In this world of technology where your morning starts with your mobile, and millions of information are bombarded on you. Imagine the same happening to your prospective customer/viewer. So how are you going to grab their attention?, especially when you are just starting your business, or selling a product or service. Developing a brand is not an easy task and it will not be built over a day.
Before you hire a branding company to craft your brand attributes like the unique logo and marketing collateral's which symbolizes the company, do ensure that you know and emphasize your business background to the core. One can always research online or use references to understand which marketing agency can help you build a killer brand strategy.
Prior to creating a comprehensive brand strategy you should have a solid understanding of your competitors, what their products/services and your unique selling point that will push your business forward. Do a SWOT Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). This will help you to have a picture of your competitors so you can determine what makes your business unique.
It's a truth that we all want, that your customer choose you over your competition. Having said that, it is important that you don’t do the same thing that your competitors are doing. That's why details about your competitors is very important to have, but the key is to play to your own unique strengths, against your competitors weaknesses.
Now what brand strategy defines? It is the soul of your brand. The term brand strategy means that you should craft out clear long term goals, plans, execution methods and platforms at least for the first year. This will help you to launch products/services faster, secondly, you know your next steps and most importantly even if you go wrong in brand marketing you have a contingency plan to execute. This saves time, money and increases your brand equity. Now based on the competitor analysis and other factors, your strategy should define the following:
Brand Architecture: If you are a single product company, it is pretty straight forward to identify your core brand. But if you are multi-product and service company, then you have to define your core brand, main sub brands and finally other sub and associated brands.
Brand Identity: It is a very crucial part of your brand. It is the face of your brand and it impacts the emotional side of your consumer. After all, it is the perception of the brand in the minds of the consumer which will increase your sales, revenue and brand awareness. It should be visually appealing and unique. Brand identity is the image, personality, essence and symbol. Below are the short descriptions to what each tool to brand identity should reflect.
Logo: Design it based on the business and audience.
Slogan / Tag Line: Identify and craft a catchy tagline which adds value to your brand reputation.
Brand Symbol: It can be something which associates with your brand. For example pug associated to Vodafone or the girl to Amul brand.
Brand Personality: What message you want to convey to your target audience. For example whether you are Youthful brand, Authentic or antique.
Brand Objectives: You have to define your objective very clearly. What would be your brand Mantra? Your vision and mission statement, your value proposition. Define short term, mid-term and long term goals with a brand promise.
Once you have executed brand strategy you have to understand and develop a CBBE Model, which is
Customer Based Brand Equity Model: According to the model, building a strong brand involves six brand building blocks:
Brand salience: It relates to the aspect of customer awareness towards the brand.
Brand performance: How can you consistently be efficient to deliver the brand promise? Use of technology, innovation or specialization.
Brand imagery: It reflects how the brand deals with the clients psychological and social needs. Be it your visiting cards, brochure, corporate profile, flyers, hoardings, presentations, company logo, or word-mark. It is important that all of these should be in line with your brand. Choose the right colour for your brand wisely, create the right logo design and the most important part to it is to use the perfect material to produce marketing collateral. Because launching a brand with a average design or material will lose its spark instantly.
Brand judgement: It will come as a later part once your brand is launched. But it is the opinion of your customers. Good, bad or average.
Brand feelings: These are the emotional response that you will receive.
Brand resonance: This is the final step in brand relationship with the customers. It is very essential that these building blocks are measured continuously so that you brand resonate smoothly and accurate marketing communication is employed with your target audience.
Conclusion… When it comes to creating a brand strategy for your business, you should think of it as though you’re nurturing a plant to grow. It is important to have a clear understanding in mind for the direction that you want to take your business in. Like brand messaging, the visual designs of your brand –logo, imagery, font selections, color palette, etc. contributes to creating the overall personality of the brand. If you have defined and executed brand as per above understanding the impact will be lot better. What is to be taken care after you have defined and executed your successful brand? Ensure consistency and keep evolving to stay relevant.