Brands don’t get built overnight. In fact, there is a process that companies have to go through, as well as several challenges they need to face and overcome, before having a solid brand identity.
The first step of this tedious brand building process is creating a strategy. A strategy helps delineate the precise path the company needs to take to build a strong branding. It defines the necessary steps and things to do at each stage of the brand building process. A well-constructed strategy is based and shaped by the following components:
The number one requirement for a brand is to have a purpose. Why are you providing this kind of service? What do you want to achieve by being successful? A purpose helps your customers understand and trust your brand, and it is a deciding factor of a customer why he or she would pick your brand over the others.
Emotion is what connects to your target customers. Brands that evoke emotion helps build more personal relationships thus better customer retention.
In branding, consistency is critical. Your brand identity must manifest consistently in all your print ads, digital ads, website, your store. Any customer touchpoint and anywhere where there is customer interaction. A brand style guide would help your designers and marketers to keep all advertisements within your branding. It includes all fonts, logos, colors, mood and tone of voice; everything that makes your brand, your brand.
Trends come and go as change is always constant. Which is why your brand strategy must be flexible to adjust to the changing times. If you want to make a buzz around your brand, you should keep up with the latest trends. For example, if there is a new dance craze, maybe you could incorporate it into your video advertisement. Or if there is a popular slang word, you could use it in one of your print advertisements. Just make sure to stick to your brand identity as you don’t want to confuse your target market.
Have a definitive plan for rewarding your loyal customers and brand advocates. Most companies have a referral program, but if your company is too small for that yet, you could still keep a list of your brand advocates. There are two ways to do this: first, you could crawl the digital space to see mentions of your brand name or look at reviews on social media sites and take note of the people who advocate your brand. Second, if you are in the B2B business, just directly ask your new customers if they were referred by someone. Make sure to reward and thank your brand advocates. It doesn’t have to be an expensive treat; a simple discount voucher would do.
- Brand Culture
All the people who work for your company must know all about your company’s purpose and mission and vision statements. They must embody what your brand is and keep your branding in every interaction they have with your customers. You as the business owner or brand strategist of the company is not who faces your customers on a daily basis. You cannot take all phone call inquiries and monitor all online reviews and complaints it is entirely impossible. A company is not a one-man team. Share your vision with your employees so they would be able to campaign your company’s branding with them.
- Competitive Awareness
Survey your competitors to have an accurate benchmark on what you need to do to surpass their efforts and performance. By knowing who your competitors are and how well they are doing regarding marketing and customer acquisition and retention, you get to adjust your strategy accordingly to make your marketing better and unique.
Building a brand to become an industry leader takes time and maximum effort. Winning your share in the market and having brand advocates is impossible to happen on day one of your official brand launch. Consumers are apprehensive to trust new brands, that’s why you first need to show and establish consistently who you are as a brand and the experience you promise to give to your customers. These seven building blocks of your company brand strategy ensures that your brand identity has a solid foundation.