How to Build a Brand (Three Parts):
1.Creating an Authentic Look and Message
2. Gaining Customer Loyalty
3.Promoting Your Brand
Successful branding is the key to outdoing competitors and creating customer loyalty. It requires careful consideration of your mission, creative thinking and a strong desire to connect with the people who will ultimately make your company successful. Start by deciding what’s special about your company, what makes your product worth someone’s time. From there, develop a logo and slogan that represent your company’s unique spirit, and promote your brand with all your might.
Part 1: Creating an Authentic Look and Message
1.Pinpoint your mission.
What qualities, values and experiences are you offering your customers? In order for your branding to seem authentic and be effective, you need to project a truthful image of what your company strives to provide. But before you can do that, it’s important to articulate your company’s mission so that you’re clear on what sets you apart from the pack. Think about the following questions:
Why did you start this business?
What goals do you want to achieve?
Who are the people you want to help?
What makes your company different from others in your field?
2. Decide how you want to be seen.
Aim for your customers to think of your brand almost like a living, breathing person they can trust. They need to know that your product or service is the one they should turn to when faced with a dozen choices in the grocery aisle or a long list of names in the phone book. Taking your mission into account, decide what type of attitude you want to project. What spin are you going to put on your mission?
Maybe you want your product to be seen as the ticket to an adventure or a brand new life or a second chance at youth. This approach is often taken by upscale food companies that sell products like berry juice or sprouted grain granola bars etc
One approach is to be offering your customers a reliable, completely trustworthy option that will never let them down. This is a good approach if you’re selling a product that should never malfunction, like tires, or if you’re building a brand for your firm.
You could also rely on nostalgia to build your brand. People feel connected to things that remind them of childhood and carefree times.
3. Think like a customer.
When you buy a product, why do you buy it? What makes you choose a particular brand? See if you can use your answer to help you figure out how your own brand will come across. Find out what your customers are longing to feel and make your brand help them feel that way. Do they want to feel powerful? Responsible? Conscientious? Smart? Unique? Your brand needs to evoke this feeling with all of its copy, marketing, and design. Cue these feelings not only with language, but with colors and product design as well.
4. Refine your brand language.
Choose a catchphrase or slogan and some key words that you want to be associated with your brand. The words should be closely aligned with your mission statement, and memorable enough for people to repeat to each other and recognize next time they read them. Use your brand language not only in the copy of your products and advertising, but also when you discuss your business and make contacts in person.
Keep your text as streamlined and basic as you can, because it will be more memorable that way. A good example of this was the tagline Apple was using for much of the ’90’s and into the 2000s: “Think Different”. This worked on multiple levels, because it painted the brand as smart and unique, and the concept was easily slipped into discussions and other branding platforms. Two words: ingeniously effective branding.
All copy associated with your brand, including what appears on your product’s label, on your website, and in advertising materials, should match the tone you’re trying to project. For example, your company is meant to be seen as trustworthy and comfortably old-fashioned, use slightly formal language that will make your customers feel that the people who run your business are as dependable as their third grade teacher.
5.Choose a design scheme.
Your brand needs a look that’s in keeping with the tone of your brand mission and language. Are you modern and sleek? Fun and colorful? Traditional and classic? This look should be synchronized across all of your media (brochures, website, product, offices, etc.).
Design a great logo. Your logo will also be used to help embed your brand in your customer’s mind. When someone sees a check mark, they think Nike, even if there is no other branding. Your logo must be well designed (so hire a professional) and you should use it frequently and place it prominently.
Choose the colors that will represent your brand. These colors will be used as often as possible on promotional materials to help evoke your brand. Examples include McDonald’s gold and red or Google’s red, yellow, green, and blue.
Remember to keep things simple. You want your branding to be easily recognized and quickly remembered. The best way to do this is to be unique but also to be simple.
You might want to get legal protection for your visual branding and any distinctive phrases you use to describe your business or your offer
6.Involve your employees.
Communicate the importance of your brand to your employees and explain why and how you arrived at the brand identity you are promoting. You will need their support for your new branding to be effective.
Remember that everything your business does is linked to your brand in the eyes of the customer. This includes the way your employees dress and behave.
Your employees will have their own idea of what your business stands for and whether it is delivering on its promises, and they’ll provide invaluable insights along the way. Ask your employees how they believe your product is being received on the market, and don’t discount their opinions.