The concept of branding is something marketers, like you, are already familiar with. So the title of this article is somewhat misleading (unless you really are a beginner. But you’re not… right?)
However, it always pays to review the fundamentals that make a solid brand. In the process, you may discover new ways to increase brand equity or uncover business practices that are not in line with your company’s brand strategy. With that said let’s get right into the nitty-gritty of what a good brand should look like.
At its core, a brand is a promise you make to your customers. It gives them a general idea of what they can expect from your products and services and creates an image of your company in their mind’s eye. This image sends a powerful message to your customers. Aside from creating differentiation from your competitors, the best brands evoke an emotional response from their customers. A great example is how Coca Cola is embracing the emotion of Happiness in all their brand campaigns.
So how can we make sure we are creating brands that are powerful and memorable? Well it simply boils down to one word: Consistency. Your brand strategy is how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand messages. The best marketers never leave anything to chance. Even the smallest detail should be consistent with your branding. Now before we jump right into some practical advice, let’s make sure your brand is properly defined. Ask yourself the following questions first:
You probably already know the answer to most of these and your answers to each question will provide the framework on how your brand should be structured. Now it may be the case that some of the answers to these questions have changed since you first started for a number of reasons (e.g. change in corporate strategy, change in products, etc.). In these instances, you should consider the possibility of re-branding yourself to better fit current circumstances.
Once you’ve defined your brand, or confirmed that its current definition is still relevant today, then you should start incorporating it into every aspect of your business. Here are a few suggestions on where to get started:
Create an awesome logo
If you already have one, great! If you need a new one, then get working on it. Either way, once you have a logo you are happy with, make sure to place it everywhere.
Integrate your brand into everyday tasks
Your branding should be present in all aspects of your business. Nothing is too small to overlook-- how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, even the music you play in your stores (learn more about that here) should all be influenced by your brand.
Create a personality that fits well with your brand
Do your customers see you as fun and carefree? Or are you the experienced and reliable one? Whatever it is, make sure your brand personality shows in everything you do—from written communication to visual imagery of all your marketing materials.
Develop a tagline
Nike says Just Do It. KFC claims they are Finger Lickin’ Good. The best taglines are memorable and meaningful statements that perfectly capture the essence of the brand.
Be true to your brand
Customers can smell insincerity like body odor covered up by perfume. If the way you act is not in line with the promise you made to your customers, then no amount of strategizing is going to undo the damage this will cause. The best companies continuously strive to deliver on their brand promise to all their customers, each and every time.