Just think that there are millions of products accessible to us in the market. There are so many businesses selling similar products but despite so many options available to us we still prefer the selected few brands.
What is the reason that we choose only a few selected brands? The answer is simple.
We had great experiences while interacting with those brands in the past which motivates us to choose them again. The products we buy from them are not just PRODUCTS. They are more than that.
Starbucks Coffee is more than just a coffee.
British Airlines is more than just a mode to travel.
Chanel is more than a clothing brand.
Likewise, there are so many renowned brands in the market that have created a niche for themselves despite stiff competition from several competitors.
Interacting with their products or services provides us with unique EXPERIENCES, which we love to experience again and again.
Companies market their brands extensively as they know that their brands exist beyond the ads, billboards, and even their websites. They exist in the hearts of their customers.
As an organization no matter what product or services you deal in, you need to have outstanding branding to generate more revenue for your business.
Creating a brand name for your Business is more than just a name and logo. Your brand is the personality of your business and it can make your business stand out in the super-competitive world.
Businesses are constantly able to generate loyal customers due to their branding and their overall identity. Building a brand is easy but building a STRONG, RELIABLE, and SUCCESSFUL brand that stands apart is the most important.
This guide will assist and help you with actionable information that can help you in building a successful brand.
So let’s get started and understand in detail what Branding is all about and what it takes to build a successful BRAND.
A brand is what helps customers distinguish one organization from another through a set of features.
It includes -
Logo or symbol
Brand voice and more.
Brand Building is the process of generating awareness of the brand or the organization through various promotional activities.
The Brand building strategies aim to bring customers closer to the brands so they can experience the value it offers. The objective of brand building is to create a unique perception or the imagery about the company so it is easier for the customer to distinguish it from its competitors.
For example, you are traveling through an airline. Your interaction points with them in the form of bookings, customer service, and airline service will form their overall perception of the airline as a brand.
It also refers to the overall experience a customer undergoes when interacting with a business.
It can include experience as a shopper, a customer, social media follower.
It is one of the most important assets for any organization as it provides them with an identity that helps them retain their customers for long. It provides you with an identity that goes beyond its product or service.
Brand Building is an important aspect of a company because it is the visual voice of the company.
Just name some of the brands coming to your mind right now?
It could be Nike, Coca Cola, Samsung, and the list is endless. And we are sure you must be remembering either their tagline or the logo which helps you to distinguish them very easily.
So what is making these brands so effective that you are still able to recall them? Is it the colors, or taglines, products, or the content? It is branding.
Yes. It is the reason buyers choose these brands over others as they can connect with them.
Today, technology has built the largest gaps all over the world.
We can shop, book, buy anything online and the best part is we can generate reviews that help us in the decision-making process.
But why it’s so important to focus on building a brand especially online. Why?
Because our generation is tech-savvy more than ever and it is important to ensure your brand is seen all over.
Building an online brand creates awareness of what an organization, as a business stands for.
Real-time interaction with your customers.
Building an online brand gives us instant opportunities to create more awareness and generate likability.
It elevates your business credibility.
It allows us to gain trust – the most important part of the ‘sales process’.
When you think about your brand, you should think about the entire experience you are offering to your customers and it includes everything.
It includes your
Social media experiences
The way your customer service responds to the customers over the phone and almost every single thing which revolves around your brand.
To be precise, your brand is the way your customer perceives you.
No doubt, graphics are important, but as a business you need to have a clear understanding of what your brand is, who is your target audience and the solution or the value you are trying to propose or sell to your customers. Here’s how you should define your brand:
As a business, you should know who the target audience is or to whom you are trying to sell your services or the products.
Build connections with your customers. And the easiest way of establishing that connection is by sharing your story. You need to explain to your customers the motivation that drove you to do what you are doing.
It is important to note that by establishing an emotional connection with your customers, you have an opportunity to build loyalty. And once they are loyal, they are likely to recommend you to their friends and families.
When we talk of positioning there is a lot involved in this process and it starts right from the values, mission, vision to the products or services you offer. But, there are two main elements that every brand should have:
Value Proposition – As a brand or a business you should be very clear how your business solves a problem or helps a customer.
Differentiators – There has to be some distinguishing factor that differentiates you from your competitors and motivates your customers to choose you over your competitors.
Focus on the qualities and benefits that make your brand unique from others.
Form a unique voice of your brand and it can be dependent on your target audience, mission, and industry. It could be professional, technical, Friendly or Conversational.
The goal is to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
When you have a clear vision and understanding of your brand then showcasing it becomes a lot easier. And whenever you are stuck you can go back to the guidelines and seek what best matches your brand.
Once you are clear with your target audience, your mission, and vision. Then it's the time you move on to the next steps and take care of the visual part of the branding.
This includes - User interface design (website/mobile app), logo, color, typographies, and so on.
As you develop these step by step, make sure to prepare a set of guidelines to govern the use of your assets. This will ensure that whosoever for example – any third party uses it, they can refer to your style guide and utilize the same logos, color composition, and text, etc.
We will go through this in detail as we study more about the process of brand building but before that let's dig deeper into why brand building is important.
Brand Building involves the creation of values to the consumers about how they feel and think about your brand. It involves:
Product brand: Physical products or goods are referred to as product brands. It involves ensuring that a good quality product is given to the customer along with good brand visibility, packaging, warranty, etc.
Example of product brands are Adidas, Tissot, Nike, etc.
Service Brand: A service is non-tangible and one of the best examples are hospitality, eCommerce, Starbucks.
Retail Brand: Retail brands are a combination of service & product i.e. products are sold through a service offering.
Examples of retail brands are Walmart etc.
When branding your business, start small and remember to focus on your target niche audience first.
There is no fixed or definitive pattern of brand building. It requires innovation, creativity, right value proposition, constant monitoring & ensuring good customer experience.
It is done through the product description, packaging, logos, etc. It is important to take note of the colors and typography you choose.
It is an important component of your brand identity. It can play a very important role as it can be pivotal in drawing visitors to your website. As per the research, using the right color can engage the customers and can boost it to 40%.
The color palette you choose can increase or boost your brand recognition by making communication clear and appealing.
While planning and choosing the colors, the first two colors of your color palette might be part of your logo, for example, the next two colors can be chosen to be part of the marketing collaterals or the web design.
No matter what colors you use for your color palette, make sure you identify them through their codes.
HEX or RGB color codes - They consist of numbers and letters to help you recall the exact shade, brightness, contrast.
Color Palette can help define -
- Your Logo.
- Website design.
- Marketing collaterals.
Colors are important and can be agreed upon by the fact like many big brand names are associated with them. For example - Facebook with the color blue, Apple with black, Coca Cola with red.
Logo is the most important thing in brand visual identity. Many brands have different logos to use in different places: colored, black, and white.
These can be utilized depending upon the requirement on Web, for print, with the tagline, vertical or horizontal.
While many consumers make decisions based on the brand name, we cannot deny that it takes less than a few impressions to recognize a logo. That is why companies spent a lot of time and effort in finalizing the logo of their business.
Like colors, fonts are equally important and they say a lot about your brand. You must choose fonts that pair well with each other.
For example, you can have one font for titles or headers and another set of the font for the text on the body of the website site.
Every brand has its own set of fonts which are used with logos in print and on the Web.
Companies often use taglines with logos to define who they are, what are their offerings, or what their purpose is to their target audience. They are often utilized in specific campaigns or attached to email signatures.
The tone, voice, and style of the content should be written as per the Brand objectives and should meet the brand personality. There should be consistency in the style of writing with proper words, sentence structures.
These elements are important in defining and describing the brand to its customers. If your brand is professional/technical in approach then the tone, as well as the designs, need to be designed accordingly.
If your brand is dynamic and is targeting young people then you can use fun or joyful tone.
Once a product or service is created, the brand must be differentiated from its competition with some unique value.
Advertising & promoting the brand using different platforms like email marketing, PR, online advertising, offline advertising, and promotion.
So you should keep implementing new strategies, innovation to keep your customers engaged.
Today, businesses deploy a lot of marketing initiatives to make their brand image loud and clear. These digital marketing activities include
These platforms are very important in gaining brand awareness and growth.
We are sure everyone can recall NIKE tagline - Just Do It. But have you ever taken notice of their mission or vision statement?
Nike's mission is very clear and they focus on all the types of athletes using their products. You can see the Nike mission everywhere. They focus on all types of athletes using Nike products.
Strategizing your communication is very important and can help build a strong brand.
Brand building can be effective only when a customer feels connected to it. We are living in an era where customer service and personalization are valued above anything else.
Over the years, as competition has increased companies are moving away from generic marketing towards personalization to delight their customers and leave a long-lasting impression.
One of the unique examples of personalized branding done through a powerful eCommerce Giant is Amazon.
Amazon has been into personalized marketing since 2013. It utilizes the purchase history of its users, their viewed products. It also utilizes shipping addresses to customize the user experience based on the location. When you log in to their website, it will show you the products you like.
PURPOSE: The purpose behind doing personalization is to offer customers a potential, memorable, and unique experience that helps to build and strengthen the bond.
Hence giving a personal touch to the customer, through customization can help build a stronger perception.
It is important that a company keeps on monitoring and reviewing the performance of its products, services, and brands. During the process of evaluation, you can look at things like their product, their marketing strategies, their strengths, and their weaknesses.
It could be like doing SWOT analysis where you may look for – Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and threat. It will help you -
Get an idea of the market Will help you find ways to meet new customers: Doing analysis can help you check the various loyalty programs your competition is conducting.
When to analyze your brand: It is advisable to keep this activity regular to keep yourself abreast with the latest developments being executed in the market.
Identify and Scope out the competition.
You should know who your competitors are. Also, consider the ones that may not be directly into the competition but maybe somewhat related.
Pay attention to details.
Conduct their SWOT analysis and pay attention to details. Like what kind of campaigns they are executing, what kind of platforms they are utilizing.
With everything in place, make sure to maintain consistency because this is how your brand will be more recognizable to your customers.
90% of consumers expect that their brand experience will be similar across all platforms and devices.
With technological advancements and the ability of the consumer to shop 24x7, your business needs to have a website even if you are a small or medium enterprise. Websites works, no matter what business, profession, you are dealing in.
People are going online for every small thing and are using the web in greater numbers.
No doubt eCommerce websites are quite popular and they are utilized much more frequently than others. But you cannot deny even if you are not dealing with eCommerce products, your website can still be informative and communicative rather than purchase oriented to your prospective customers.
This can be done very quickly and economically.
Here are a few reasons why you require a WEBSITE for your brand.
Your website will always be available to deal with the customers 24/7 even when you are not.
Having a website well in place adds instant credibility to the business.
They help you make a very strong impression. Therefore, it is recommended to have a well structured and well-articulated website with complete details of products and services.
Will help save you a lot of time by providing answers to common customer concerns and queries.
The majority of consumers use websites to find and engage with businesses. According to research, 63% of consumers use websites to engage with the business.
It is believed that commercial transactions are largely influenced by the digital web content.
75% of B2B buyers believe that their buying decision is often influenced by the digital website content and their display of products and services.
A website is important as it helps shape the online perception of your brand in the market. It helps you to position yourself and attract the type of customers you are looking for.
When you have finalized that you are going to create a website for your business, the next question which would immediately pop up in your head is whether you should make a template-based website or it should be customized?
But before finalizing anything it is important to evaluate the pros and cons of both the websites so you exactly know what will suit and best meet your needs. Let's understand both of them in detail -
In these websites, a template is already fixed with the design and functionality. It is often already integrated with a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress to create a fully-fledged site. It is important to note that not all templates are responsive. Hence, it might require customization.
The easiest way to go ahead is to start with a Wordpress site and use already designed templates from different platforms like ThemeForest or Elegant Themes.
They can be developed quickly. Additional functionality, like forms or social media icons, are already included in the designs.
Costings are quite reasonable.
The layout is not unique. The template you choose might be used by one of your competitors. You will be able to execute only basic changes that won't make much of a difference.
They usually have a low or slow loading speed as they are not properly optimized. It can negatively impact your SEO.
Using templates won't give you full creative control. With the drag and drop features of some CMS templates, customization is limited.
In Customized websites, designs are created right from scratch. And after the designs are completed, programming is executed to make them functional.
These websites are designed with a whole concept in place. This is done keeping in mind that you reach the target audience with absolutely correct features, designs, and call to actions.
They will be unique as they are customized.
Customized websites are more SEO friendly so it will help come up in searches in a more effective manner.
The unique opportunities customized websites offer is that they can be expanded in terms of functionalities.
You get an authentic, unique design that you can personalize as per your expectations and functionality works exactly the way you want.
You can take a backup of your website by having multiple versions without losing all of your data.
The only disadvantage is that customized websites can be expensive and need advanced skills for designing and development.
The choice of designing a customized website or going for a standard template is influenced by certain factors like - Business requirements, timelines, budgets. So as a business it is important that you carefully analyze what you are looking at.
Often small enterprises or self-employed individuals go for template-based websites. And medium enterprises or eCommerce brands prefer customized websites owing to the nature of their business and the requirement of their functionality.
Earlier Businesses used to focus on putting up content and media as much as possible on their website. Now over the years, the focus has shifted to being more user friendly, flexible, and faster with a brief display of quality information.
Performance has become a lot more important now.
In an extremely competitive space today, consumers expect nothing less than a seamless and optimal user experience. For example - If there is a delay in loading the website it can lead to the user simply opting out of your website.
Consumers now expect professional designs, seamless functionality, faster loading times.
There are a few ways to determine and monitor performance metrics. Let's go through those metrics which are considered as really critical as far as user experience is concerned.
Page Load Time
This is one of the most important metrics in web performance. Page load time measures the time it takes to load content on the webpage.
Customers make judgments about a company's professionalism, so don’t let them think adversely by having your website load too slow.
You can run a speed test for your website to know how much time it takes to load.
Time to Title
It is the length of time between the instant a user or a visitor requests your website and the time it shows up in the browser tab.
If a user can see the title right away then it lets the user know that it is authentic and legitimate, which makes them more likely to view the website.
Time to interact
This includes the time between the request and the moment when a user clicks on click, or type in the text field or time it takes to interact.
This metric is very important as it lets you measure the percentage of site visitors who simply move away or navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
If the bounce rate is higher, it's high time that the businesses should start looking out for ways to bring it down.
Poor content, less information, or even the loading speeds can result in a higher bounce rate.
Requests Per Second
It is an important metric that tells you the number of actions that are being sent to the target server every second.
Example - A request can be any interaction with resources available on the web page of the website- HTML pages, images, multimedia files, database queries.
The average number of problem requests registered as compared to the total number of requests defines error rate. It is an important nonspeed related metric that is essential and cannot be ignored.
Example - During the testing stage when several people are accessing the website while performing the same action and you notice a surge in error rate then this information is helpful for you to prepare.
Connection time is the actual time when a request is made and when the connection is established between the user’s browser and your origin server is called the connection time.
Too much server traffic can result in connection times to spike.
Users accessing sites from different locations may experience a longer connection time. Different load testing tools are available to check heavy server usage. You can also have some assets offline or have it on CDN to maintain the speed.
THE IMPACT OF 3RD PARTY TAGS AND SCRIPTS
We often integrate several tags on our websites at times due to campaigns or various other numerous reasons. These 3rd party tags or scripts can bring performance issues into the web performance of your website.
You should continue monitoring them. When left unmonitored, even a single code change made by a 3rd party can affect the performance of your website and your page speed loads.
Using performance metrics can help your Business optimize the user experience. Businesses can get benefitted and they should ensure that a checklist is prepared and these metrics are taken into consideration whenever development is taking place. Using some of these metrics can help you make necessary adjustments to help improve the WEBSITE performance.
Donald Millers' famous SB7 Framework, helps Businesses and leaders to understand what it means to earn trust and love from the clients for their Brand.
It highlights 7 key principles that are highly critical for any Business to be successful and make a truly valuable impact.
Stories are considered as the best and the powerful tool to captivate the human imagination.
And when you incorporate a story in your brand communication to your customers then only they are going to pay attention to your action.
You can learn and implement to make use of stories to communicate your messages to your target audiences. Here we try to illustrate to you how the story covers every key factor which is relevant as per the SB7 framework.
Each story starts with
Every story has a Character and in your story, your Customer has to be the HERO and not your brand.
No matter if you are dealing with a B2B client or a B2C client, your customer has to be the HERO.
And the very common mistake most of the companies make is that they focus on themselves and not on their customer.
CUSTOMER IS THE KING.
HAS A PROBLEM
You would agree that every story has a problem or a villain.
And companies go wrong when they try to sell solutions to external problems and they forget that the customers are buying solutions for their internal problems.
If you will not clearly define the problem you can solve through your brand, your customers are not going to take an interest.
When you define that problem for your customers and offer to resolve it, they’re interested.
For example - Make your customers realize that your products are the magic wands that can help them solve their problems.
MEETS A GUIDE
Customers are not looking for a HERO. They are looking for a guide.
If you understand this important principle, you will change your strategy while you deal with them.
Many brands are just too focussed on highlighting their expertise.
But the important thing to consider is that we need not focus only on our pros and expertise rather we should be using our strategies to offer support to our customers.
Ask yourself - Are you able to assist your customers they are looking for?
For example: Brainstorm and devise ways that you can show your customers how you care about their internal problems. And how as a guide you can help them with solutions.
WHO GIVES THEM A PLAN
PLAN is what drives your customers towards you. They would always trust a guide who comes with a unique plan of action.
Therefore, your customer must maintain trust in you. And this is achieved only when you are well versed with your brand and you have a plan in place.
Keep yourself at your customer’s place and start thinking about what could be their possible queries and how you can offer help to solve them.
When you have a plan and you are sharing it with your customers then you are helping them to overcome the barriers or blocks which are preventing them from taking action.
Prepare a simple plan which motivates them to close business deals with you.
CALL TO ACTION
Finally, it’s time to ask for a sale.
As the guide in your customer’s story, you must challenge them to buy from you and you must clearly define your challenge. They will not take action unless they are challenged to take action.
You need to tell them to take action by providing them with a step by step guide.
THAT HELPS THEM AVOID FAILURE
This is a unique and interesting piece of storytelling. Heroes are compelled into action because something is at stake.
In your story, your customer is the HERO and he should be compelled to take the action by making him realize that something is at stake.
As a brand ask yourself whether you have communicated what’s at stake for your customers for not doing business with you.
What are the negative consequences they may face? If no, then it is important to communicate the same as well to your customers.
AND END IN A SUCCESS
You should show your customers how your products can positively affect their lives. Both your website and your sales copy should help them envision that their problems have been solved.
You should never assume that people will understand how your brand can change their lives. You would need to explain them.
This can be done by showing your customers how your products can have a positive impact on their lives and why they should consider buying it without any delay.
These are the few principles of the StoryBrand-7 framework which if applied can help businesses do great wonders. By using the 7 elements of the story, you’ll be communicating a clear message that customers will hear and respond.
Creating a brand story is not as hard as it seems but creating the one which will capture your customer’s imagination, and make them loyal towards your brand is challenging.
In a cut-throat competitive business environment, Brand image is everything for a Business to grow and it plays a very important role. Regardless of which industry you belong to, you need to have a strong brand image that captures your customer’s imagination & gives an intense competition to your competitors.
Building a Foundation for a Strong Brand Image & effective marketing strategy.
The best way to build and nurture an effective brand image with the right audience is by following a consistent approach on all the platforms you utilize to project yourself.
For example, It is important to follow a 360-degree marketing approach and reach the target audience. The multidisciplinary approach you follow should be an integrated mix of earned and paid media which includes - PR strategy, social media marketing, Google AdWords, and search marketing.
After you have planned and laid the foundation of your brand image, you can plan the promotion activities you will initiate to build a loyal base of customers following and generate sales. The important strategies include:
PR ensures to disseminate key messages or communication of your business on online blogs as well as publications. It can greatly improve your brand image and raise awareness of your brand.
Content: Content is the KING that drives your PR and digital marketing activities.
Your communication should be well articulated so that it influences your target audience to explore your products and services. Your communication and content strategy should be consistent on all the platforms.
Social Media Platforms:
Today you cannot think of not having your Business on Social media platforms. They are the most valuable tools for sharing information relevant to your industry and interacting with your customers and influencers on a real-time basis.
Focus on essential platforms that are critical and suitable for your business. Focussing on too many platforms may leave you losing your prospective customers.
For example - Social media platforms where you are spending your marketing budgets.
A robust profile on social media platforms can help generate more business and can increase traffic for your website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
One of the best ways to increase organic traffic for your business is by tactfully implementing Search engine optimization strategies. It will help improve the ranking for your business on popular search engines like Google.
You will need to choose the right keywords which are directly related to your business. This will increase the amount of traffic to your company website and other digital assets.
Next, you need to make sure that you build a loyal customer base for your business who apart from availing your services would also promote them amongst their network. Here are a few ways through which you can increase your audience.
Ask for the “share”/”referrals:
It is very important to have clear communication with your target audience and even more important is to have the right CTA (call-to-action). When we want our target customers to take some actions, the goals must be clearly defined which should drive them to go ahead and take action.
You can ask our audience to share referrals which will help you generate more customers for your business.
Utilize cross-promotional strategies
One of the fastest and easiest ways to expand your audience is to collaborate. For example, there are some areas where you can share platforms with other businesses and indirectly get yourself promoted too.
Some areas you can collaborate in our email newsletters, webinars, events, and live streaming videos. A great way to introduce to your audiences.
With the infinite choices in our modern times, consumers look for shortcuts when making quick buying decisions. Spend time making your brand stand out and become a familiar choice. The main takeaway here is that as long as you’re considering a brand as an essential part of your business, and as long as your brand is true to what your company stands for, you’re taking the first steps toward building something that will last.
If you want to learn more about branding and identity, check more information from our website at adeelrana.com or give us a call to talk to our experts.
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