By definition, branding is:
The process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumer’s mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent theme. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.
Thriving businesses are those with successful and effective branding. Depending on the type of business you run, you might want to consider some of these branding tips before you begin advertising. Let’s cover some of the basics:
Know your target audience
Most likely, you have a specific “target” audience you want to pursue with your product or service. Making sure you understand the needs and wants of your audience will help you develop campaigns and strategies that will reach them more effectively than by just throwing random advertisements out there. These days, creating “organic” reach is extremely important to a business’ brand. People are coming to you because of who you are (your culture, things you stand for, etc.), not just for your product/service. Trying to reach every person in every demographic can hurt your brand, almost diluting it.
People can see passion
Passion leads to long-term success, and it’s obvious when a business is passionate about its product or service. Anyone can build a successful business in the short-term. If you’re super enthusiastic about something you do, it’s only natural that the right people will want to follow you. Followers lead to word-of-mouth advertising, and positive referrals (more organic reach). When you’re passionate about something, it also makes you try a lot harder to save your business if things start to go south.
People come back to a business expecting the same, if not better, service that they received the previous time. Because businesses are so connected through social media, word travels fast, and it’s just as simple to find a replacement for your business if you become inconsistent.
Everyone wants to be the next Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Oprah. What did their brands do to create the enormous empires they built in their fields? They created innovative products, ideas and ways of life. Even if you’re offering a product or service that many other businesses offer, what can you do to stand out from the crowd? Another huge brand, Netflix, dominates online streaming. What makes it different from its competitors such as Hulu, Showtime or HBO GO? Netflix continues to adapt. The company sponsors high quality, original programming. Netflix allow complete user control, focusing on what the consumer wants, and not just adding random features. The company has weeded out competitors because of the freedom and flexibility it gives consumers. At the end of the day, you can’t really beat $8 a month for unlimited streaming, either. Make sure your brand can hold its own, and find its niche.
The first thing people see is color. It could be on your logo or the colors in your venue. They set the mood and have an affect whether you or the customer realizes it. There are a ton of color psychology theories out there where you can find the one that fits your image best. Consider it a starting point if you have no idea where to begin. We’ll get into elements of design in a later post.
Maybe the first things you think about when you hear “brand” are cool colors, a logo or a tagline. Those are all super important to the overall aesthetics of your brand, but there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes planning to do before you bring your brand out into the world. This is why figuring out what you want your product or service to represent can tremendously help your future advertising campaigns. It’s much more difficult to fix a brand’s image than it is to carefully create it from scratch.