Learn the importance of branding in business and discover the essential steps to create a successful brand strategy. Our expert guide covers everything you need to know.
Developing a strong brand identity can be a challenge for businesses of all sizes, and the level of difficulty may depend on factors such as the nature of the business, competition in the industry, the target market, and the resources available to the business.
Some small business owners may have a clear vision and values for their business from the outset, while others may need to work on refining their identity over time. Ultimately, having a strong brand identity can greatly determine the success of a company in the long run.
What is brand identity?
A brand identity, or branding, consists of a company’s visual elements, such as logos, colors, and designs that set it apart from others in the consumer’s mind. It is distinct from its brand image, which is the actual result of its branding efforts, whether successful or not. Building a strong brand identity requires a strong visual image to represent the brand and a compilation of various branding elements that express and describe the company. A robust brand identity enhances a company’s popularity and presence in a competitive market.
Branding also helps businesses get noticed more easily because it makes them stand out from the competition. Having a consistent brand, with a logo and attractive colors, makes it more memorable to people. Even if they don’t need your product or service right away, they’re more likely to remember your business in the future if your branding is memorable. When they’re finally ready to use your business, they’ll come back to you because your branding is stuck with them.
Branding isn’t only valuable for attracting customers, but it also helps your company internally. It’s important to have employees who understand the importance of branding in business and who feel like they’re part of a team and enjoy working for your company. A strong brand can help with this, as it gives employees a sense of belonging to something bigger than just a job. Investing in branded apparel, merchandise, and the overall look of the office can create a sense of unity among employees, leading to better overall results.
Moreover, it’s not enough for customers to just recognize and use your business once, you want them to keep coming back. Good branding can make your business more relatable to your customers, which can create a deeper connection than just a company that only focuses on business. With branding, you can appeal to people’s emotions and build relationships with your customers, turning them into loyal customers. By creating a brand that people care about, you can set yourself apart from other businesses that aren’t taking advantage of branding.
Steps in creating a successful brand strategy for your business
Designing a brand can be a long process that involves specifying the different components of your brand. Here’s how you can build a solid one that’ll guide you on your first venture or revisit your current one:
1. Determine your value proposition
What’s your edge over your competitors? Why do you exist? What’s your mission and vision? The first step is knowing your competition, what they offer, and what newfound product or service you bring to the table. To guide you on this, create a SWOT analysis and highlight the type of audience you are targeting to help.
2. Create your name, logo, and tagline
Based on your SWOT analysis, value proposition, and target market, design your logo. Changing your firm’s name is not always necessary, unless you are starting a new firm, merging with another, or there’s a need to revamp your brand’s messaging. For logos, choose colors, curves, textures, etc. with meanings or representations that reflect your brand. Do the same process for developing your brand name and tagline. Relate all these to your brand story to create a strong identity. This helps communicate and symbolize your brand, but it’s your actions that bring your brand to life.
3. Choose your brand essence
Determine your product or service’s personality, voice, and tone. Are you cool, youthful, and playful, or posh, sexy, and straightforward? These elements help you create coherent messaging across the different channels you choose to promote your brand.
4. Create branding guidelines to implement your brand identity. Your brand guidelines are like a set of instructions on how to use your brand in your content and communication. It can be difficult to keep things consistent when working with people outside of your company, like freelancers or agencies. That’s why your brand guidelines should provide clear directions so that anyone can create content that strengthens your brand, rather than weakening it.
5. Evaluate, analyze, and assess
Like other business operation elements, testing and monitoring brand identity is crucial to check if your messaging goes right across your target. For this, you need tools to monitor and optimize your brand’s performance. A survey is a handy tool for measuring your brand’s success.
Creating a brand identity is no walk in the park but many find it very engaging and exciting. Once you see the work pay off, it’s truly rewarding. Of course, you’ll be needing help from experts to guide you on your journey. Brand Featured, a publishing company, helps businesses get featured on more than 100 news sites and TV station affiliates of NBC, FOX, and CBS. With this social proof, businesses elevate their brand and grow their sales at the lowest cost.
Contact Brand Featured today to learn how their expert branding services can help you build a strong brand identity that sets you apart from your competition.