How would you feel if people would take your word for something, give you preference over others, but what you offer with blind trust? Sounds too good to be true right? But what if I tell you that it is right.
Ever wonder why people prefer Apple and Samsung over other brands for communication technologies? Why do we go for Nike and Addidas? There are other brands that offer good sportswear but why do we go for a shirt that is hundreds of dollars more expensive? There are other search engines but why is everyone’s first choice is Google? Why is it that when we talk about diapers for kids the first name that comes to mind is Pampers?
It is because they offer more than a product. Coca-Cola is more than a cold drink. Starbucks is more than a cafe. McDonald’s is far more than a fast food chain. L’Oréal offers more than cosmetics.
So what is common in all of them? They all offer services and solutions before they offer a product. They have built a very strong trust and loyalty among customers. They have created a brand for themselves. They are the trendsetters now because customers trust their brand and value their opinion.
Don’t be fooled by the common perception. A brand is not a name, it definitely isn’t a logo or a slogan. It is the non-tangible value of the product that comes with the brand. So the question arises: what exactly is a brand?
What is Brand?
A brand is a collection of unique attributes including name, logo, slogan, color scheme, and the services and quality products. These attributes distinguish the brand from the rest of the flock. Furthermore, it comprises the overall experience of a customer during their journey through the brand. The social media influence along with a brand’s effect on the customer’s shopping decision and the above-mentioned attributes, all of these components make up a brand.
It might look like heaven from far. But creating a brand for a company is a very hard and tiring task. But let me tell you one thing, in the end, you will find that positive branding of the company will out-weigh the hardship you went through. It will be worth the trouble.
What is Branding and Importance of Branding?
It is an iterative and ongoing process of researching, developing and implementing a new and better feature, products, and services for customers to smooth their journey. Branding is a mixture of emotions, engagement, business, expectation, and connectivity of a customer with the company.
Positive and productive branding is the best form of currency a company can ever dream of. This is because a brand is probably one of the most important assets of any organization. In the fast and competitive world of business, branding can be the real difference between a successful and unsuccessful business. Studies have shown that 60% of customers prefer to buy from brands known to them. Moreover, according to a survey 21% of customers bought a product from a brand because they simply liked the brand. The association of a brand with different activities also influences a customers decision to conduct their business with them.
Branding creates an identity of the company in the minds of the customers. That guide a customer to the products and services attached to the brand. This is very helpful in the marketing and advertising process. When there is a reputation of a brand among customers it gets very easy to promote a product. The list doesn’t end here. Branding is a very strong motivator to create a proud and productive workforce. Employees of a well-known brand know what is at stake so they give their 100% to keep them where it is today and try to lift it even higher.
We have emphasized a lot on the fact that branding is very important and vital for a business. Now let’s discuss how we can develop a brand.
Target Audience Demographically and Geographically
Knowing what to offer comes after whom to transfer. The target market is one of the most important and initial steps in building a successful brand. The information about your target audience is giving you enough base to drive a strategy of what to offer and how to offer. You can’t be everything for everyone. So you must map out your target audience.
The business has gone from brick and mortar to ecommerce in the search of high revenue. Ecommerce is the biggest trend and upgrade in the business world. One of the main factors is that it is a global market. But that does not mean you can sell everything everywhere. A good example of knowing your target audience and approaching them accordingly is McDonald’s. They are known around the world for their burgers and fries although they offer a variety of other products. The thing to note here is that they change their menu according to the country they are operating. They started their business by selling burgers that contain beef and pork but they can’t sell those in Muslim countries because pork is forbidden for Muslims so they offer chicken and beef but since Hindus worship cows McDonald’s offers veggie burgers in India. If they had continued with the initial product they would have never grown to be the largest fast food chain in the “world”.
Another parameter that needs to be checked is the demographic audience. Every product is not for everyone. People of different ages require different products and services. Businesses, especially ecommerce has become more customer-centric today than they have been in the last century. Customer demands change very fast and they are becoming more and more personalized with every passing day. What would a denture selling company look like if a young model was advertising their product? Stupid right!?
That is why you must know your target market and audience to develop a more accurate strategy. Make an ideal customer for your product and try to answer the questions and try to provide the solution that customers might face during their daily lives and then see how you can help them. Remember if you fail to provide the right product to the right customer they will leave you period!
Creating a mission and vision statement for your brand is very vital for any company. Usually, a vision statement consists of a line. It shows the vision of the owner about the brand and where he wants to see his company in the future. A mission statement is a bit longer and it dives a bit deeper into the company’s goals and expectations. Developing a mission statement is very important as it gives a direction to the business. If you know what you are looking to achieve it gets a bit easier for you to achieve it. Take the example of Nike, you might be familiar with their slogan “Just Do It” but their mission statement is “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world“. They have not stopped there, they have a motivational footnote “If you have a body, you are an athlete” encouraging people to achieve their goals and help people with gym and fitness anxiety. This statement will strategically create a positive impression on customers.
Like everything in life, it is very likely to happen that you will come across some hurdles and decide that you can’t proceed any further. Your vision and mission statement will help you in this matter as well. A mission statement acts as a motivator for the owner and the worker as well. It is a very famous saying that when you decide to give up remember why you started.
Layout your qualities and special skills according to your niche
It is very important that you have a clear idea and knowledge of your niche. It will help you a lot in forming a marketing and pricing strategy for your customers. There will be a lot of other brands that are connected with your niche of choice. As discussed above, competition is very fierce in the business world in the modern era. This is where the saying “ keep your friends close and your enemies closer” comes into the game here by enemies we mean competitors.
Every company must keep a thorough and updated SWOT analysis of themselves and their customers. This way they will be able to avail and exploit opportunities coming their way in a better and quicker manner because if you are too slow to avail it, your competitors will do it period!. So keep an updated analysis of your strengths and weaknesses so you can jump on to opportunities with confidence and efficiency.
Don’t take finding these attributes lightly. They will stand out your brand from your competitors. One more thing is that never back off from flaunting your expertise and specialties in business. Advertise and market these specialties as much as you can show people what you are best at and they will think twice before choosing something other than your product.
Create an image for your brand
Now that you have completed the rigorous tasks of gathering information about your audience, niche, competitors, and developed a mission and vision statement, now is the time for a more exciting matter i.e. designing graphics for your brand. Design a simple yet immersing logo that people find very easy to remember and not in a bad way. A logo is basically the face of any brand so don’t ignore the importance of an elegant logo. It is not very important that your logo represents your company’s motto or is in accordance with the niche you selected. Take the example of Apple, if we had not known about the company we would have a hard time believing that it is a company that makes smartphones and computers. One thing must be kept in mind that the logo should represent the name of the company. Because your name is your virtual identity and mostly your domain name on the internet. Select a soothing yet attractive color palette for your brand logo and other advertising purposes. Your color palette should be so attractive that whenever people see that color your company name comes to their mind. To achieve that your color palette should be used in every ad you post.
Marketing and Advertising
Now that you have a plan and the face of your brand it is time for people to see and remember it. Aggressive and constant marketing and advertisement of your brand are very important. Remember one thing all of the effort you made above will be of no use if people can’t see you. The 21st century is the century of digital marketing. Use all channels of marketing from T.V to newspapers. Customers of this century spend their time across multiple channels you can’t be sure to go for which one so the best way is to go for all of them. Studies have shown that a single customer uses at least 6 touch points to access or look for a product.
It is an undeniable reality that social media is the most powerful and cheaper channel for marketing and advertising, especially for ecommerce. 54% of social media browsers look for or research a product online. Facebook has changed the landscape of marketing. With over 2.32 billion users Facebook is the leader in the digital marketing world. If you want people to know you, you can’t ignore the importance of this platform.
Focus on search engine optimization. Because search engines organic traffic has higher conversion rate. SEO should be done only by experts. Even seo experts in different platforms like seo expert shopify or bigcommerce seo experts can be hired.
When designing your advertisements remember your color palette. Cadbury has indigo color in their logo and in every ad, they publish on TV or on social media they keep that color in mind that is why when people go to buy chocolates, indigo color comes to their mind subconsciously.
Use influencers and celebrities to advertise your brand. Surveys have revealed that influencers and celebrities affect customer’s buying decisions.
I won’t say that these are all the things you need to do and you will be successful in creating your brand. But they are a start. Branding is not as simple as 1 and 0. It is an ongoing process that requires common sense and adaptability. If you want to succeed in anything you must be open to change and improvise accordingly. The points discussed above are the basics of branding but you must be ready for setbacks and improvisations. Don’t get discouraged by minor setbacks, keep your eye on your goal and you will prosper. Start by mapping out your target audience and gradually rise to the marketing step. Don’t give up and you will get what you want. Good luck!