What makes for a successful brand? Is it the logo? The tagline? The product? Well, it’s all of these and more! Effective branding is the sum of everything you do. It’s how you look, how you sound and how you interact with your customers.
Here are some guidelines to get you started:
The first step is to figure out how to get potential customers to notice you because unless you’re the first one ever to come out with whatever it is you are selling, chances are you’ll have a whole lot of competition. And even if you start out as a monopoly, sooner or later, someone else will start selling an alternative.
So, make sure that everything about your brand—from your logo all the way to your brand story—is unique enough to set you apart from everyone else.
Who are you and what do you stand for? What are you selling? What are you good at? Your branding should make things like these readily apparent. Your color choices, tone of voice, visuals, office and branch interiors, packaging and even the channels you use for marketing all contribute to creating a clear picture in the mind of the consumer.
Remember that if you don’t help potential customers understand what your brand is all about, then chances are they’ll go to someone else.
I’ve talked about this briefly before. Given the sheer number of marketing channels available to us today, consistency in branding has become so much more important.
You can’t expect to establish credibility by just sounding knowledgeable and serious on TV and then projecting a fun and playful image on print, social media and everywhere else. You have to come across as the same brand no matter what marketing channel you use.
The final step is to make sure that your branding perfectly matches your target market. Are you selling to low-income families or more well-off individuals? Are you a brand for yuppies or are you designed for a more mature audience? Is what you offer something that’s perfect for adrenaline junkies or is it better suited to stay-at-home-and-relax type people?
Whoever your target is, your branding must come across as something with which they can relate. Take Nike, for example. One look, and you’ll know that it’s a brand for athletes. Everything about the brand—from the words it uses all the way to the endorsers it chooses—points to that fact.
Do you have to go through all the trouble of making sure that your branding works? Well, it takes you one step closer to making a sale, and that alone should be reason enough. Think about it. Effective branding gets you noticed. Then, it makes it immediately clear to the consumer what you have to offer, effectively answering the number one question on their mind: “what’s in it for me?” Finally, it makes people want to associate themselves with you. Take all that away and a potential customer won’t even bother looking.
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