What is Branding?
Branding is a term that is both vague and easy to understand at the same time. By definition, The American Marketing Association says, “a brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.”
When you think of your favorite product, service, or activity of a company, whether it is a practical or an emotional reaction, that is from effective branding. A brand not only affects the customer’s ability to purchase a physical product but triggers an emotional response during the purchasing process. This combination of a physical and emotional reaction is triggered when the customer is presented with the company’s logo, name, visual identity, or message. Download How to Build a Brand 101 to get to know the foundations of branding.
A business’s brand is a very powerful and difficult marketing strategy to master. However, when successful, the railway to success is endless.
Find your Brand’s Archetype
Finding your brand’s archetype is discovering its specific personality. What is the brand’s purpose or goal? What makes all of the blood, sweat, and tears worth it in the end? Being able to establish a great brand is all about portraying what customers can expect and will remember about your business. Although it has been said that a brand is “what other people will say about you when you’re not there,” being able to fully understand your brand allows your messaging to better represent what you want others to know.
Once your brand’s personality is established, then it will be seamless to attract your ideal clients and streamline your sales results.
Determine Your Brand’s Personality
Determining your brand’s personality is individually unique to your business and what it stands for. What part of the hard work satisfies you the most? Is it your growing leadership team? Is it the collaboration of creative minds to develop innovative solutions? Is it because you fully turned your client’s vision into reality? This is what helps determine your brand’s archetype.
What Do Others Have to Say?
Seeing what your clients think of your brand provides insight on how others feel about your business as a whole. Reading past client reviews and looking for similarities in the language allows insight for what your brand’s reputation is.
Secondly, knowing what your client’s desire allows them to feel valued, which enables trust. For example, establishing an ‘About Us’ page on your website allows your customers to gain insight into what your brand’s values are.
Do a Personal Audit
One way to determine the success of your brand is thinking as the customer and putting yourself in their shoes. Ways you can do that are:
- Google search your company so you can go through the buyer’s journey when researching your business. Does the website design and layout pull you in? Does the website content keep you engaged when navigating through each page?
- Does your brand speak clearly about your passions? Does your message clearly and concisely come across to the customer?
- Are you able to figure out the highlights of why you are in your industry? There might be some words or phrases that need to be tweaked so that the message comes across clearly. You want to make sure your customer fully understands your business.
After completing your personal audit, make sure to do it week after week. Consistently checking in on your customer’s experience when researching your brand will always lead to changes and edits. Implementing small language tweaks on your digital platforms and marketing materials can lead to huge impacts.
What Are Your Business Goals?
Determining your business’s goals can become tricky, especially at the beginning of building your brand. Defining goals will help build your brand’s recognition and credibility, which will allow your company to grow in its success. Defining your company’s short- and long-term goals is the first step to fully establishing a solid brand identity.
Get SMART with your objectives and goals. SMART represents:
Let’s say that your business’s goal is to become the largest coffee chain in the world. How would you determine your short- and long-term goals to make it happen? Collaborating with your team to curate these goals will allow your business to get closer to achieving this objective. The most important piece to remember is that nothing is impossible!
If you’re interested in learning more about SMART goals and how to implement them into your business, read more here.
Define Your Brand’s Voice
Every brand has its own unique voice, which comes from your primary, secondary and tertiary archetypes. When you think of the following traits for a brand, specific names come to mind.
- Bold and Adventurous – Jeep
- Quirky and Entertaining – Skittles
What is unique about all of these characteristics? They were carefully and strategically developed with creative marketing teams. If you want your brand to become more memorable to your determined audience, then take the time to find your brand’s voice.
Research Your Target Market
This is when research comes into play. Collecting specific, quantified data about your audience will allow your brand to gain insight on the different demographics and psychographics for your audience. Make sure to be as accurate as possible and include as many details as your team can.
Just like developing your target audience and buyer persona, all of the data that is collected will guide you in determining your brand’s voice. If your product or service is similar to something that is already on the market, then use the readily available information.
How Does Your Audience Communicate?
The research that is collected will lay out the groundwork for the next step in determining your brand’s voice. Keep in mind: not all demographics communicate the same way. With that being said, the more data the better.
Knowing how your audience prefers to communicate and interact with your brand is an example of behavioral data that can be used to your advantage. This influx of data is significant to honing in the most relevant marketing channels to help craft your brand’s voice.
Avoid Copying the Competition!
Although competitors will have content that may seem enticing to use or imitate, it won’t end up doing your company any favors. Yes, it may be helpful to study the competition to see how they have established a specific tone and how they interact with their customers, but do not try to mimic their style. No two companies should have the same brand voice!
Always stay unique and true to your company’s brand. Your customers want to know what makes your business different from the competition, and why they should choose you from others businesses.
Determining your brand’s aesthetic is a meaning that consumers have not yet thought of and don’t know they want. A brand’s aesthetic encapsulates everything that a customer wants to experience beyond what they even realized they desired. The goal is to take your customer on a journey that goes beyond their expectations.
Your brand’s aesthetic is the collection of different elements for the customer’s experience. The aesthetic may also include your team’s attitude, the style of the layout, the use of marketing materials, and even in-person experiences a brand can create.
Your brand’s aesthetic is one more piece to the puzzle of your brand’s identity, voice, and reputation with the customer. You want to make sure that they know your business and that they choose you every single time. Once you have that solidified, then the rest is history.
To help answer these questions of who you are and what your brand voice is, check out The Rulebook! The Rulebook is intended to be the cornerstone of your business’s branding and marketing strategy. We help you define who you are, what your unique unified brand voice is, who your customers are, and how to reach them effectively. So, get a Rulebook today to start building your brand the right way!