Building a strong brand is a fundamentally important practice among young businesses. Strong branding is one of the most important factors in determining whether a business will be well received by the target audience. That, in turn, will define whether or not the business can succeed or if it will fail. There are 4 generally agreed upon steps to building a strong brand. Define the business’s identity, establish the brand meaning, elicit a customer response, and create a relationship between the brand and the consumer.
The first step in building a strong brand, or in rebranding, is defining the business’s identity to the consumer. Who is this brand? Creating a memorable identity for the business in the customer’s mind allows the company to begin building a strong relationship between the consumer and the business. Differentiating a brand can start at this stage. By stating who the brand is, an image or idea of that brand starts to form in the customer’s mind.
A strong brand has to have meaning. Establishing a well thought-out and easy-to-understand brand allows the consumer to relate the business idea to the goal of that business. By creating meaning, a brand can tell the consumer what that brand is about and what the brand values are. Without a proper brand, the consumer can’t know what a business is about, what the business is, and its goals.
Elicit Consumer Response
Creating a consumer response is about eliciting a feeling or emotion from the consumer through branding. The emotions and feelings that a brand triggers in the consumer are extremely important in the decisions that the consumer then makes about a business. If a brand elicits positive feelings from the consumer, it is more likely to be well received. As a result, the brand will build a stronger connection with the consumer. Contrastingly, if a brand elicits a negative feeling, it is more likely to be passed over in favor of a more positive brand reaction.
The last step in building a brand or rebranding is to consider what kind of relationship with the consumer is ideal. It is to make the consumer ask what kind of relationship with the brand is being created. What relationship does the brand build with the customer base? Is the goal to have the consumer be a frequent patron? Creating a relationship between the consumer and the brand that is part of the consumer daily life is one possibility. Or is the brand, in the consumer mind, something to be saved for special occasions? Some brands thrive off being seasonal or special occasion brands. The type of relationship that the customer has with the brand in their mind will determine that person’s consumption habits regarding the brand.
Creating your Cool or Catchy Brand
When creating a brand, a business may have many goals in mind. One such goal is to create a memorable brand that is different from other brands on the market. Branding experts have said that to be successful, cool, or catchy, a brand must have its own individuality and personality despite ever changing environments. It must be something that is appealing to more than a small group of consumers.
While niche brands have their place and can carve out space for themselves in the market, a brand that wishes to be large must be unique but have a broad appeal. Creating some sense of exclusivity will make a brand more desirable, but the brand must also have accessibility.
Create a Unique Promise
One way to differentiate a brand from competitors is to make a meaningful promise to consumers. As a brand, the promise made to consumers must be one that can be fulfilled; however, it must also be important and unique to that brand. Pick one thing that is meaningful to both the brand and the target consumers. One promise that the brand will fulfill every transaction that will elicit a positive response from consumers will set that brand apart. This requires knowledge of the target consumer and what will be considered meaningful to that kind of consumer.
Offer More Than a Product
Very often, brands can become obsessed with creating and selling the perfect product. Something to keep in mind is that the average consumer is not just looking for the perfect product in today’s market. What is more likely to be purchased is a product that isn’t quite perfect, but that has an amazing experience wrapped around it. Something like a restaurant that serves great food isn’t Michelin quality, but that teaches the customer something about the region where the food originates. That brand is more likely to attract consumers than a Michelin starred restaurant with no story or experience.
Include Unique Touches
There is something hugely compelling about those special touches unique to certain brands. If, as a brand, something unique can be offered to a consumer, that builds a point of separation between that brand and a competitor. Something simple that can be unique to the brand being built can create a sticking point in the consumer’s memory. A small touch that the consumer can relate to that brand and that brand alone will form a positive memory in that consumer’s mind.
That memory will come to mind when the consumer next needs a product in that sector. It is one differentiating factor that can be included in a brand to set it apart from competitors. This again requires knowledge of the ideal consumer of a brand, as well as competitors’ branding techniques. Knowledge of where a brand can separate itself from others in the arena can be invaluable in the branding process.
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