No matter what type of business you own, your branding should always be a top priority. Not only does it tell your customers what you do, but it also gives them a look at what they can expect from your business. Branding is essentially what makes your brand yours and how you present it. From your logo, website and collateral materials to the way you speak to your customers and through PR and advertising efforts — all are important components.
The Makeup of a Powerful Brand
There are three main components to building a powerful brand:
Finding Your Brand’s Purpose
To build a strong brand you need to agree on the purpose your brand serves. Are you solving a problem? Is your brand entertaining? Are you selling a service? Before you put your brand on display through marketing tactics or social media you must first decide what you are trying to accomplish. Once that has been established, it’s time to make sure that your collateral reflects your purpose. This includes developing the following for your business:
- Business goals
- Logo and website
- Mission statement and taglines
Developing Your Strategy
Your branding strategy should be focused around your business goals and your target audience. Now that you have developed the purpose of your brand, it’s time to develop tactics on the best ways to appeal to your target audience. Think about how you want to connect with your audience. Will your brand be informational or funny? Lay out the groundwork for how you want your brand to come across in marketing tactics and on social media.
- Guidelines for your brand’s voice
- Social media strategy
- Content marketing strategy
One of the most important parts about building your branding is consistency. Once you have spent the time developing your brand and building a strategy you must remain consistent across all channels. You want your customers to identify with your business and if you don’t remain consistent then you will be diluting all of your hard work. This includes being streamlined with your marketing and customer service efforts. Are you going to try and respond to every customer question? Or how often will you be posting on social media? Breakdown your branding and marketing strategies and stick to them.
Making Your Brand Stand Out
How do you stand out in the sea of brands? That’s for you to decide. Make a list of a few attributes you most want your brand to be associated with and tie those into your marketing strategy. If you want to be known for having fantastic customer service, then build out your customer service operations so that your customers feel valued. If you want to be known for creating funny advertising campaigns that everyone will want to share, then you need to develop that idea. Standing out is all about finding out what you want to be known for and running with it outside of the lines of other businesses.
Companies That are Doing Branding Right
So what companies are doing branding right? Here’s a look at some businesses that have mastered branding.
State Farm Insurance: What do you think of when you hear State Farm Insurance? How about, “like a good neighbor State Farm is there”. By creating a catchy jingle and creative advertising campaigns, the insurance company has expressed to the public that its company will be there for you when you need them. They have also played into the “relatable” factor by tying in the “like a good neighbor” tactic. By using the approach of insurance agents saving customers from unfortunate situations, like their car being rammed by a buffalo, they have played into the humor angle a little bit while also putting potential customers at ease that their business will be there when they need them.
Apple: Apple has nailed its branding down by building a loyal customer base that identifies strongly with what the brand stands for — quality, simplicity, and reliability. While the company’s logo and messaging is often simple, it is what its fans have come to expect. When people are Apple fans they tend to be very loyal to the company. They often own Apple computers, laptops, iPads, and iPhones instead of mixing it up with other tech products. Apple fans know what to expect from their products and they like the consistency across the different product lines. Apple is one of the few brands in today’s world that has actually opted to not have social media accounts to connect with its customers. This just goes to show that there is no right or wrong answer for building strong branding and how you should connect with your customers.
JetBlue: In a world where airplane seats are getting less legroom and customers are being nickel and dimed for everything while traveling, JetBlue has found a way to stand out. The company realized that people were not happy with traveling on airplanes and they took it upon their brand to try and find some solutions. They’re also known for their quick and friendly customer service. They want their customers to feel like they are a company that cares and they do it well. Just try finding a tweet to the company that hasn’t been address.
No matter the business, branding is a living and breathing part of your brand that you should continuously pay attention to. Whether you’re building a new business or re-branding an existing, make sure you find your purpose, create a strategy, set guidelines to follow and stick to them.