Branding! It’s just as important for a small business or startup as it is for a big business.
A brand It isn’t just an identity, it’s how you define your business to yourself, your team and your external audiences and customers.
Your brand also has to reflect what your business does and what its core values are. It can’t just be the first name that pops into your head.
The benefits that a strategically defined brand can bring are the same as when people fall in love with each other. When customers connect emotively — because they share the same values and beliefs of a brand — it leads to higher sales and better brand differentiation.
It also leads to loyalty, advocacy and can even protect your price in times when competitors rely on promotional discounts to drive sales. It can also give you the ideal platform from which to extend your offering or range.
Here are some additional things for you to consider.
Defining the brand
Review the product or service your business offers (the business model canvass pt 1 & 2 is a great way to do so), pinpoint the space in the market you want to occupy and research the emotive and rational needs and concerns of your customer(s).
The brands character should promote the business, have a unique affiliation with the customer base and differentiate you in the market.
Understand customer’s personality
Normally you wouldn’t even consider the characteristics of people and what they do, say and like. Every one of us has a character which is made up of beliefs, values, purposes, how we dress, what we say and how we behave in various situations.
When building a brand though – this is essential. Understanding what people consume and how they affiliate themselves with a product will give you the edge.
A great example of customers resonating and formulating an affiliation with a campaign is Compare the Meerkat.
This campaign was created by Compare the Market, who set up the meerkat campaign in order to try and enhance sales – and they did!
What better way to sell various types of insurance than offer a cute, cuddly toy to everyone who uses them!?? As a result of this idea the company made millions, because men and women of all ages formed a bond and warmed to the characters, meaning they took out multiple insurance deals just to collect the toys.
In their latest campaign they even offer 2 for 1 cinema tickets. Brilliant right?
Check out the ad here:
Consider what is driving your business
What does it believe in, what is its purpose and who are its brand heroes. These things can help establish your emotive brand positioning and inform the identity and character for brand communications.
Build a long term relationship
Dressing up your offering with empty promises will only lose you business, so create trust with honest offerings and branding. Be true to what your company is and drive it every day. You’ll soon reap the rewards.
Speak to your customers with a consistent tone of voice.
It will help reinforce the business’ character and clarify its offering so customers are aware exactly what to expect from the product or service.
Don’t repeat the same message in the same way over and over again
Your brand and your brand’s identity should always be the same in look, style and message, but that doesn’t mean you can’t manipulate it slightly to fit a specific campaign or purpose.
You only have to look at McDonalds and its iconic golden arch. The logo and branding is always the same but they manipulate their adverts, slogans and commercials to fit purpose.
Whether it’s the promotion of Happy Meal’s, breakfasts, healthy options or its range of iced coffee, everyone is familiar with the slogan.
What we’re saying is – once you’re brand takes off, you can market messages to various audiences while still staying true to your brand and its core values.
Here’s a few examples:
Don’t try to mimic the look of chains or big brands
It’s all well and good doing the above, but you have to be original.
Don’t mimic the big names or copy their ideas. People resonate with something unique and interesting. Think outside the box!
Once you’ve used the business model canvas (above), you’ll have a better idea about your customers, so that will give you a good base to work from.
Stand for something you believe in
Big brands are encumbered by large layers of bureaucracy, preventing them from being flexible and reacting to the ever-changing needs of their customers.
Those layers of decision-makers can make it hard for them to be daring with their branding.
Just go for it. So long as you’re not too bold, it’s worth trying!
The old way of stamping your logo on everything won’t cut it
The future of branding is fluid and engaging — respect your customers’ intelligence by not giving everything away up front.
Generate some intrigue and allow them to unearth more about your brand for themselves. This is the way to foster ambassadors who revel in telling other people what they have discovered.