What is a brand?
Wikipedia defines a brand as “a name, term, design, symbol or any other feature that identifies one seller’s goods or service as distinct from those of other sellers”.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon puts it this way: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Simply put, your brand is your reputation. It represents who you are and what your company is.
Why is branding so important?
According to a Nielson survey, 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them. A well-known brand is one of a company’s most valuable assets.
Pepsi, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nike, and Apple are globally recognized brands. The mere mention of their names conjures up images of their products and logos in our minds. The reason why these brands are so popular is because of their effective branding strategies. These companies invest millions of dollars in promoting their brand.
You could say “these are big brands, but what about small businesses with limited budgets?
A small business may be competing against big brands with large audience reach and unlimited marketing budgets. However, it is possible to establish their brand identity and increase recognition with a strong brand-building process. Branding should be a priority for small business owners. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, half of all small businesses fail within five years of their inception. For a small business to succeed, owners should incorporate strategies to make their brand sustainable. Building a positive brand image is essential in order to compete with larger brands on the market. This ensures the company’s survival in a corporate-dominated business sector.
So what are the ways to build a strong brand identity?
1. Define the purpose of your brand
Determine why your business was founded in the first place. One way is to create a mission statement that expresses the brand’s purpose clearly. A well-written mission statement will also ensure that your strategies, products, and brand activities are all in sync.
When defining a brand purpose, you should ask yourself these four questions:
- Why do you exist?
- What differentiates you from other brands?
- What problem do you solve?
- Why should people care?
2. Know your competitors well
You should focus on making your brand stand out against competitors. The goal is to convince a customer to purchase from you over them! To do so, you should be aware of what they excel at (or where they fail). One of the most important aspects of defining your brand’s positioning is competitor research (or market research).
- Conduct extensive competitor research to identify areas that you can exploit.
- Create a distinct positioning for your brand in order to attract and resonate with your target audience.
- To ensure customer delight, provide a top-notch customer experience. Leverage influencers to facilitate positive word-of-mouth.
- Employ social listening and monitoring for gathering customer feedback.
3. Know your target audience
It should come as no surprise that every marketing effort begins with determining the target audience. This is due to the fact that your brand cannot be everything to everyone, so it is critical to consider who you intend to target. Understand the market’s demographics and cater to the expectations and needs of those customers.
If you’re marketing daycare services, instead of targeting “all the mothers,” you could target “single mothers who work full-time.”
If you’re marketing iPhones for teen boys and girls, you can use “iPhones for college students.
If you want to sell a digital marketing course, you can use “digital marketing course for marketing graduates” etc
Understanding the buyer persona is a crucial stage in the brand-building process. You need to consider factors like
- Education Level
4. Have a unique logo and tagline
Part of the reason why brands such as Nike, Facebook, and Mcdonalds are truly memorable and timeless is because of their Iconic logos and taglines, which are instantly recognizable and relatively simple. Your logo serves as a public representation of your company. This logo will appear on everything related to your company.
Also, phrases like “I’m Lovin’ It”, “It’s quick and easy’ ‘ instantly conjure up images of well-known brands. So be willing to invest the time and money to create a unique logo and tagline that is catchy, in order to convey your own distinct identity. Hire a professional designer with logo designing experience.
5. Leverage Digital Marketing
Digital marketing has become an essential component of business marketing. Due to its ability to reach a global market, digital marketing is the “must-have” strategy for branding in today’s digital world.
Digital marketing can be fruitful for marketing ROI because your potential customers are online anytime, thanks to easy access to the internet through smartphones and tablets. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, youtube allow you to reach a wider target audience. Through these platforms, you can engage with your customers more effectively.
6. Digitalize your business
In this technology-driven market, the demand for digital transformation has skyrocketed. Digital transformation is incorporating modern technology into your business operations to increase efficiency, enhance customer experience, and boost sales.
You can do this by developing a website or an app for your business, converting a brick-and-mortar store into an ecommerce store, incorporating mobile payment options, and more. More than 85% of the world’s senior business leaders now place a high priority on business digitalization. With the help of digital business transformation, You can provide your customers with personalized experiences, which will lead to improved brand loyalty, customer retention, and an increase in revenue.
The bottom line
A brand becomes unforgettable when you create a brand experience that stands the test of time. It is critical to remember that you cannot create a long-lasting brand experience for your target audience overnight. Every aspect of one’s identity should be formed and established with intention and purpose in mind.
If you want to create an impactful brand experience for long-term success, you need to make sure you consistently apply the steps mentioned above and look for ways to build deeper connections with the audience to establish a long-lasting identity. Be patient, as everything takes time.