We have already established the importance of a brand in a business and the impact of branding as a process that sets apart a brand from the rest; one of the most valuable assets that a company owns is a loved, recognisable and familiar brand. We are now going to consider, in more detail, what goes into creating a brand.
Building a brand plays a significant role in ensuring that your brand is a customer’s first choice. The purpose of brand building, through the use of marketing strategies and campaigns, is to generate brand awareness about your business and ensure an image that is unique and set apart in the market place. You may want to consider this thought: as a start-up or small business, it is highly likely that your business is up against existing big brands that already have established relationships with their customers and, as such, have had a good go at putting together huge marketing budgets; this is exactly why your business needs to commit to a brand building process that will distinguish it in the market.
It is true that brand building is not an overnight activity; it’s a process that may go on for months as long-term relationships are established with customers. A well-thought-out branding and marketing process can lead to a direct and positive impact on sales, and result in more business.
First and foremost, before you can get started with building your brand, you need to determine the target audience that you want to build a relationship with because, believe it or not, what you have is not for everyone, nor can you embody every service. This clarity will help with working out your mission and the message that will speak to and reach the right people. Consumers need to be studied and you need to be clear on their behaviours and lifestyle so that your brand is specific – that’s the key: creating a brand that they will relate to and understand. So, for example, are you speaking to working mothers between a specific age bracket, teenagers living in the city, fathers working from home, people living a healthy lifestyle, or businesses in the tech industry? You need to narrow down the image of your consumer (also known as a brand persona) before you can create a brand that will have the potential to thrive.
The brand mission statement is your next step; this is where you express why your business exists and what value it provides. What is it passionate about? Other aspects of your brand building strategies, i.e. your logo, tagline, voice, message and personality, will be informed by the mission statement. Here are a few examples to inspire you:
Microsoft: “Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”
Uber: “We ignite opportunity by setting the world in motion.”
Google: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Coca-Cola: “To refresh the world in mind, body and spirit. To inspire moments of optimism and happiness through our brands and actions.”
Ted: “Spread ideas.”
At a job interview, when asked to talk about who you are, you are more inclined to highlight relevant strengths for the job and mention things that you are good at. Likewise, for successful branding, you need to follow the same thought process and motivate your strengths, highlighting the values of your brand. Therefore, it is important to establish what sets you apart—your qualities and the benefits your brand offers. You have to make sure that your target audience chooses you over your competitors, and further deliver on your brand strengths.
The voice of the business determines how you and your customers engage; this could either be conversational, friendly, professional, humorous, classic, traditional, etc. The point is to adopt a voice that best resonates with your clientele; this will help you connect with them easily. The voice of the business feeds into its personality, and it is important that this personality stays consistent on all the platforms you use to communicate with customers.
The work of building a brand does not stop at a specific step. For as long as you want to have a thriving and memorable brand, you need to understand that the work of brand building is continuous and extends over other aspects of the business that ensure its’ visibility. In Part 3, we will consider these ‘other aspects’ and how the process of brand building continues.
Infoentrepreneurs (n.d.). The Basics. Retrieved from https://www.infoentrepreneurs.org/en/guides/branding—-the-basics/
Cherry, B. (2019). 18 Captivating Mission Statement Examples You Need to Read. Retrieved from https://www.bluleadz.com/blog/15-of-the-very-best-mission-statement-examples
Gregory, S. (2019). 11 Simple Steps for a Successful Brand Building Process. Retrieved from https://freshsparks.com/successful-brand-building-process/
Lim, S. (2019). Brand Personality. Retrieved from https://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/brand-personality.asp