Branding is essential for business. While the first thing that comes to mind are a business name, nice logo and catchy slogan, branding entails a whole lot more. It encompasses every aspect of the business and is geared toward influencing how customers view your business or product. Ergo, it requires careful thought and planning.
You could have the best product in the market but in the absence of effective branding, you are unlikely to make much headway or generate as much revenue as you could. The following are the key steps to follow in order to build your brand.
Conduct Market Research
No business operates in a vacuum. Irrespective of what product you come up with, there’s a high likelihood that someone else is already selling a similar or near identical product. You cannot really build a great brand if you don’t take stock of who your competitors are and how they have positioned their own brands.
Successful brands are memorable and unique. Market research will help you understand what leading players are doing so you can build a brand that isn’t just a replication of what customers are used to.
The market research should not only analyze potential competitors but also identify the ways existing products are falling short of customer expectations. Customers’ gripe with current products could present a gap you can exploit through your branding by positioning yourself as the solution they’ve been waiting for.
Understand Your Product and Define Your Brand
Successful brands know who they are and what they are about. Your brand is like a person who accompanies you everywhere you go. You cannot accurately introduce them to someone else if you don’t know them really well. Your brand has to be consistent with your product. An excellent airline slogan won’t be as effective when applied to a peanut butter product.
Start by noting down the characteristics of your product and the things you expect it to do. Next, think about what makes your product stand out from the rest. Third, map out the profile of your typical customer. This will guide your decision on whether to go with a fun and laidback branding approach or a formal and serious one.
Finally, develop a list of ideas, phrases and words you’d want your brand associated with.
Develop a Visual Identity
With a clear understanding of how you’d like your brand perceived, translate these ideas and values into a visual identity. That includes your brand name, logo and colors. The visual identity is will create an emotional bond with your target market and stimulate their interest in your product.
Colors are especially important because over time, different colors have come to denote different moods. For instance, green is ideal for brands with an environmental goal, blue evokes a sense of trust and stability, and red is energetic and exciting.
The logo matters too. Whereas there are many free logo design apps available nowadays, watch out for common logo mistakes. In particular, the logo shouldn’t be plagiarized, too similar to an existing logo, have a confusing message or use too many colors.
Build a website
The number of adults who regularly visit the internet is well past 75% in advanced countries and rising rapidly in emerging economies. Ergo, your branding is never truly complete before you have a representative presence on the worldwide web.
Your brand name, logo and colors will determine how your site will look. Choose a domain name that’s preferably the same as your brand name to ensure consistency and then proceed to create the website. You could do it yourself but it may be helpful to engage a professional web development agency.
In a nutshell, the colors, fonts and design style for your website should be representative of your brand vibe and values.
With your branding done, what remains is to share it with your target audience. You can do that in multiple ways including audiovisual advertising, sponsored events, flyers, email marketing, social media marketing, blogging and press releases. Above all, ensure the message around your brand is consistent irrespective of the time and place you share it.
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