the difference between marketing and branding?’ Branding is a continuous process which creates a positive perception in the mind of your target audience while marketing is the various methods which we use to communicate the brand promise.
How to build a brand for your business?
Building a brand is an in-depth process and implementation of a proper branding strategy will help your brand stand apart in a highly competitive market.
Usually, every business starts by creating new products or services or by reinventing an existing one. Either way, you must have some customers, to begin with. By focusing on your initial customer base, create an honest brand promise and communicate it to your target audiences. The promise must be a solution for an existing problem that your target audience is facing.
Now let’s check some conventional and non-conventional branding ideas which will help your brand differentiate itself.
Define your essentials
A brand means a promise to your customers and the promise can be a solution or a new experience in their daily life. To create a better brand, ask questions like ‘Who is your target audience? Why should they purchase your product? What is their economic status? What are their common characteristics? Is there any key influencer? Where do they hang out? etc.
These essentials will help your product in creating basic business documents like marketing strategy, branding strategy, business plans etc.
Now you are ready to create your brand identities like name, logo, website, tagline, colour schemes, and other promotional materials based on the foundations (essentials). The identity materials should create a long lasting impression in the mind of your customers and also create an expectation about your real promise.
Tell your story
Stories are a great way to create a long lasting impression. So, share your story that can make an emotional connection between the brand and your ideal customers. Stories can be the process behind the product or the reason behind the evolution of the product. Sometimes a good storytelling approach can bring great PR without spending a single dime.
Place content marketing as a tool in your branding strategy. Create great quality content and share it on all online platforms like blogs, online PR websites, question-answer sites and video sharing platforms etc.
Now there are lots of free online platforms that can help you connect with your target audience. First of all, do a little research and find out where your ideal customers hang out online.
After finding the perfect online platform, engage with your target audience and this will provide you with some brand evangelists in the initial stages. You can even use this platform as a test market for your unfinished products or prototypes.
Incentivize your early birds
Treat your initial customers like your brand ambassadors by offering them instant discounts, offers and free giveaways. Introduce a referral program for your early birds and let them stick with your brand. A great referral program will help you stay ahead of the competition without spending thousands of dollars on marketing.
Consider branding in all communications
Associate all your branding properties like logo and colour schemes etc. with your communication materials. Ask repeat or referral business to your existing customers in a polite way. For example in your thanksgiving email just put a statement like “we like referrals”.
Associate with other Brands
Find out other brands related to your industry and associate with them for promotional activities. But don’t associate with a direct competitor of your business.
You can organize joint promotional activities like some special events or free giveaways. When you partner with a brand which is relevant to your industry, you may get access to a totally new target audience.
In this competitive world, if your brand wants to be noticeable and remarkable, then don’t do what the 99% is doing. In the book “Pursuit of wow” Tom Peters describes why the only products with a future are those created by passionate people. So now it is your turn…