What is a brand?
Before, branding was just like a label on a product or company asset to indicate that it belongs to your company.
In 2018, branding still stems from the company’s logo and name, however, it’s evolved to become dynamic and multifaceted. A strong brand today requires a personality that resonates with its audience in a synchronized way, across all platforms, from social media to billboards, to its packaging.
Modern-day branding can be defined as the art of representing a company’s identity from who they are, what they do, the level of quality they offer, to their reputation.
What is brand marketing?
Brand marketing promotes your products or services in a way that highlights your overall brand. The goal of brand marketing is to link your identity, values, and personality with communications to your audience. Essentially, your brand is the bridge between your product and your customer.
Through brand marketing, you can promote your products and services in a way that highlights your overall brand. It not only increase your brand awareness in the market but also generates sales.
Many marketing departments are focused on short-term goals, rather than nurturing long-term goals that impact the entire business, like building a brand.
So you’ve got a business and you’re ready to push your branding efforts online. The first question you encounter is “How do I go about with branding?”
What I’ve noticed from my years of experience in online marketing is that you probably think branding involves the following:
Logos, color schemes, and website design – What should my logo be? What colors represent my business best? How do I go about with my web design?
Brand mentions, links, and social popularity – I have to be as visible online as possible because this promotes brand recall SERPs visibility, ad campaigns, and other promotional efforts
If you answered any of the above, then you’re looking at branding the wrong way. The items I mentioned are all marketing tools and strategies, and they only scratch the surface of branding.
What’s the difference between marketing and branding?
We do marketing for promoting our business through various tools and strategies such as SEO, OOC, SMO, local search, & traditional methods. Whereas branding is the culture itself, it is a message that permeates & rules all your business processes.
Branding the Right Way
For establishing a strong brand, you need to know the most fundamental process behind its development. Let’s see how in the following:
Establish Your Purpose
Firstly you need to clarify yourself is why you do what you do? Of course, you will not get the answers right away, but you need to ask yourself why several times before you get to the root purpose, the very core of your business. Start with the following questions:
- Why you need this business?
- Why do you want to help out this specific group of people?
- Why does it matter to you that these things get done?
As you keep going, note the answers you are giving each “why” – these answers will form your purpose.
Choose Your Personality and Voice.
After the above round, ask yourself: what is your brand? So that you can shape your brand and make a skeleton on which you will attach the rest of the ideas, messages, & values.
Here while building your brand, ask yourself the following questions: What kind of voice do I want to use for my brand?
- How do you want to be perceived? Do you want to be approachable & casual, corporate, or formal, etc.?
- Will you be able to stay true to this identity throughout the existence of this brand?
The second question is very essential because your audiences will be looking for a solid, consistent identity. After all, your ability to stay true to your brand is one of the most important elements that will earn you customer loyalty.
Outline Your Values
Once you finish asking yourself what you are, it’s time to ask yourself “Who am I?” The values that you get from the previous step will define who you are as a brand. List these down and define these values in light of your business. The values that you get from the previous step will define who you are as a brand
Define Your Culture.
Your organization culture heavily affects the cultivation of your business. Because happy employees are productive, passionate, & cohesive, ultimately they make your business stronger and manage the process easily. This is why it’s important to establish what kind of culture you want to nurture in your establishment.
Communicate Your Brand to Your Audience.
Now you know how to raise awareness about your brand from the previous point, combined with market research & analysis, will play an important role in determining how & where you communicate your brand to reach your target audience effectively.
The following will be the most important points to discuss when planning communication strategies:
- The benefits your customers will get from your business, and your chosen platform with appropriate media for each.
- Your calls to action; what goals do you have, and how do you plan to entice your audience?
Let’s have a look over the Principles of Brand Management
Generally, brand management is comprised of both tangible & intangible components. The intangible components, however, include the principles that help you measure your brand management efforts and achieve those brand management success indicators that we discussed above.
Here we will discuss the tangibles in the following sections.
You’ll also note that each of these principles can influence the others on this list. For example, heightened brand awareness can contribute to brand reputation, and increased brand loyalty can affect brand equity.
Brand awareness is about how familiar the general public & your target audience is with your brand. Brand awareness is important because customers can’t engage with your brand if they are not aware of it.
Through brand equity, you will get to know that how consumers value your brand based on their experiences, associations, perceptions. It is important because a valuable brand can support higher prices & increase your merit among investors, shareholders, & potential buyers.
Brand loyalty is important because it creates brand ambassadors who do your marketing for you. Brand loyalty shows you how consistently your customers & followers engage with your brand and do purchasing. It will influence your customer service department. It mainly focuses on your customer’s satisfaction and builds a good relationship with them so that they will visit your site again.
Brand recognition shows you how well a consumer and your target audience can recognize your brand through your logo, tagline, packaging, etc. Without seeing your brand name, this concept goes hand-in-hand with brand recall, which is the ability to think of a brand without seeing or hearing any branding prompts.
Brand recognition is important because, by recognizing and recalling your brand, consumers keep your brand top-of-mind and are more likely to choose your brand above the competition.
Brand reputation refers to how the general public and your target audience perceive the character, status, quality of your brand. Here your reputation can be influenced by internal & external factors. Brand reputation is important because it can be some consumer’s first impression of your brand.
From the above, it’s clear that branding isn’t the same as marketing, infect it is the core of your marketing strategy. For building an effective brand, you require authenticity and clarity in all the above-discussed steps by allowing your target audience to identify with your brand personality & values successfully.
Branding isn’t a one-time thing that you do at the beginning of establishing your business. It is an ongoing effort that permeates your processes, your culture, and your development as a business, and it requires your dedication and loyalty to reflect in your work. At the end of the day, the true measure of your branding success is in earning loyal customers who become your brand ambassadors as well.