Is it the logo? Is it the name? Is it the Mission or Vision of the company? Is it a promise? The myriad definitions of branding can be confusing or worse, misleading.
What is branding really?
Branding is a coherent effort to establish trust with the client about who you are, what value you bring and how you are different from the competitors.
By ‘coherent’, we mean all marketing and publicity media around your products/services deliver the same answers unequivocally to the 3 questions mentioned above. This includes the brand name, brand logo, web content, press conferences, print materials, videos, presentations etc.. When reinforced through multiple media, the target audience ‘gets’ what you are selling and how they can benefit from it as opposed to from other brands.
A brand strategy should communicate the connect between your product and the target customers’ requirements. Once you answer the 3 questions and determine your target audience, every gesture of your company towards prospective customers would emphasize on your brand. From logos to mailers, from the way your employees greet the customers on call to the staff uniform, the unspoken words constitute a brand voice that shouts out the value proposition and the character of your brand.
The Pillars on which you Build Your Brand
A logo is the fundamental place to base your strategy on. It packs your brand identity into a recognizable picture. The logo should be placed on every communication going out for your products. With time, the logo will become your brand identity. Which is why we recommend you seek professional help instead of designing your own logos.
Before creating your brand strategy, it’s important to answer the 3 questions and include them in your brand message. This is the official message that you send out to your customers. It is shaped as much by your mission and vision as it is by customer engagement goals Via this message, you should be able to explain the benefits and features of your products/services, highlight the qualities you want customers to associate with your brand and achieve your mission. Sounds like a tall order?
A social network, connecting people with friends and others across the globe.
They state plainly and clearly what they offer. It works towards their larger company mission:
To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.
With their interface and design, they communicate clearly that they are a social platform but not a strictly professional one like LinkedIn.
If your brand were a person, how would you like them to sound? Friendly? Professional? Business casual? Elite? This voice should be maintained verbally and visually through all your brand communication. If you go for a friendly brand voice, the logo, the tagline, the tone of your content should all reflect a friendly relationship with the customers. The images you design should fit into this perspective and should talk to the customer from the position of an equal than that of power.
The final step is to integrate your logo, brand message and a cogent brand voice into all your marketing efforts and stay consistent on these on all media.The target audience will form a lasting impression of you and remember your product as soon as the need arises.