5 Awesome Tips for Successful Branding
What Is A Brand?
Your brand is defined by a customer's overall perception of your business. A Successful brand has to be consistent in communication and experience, across many applications such as:
- Environment (storefront or office)
- Print, signage, packaging
- Website & online advertising,
- Content publishing
- Sales & customer service
The founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, says it even better "Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room"
A mature brand communicates instand understanding. A developing brand helps consumer understand who 'you' are in relation to what 'they' need. A poorly developed brand feels disconnected from its customers, disjointed, lacking definition.
If your brand is built on a reputation for using quality parts, customers will have a reasonable expectation that you're not going to cut corners in your supply chain. If your brand is known for innovation, customers will reasonably expect that your products will be relevant in the future.
How To Have A Successful Brand?
When you think of branding, it's important to consider it as an ongoing process instead of a "one-and-done" situation. It's not uncommon for brand to evolve as they grow ad form a better perception of what the audience likes and dislikes about it.
The most successful brand are not those that find what works and sticks to their guns no matter what. Instead, the best companies can find the right balance and integrate the insights they are visualising.
"The goal is not just to be recognisable but to be so closely identified with your company's defining characteristics that you become known for it.
The Hallmarks Of A Successful Brand
All the top companies in the world have parlayed successful branding strategies into sales and profits. Here are some of the things they do right:
1) Have A Clear Identity
A brand is more than a marketing tool; it's the way the world perceives your company. More that just using it to sell things, the most successful brands create a powerful and defined identity for their companies.
The goal is not just to be recognisable, but to be so closely identified with your company's defining characteristics that you become known for it. More importantly, your objectives crafting an identity is to define what sets you apart from your competitors
Example - Apple:
In the 1980s, Apple was known for bringing the first personal computer to the masses. After an extended down period to end the decade and start the 1990s, the company reinvented itself. No longer just a computer company, Apple pivoted its brand into luxury and innovation.
With the innovation of products like the iMac, iPod, and later the iPhone, the company ushered in a new brand identity: they were innovators who instantly brought anyone who bought their products a luxurious lifestyle. Even now, Apple likes to set itself apart from its competition with its "Think Different" company motto.
2) Focus On The Audience
In the rush to create something that looks cool or unique many times it's easy to forget who brands are for. While it's great that your team thinks your brand looks great, the stakeholders your brand need to focus on is your target audience. It's important to develop a brand you're proud of and are invested in, but if it doesn't connect with the consumers you're attempting to convert, it may all be for nothing.
Brands must always reflect their target market. Apple has succeeded because it knows which buttons to push, and which pain points to target in their customer base. Forming important insights about your audience will greatly inform how your brands ends up appearing.
Example - Whole Foods:
The organic grocery store mega-chain has created a "healthy living" brand that always stays on message and is clearly targeted toward their audience. From fun advertisements that always feature active people on the go, to their self-branded products that push the healthy and organic aspects, the company always knowns who they're speaking to.
By keeping this in mind, their branding efforts are largely successful. Their efforts have helped foster a loyal and dedicated clientele that will always splurge for products with their tag on them.
3) Always Be Consistent
One aspect that is often overlooked during branding and consumer feedback processes is consistency. Some companies may panic when they hear that a marketing campaign or branding strategy didn't land well. In a rush to "fix" things, they may go back to the drawing board and decide they need something entirely new.
While fine-tuning and constantly evolving is important, the only way consumers remember your company is if they have a clear point of reference.
By staying on message, even as your specific campaigns chance, and keeping consistent branding in design, colour choices, language, and tone, your brand will start to become associated with these individual characteristics. No matter what a specfic campaign is saying your brand will always shine through.
Best Example - McDonald's:
It's Impossible to miss McDonald's branding anywhere. No matter where in the world you are, the golden arches have become synonymous with fast-food and the friendly clown who represents them.
McDonald's has kept the logo unchanged since 1962, despite a slew of different slogans, marketing campaigns, and store redesign. However, the company's brand has come to be clearly expressed in a simple logo - quality fast food and good service
4) Keep Your Promises
Your brand explains your company's activities and goals to consumers. More than just logos, advertising, marketing and even slogans will tell customers about your company and what it represents.
One of the surest ways to lose customers is to break promises or appear dishonest. The most successful pick their message and make promises carefully, aware tha they are always able to keep them.
If you are guaranteeing something and stalking your brand's reputation on it, breaking your audience's trust will do more damage than any physical loss could. Consumers can be fickle and rebuilding a company's image is both expensive and difficult. Always stay on message and always deliver on your promises
Best Example - FedEx:
One of the key selling point of FedEx's brand is that they understand consumers. More than just boxes and dollars signs, they see their customers as people who are entrusting them with their keepsakes, valuables, and important documents.
The company goes to great lengths to connect to their audience, making themselves available on social media, offering extensive customer support, and having physical locations staffed with well-trained agents
By keeping their word FedEx engenders trust and makes sure customer always know they are a reliable service provider.
5) Form Your Brand Voice
Your brand voice is dependent on your company mission, audience, and industry. It's how you communicate with your customers, and how they respond to you. A few examples on how your brand voice could be would be professional, friendly, service-oriented, conversational, informative and many more. There are endless adjectives and possibilities that can build a brand voice behind your messaging.
Ultimately, you want to choose a brand voice that makes sense and resonates with your target customers. You'll see that if you find and use the correct brand voice, you have the strongest chance of connecting with consumers. This is particularly important when publishing blog articles or social media post. Maintaining a consistent voice will help your brand image become recognised on multiple channels in the same way. A community of followers, readers or subscribers will come to expect a certain brand voice and brand personality when they consume your content.
Best Examples - Virgin America:
Virgin America is known for its friendly and reliable customer service, and their voice constantly builds that brand.
Take their entertaining safety video whereby it is charismatic and even hip flight attendants, the on-board mood lighting and the way in which you order in-flight movies and menu items set the airline apart