We all know that starting something from scratch is extremely difficult especially when you are trying to create something meaningful.
Yes, you`ve always wanted to have something on your own, but owning a certain company, is not enough, you must create a Brand. Trying to google it and make a research will end up with an unlimited number of pages explaining what “branding” means that will do nothing but confuse you.
What does Branding Mean?
If we try to put it as simple as we possibly could your brand is the promise you make to your customer or even more simplified a brand is how other people view your company (products or service). It is normal for the consumers to have opinions both good and bad and the sum of all opinions literally form the business`s reputation – Brand.
On the other hand, branding is what you aim people to think and your willingness to go an extra mile to change and improve your customer`s opinion. This will require you to create a profoundly developed and detailed brand strategy. You will need to use all the tools to influence your client`s attitudes, perceptions, and common opinions.
What is not branding?
Although at first, you will find the entire idea of branding challenging, the very last thing you want to do is fall into the commonly seen trap of the ad agencies. They tend to promote themselves by offering you a variety of marketing solutions but don’t be fooled, branding is so much more than promoted content on Facebook. Anyone trying to sell you the idea that brands are a blend of design, copy, style, and colour, is simply wrong! Multi-media campaign will never be equal to branding, NEVER! Yes, part of branding is advertising, but it is never the focal point of it. Don’t ever confuse that.
Why is branding important?
You are well aware of the most obvious example of branding: the most famous drink Coke.
Have you ever thought why people always choose Coke over all the identical products out there?
The answer is simple, it is because ever since their beginning they were committed to creating a brand. They constantly worked to create powerful brand equity that allows them now to charge more for their products and to be superior over all other similar ones.
The more time and resources you invest in persistent and consistent strategic branding, step by step, year by year, you will create strong brand equity. This will allow you to sell your products, or services for a higher price (added value) than your competitors (such as the Cola example).
Brand Stylesheet vs Brand Guide
Despite you are new to the entire concept of branding, both of these two new words are equally important but much alike.
The Brand stylesheet is the visual representation of your brand and the brand guide consists of the values that your brand represents. The stylesheet is contained of several different parts such as the primary logo, the colour palette (your brand colours), your brand tones (brand vibe and approach), the font systems, icons plus brand elements (one that can be used on business cards etc.), and the brand image style. Usually beside some other components, in the brand guide too, you can find the style section but mainly the accent is put on defining your brand. Yes, surely it can be a painstaking and time-consuming process but once you get it over it, it will be well worth it. Doing a research on what is your company`s mission, your target customers, what opinion your clients already have and what they associate your company with can literally “make or break” your branding strategy.
Key Areas in Branding
There are a few areas that you need to pay attention to.
- Purpose: The Why. Why you are doing what you`re doing? What is the reason behind your brand`s existence? This is a foundational question that demands an answer.
- Vision: The What. Knowing what are you aiming to accomplish and the outcome of your purpose is also an irreplaceable aspect in your branding strategy.
- Mission: The How. Not only your purpose and vision you need to know your mission too meaning how you will get work done. These steps are surely hard but working through them will lead toward creating an exceptional and believable company.
- Brand Message- having a proper brand message says a lot about a brand. It is a great way to communicate with your customers and speak up about what you do and who you are as a company.
The easiest ways to review your branding
Knowing how to review your branding strategy has a crucial meaning since it will allow you to deepen and broaden the improvements, and will let you take a glimpse and see where you stand. Only a couple of the easiest ways are creating a framework; questioning your customers; reviewing your web analysis, social data, and sales data; looking at your competitors; and taking action and monitoring the results.
Brands are built with a lot of painstaking work, by what you say and do, and even more what you believe, promise and deliver. Managing all these aspects and shaping people`s opinions can be a bit of a challenge but don’t panic, its something built over the years rather than in an instant. Just remember, all companies have a brand, but only the smart ones choose to play an active, and direct role creating it which is so much beyond focusing on advertising and marketing.