Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s Founder says, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room.”
Be it for a person or a company; a brand is essential for long-term success. Because, a brand stands for a promise – a promise of good quality, experience, trust and much more.
It is this promise that makes us recall certain brands and their products or services better than their competitors. And such recall value is highly beneficial for businesses.
That makes branding a matter of survival for businesses. Having a good product or service is not going to help. Having a branding strategy is mandatory to make your business a customer favorite.
That brings us to the question “How To Get Started With A Branding Strategy?”
A branding strategy is a long-term plan developed by the business. The purpose of the strategy is to ensure that the business gains a positive and memorable image in the minds of its stakeholders.
Stakeholders include all kinds of people like customers, shareholders, employees and the general public as a whole. Think of everybody who might come in contact with your business offering; they can be considered as stakeholders.
A brand positions itself at the center point where the works that it does, the people who it does for and the long-term goals come together.
An ideal branding strategy will reach out to all your stakeholders and helps create an emotional impact. It makes them feel on the same page as to what the business has in the offer and what their needs are.
That said, some things need to be considered while crafting an effective branding strategy. Some of them include:
Identify Target Market
Philip Kotler, the marketing genius defines a target market as, “a well-defined set of customers whose needs the organization plans to satisfy.”
- Who are the paying customers of your business?
- What age group and demographic do they fall under?
- How much is their average spending?
- How well are they informed about your offerings?
These are some questions that will help you chart out a buyer persona of your business. Once your buyer persona is charted out, you can craft a brand message, also known a tagline that best matches to their preferences.
Identifying and Negating brand barriers
Brand barriers are simply out market conditions. The market forces demand and supply go a long way in specifying your buyer persona. Also, there is also a competition to be considered.
Your target market may be used to a cheap and inexpensive product with not-so-great quality. If you are planning to enter such a market then quality and price are your brand barriers. You have to establish trust in customers for your quality and also make them aware why your product is charged a premium price.
Product Packaging or Service Delivery
Do you know why people are so crazed about unboxing iPhones? It is an experience that matches with no other. The same goes with McDonald`s packaging, or the way Four Seasons Hotel delivers its star-rated hospitality services.
Product packaging and service delivery is an experience that can create a strong recall value for a brand. It creates a memory that makes the customer more attached to the brand.
There are several other components that make up a perfect branding strategy. The most important three include:
- A Relatable Emotion
What is the purpose of your brand? This is the purpose why Bill Gates built Microsoft into such a big firm.
Now, that is such a powerful purpose that it drove Microsoft employees to work harder, inspired customers to buy from Microsoft and also catapulted Microsoft to the top league of computer making brands. Today, we know Microsoft as the most influential brand in the computing industry. That is the power of purpose in branding.
So, now, the question you have to ask yourself is, “What is the purpose of my business?”
The biggest application of security is in the banking and financial services industry. There is one brand which has set an example for all banks and even businesses when it comes to security. The Swiss bank. The Swiss bank deploys a rock solid and literally impregnable security system that keeps millions if not, billions of assets of account holders safe from the privy of hackers.
All their online transactions are covered seal-tight security measures like Extended Validation Certificate. Account holders can check the SSL certificate and its details before using the login page or any other transaction page. This level of security is what has turned the Swiss bank into a go-to destination for all high-rollers who want to bank their massive sums of money.
If your online business use Internet to transact dealings with customers. Configure your site encryption from best EV SSL certificate to enable green address bar and provide highest online security. To get Extended Validation Certificate, a business required to validate their existence through a strict legal process. Once a business validates their existence, their business name will display in the browser padlock bar.
A Relatable Emotion
If customers can relate your brand to an action, an emotion or a feeling, you have half won the battle of branding. Emotions are so influential that customers make buying decisions solely reliant on them.
Take, for instance, GoPro – the world’s most popular adventure and action camera. Every single day, at least 6,000 GoPro-tagged videos are uploaded to YouTube (Content Marketing Institute).
These cameras are of such solid built that GoPro cameras can survive even molten lava and still function like normal. No wonder that GoPro cameras are a favorite for adventure junkies like skydivers, bikers, skiing professionals and everybody else who want to capture rapid action goes for nothing else but a GoPro.
Crafting a branding strategy is like planning for a space mission. You have to give equal weight even for tiny details since they matter a lot in the long run. There are two things at stake here: 1) your business reputation and 2) your customer loyalty.
As a growing business, you cannot ignore either of them. A comprehensive branding strategy ensures that all corners are covered and that your brand grows with time to become an identity on its own.
To quote Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, “The most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart.”