In the first blog of this series we learned what brands are and what branding is. If you have not read Branding, Brands and Bran, I suggest you go back and do so before moving forward. Today we will explore some questions that pop up when we enter the world of branding.
Why do you want to build a brand?
To run a successful business, it is important to define your vision. Building a brand puts everyone involved on track. Whether you are keeping yourself on track, or it be employees and your business team. A brand puts into perspective the goal your business has set to reach.
Another reason to build a brand is to avoid the commodity trap. Commodities are products or services that a customer can not differentiate one from another. Think about searching online for a phone case on Amazon, if you are presented with a bunch of options that are essentially the same, you usually end up picking the cheapest option. Now say you are presented with the option of a life proof case or and otter box phone case. Even though the prices of these brands are significantly higher than the no-name case that claims to have a similar quality, you are likely to pick the brand you trust over taking a risk on the no-name product.
What are you branding?
Although I am pretty sure you know what your business offers, it is still important to ask this question.
Branding products helps to create consumer loyalty and the ability to open the doors to premium pricing.
If you are offering services, you are building trust in your brand before the customer decides to go into business with you. Customers are using your brand promises to measure how accurately their needs will be met.
Branding the individual is the reflection of personal reputation. Personal branding is the creation of awareness of who the individual is, what they stand for, and what they contribute to the world. Branding of the individual highlights expertise, enhances visibility and helps with influential gains.
(BranDid is an individual/personal brand.)
How do you start branding?
To begin the branding process, it is important to figure out what you are branding. Once you are sure about your products, services or individual it is time to for you to do your research. This is known as market research, where you find out everything you need to know about your customers and everything you need to know about the products or services you are selling. Market research is extremely important and often a large task. (A whole series of blog posts on its own so look out for it in the future). Now it is time to position your product, service or self. This is taking your market research and figuring out where you fit into the market and the mind of your customer. This is where you dig real deep and figure out what makes you different from competitors and how you can convince your customers that you are better. For personal/individual branding, this means and extensive look into your resume and portfolio and analyzing what you are really made of. Next you must write your brand definition which is the true statement of what your brand stands for. In this statement describe what you offer, why you offer it, and why you are different and better than your competitiors. This is a step that is important because it sets the foundation that your brand will be built on.
Once you have your statement in stone you can then develop you name, logo and tagline. before setting a name do a business search on the State Corporation Commission website. This search ensures that there is not another business in the state of operation with the same name. This step eliminates the hassle of having to change your name because the one you want is taken. Once you are satisfied with the cosmetic presentation of your brand it is time to launch your brand. It is important to launch from the inside out. Make sure any managers, employees and key partners have a clear understanding of the brand before you go public. Once you launch it comes the time to manage and protect your brand. You do this by practicing consistency in look, message, and customer communication quality. Remember that first impressions are lasting impressions and branding on a blank slate is the first opportunity for success of a brand.
Sometimes it is also necessary for a brand to realign its message so don’t be afraid to revamp your brand as the times change. Your core values should stay the same, but a face lift is a good move if you see that the brand is outdated.
These are just a few questions concerning the branding process. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask me.
Until next time…. Happy Branding!