By Admin | MY Design Group
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. But what exactly does "branding" mean? How does it affect a business like yours?
Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your products and services, and it differentiates your offering from your competitors'. Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be and who people perceive you to be.
Are you the innovative maverick in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, high-quality option, or the low-cost, high-value option? You can't be both, and you can't be all things to all people. Who you are should be based to some extent on who your target customers want and need you to be.
The core foundation of your brand is your logo. It's the symbol that acts as your brand's spokesperson. Your website, packaging and promotional materials—all of which should integrate your logo—communicate your brand.
Your brand strategy is how, what, where, when and to whom you plan on communicating and delivering on your brand messages. Where you advertise is part of your brand strategy. Your distribution channels are also part of your brand strategy. And what you communicate visually and verbally are part of your brand strategy.
Consistent, strategic branding leads to a strong brand equity, which means the added value brought to your company's products or services that allows you to charge more for your brand than what identical, unbranded products command. An example of this is Nike vs. a generic athletic shoe. Because Nike has successfully created powerful brand equity, it can charge more for its product—and customers will pay that higher price.
The added value to brand equity frequently comes in the form of perceived quality or emotional attachment. For example, Nike associates its products with star athletes, hoping customers will transfer their emotional attachment from the athlete to the product. For Nike, it's not just the shoe's features that sell the shoe.
What are “Brand Elements”? Elements used to express/represent and identify/differentiate the brand. The consistent use of Brand Elements in all marketing programs helps communicate the Brand Character to the marketplace. The brand name, logo, slogan, jingle, and packaging style are all examples of Brand Elements. Defining your brand can be difficult, time-consuming and uncomfortable. It requires, at the very least, that you answer the questions below:
• What is your company's mission, and values?
• What are the benefits of your services or products? What makes them unique?
• What do your customers think of your company? What do you want them to think?
Do your research. Learn the needs, and desires of your current and prospective customers. Don't rely on what you think they think. . . know what they think.
Once you've defined your brand, how do you get the word out? Here are a few simple, time-tested tips:
• Get a great logo designed. Place it everywhere.
• Write down your brand messaging. What are the key messages you want to communicate about your brand? Every employee should be aware of your brand attributes.
• Integrate your brand. Branding extends to every aspect of your business—how you answer your phones, what you or your salespeople wear on sales calls, your e-mail signature. . . everything.
• Create a "voice" for your company that reflects your brand. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all marketing collateral. Is your brand friendly? Be conversational. Is it ritzy? Be more formal. You get the gist.
• Develop a memorable tagline. Write a memorable, meaningful and concise statement that captures the essence of your brand.
• Design templates and create brand standards for your marketing materials. Use the same color scheme, logo placement, look and feel throughout. You don't need to be fancy, just consistent.
• Deliver on your brand promise. Customers won't return to you—or refer you to someone else—if you don't deliver on your brand promise.
• Be consistent. This is the most important tip!. If you can't do this, your attempts at establishing a brand will fail.
Now that you have a better idea how to build your brand let's get started. If you're ready to develop your brand identity contact MY Design Group and let us help tell your story, and build your brand. We are located in Orange County, California, but only a call or email away.
Get the latest from MY Design Group delivered right to your inbox.