Planning and designing the best brand for your business is part of what we call growth. As your company expands, you need to build an image that would reflect and stand for the core of the business. You need something that would represent what you believe and what you want to achieve.
From the moment you set foot on the journey to establish a business, you need to be grounded in your values as set forth in your value statement. And these values should be reflected in your brand. A brand that would make your business different from the rest of the herd, a name that every consumer will identify.
Branding is the process of establishing a unique identity for your business or any venture. This is to represent something that consumers will be able recognize and that would differentiate you from your competitors.
A brand is considered by consumers as an oath or commitment that you have to fulfill. It will be your own image apart from the rest and something that you need to live up to. Most businesses carve their brand from their core values or their vision statement or mission statement—the things that they believe in as well as their mission to their consumers. The brand of your business should be closely relevant to the kind of product or service that you are offering.
For example, if your business is about providing a cleaning service, create something that would signify what it is all about. In addition to that, make it a little unique by adding extra flavor, like how extraordinary you do things on ordinary days.
Brands could manifest in anything between a tagline or a company logo or sometimes a mixture of both. Most companies prefer to at least have a logo, because of the widespread acceptance of this convention. A tagline also helps, as long as you make it concise and catchy. Furthermore, you need to consider choosing the right combination of colors, maybe add an image to add uniqueness.
On a more serious note, branding is not only about the artistry and preciseness of your logo. Rather, it is the message that emanates to the consumers about your products as well your company.
Defining your brand cannot be accomplished overnight. It can sometimes take days or maybe weeks before you can come up with something that truly defines who you are as an organization as well the kind of product or service you are offering. You need to treat it as a journey—a process of exploring your inner values and smart goals. So, to properly define your brand, you need to be able to answer these questions:
These are just a few of the most common questions that companies use to define their brand. You can add others if you think they are necessary to clearly establish your brand. Another trick would be to do a little research. Learn to do your own market research. Never be too assumptive that your consumers or your prospect clients will easily identify your brand. Remember that the business world is a colossal place for competition and that others may have probably the same idea as yours.
One of the ways to make your business a success is to make sure your brand “carries” your company across in its message. The way your brand is presented to consumers will determine the value of profit you will be earning. And to make sure that your brand encompasses your values and mission, you need to carefully plan it. Here are a few tips for successful branding.
1. Focus on your mission. People often say what others think about you is what you actually are. This is partly true and partly false. It is also advised to consider what people think about your company. But it is still more important to know who you really are from within. Understand your objectives and what you want to accomplish in your business. Focus on the benefits that your products or services can provide to the consumers.
2. Consider what other people say. Part of growing is accepting criticism and using them to your advantage. Consider what the outside community says about you. Take note of the positive as well as the negative comments that people say. And once you have them filtered, take them into consideration when creating your brand. Establish it while being grounded on the positive perception of the consumers while at the same time working on the negative ones.
3. Identify your consumers. While others believe that branding should reach all ages and a variety of cultures, it is still better to know exactly who your consumers are. As an extreme example, do not create a brand for babies when your products or services are for the elderly and vice versa. Identify who your clients are so you can perfectly plan what message you are going to deliver with your brand.
4. Do not put everything into one box. Never attempt to please everyone, because you will just end up a loser. Remember that every person has his/her own taste and opinion about things. Just because everyone is doing it or something is popular doesn’t mean you need to follow too. If being unique and different is something that people criticize, let it be. Business is not about going with the flow. It is about standing out from among your competitors and use their weakness to your advantage.
5. Understand the competition. It is also important to consider the type of industry you are in. Know your competitors as well as their brands. Do not attempt to be a copycat or a shadow of a big brand. You have to make sure you understand the game you got yourself into and improve on it, not duplicate. The more you try to become a copy of others, the less value you will have with people. You cannot win the competition of you are trying to be another when you are not. Be a leader, not a follower.
6. Do a little research. It pays to know first what are your strengths and weaknesses while looking at it from within (you can accomplish this through a SWOT analysis). Assemble a small team of intellectuals from your organization who can contribute healthy ideas for your branding. Talk about the things that you are good at as well as what you want to give back to the consumers. Consider all the important factors. Start from your products, then the market as a whole, and lastly your consumers. You need to take all these into consideration—especially your customers, since they will be the lifeblood of your business.
7. Keep it simple. Your brand doesn’t need to be complicated. Your purpose is not to impress everyone with how sophisticated you are with your difficult and intriguing branding. Keep it as simple as possible. Something that everyone, even the not-so-learned, can understand. Even with the business logos, you need to keep it as neat as possible. More importantly, if you are planning to use a tagline for your branding, make the message short, yet something everyone can comprehend.
8. Think from the consumer’s perspective. You have to put yourself in your customer’s shoes, not to gain distance but perspective. What holds companies back from understanding what their consumers want is looking at things from a mountaintop. They treat their consumers as secondary and so they end up in a limbo of uncertainty. They become unappreciative of what their consumers provide to the business, thus becoming less attractive to the public. When you want to establish a good brand, you need to think like a regular consumer for you to know what is it that they really want. And once you have accomplished that, you can relate the message to the brand, and that becomes your game changer.
9. Bridge the gap. Now that you have established the different points you have to consider, the next challenge is how to reconcile each one of them. You need to bridge the gap between the mission of your business, your goals, your products, and, most of all, your consumers.
10. Make a difference. Most businesses fall in the most unexpected ways and at the most unanticipated times. This is because they focus on making money and forget what their purpose really is, beyond the baseline profit-making every for-profit enterprise is required to do. When you are establishing your brand, consider making a difference with your consumer’s lives. The most successful brands emerged victorious not because of how big the business is, but because of its resonating message of change.
The thing about branding is that everyone wants to be famous. Every company creates their own unique or vintage logos with superb taglines—yet some of them do not end up on top.
There could be many reasons why some brands fail to please the public. First, it could be that the message is too complicated. Second, the logo is far too complicated that it no longer signifies what the business truly is. And lastly, people aren’t just into your product—you picked a bum market.
However, if you are confident that your branding is well established and you have the fuel to run the race, your next step is to find ways to make your brand famous. You need to a marketing plan and look for opportunities on how to successfully market your brand. Here are some of the ways on how you can make your brand famous.
What we need to consider most of all is the question of how effective branding is and what it does to consumers. Branding itself is meaningless if a business does not know its importance. To begin with, branding is a means of portraying a message to the public about what your business is about and what you want to accomplish in the long run. It is an avenue for consumers to get to know you better and understand the essence of your products or services.
The word brand originates from a 12th century Old English term baernan which means “to burn.” Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the original meaning of the word as “a mark made by burning with a hot iron to attest manufacture or quality or to designate ownership.”
In more recent times, Wikipedia defines brand as a “name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer.”
Thus, taking the context of these two separate definitions, we can then conclude that branding is important to provide identification for an entity or an organization. It recognizes the difference and uniqueness of a business apart from the rest, giving it a name of its own.