If I remove your company name and your logo from your website or shop, would people still know it’s you? If your answer is no, then you need help with branding your business. Let’s see how we can build a Successful Brand in 5 easy steps.
Before we get into what and How of Branding, let’s see what a brand and branding is.
What Is A Brand?
- Brand Is A Perception
- Brand Is A Promise
- Brand Is An Expectation
A Brand is not a logo, symbol, mark, colors, fonts or any of those tangible things usually associated with a brand, these are merely the tools which we use to create a Brand.
You might ask, then what brand really is?
Brand is a person’s perception about a product, service or organization. Every individual creates a different brand in their mind for the same product, service or organization, which means same product, service or organization might mean different for different people. Therefore we can not hope to drill down our view of our brand in people’s mind, we can just guide it in the right direction. Which leads to our next question
A brand is not owned by the company, but by the customers who draw meaning from it. Your brand isn’t what YOU say it is. It’s what THEY say it is.
What Is Branding?
Branding is an active process of creating a perception of your Brand, or, Branding is a process of Building A Successful Brand. A Brand is a person’s perception about our product, service or company and branding is an action that we take to guide this perception in the direction we want. Successful Branding is what transforms first time buyers into Brand evangelists
Branding is an active process of creating a perception of your Brand, a perception that makes your Brand standout in the crowd of all those “me too” businesses.
Branding does not stop there, it’s a continuous process of maintaining, nurturing and refining this perception during the whole lifetime of the Brand.
Why Is Branding Important?
As we already know, branding is the process of creating a perception of your Brand, and the goal of this process is to create a perception that makes our brand stand out, to make a Brand connection with our target audience. When our Brand has a positive image in the audience’s mind and when they start feeling connected to the Brand, then the competition and price becomes irrelevant.
- Branding Gets Recognition
- It Creates Trust
- Creates Consistent Brand Experience
- Connect Audience To The Brand
- Successful Branding Increase Business Value
How Do We Create A Brand?
Creating a unique Brand is a challenging task and it takes a lot of patience. Therefore we can not expect to hit the home-run in the first attempt, as we already know branding is a continuous process, so have patients and keep refining your brand over time
5 Steps To Building A Successful Brand In 2020
Define Target market
First step of creating a brand must always be defining our target market. Without knowing who we are serving we can not hope to have something unique to offer. For small and medium businesses it’s best to niche down the target market.
Tighter the niche easier it would be to create a value for that niche. Suppose we want to target Medical Doctors, then the subcategory of Cardiologists could be our niche and Cardiologists in New York City could be even a tighter niche.
Creating market segmentation on the basis of Demography, Geography, Behavioral and Psychographic helps the process of defining our ideal customer.
Understand What Our Ideal Customer Wants
If we look deeply, people don’t actually buy products, they buy Emotions. Motivation of buying a $50,000 worth watch is totally different from buying a $50 worth watch.
Understand what your ideal customer is buying. Getting into the head of our target market will help us define our image and offering.
Even better, if we can relieve the pain our target market faces, we can obliterate the price war.
Define How You Want To Be Perceived
Once we have a niche we want to serve and we know the pain points of our target market, we can start devising our Brand’s perception.
Finally When devising a plan to market our Brand’s perception, we need to always remember, it’s not about Us, it’s not about our Product or Service, it’s not even about our Company, it’s always about our ideal customer.
We need to define a promise to our customers which we are committed to fulfill, we need to define an experience we will deliver across our touch points. We need to be consistent with what our customers experience with our brand
In short, create a Brand personality and design audience’s experience around it from a Prospect to a Lead to a Loyal Customer and beyond.
Build Our Brand Around The Promise And The Experience
Now we know our customers, we know what they want, we understand their emotions, pains and hidden reasons for buying. Furthermore we have also decided what our Brand Promise is and what kind of experience we want our customers to have. Now is the time to build your image around it.
And how do we do it?
We start with building our marketing material as a function of the Promise, it includes all the graphic and messaging parts.
This is a very crucial stage of Brand Building, as everything we develop from a logo to a sign on the wall, everything needs to be aligned with the Brand Image we are striving for. Always remember a Brand is not what You say, it’s what They say. Therefore it is paramount that the tangibles and intangibles of a Brand are aligned to one Brand Vision
Elements needed to be developed for Building A Successful Branding
- UI & UX
- Brand Guidelines
- Sales Copy
- Print Designs
- Store Design(if applicable)
Communicate your Brand
We have our tools ready and a right mindset, now all our marketing needs to be focused around our Brand, consistently advertising our Brand Message. What we talk online and offline, how our social media pages curated must all have our Brand Message in the center.
Communication is the key to Building A Successful Brand, without it nobody knows who we are and what we stand for. We need to choose our advertising/communication media carefully, we have already niche down our target market so we don’t have to do mass marketing and waste $$$.
The Brand Communication is at 3 levels.
- Before: Before our ideal customer knows we exist.
- During: The phase when they interact with us at any level
- After: They have already bought from us
During the before phase, we need to focus our communication to attract our target market to our brand, and in the process let them know that we can solve their problem or fulfil their needs.
When our audience already knows we exist and shown interest because of our advertising efforts in the Before Phase, they enter in the During Phase.
This is the phase where the sales team comes in to play, this is when they know if what we say is true and once they have measured us they convert to a Customer.
Once we have a customer, it becomes utmost important to be consistent with our Brand Image. Anything that we do that helps them or makes them feel better will help us build our brand even stronger in our customer’s mind.
Building A Successful Brand is not very hard if you know the process and the steps. The hard part is carrying out those steps as the process is pretty complex and many factors overlap. But if you are willing to put in time and effort and are ready to learn (A whole lot of things) then you can definitely do it yourself.
If the quality of the results and value of time matters to you, then look to hire a professional to help you out. Dollars spent on Branding are worth every penny and will pay you back in plenty down the road.
Good Luck with your Brand Building.