What is branding?
Branding is the visual identity of your brand. It’s the feeling a customer gets when they see your logo or a symbol that represents you. From the use of imagery and color palettes all the way to how you communicate to your customers. Branding creates trust which results in customers choosing your product over your competitors. If you are still figuring out who your competitors are check out our article on how to create a competitor analysis for your new product.
Figuring out how to create a brand from the start will help you to build a community of loyal customers and can determine whether your products are sold way above or way below the average rate.
Branding can be communicated through:
- Mission statement / values
- Color palettes
- Promotional content
- How your employees treat your customers
- Online presence, Social media, website, blog, podcast etc (create a ‘voice’ for your brand. The way you choose to communicate on these channels will help your customers form an image of what your business stands for)
Why is branding so important?
Our market is flooded with products and services that have very similar or even identical features. So what sets them apart or makes one more trustworthy than the other? The way they are branded. Why do you buy from certain water bottle companies or soft drink brands? The ingredients are almost identical yet you will most likely reach for that familiar brand, even if it’s double the price. This is successful branding and it can be seen everywhere, from food to fashion.
Branding attracts like minded people and this is not only the case for customers. Finding motivated and loyal employees is crucial for a long lasting and successful business. A team who understands your values and stands by the ideas behind your business is extremely important.
Creating a sustainable product and keeping in the lines of a green supply chain is a goal many emerging brands are trying to achieve. Focusing your time and money on these areas is well worth the loyalty and appreciation you will gain by customers. That is, If the customers are aware of it. Communicating this dedication to sustainability and an ethical supply chain can be done through well thought out branding.
If you are still in the designing process or want to improve your products check out our article on creating a sustainable product.
- Choose a short and catchy brand name, something unique yet easy to remember.
- Stand for something! What values and ideas do you believe in? Communicate this through your brand. People want to connect / identify with something bigger than just a brand. Create a community and keep your followers involved, this is where customer loyalty is gained. (Loyal customers will choose your products over your competitors)
- Be consistent with images, colors, fonts, layouts etc. Your style needs to be recognizable to the customer.
- People are quick to judge, make a good first impression. Catching their eye through colors and imagery is the first step. Keeping their attention, is the next.
- A brand should evolve with its market, this means changing it up and introducing new and in trend features. People are hungry for something new yet still want to connect with what is familiar. Change is good but staying within your brand identity is important. You still want your customers to recognize your brand. Eg changing up colors and packaging yet keeping logos and symbols the same. Having a couple of constant features is key.
- Research your target market. You need to style yourself considering the market you are supplying towards.
Can I create a branding strategy myself?
Before starting the branding process make sure you have a strong brand identity in place. Your ideas, values, target market and designs need to be decided on. The image you are creating through branding needs to correctly correspond with what your brand stands for. If you are still unsure how your product will compete with its chosen market check out our article on reducing start up costs using product validation.
Today people are quite tech savvy. If you have an eye for aesthetics and a creative background then branding may come with ease. No one understands your brand identity better than you do. Depending on what type of branding you want to create if you can do it without a professional then go for it.
It all comes down to time and skill level. If you’re hoping for a high quality branding strategy but don’t have the required resources or necessary skills it may cost you more on time trying to figure it out then it would having someone else do it.
If you are going to work with a marketing professional make sure they have a good understanding of your brand identity. To create logos, fonts and graphics that suit your brand they first need to connect with the ideas and values behind it. Make sure you have them create some options and collaborate on ideas so you can come up with something that best suits your image. You need to be picky, Branding is one of the first things people see and connect with.
Points to remember:
- Customers are decision makers, you need them to constantly choose you!
- Be iconic, be unique, be memorable and be noticeable.
- With a world saturated with products, create an experience.