I am in love with this brand. That’s my favorite brand. I am glad this brand is opening its stores here. I miss purchasing from that brand.
Wow, great shoes, which brand? Hey, nice dress. Is that from Zara? That’s a unique watch model, which brand did you purchase it from?
All of us encounter such questions in our day to day lives, don’t we? So what makes us feel so connected with these products? What does it really imply? Are we talking about their businesses and products or are we relating it to the pleasant experiences we have had with the brand in the past? It is definitely the brand image and experiences that we all connect to.
So what is a brand?
A brand is an identity created by a particular company. And customers buy the products from a brand basis an individual’s perception of that particular brand. So, a brand is a result of who you are, what you want to be and what customers perceive you to be. Your brand is what makes you unique and stand out amongst all the others. Hence, it is important to build a strong and effective branding strategy that comprises all the brand elements.
Why is branding important?
Branding is a process of choosing the right mediums to create your brand and market that image to the right audience. You need to identify an image for your brand that can help you differentiate yourself in the competitive market. When you choose the right branding strategy, it helps you leave a particular image in the consumer’s mind. And basis this image, the consumers will either connect with your brand or like your brand.
A brand is an outlook of its brand name, logo, tagline, and design it chooses to relate with. The right brand strategy and communication channels will rightly help you communicate who you are, what you want to be, what you offer to the right audience. When creating a branding strategy, your communication has to be clear and concise, thus eradicating any kind of ambiguity your audience would otherwise have with your brand. So, branding is important for your marketing campaigns. Let’s talk about all the brand elements that are necessary for building a brand:
People tend to directly connect with your brand and build a perception of it. Creating the right brand logo is a must, for it is placed everywhere. It is a visual representation of your brand. Your logo has to clearly communicate what your brand is. It is important to choose the right colors for your brand. We have also seen that some logos have a powerful symbolic association linked to people’s memory. For example, customers can directly identify with logos of brands like McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Burger King, etc.
What you communicate to your audience also makes a great impact on the customers. Your brand needs to have a voice and brand message must communicate the brand values to its audience. Brand messaging either inspires, motivates, convinces, persuades or discourages the customers to buy the product. For example, Nike’s “Just do it”, Subway’s “Eat Fresh”; Levis’s “Quality never goes out of style”.
Brand’s tone helps deliver the brand’s message quality. It articulates a brand’s personality and set of values. The brand’s tone can be authentic, quirky, playful, motivational, sad, etc. The brand’s tone needs to be consistent in every message communicated by the brand. For example, Dove attempts to inspire and empower relationships with its customers. Its brand tone is empowering and uplifting. On the other hand, Coca-Cola uses a positive and friendly brand tone. It always emphasizes on evoking happiness.
The place you want to own in your target customer’s mind is what defines how you want to position your brand. You can also compare your positioning to other competitors and then discover if you want to be identified in a similar way. For example, BMW positions itself as a luxury car maker whereas Porsche positions itself as a sports car.
One can also focus on customer experience to position a brand. For example, when Starbucks came, it wanted to make the whole experience of buying coffee a pleasant one.
A brand uses marketing channels to communicate and deliver its message. The kind of channel you choose for delivering your message also has a great impact on your brand’s identity. A brand can either choose to issue a press release, launch a campaign or use social media. A brand can also prefer advertising through television, magazines or newspapers. If a brand wants to communicate business goals, it will opt for more formal mediums like a press conference with business media. And if a brand wants to announce its next lifestyle product, it will resort to an announcement through an event.
Points for branding professionals to keep in mind
Branding Strategy is very crucial while building a brand. It can either make a brand or break a brand. Good branding can earn a good reputation. For instance, Ola’s #AbChalega campaign was featured on BBC because of its creative branding strategy. Hence, branding professionals must be very careful in the process of branding.
Below are a few important pointers that a branding professional must remember:
Clear thought process
One must have a clear refined thought process when building a brand. It is important to coincide your brand identity, brand message, brand positioning and brand channels with each other.
As a branding professional, you need to be clear with your communication. Using the right words and the right tone is very critical to building a brand’s image. For example, one cannot say the brand has invested in a business. A brand does not invest. It is the company or people in a company that invests in a business.
A brand is a resemblance of continuous effort by everyone involved in the process. Since there are many people involved in the process of branding, it is essential to have a system in place to manage all the brand-related expectations in terms of products, services, design elements, etc. A smooth liaison between different departments is very effective for creating a brand.
As they say ‘You can see results, only when you are consistent’. And this is indeed true even here. Maintaining consistency in how you use your logo, style of the content, brand messaging or tone is another important aspect of a good branding strategy.
If you are about to just start your business, it is essential to set the right brand identity of your company. And if you are already an established brand, then it is important to maintain the same image. There are various branding companies in India that can help your brand to establish a trusting relationship with your customers and develops recognition.
It augments the brand’s credibility. As per a survey, 65% of people feel connected to a brand since the brand makes them feel cared for and 64% of customers are brand loyal because they share the brand’s values. Hence, it is essential to have the right branding strategy to build a brand.