How to Create a Successful Branding Strategy for your Business?
Table of Content
What is Branding?
What is a Branding Strategy?
1. What is Branding?
Branding is the process of creating and shaping a brand in the minds of consumers to give meaning to a specific organization, company, products, or services.
Branding is a fundamental part of modern businesses and it is much more than just choosing the logo and fonts for your company.
2. What is a Branding Strategy?
A branding strategy actually involves the process of giving meaning to your business.
This relates to the image of your business, products or services by developing a brand that sticks in the minds of the customers.
In order to develop a branding strategy for your business, consumers need to identify and establish an experience or sense of feel with your brand.
This is the essential difference between your branding strategy's success and the competition's. Your company's branding plan must have a branding purpose in order to be applied properly.
These should be made clear to attract and retain loyal customers as well as stakeholders by delivering what your brand promises.
It is important to know the difference between a good brand and a great brand. Only the later one manages to stand out, cross cultural boundaries with their products and find international success.
In a study researching brand loyalty, 59% of people indicated to be more likely to buy new products from brands that are familiar to them rather than taking the risk and investing time and effort to search for an unfamiliar alternative.
This highlights the growing significance of customers and brand loyalty in developing a successful branding strategy for your company.
Customer involvement with some brands is required less because of the specific products they offer and more because of your company's ability to build a compelling brand identity and brand character that draws people in.
In summary, your brand is the total perception of your company that consumers hold.
This notion encompasses how people perceive you, the emotions they experience when hearing your name, and the language they use when discussing you with peers.
3. Why do you need a solid Branding Strategy?
Having an effective branding strategy in place gives you the power to put a distinguishable image of your company in people’s minds.
It allows you to establish your business as a unique contender in your market space.
It not only helps to give consumers a clear picture about your business but it also unifies your employees under a set of values and beliefs that they are passionate about.
Brand loyalty is integral in order for your customers to keep purchasing your brand and continue using it.
Without a branding strategy, it will be difficult to make your customers loyal to your brand, retain them and benefit from repeat purchases.
These include aspects such as brand color, brand logo, brand design and brand shape into consideration when creating a unique brand identity for the branding strategy of your business.
It is a crucial tool to evoke distinct feelings inside your customers when they think about you. This makes it a powerful instrument to form deeper connections with your target audience and helps create brand loyalty. In return, this creates a successful branding strategy which consumers tend to adopt from
the image of your company. The brand perception of the branding strategy of your business.
Branding companies create their branding strategy by taking aspects of brand perception into consideration.
Brand perception includes the beliefs from a consumer which your product or service provides.
It is mainly originated from the following following factors:
Customer experience / customer satisfaction
Product / brand reputation
In general, a successful branding strategy should help people form a positive image about your firm, and to develop trust between themselves and your business.
This can also be used to further understand consumer purchasing behavior of your target audience.
You can either entrust this important task to a branding business and hire a branding agency, which not only brings in an outside perspective to it but they have the required expertise and knowledge to accomplish your demands of branding strategy.
Rebranding occurs when there is change in the corporate image of your business. It is commonly known as a marketing strategy that will trigger new elements such as a new brand name, brand symbol, and brand design.
The idea is simply to create a unique brand identity through rebranding and stand out as a brand from competition and the rest of the market.
Alternatively, this can also be done through the marketing team of your company or hire a branding business that can help you with it.
This article will provide you with reasons why to obtain and guarantee a solid branding strategy for your business.
Therefore 6 key aspects need to be taken into consideration when creating an all-round branding strategy to attract brand personality that will make your audience choose you over the competition and generate brand loyalty.
4. 6 Essential Aspects to Consider When Creating a Brand Identity
a. Define your Brand Purpose
Making it clear to consumers why your brand exists and why it is doing what it does, truly differentiates your company from others.
It is obvious that every business tries to make money, however that doesn’t convince anyone to buy from you.
Therefore, you have to create a convincing brand mission as well as a vision for the future for the brand objective it strives to accomplish.
Branding businesses include a brand mission in the branding strategy of your business which should place the customer in the center of every decision your brand is making in order to gain their customer trust and brand loyalty.
By answering the following questions about your brand, your customers will obtain a clear picture in their mind of what your company is about and why it exists:
What do you excel at?
What is it that you are most enthusiastic about?
What change can you possibly make?
Many branding businesses summarize their brand purpose in one key statement in order to make it universally understandable for what they stand and strive for.
For example, did you know what Apple’s brand statement is?
-> To empower creative exploration and self-expression.
The following includes a list of other companies with strong brand statements:
ASOS - To become the world’s number-one destination for fashion-loving 20-somethings.
Coca Cola - To refresh the world. Make a difference.
Dove - To redefine beauty standards and help everyone experience beauty and body image positively.
Tesla - To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.
As it becomes clear from these companies, a brand statement must be a reflection of the most important values of the target audience of your business to truly connect with them.
Additionally, it should reveal their belief in striving towards making a positive social impact to captivate your customers.
This is exactly what the theory of the Golden Circle by Simon Sinek predicts. This model is made out of 3 layers and it explains brand differentiation in terms of differentiating your brand from competitors.
One of the biggest mistakes that new companies or business startups do when developing their branding strategy is to only mention “what” the product is (e.g. new x generation laptop) and “how” their features can help the consumer (e.g. this new generation laptop has a 20% faster processor and better A.I. so you can multitask better).
However, this approach only includes the first layer of the Golden Circle (“What”) and the second layer (“How”); it leaves out the innermost layer (“Why”).
One of the biggest reasons why so many brands fail is because branding businesses couldn’t convince consumers about why their product or the company itself exists.
The innermost layer of the Golden Circle explains that people are drawn to the beliefs and values that products and brands themselves radiate out.
More specifically, the “why” behind your products and the why behind your brand’s existence should be clear to every consumer in the first place.
If your target audience can identify themselves with your company’s core identity and with the reason why you create your products, then it is much easier for them to gain brand loyalty from your business.
People want to reflect themselves with things that match their personality.
As highly social animals, humans need the acceptance of society with regard to their consumer purchasing behavior.
This is the reason why most brands portray their image in a way that they support strong cultural values as an extension of their branding.
After you have captivated people’s hearts, you can continue to show them the facts and figures to rationalize their decision.
Some people think that if you start talking about the details and advantages of your brand product, you may convince your target audience of the superiority and unique value proposition of your offering.
However customers, with regards to their consumer purchasing behavior, don’t care much about how fast this phone is over others or how much more durable this new backpack is.
People want to be part of something bigger than themselves and buying your products should help them to perceive this idea.
That’s the reason why Tesla positions themselves as a green energy company that strives for a sustainable future or why Dove represents themselves as a brand that cares about how people feel about themselves.
b. Conduct a thorough Competitor Research
Knowing who you are up against should also be a key part of your branding strategy.
Not being aware of other branding businesses that are producing similar products can sabotage how well you will do in the market.
One way of clearly distinguishing your values from the competition is to create a spreadsheet with the main categories in which you can spot the issue that other companies face.
You have to ask yourself the following questions:
How are your competitors’ messaging and visual identity and determine if they are consistent across channels?
What is the quality standard of your competitor's goods or services?
Is it possible to examine customer reviews or social mentions regarding the competitor?
How does the competitor advertise their company, both online and offline?
These would be the main questions that you can compare yourself with 5 other companies.
C. Highlight your Brand’s Unique Characteristics
It should be clear for everyone what your brand is and what it offers so no one doubts about your brand identity and offered value.
This means that you should not list an exhaustive list of features that your products have that others don’t because that is not the key selling point for most consumers anymore.
The modern consumer buys products or services that evoke feelings that solve their needs, and not just the product itself anymore. A good branding strategy should have this in mind.
Branding businesses can create a branding strategy to clearly show how your product or service can improve the lives of customers and add value.
As new products entering the market are becoming increasingly similar when it comes to their functional features, they have to find a way to differentiate themselves with a clear brand positioning strategy.
People want to feel connected with the things they purchase, especially when it is something that they interact with on a daily basis like their clothes, smartphones, house accessories and many more.
Especially, the nonprofit sector is relying almost only on negative emotions to convey their purpose. One famous example is the World WildLife Fund (WWF) that encourages people to take action by evoking fear in order to raise awareness for global causes.
d. Outline your Perfect Customer
A solid branding strategy includes a clear focus on who it is you are trying to attract with your products.
Some branding businesses often make the mistake that they want to attract everyone but at the same time they appeal to nobody.
Unless you are a supermarket chain like Walmart or Target, you have to narrow down your focus on your potential target audience.
A branding business uses a variety of branding strategy techniques to categorize their audience into smaller segments. This way it becomes easier to target their specific needs and develop custom solutions.
First, brands use marketing research to identify the right audience segments that they should target. There are two main market segmentation methods that brands use, namely by demographic or by behavior.
On the other hand, when branding businesses categorize customers by behavioral traits, brands can look closer at how shoppers interact with the company. Common metrics that are used to evaluate consumers segmented by their behavior are:
Consumer Purchasing Behavior
Prior to the market segmentation methods above, brands can also implement psychographic segmentation as well as geographic segmentation, depending on the branding strategy objectives for your business.
After brands categorize where your customers can be placed, your branding strategy should include developing buyer personas to get a concrete image of your ideal customer.
Buyer personas are a powerful tool to get insights into the individual needs and wants, their habits and concerns. With this knowledge you can tailor your content and marketing messages to attract the most valuable visitors, leads, and consumers to build a successful branding strategy.
For more information on how buyer personas should look like and on how to truly connect with your customers, follow this article about Content marketing tips: The key steps to truly connect with your customers.
e. Find your Personal Brand Voice
Once you know who your target audience is, you can develop brand identity for your company to embody when you interact with customers.
This personality is reflected in all of your brand's communications, including newsletters, social media posts, internal company meetings such as business announcements, and advertising. This is called your brand voice.
You can easily confuse your audience when you are not consistent with it.
For example, if you post inconsistently or you share irrelevant content online, then you can lose the hard-earned trust that your target has put on you and as a result they are more likely to go with the competition.
In one study, 45% percent of consumers indicated that irrelevant content was a reason why they unfollowed a brand on social media. Therefore, avoid posting without having any strategy or thought behind it.
One example of a coherent brand voice comes from Oatly, the oat drink company.
Its branding strategy is a combination of friendly and fun copy with playful graphics. The brand voice can be found in everything from their packaging, their website, to their social media posts.
Your brand voice can also be a mix of the following attributes as long as they work together and don’t contradict each other:
Also, keep in mind that your company's goals and priorities may vary over time.
This means that your brand voice should reflect the change in your company’s identity at all times.
f. Build a Captivating Brand Story
Branding businesses tend to tell stories to consumers through the use of their brands.
Being transparent about how your brand started and telling your story on why you believe in improving the world with your products will nurture your relationship with your customers as well as understand consumer purchasing behavior.
Regarding your mission and values, this aspect of your branding strategy also aims at increasing your authenticity within your industry.
Having a simple story with an emotional undertone makes it easier for the consumer to start rallying behind you.
Similarly to the method previously pointed out when using emotions to highlight your brand’s unique characteristic, use emotions in your brand story to elicit customer action.
For instance, TOMS shoes is a footwear manufacturer that pledged to donate some amount of the revenue from every sale for a good cause.
TOMS strategy has impacted over 100 million lives since the beginning of 2006, and they continue to strive for global impact by giving back to society.
Knowing and implementing these 6 branding strategy tips that are utilized by most branding businesses will allow your company to communicate more effectively with your target market and as a result boost engagement with them and obtain valuable feedback that you'll be able to use in the future.
Moreover, your marketing efforts will produce better results through obtaining a brand with clear brand identity in order to increase the chances of attracting the right customers for your business.
Brands with solid principles and a positive reputation will form strong relationships with people from outside and inside the company.