You brand is more than just your logo and offerings. It’s also about the philosophy you live by. The culture you adhere to. The customer experience you provide.
Your brand is what you stand for, what you’re known for, and what people can expect from you. In short, it’s your promise to your business and your customers.
Think of it this way – when you meet someone new, the first thing you do is form an opinion of them based on their appearance and the way they carry themselves. This first impression may not be accurate, but it’s the basis for all future interactions.
The same goes for businesses such as yourself. Your brand is your first impression, and it could either make or break you. It shapes your company and how everyone views it. That’s why you need to take as much time as needed to carefully craft a strong branding strategy if you aim to attract new customers and retain existing ones.
Building a brand doesn’t happen overnight though. It could take you weeks or even months, and it needs a little push in the right direction. Plus, there’s always the possibility of encountering setbacks along the way.
Luckily for you, our Florida internet marketing company is here to help you every step of the way. Our ultimate guide to branding will ensure you’ll learn everything there is to learn about branding – from its definition and key benefits to the how’s of creating a killer brand that consumers will love and more.
Branding, in a nutshell, refers to the process of creating a positive perception of a business in the customer’s mind. It’s what gives your company an identity. It’s what help you make a name for yourself and stand out from the rest of the competition.
Meticulously constructing your brand through stories, visual elements, marketing messages, and relationships presents a huge opportunity for you to mold your audience’s expectations and establish a unique bond that goes deeper than the buying-selling relationship.
There are many aspects to consider when developing a strong brand identity, but among the most important ones include:
All of these factors (and more) come into play when people are forming their opinion of your brand. So, if your goal is to establish brand loyalty, it’s crucial that you’re putting your best foot forward at all times.
Now that we’ve answered the question, “What is branding?” let’s move on to the most common branding terms every business needs to be familiar with.
There are a lot of terms thrown around when it comes to branding. If you’re not in the industry, you might find it difficult to keep up.
To help you out, the branding experts here at our Florida internet marketing company have compiled a list of common branding terms along with their definitions. Take a look at them below:
Brand identity is the personality of your business. Its primary purpose is to depict who you really are as a brand, and it normally includes your logo, tagline, values, goals, and just about anything that differentiates you from everyone else within your industry.
Brand equity represents the value of a brand. It’s what people are willing to pay for your products and/or services beyond their actual costs. Consumers wouldn’t mind spending more for an item from a company with a positive brand equity, even if they know that they could get the exact same thing from another store for less.
Brand awareness, which is the first stage in the buyer journey, is how easily people can recognize and remember your brand. When customers are familiar with your brand, they’re more likely to do business with you. That's why you need to leverage brand awareness.
A brand strategy is a plan for how you want to position your brand in the marketplace. It’s where you emphasize your unique selling proposition (USP), your brand identity, and your target audience. With a solid strategy in place, you’ll be able to focus your marketing efforts and offer a consistent brand experience for your customers.
Brand messaging is basically how your brand speaks to your audience. Ideally, it should be clear, straightforward, and reflects your company’s values.
Brand touchpoints are the places where people interact with your brand, such as your website, social media, email, packaging, and customer service.
Brand positioning refers to how you want to position your brand in the minds of your prospective and existing customer base. It's how you differentiate yourself from your competition.
Brand trust pertains to how strongly potential and existing customers believe in your brand. Does your team go the extra mile to provide quality service? How often do you deliver on your promises to your buyers? Do your ads really mean every word they claim?
Brand management is the process of managing your brand reputation and improving your audience’s perception of your brand in a way that builds awareness, equity, and loyalty.
Having worked with companies of different sizes coming from different industries for years, our Florida internet marketing company can definitely say that good branding is a major factor when it comes to business growth and success.
Having a strong brand voice and a carefully-planned branding strategy can make a difference in your business in numerous ways. Here are seven of the biggest benefits (in no particular order) you can expect:
If consumers are well familiar with your brand, they’re more likely to buy from you over your competitors. This is especially true for social media – 89% of users say they’ll shop at a business they follow and recognize over a rival.
Folks who have a positive association with your brand will also make a purchase at some point. Once they find something in your branding that resonates with them, they’ll be happy to become your customers.
It’s not uncommon for customers to have qualms about a company they’ve encountered for the first time. However, with strong branding, this is very far from likely to happen.
Since strong branding is about communicating a clear message, your audience won’t have a hard time trusting your business once they see that you’re staying true to your principles. They won’t hesitate to buy from you or choose a service of yours to solve their problems, knowing that you’re a name they can count on. In fact, 46% of consumers say they’d pay more to purchase from brands they can trust.
Speaking of trust, it also happens to be a pillar of customer loyalty. And so, it’s safe to assume that good branding tends to inspire loyalty.
Many of your consumers will support your business through thick and thin once they feel connected to you. Perhaps they uphold the same values as your brand, or maybe they’ve had a fair share of positive experiences. Whatever the reason is that turned them into loyal customers, expect to see your revenue grow as they’ll be making repeat purchases.
Having a consistent brand image helps customers position you as a business, making it easier for them to remember or associate with you. This means that you’ll be among the first names to pop into their minds when they’re looking for a product or service you offer.
Being a memorable brand also helps with ad spend. The fact that consumers already know who you are means that you can now devote more resources to product promotion and less to brand awareness.
With hundreds (or probably even thousands) of other businesses within your industry, you certainly want to stand out and gain an edge in an extremely competitive market. What better way to do it than by creating a unique brand identity?
These questions will help you come up with a brand strategy that highlights your uniqueness:
Being viewed as a reputable source by the public because of your strong branding is great for everyone in your team. They’ll be proud to know that they’re a part of a business known for its positive reputation. As a result, they become more motivated to help it succeed in the long run.
As mentioned just a while ago, good branding produces loyal customers, and you know what they say about loyal customers: they can be your advertisers. If you continue to satisfy them, they’ll be more than glad to promote you to their friends, family, and even social media followers they don’t know personally. The best part is, you pay them nothing for it!
Creating a brand is no easy task. There’s a plethora of things to consider when building a brand that attracts customers and keep existing ones. And, with branding being an iterative process, there might be instances where you’ll be repeating certain steps as you build your brand.
So, how do you build a brand from the ground and ensures it makes its way to the top? This step-by-step guide from our Florida internet marketing experts to walk you through:
As with any marketing strategy, start by studying the people you aim to win over, aka your target audience. If your brand fails to resonate with them, there’s no way you can convert them, or let alone, get them to remember you.
Identifying your target market and gaining deeper insights about them will help you decide on a brand voice and tailor a solid brand strategy to connect with prospective buyers. Here are a few ways to build your knowledge of them:
As much as you might be eager to, you can’t position your brand to be everything to everyone. If you have this vision of being a high-end fashion company and a budget-friendly business at the same time, for instance, you’ll only set yourself up for failure. You have to decide what it is that you truly want to focus on.
This is where a positioning statement comes in.
A positioning statement is one or two lines you use to sum up who you are as a brand, particularly what your unique selling point is. It answers the question, “Why should customers buy from you instead of your competitors?”
To craft an effective positioning statement, you must get crystal clear on key facets of your business, and these include:
Once you have your answers, you can start writing your statement. Below are several quick tips to bear in mind:
Having a mission statement is vital for just about any company. It’s what tells your audience the very reason why your business exists, as well as the common goals you’re working to achieve. And, it serves as a building block of your brand manifesto.
Creating a brand that your target audience will recognize, trust, and value won’t be possible if you’re unable to communicate your mission statement. Every element of your brand – your logo, voice, personality, imagery, and tagline – will need to reflect it.
Why did you create your business? What inspired you to start it in the first place? Whatever your answer is, that would be your mission statement for your business branding.
Regardless of how long or short your statement is, see to it that it’s clear, concise, and free of errors. You might also want to have some of your employees or advisors read it and make adjustments if necessary.
Your business name is among the most important features that define your brand. Not only is it one of the first things people learn about your brand, but it will also impact your brand logo, your domain name, and of course, your marketing.
Your business name should be able to reveal everything there is to know about your company. It should also be rare, one that’s hard to confuse with other players in the market. The key is to choose a memorable name that that conveys the right ideas and emotions to your target audience. If you see yourself expanding your product line sometime in the future, consider picking a broad name so you won’t have any trouble when you do decide to pivot.
As you’re brainstorming all the possible names for your business, be sure to take these questions into account:
We’d like to add that there are tons of tools and websites available that can provide you inspiration for your business name, such as Shopify’s Business Name Generator, Namelix, and Namify.
Now that you have your mission statement, name, and brand position, you’re ready to develop your visual identity. It will represent what your brand will look like in front of consumers, helping them identify your business at a glance.
There are four things you should prioritize here: your logo, colors, typography, and imagery. They’ll directly impact the creation of your visual assets and marketing materials later on.
Logo: It should capture the essence of your brand and what it stands for
Colors: Pick colors that convey the feeling you wish to communicate and differentiate you from direct competitors
Typography: Choose at least two simple fonts, one for headings and one for body text (not including the font for your brand logo)
Imagery: Determine the kind of images and illustrations you plan to use on your products, ads, and website
Although having a slogan is optional, it’s certainly something to consider if your aim is to increase brand awareness. You can always use it as a tagline in your social media bios, website header, business cards, and pretty much anywhere that allows you to leave a massive impact with just very few words.
An effective slogan is short, catchy, and easy to recall. Most of all, it should impart positive feelings about your brand, as your goal is to form a strong, long-lasting impression on your potential customers. You gotta make sure that it has all the right words to encapsulate what your business is so your audience will always have it in the back of their heads.
To help kickstart your brainstorming session, we’ve compiled some of the greatest one-liners that have successfully stuck with brands for years:
Finally, it’s time to get your branding out there.
Begin by crafting a brand style guide for your team and contractors so they’ll know what your brand should appear and sound like. If you’re not familiar, it’s a document that outlines and showcases all of your brand’s visual elements, from your logo and color palette to best practices and usage instructions.
Once you’ve completed your style guide, your next move is to figure out ways to draw attention to your brand on various platforms. Place your visuals anywhere your brand interacts, particularly in the following:
Make sure that your website has your logo and slogan, you’re using your signature colors and fonts, and that your content and calls to action reflect your brand voice. Stick to your predefined assets in your brand guidelines, otherwise, you could end up confusing your audience.
Use your logo as your profile photo in all your social media accounts. As with your website, your posts and captions should reflect your brand voice.
With digital and print ads being a medium for increasing brand awareness and reaching potential customers, it’s critical that yours are consistent with your style guide. The way you communicate and the visual elements you use must completely align with your brand.
Unless you’re a business that provides services and nothing more, your product is perhaps the most tangible way that consumers can interact with your brand. So, make it easy for your customers to recognize your packaging by designing it using your logo, tagline, signature colors, etc.
Odds are, your brand won’t be a success if your people aren’t putting it to work. For this reason, you must clearly explain your brand guidelines to your sales and customer service team, especially when they directly engage with prospects and customers. Whether they’re answering customer support inquiries or performing a product demo, tell them to stay true to the brand voice.
What happens if I already have a brand but I want to grow it? Should I rebrand or stick to the same branding?
These are two common questions our Florida internet marketing company would often get from our clients. And, if you’re also wondering, we can tell you that all brands will go through a rebranding at some point. It can be a minimal change without anyone noticing, or it could involve an extreme makeover that leaves customers talking.
But, when can you say is really the right time to give your brand a facelift? Here’s when:
Rebranding can impact your business, especially in terms of your audience’s feelings towards your new brand. Some may be on board with it, while others might find it disappointing. You’ll have to think things through sensibly when time comes that a rebrand is more than necessary.
Think branding is too much for you to handle? Allow Digital Resource to unload the burden! Our experts will assist you in mapping out a branding strategy that will make your business a top player in your industry.
As a leading Florida internet marketing company, we offer a wide range of award-winning digital marketing services. Besides branding, you can also reach us if you need help with SEO, social media marketing, reputation management, and so much more. We’re your go-to when it comes to all things digital!
Get in touch with us today to get a competitive digital assessment of your brand!
Think you've got what it takes to hang with the pros at Digital Resource? Check out our Careers page to browse current job openings!