In day to day life, many of the people knowingly or unknowingly, quiet concerned about ‘brands’. We divide most of the products or services as ‘branded’ and ‘unbranded’. By ‘branded’ we might want to say ‘of good quality’ or ‘expensive’, but somewhere subconsciously, there is an impact of a company branding strategy on us.
Once as a consumer, we understand how important or how much impact ‘brands’ have on us, it is time to think as a business owner. As business owners, we must be focusing on giving good service, supplying quality goods or products, building a good relationship with the consumers, etc. And doing this is very important for us. But, following only these things will not make us a brand. Then, what is it which differentiates ‘yet another Business’ from ‘a valuable Brand’?
First we need to understand what branding actually mean? The dictionary definition of branding may be explained as ‘the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design’. But in simple words, branding can be explained as ‘a unique identity of your name’. Yes, it is that simple. But making people perceive your Business as a Brand is not easy. Lot of things goes behind the scene to build a brand. First let’s take a look at benefits of having a Brand over just a Business.
Benefits of Building a Brand
- Get Ahead of Your Competitors
- Increases Your Perceived Value
- Helps You Survive For a Long Term
- Keep Attracting New Customers
- More Business!
You might think that you already know the benefits of having a brand. You might have a doubt that building a brand is expensive. Also some might debate that it is the matter of bigger companies. But wait! Several decades have passed and various big companies (FMCGs, Automobiles, etc.) have spent crores of rupees just in order to establish themselves as brands. They had to do it because their target audience, area of service, product distribution, manufacturing, etc. too is on a larger scale.
But, even though you own a medium or even a small local business, there are numerous benefits of building a brand. And it shouldn’t be that expensive as compared to bigger companies.
Now, we know the importance of building a brand and a possibility of building one even on low budget by small business. But what will make it happen? How to approach it?
Following are few tips to help your turn your ‘yet another business’ into a well identified and unique brand.
1. Catchy & Unique Name
Have you ever noticed that many of the brand names don’t have that common and general name which every other similar business in different cities have. They usually have short and unique names (except few). Is that the reason what makes it sound as a ‘brand’? Definitely it is the most important factor contributing in creating your unique identity.
Thus, deciding and labeling your business with a catchy & unique name should be the first step you should take while building a brand. Following are few tips which will help you decide finalize an awesome ‘brandable’ name for your business.
- Try to keep it a single word name. If you are using 2 words, then make sure to rhyme them (more than 2 words are fine only if the abbreviation sounds good)
- The word should be catchy & memorable and should reflect the type of your business (or else you can simply put your industry extension to sound like a company from a specific industry)
- You can find words from different languages or can even create a new word by mixing & matching several words
- Avoid funky names (except if your type of business demands likewise)
- Don’t use phonetically as well as textually complex words
2. Logo & Identifiable Graphics Design
Most of the impact a brand leaves over us besides its name is through the visuals. Close your eyes and call out any brand which comes in your mind. The first thing that will come in front of your eyes is its logo. Because logo is the ‘face’ of a brand, right? We identify a brand only through its logo (besides its products or type of service which comes later). And it is also not just the logo.
Subconsciously, your brain also perceives the colour schemes or the visual theme used by the brand in its products, advertisement copies, etc. Now you know that this too is the most impacting factor on the customers. Thus, it is a time to build a nice logo & graphics for our own brand too. You can use these logos & graphics at your office or shop interior, social media profiles, website design, advertisement creative, etc.
Following are the tips you should keep in your mind while getting your logo & graphics designed.
- Keep it simple! No complex design please.
- Have a dual or maximum of tri colour scheme in your logo. Avoid using too many colours.
- Maintain similar colour scheme everywhere.
- Visually the logo should ‘feel’ that it belongs to your industry.
3. Mission Statement or Tag Line
A tag line or the mission statement of a company increases its brand value. A tag line should not just compliment your brand name, but also should strongly project that what you are looking to accomplish in your industry. It is called a mission statement for a reason. Be it you wanting to help maximum number of people with your solution, wanting to become a leader in certain segment, making a revolution by taking certain step, etc.
This mission & vision of yours should be a part of your tag line. This will not only male your potential customers understand your ambition, but also give you an edge over your competitors. Mission statement should not only show your ambition, but also must be catchy & memorable enough.
Remember those advertisements on the television? We have become so familiar with them that even if the brand name is heard, we immediately know what their tag line is. Following are few things you should keep in mind while deciding your mission statement or tag line.
- Don’t make it too long
- Avoid using ‘Number 1 in…’ tag
- Make it universal yet specific
- Avoid using ‘but obvious’ statements
- Keep it relevant to your industry
- Make it about people & not just about you
4. Promote Business via Your Story
Who runs the business? Who builds a brand? They are the people behind them. Humans! Though logo & brand name is necessary to build a brand, your customers are not going to get connected with your logo. Humans get connected with humans. Thus, in today’s world where there are numerous other businesses that sell similar products or offer similar services like yours, what is it which will make you different? It’s the story behind your brand.
Everyone can compete on the basis of offerings, pricing and marketing strategies. But your story is what makes you and it makes you different from your competition. Thus, if you want to get established as a brand, it is important to use the story behind your business to get emotionally connected with your targeted customers. Here are few tips for constructing a good story around your brand.
- Mention what motivated you to get into this business
- Having your vision & a mission stated is important
- Design your story beneficial for audience and not just about bragging about yourself
- Have an inspirational factor in your story
- Your story should have a beginning, a middle and an end
- End your story with a conclusion
5. Have Presence Wherever Necessary
This could be debatable. Many of the digital marketers out there may say that you must focus only on few platforms which you think could be effective and can bring results. This could be true to a certain extent. But here, we are not talking about advertising or generating leads. Here we are talking about building a brand. Thus, it is important for you to utilize every other platform out there.
This will not only result in wider reach & awareness, but whenever someone searches for your brand on Google, all the profiles will be visible acquiring the larger space on search engine result page (SERP). Plus you do not know where your target audience might find you).
Following are the platforms where you should try to be present and active.
- Social Media Platforms (Facebook, Instagram (B2C), LinkedIn (B2B), YouTube, Twitter, etc.)
- Business Listings if you are a local business (Google My Business, Sulekha, Just Dia, etc.)
- Posting Blogs, Podcasts & Videos on your Website
6. Create Valuable Content
According to the statistics, about 84% people expects brands to build content. This not only helps increase your credibility amongst your target audience, but also helps increase your authority. Yes! Someone who puts their opinion or throws light on certain aspects relevant to their industry, helps educate people, disseminates information & also keeps people entertained is seen as an authority amongst the people.And creating relevant and valuable content is the best way to achieve it.
Content creation will not only help you for branding, but also will be beneficial for marketing. Content marketing is the way you can utilise the content to market your products or services.
Following are few content types which you can start producing under your brand name.
- Informative Blog Posts
- Pod Casts
- Educational as well as Entertaining Videos
- Creative Pictorial content like Memes, Infographics, Quotes, Customer Stories, etc.
7. Build A Community
This is the strategy every bigger brand uses. Marketers call it the ‘single most effective strategy for brading’. As you know, we humans are social animals. Even though we might have started practicing individualism, there is a huge longing for ‘belongingness’ within our mind. Have you noticed when there is a debate about a certain thing, generally people taking side of one thing (political party, a film actor, an ideology, a brand, etc.) tend to feel ‘belongingness’ to other people supporting the same?
Making use of this human tendency, lot of big companies has become successful in building a long lasting brand. Thus, when you start your branding & marketing strategy design, building a community around it should always be included in your plan. Because, once you do a sale, your marketing is not over!
A person who buys from you once is three times more likely to buy from you again compared to the person whom you are selling first time. But, this requires certain catering to your audience. This is where building a community helps!
Following are few things you can do in order to build a community around your brand.
- Have a platform to host your community (Facebook Group, WhatsApp Group, Forum, etc.)
- Give deals, offers and discounts especially for your community
- Have some label to your community like [your company] tribe, [your company]ians, [your company] squad, etc.
- Get made & distribute your merchandise free of cost as a gift for your community members
- Organize your community meetups, but with some other purpose than just your promotion
From the above tips and strategies, what we have learned is that we need to approach branding as value building. And building a brand is long term process. Brands are not built in a day. But consistent efforts, creativity, being valuable to your audience and keeping 360 degree approach will surely result in your audience valuing you. Also, it is an ongoing process. And once the brand is built, you can reap its amazing benefits for a long!
Want us to help you build your brand? We will love to! Let us connect and discuss about how we can turn your business into a brand.