A brand is essentially an image or identity that customers associate with a business or product. Typically, brands involve elements such as logos, colours, slogans, jingles and other branding materials that allow customers to create an immediate connection between the brand and the business.
It is convenient to think of a brand as a promise – a promise to customers that they can trust the products or services they receive. A strong brand should be memorable and recognisable, convey a set of values and create an emotional connection.
Creating a strong brand
When it comes to creating a strong brand identity, there are three basic steps.
1. Identifying core values
Your company’s core values should inform your branding decisions. Defining core values involves asking yourself what your company stands for, what it believes in and wants to accomplish. Consider any applicable attributes, such as trustworthiness, sincerity, quality and innovation.
2. Choosing branding elements
Brand elements are the visual aspects of your brand, such as logo, fonts and colours. Be sure to pick elements that reflect your company’s values and aesthetic. Your main message should remain consistent throughout all branding elements.
3. Developing a brand story
Your brand story should explain what your company does, who it serves and what makes it different from competitors. Make sure your brand story resonates with your target market so they can develop an emotional connection with your business.
Developing brand awareness
Once you have identified your company’s core values and developed a distinctive brand identity, it’s time to work on getting your message in front of the right people. To do this, you will need to consider a range of brand awareness tactics, including:
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• Content marketing: Create quality content that resonates with your target audience. This can include blog posts, podcasts, email campaigns, social media posts and more.
• SEO: Make sure your website is easily found by including appropriate keywords, taglines, and backlinks in all content.
• Paid advertising: Invest in paid advertising channels such as Google Adwords, Bing Ads or Facebook Ads to get your message in front of the right people.
• Events: Host or attend events relevant to your industry to get in front of potential customers.
Branding mistakes to avoid
Creating a strong brand identity takes time, effort and dedication. However, a few mistakes can ruin your reputation. Here are a few common branding mistakes to avoid:
• Not having a unified brand: Your brand should appear the same across all platforms. Make sure your logo, colours, fonts and design look the same on social media, your website and all other marketing materials.
• Not defining your target audience: Without knowing who your target audience is, you will be unable to connect with them. Defining your target market before creating content or launching a campaign is essential.
• Not investing in quality content: Quality content is key to connecting with potential customers. Investing in high-quality content such as videos, infographics and whitepapers should be a priority.
• Ignoring competitors: Monitoring your competitors’ activities is essential for staying ahead of the game. Understand their offerings and identify where you can improve upon them.
• Not measuring success: Measuring brand success should be an ongoing process. Setting clear goals and tracking results is essential for identifying what works and what doesn’t.