Branding is the foundation of all businesses, regardless of the sector. Without creating a strong brand name for your business, you won’t be able to instill recognition, loyalty, or resonance among customers. This, in turn, will hamper your sales.
However, modern branding can be quite tricky to implement. For starters, as per Pam Moore, it takes at least five effective impressions before people can remember and recall your brand. And as per HBR, only 23 percent of customers feel connected to brands.
To make sure your business succeeds in its branding efforts, you must plan carefully.
3 Dos of Branding
Here are elements you must implement with perfection when creating your brand.
- Create an impactful logo
The primary thing consumers see when interacting with any product or service is the logo.
Your logo is your business’s visual representation, as well as an amalgamation of your brand story. By creating an impactful logo, you are bound to ensure high recall and recognition.
According to Coca-Cola, its logo is now recognized by 94 percent of the world. This is the type of branding every business should strive to achieve.
How do you create an effective logo? Well, start by hiring a professional to do the job. Creative agencies, like the Logo Design Valley, are equipped with the expertise and skillset required to create a logo consistent with the brand image you wish to create.
Make sure that the symbol is meaningful, simple, scalable, and timeless. You will find that these four characteristics are reflected in the logos of all the top brands.
- Track your competition
What differentiates commodities with brands is their positioning. For instance, while all soaps help maintain hygiene, Dove strives by promoting real beauty via its moisturizing formula.
To make sure that you gain a unique position in the minds of the consumers, you must know what your competitors are up to. Understanding their positioning, customer segmentation, and products will help you in shaping your brand story.
So, make sure to keep tabs on your competitors. Understand their brand personality and persona and create yours to be different than theirs. Sometimes this will involve differentiating your customer service and experience.
Jetblue succeeded in doing so. In a world where airlines like Delta focused on affordable flights, Jetblue promoted its extensive legroom, friendly service, and gourmet snacks. In short, its branding focused on its excellent hospitality rather than affordability.
- Be Authentic
The consumers of today can see right through false promises and sweeping statements. Therefore, it is imperative for a brand to be authentic and transparent. In fact, as per a study conducted by Label Insight, 94 percent of customers are loyal to businesses that are transparent in their practices.
What constitutes brand authenticity?
Reliability, transparency, and respectfulness.
Patagonia is an excellent example of a brand that has managed to tick all these boxes. The mission statement of the business revolves around building environmentally sustainable yet quality products.
This is reflected in all facets of its operations. For instance, the business uses renewable energy, promotes fair labor practices, and actively campaigns for different environmental causes. Its Worn Wear program is also an apt representation of their authenticity.
3 Don’ts of Branding
Just like you should know what you must perfect when creating your brand, it is equally important to know the pitfalls you must avoid. This includes the following.
- Rebrand often
Nike. McDonald’s. Coca-Cola. Ford.
Each of these brands has two things in common. Firstly, they are among the most recognizable brands in the world. Secondly, over the decades, they have remained largely unchanged.
Whether it be their logo, tagline, or overall positioning, their brand stories haven’t altered drastically. Nike always focused on bringing out the athlete within you. And Coca-Cola has always encouraged sharing happiness.
While design-wise, their logos have changed little by little, the changes were small enough to not make the brand unrecognizable.
You must do the same. Don’t rebrand your business often. Understand that people form associations and connections with brands. And a sudden change in direction and branding means that you must build your brand from bottom-up, all over again.
- Base your brand on products
Did you know that Amazon started off as being a seller of books? Just look where it is now! Think what would have happened had the logo, tagline, and other branding efforts of Amazon been limited to books and libraries.
This is why it is advised that one shouldn’t brand their businesses according to the products they currently sell or their geographic location. You never know what the future may hold. Diversification and expansion are integral to businesses.
Therefore, always ensure that your branding efforts withstand the test of time. Use logos, taglines, names, and mission statements that encapsulate your overall motto and values rather than your list of services.
- Forget to engage customers
Successful branding cannot be done solely by the business. In today’s world, people tend to listen more to their peers rather than businesses. Therefore, it is imperative to get your customers on board. This way, they will become your brand advocates.
Airbnb does so impeccably. While the business model of the brand is nothing new, it positions itself as delivering an experience to customers. And this experience is made real by allowing customers to use their platform to share their stories.
If, during your branding efforts, you forget to let your customers in, you will automatically lose out. Consumers feel more connected to a brand they are a part of, on the inside. And this branding tactic is much more impactful than paid promotions.
Include the “Dos” and avoid the “Don’ts” when creating your brand strategy. If you manage to build a strong brand, you will reap the rewards of your efforts for years to come!
Remember, each big brand that you look up to today started from scratch. You must do so too! While the task may seem daunting, if you play your cards right and put in the effort, nothing will stop you from achieving high brand resonance and loyalty.
Erica Silva is a blogger who loves to discover and explore the world around her. She writes on everything from marketing to technology. She enjoys sharing her discoveries and experiences with readers and believes her blogs can make the world a better place.
Find her on Twitter: @ericadsilva1