What is Business Branding?
Branding is the marketing practice of defining your business to yourself, your team and all your external audiences. Your brand should embody the core of what your business is and what values it stands for not just it’s “look” or “sound”.
Business Branding Done Well:
A trap that many businesses tend to fall into, when it comes to determining their “brand”, is getting caught up in focusing all of their attention on the product or service and how it leads to customers and revenue. If this sounds like you STOP! This is not the way to go about branding your business. Your brand should communicate the very essence of your company’s identity and values, not merely it’s material offering.
Take, for instance, the idea of marketing soft drinks: There are countless cola options available to the general public, so why is it that Coca-Cola and Pepsi (the indisputable mega-houses of this segment) have such successful and established “brands”?
The answer is that Coca-Cola and Pepsi don’t approach the delivery of their message as a purely product-oriented solution. They market an experience to their audience, which aims to communicate a shared understanding of what their customers want out of their interaction with the brand. Coca-Cola and Pepsi offer more than thirst quenching, they market happiness and joy and an eagerness to take on the world!
Another common way these brands avoid focusing on the physical product, but instead connect with the consumer on an emotional level, is through celebrity endorsements. This tactic adds further humanisation and aspirational desire to the brand and therefore a greater chance for customers to connect on a personal level.
How Can You Define Your Brand Like The Experts?
Before you can do anything about getting the word out about your fabulous brand you need to understand exactly what you’re trying to communicate. This is likely to be a time-consuming process, but if done right, this will set the tone for all your business efforts (internally and externally) both now and in to the future.
This step should feel like a form of business self-discovery and leave you with a clear brand identity. To start you’ll need to be able to answer the following questions about your business:
- What is your company’s mission?
- What benefits and features do your products or services provide?
- How do your customers and prospects currently view your company?
- What qualities do you want your customers and prospects to associate with your company?
- How does your company differ from competitors?
By answering the above you should gain a good idea of what your business’ offering is (both tangible and intangible). Be aware of what space in the market your offering occupies and research the emotive and rational needs and concerns of these customers and prospects.
Humanising Your Brand:
Think about what your brand’s character is, what is it promising to deliver? This should promote your business, connect with your customers and differentiate you from the market. Think of your brand as a person. What are its beliefs and values that could connect it with individuals with a shared purpose? By building a living brand you create emotion. Business branding is what can turn a cold-faced, corporate organisation into a warm and welcoming company that users trust and support to build long-term relationships with customers.
Now you have a clear identity with which to craft your company’s personality and can conduct all of your business. With this tactic you’ll be able to capture your audiences interest and secure them as life-long customers by following these simple steps, which utilise your swish new brand identity:
- Get a great logo and make it seen! Put it everywhere. Make it unique and memorable.
- Determine and write down your brand message and ensure all employees understand and adhere to this message.
- Integrate you brand and create a brand “voice”. Your brand message should extend to every aspect of your business; how you answer the phone, how your salespeople present themselves, email signatures and so on. Ensures that communication across the entire company is succinct and consistent in order to create a reliable, trustworthy image. This voice needs to be applied to all verbal, written and visual communication, both online and offline.
- Develop a tagline that neatly communicates your brand’s essence in a meaningful and memorable way.
- Design templates and determine standards for all marketing materials so that variables like colour scheme, logo placement and overall look are consistent. Keep in mind that this doesn’t need to be overly fancy, but it does need to be universally applied.
- Deliver on your brand promise! Most important of all is that you deliver on your brand promise. Customers won’t stay loyal or become brand advocates who rake in referrals if you don’t meet your promises.
Business Branding can transform a company from an unknown name on the market into a trusted friend for customers, so while it can be a tedious and time-consuming task, it is worthwhile. Give your business a push today and develop a brand identity you can be proud of.