How to create the best Brand Strategy? Every day it becomes more difficult among brands to find the differentiating element. That’s why for some years now, branding strategies have become so popular. Thus, learning how to create a brand strategy is now vital
However, creating a successful branding strategy can be challenging.
Many entrepreneurs or businesses don’t have the necessary tools or advice that best suits their needs.
Besides, the tactics that involve branding can take a long time to create.
This is even worse if you don’t know how to use them.
Because of this, today we offer you a guide on how to create a brand strategy.
Origins of Branding
Before we start explaining how to create a brand strategy, you must first know the origins of branding and its importance for business. Most experts believe this term arose as a way to differentiate one brand from another in 350 BC. The word used then came from the term “Brandt” which meant to mark with fire in the Norse language.
Years later, around 1500 AD, some ranchers used marks on their cattle. This way, they were able to know which ones were theirs and which ones weren’t. The signs they used were simple and easily identifiable. These took the meaning of the Nordic term literally since these marks used fire to mark the animal’s skin. Their designs, on the other hand, gave way to what we know today as a logo.
The passage of the years meant a modification in the way of branding. Now there are new ways to brand the products we make. Today companies use much more complex and meaningful techniques that make it easier to stand out from the competition.
Brand and Branding aren’t the same
Even if most of us use these words as synonyms, they don’t mean the same. This is a fact that you must know when building a branding strategy. Otherwise, you can confuse the tactics and processes that you must carry out with your company.
What makes them different is very easy to understand. First, we’ll tell you what a brand is. The brand of a company is the perception that your customers have about the company. This includes what they think about it and the emotions they have around your business.
The process of creating a brand needs a lot of daily detailed work. This way, you can take care of the messages you’re going to send to your audience. These messages are the ones in charge of creating a positive or negative perception for your clients. This, when it comes to your company’s values.
On the other hand, branding is every action that a specialist or company makes to ensure a positive perception from customers. In other words, branding is the almost indelible mark on the minds of consumers. These traces are marked through design, language, and experience directed to specific objectives.
Branding: Ideal for SMEs or large companies?
The size of your business is a crucial factor in understanding what strategy you should carry out.
However, branding guides or strategies are essential in all businesses right from the start.
This is so because it helps to implement the objectives of the company. Besides, it also influences its consumers in a much clearer way. Thus, reducing the time needed to grow as a company.
As we said before, you must start working on branding strategies the moment you create your business. These tactics are vital to create a good image focused on your company’s values. As a result, it achieves clearer and more precise actions from customers.
What is branding so important?
You already know a little about the important aspects of branding for every business. One of them is its identification quality. This allows businesses to be memorable and customers to feel much more comfortable shopping.
Branding strategies are also important because they work as backup tactics for your marketing strategies. For example, they help foster a sense of belonging between internal business communications. On the other hand, they also motivate external customers to bond with the brand.
Here are some of the main factors to have a branding strategy:
- It’s vital when generating a purchase. Many aren’t comfortable buying from a business they are unfamiliar with. If this business isn’t a brand they identify with, customers won’t go to your business. That’s why potential customers convert with brands they feel comfortable with. All thanks to their ability to work with their clients and create a connection with them.
- It’s just about the identity of the product or service. As we said before, it’s a way of creating a connection between the business and the client.
- Your company will stay in the minds of every potential consumer. If you carry out an impressive branding strategy, you won’t get out of the minds of your customers.
- It works as a backup strategy between advertising and marketing. Branding isn’t a strategy that works on its own. As a result, you must support it with advertising and marketing. This way, you will gain greater recognition and boost among other companies in your field.
- Promotes a sense of belonging within the organization. Your first clients and those who should identify the most with the company should be your own staff. This helps to create a good reputation and strong identity among others. As a result, this attracts collaborators and more highly trusted first-hand recommendations.
Most common types of branding
If you want to learn how to create a brand strategy, you must know that branding strategies are more complex than you think.
Also, they aren’t all the same.
There are different approaches to branding that will help you boost your business.
Here are just some of the most important and used:
- Attitudinal branding: this is by marketers who seek to attract a group of consumers or clients who have a common attitude. For this, they personalize the business to create an attractive attitude for them.
- Emotional branding: this type of branding seeks to appeal to emotions and make them the main focus of the organization. Most often than not, it appeals to emotions such as nostalgia, joy, euphoria, or any other that helps the consumer to identify with their messages.
- Social branding: focused on highlighting the value that your business has within society, social branding is commonly used in non-profit organizations or in business campaigns that want to contribute to social, political, or environmental causes within different communities.
- Product-focused branding: This is a type of branding used to position a company’s products among different products from different industries or categories. It’s also known as a form of positioning in the market according to its denomination.
Basic terminology of Branding
A vital element of learning how to create a brand strategy is getting to know the basic terms. If you’re new in the market, it’s normal that you don’t know them. Besides, within the internet, there are different marketing “experts who use the words in the wrong way. That’s why here we’ll show you a basic glossary full of all the terms you need to understand. This way, you will know how to create a brand strategy:
The term brand awareness stands for how easy can your target audience identify you.
Companies that are recognized tend to be called “trendy” or popular.
Because of this, people must know your brand, as this is what will allow you to be their first option when making a purchase.
In this sense, strong marketing strategies allow companies to gain recognition and remain in people’s minds.
This consists of all those products that expand their market or enter new industries.
Brand extensions are ideal for, once they have public recognition, other needs that your target may have.
Added to this, it’s also helpful to create new income streams, diversify your line of products or services and have greater notoriety among similar businesses.
Branding isn’t just about a name, a logo, and a color palette. Brand identity is about the personality your business has.
Imagine your company as a person: what are their favorite activities? How do they communicate? What do they prefer to do? What are the colors they use the most?
Brand identity is also the promise you make to your customers and all the experiences you offer them.
The brand identity is made up of its values, the way of communicating between clients, and the mission that they have with their clients.
Brand identification is what can be seen with the naked eye by all consumers.
Your target audience can recognize your brand with a logo, a phrase, or slogan, a unique typeface, its advertisements or packaging, even with a catchy song.
This term is linked to what is known as brand memory, which is the ability to think about a business without the need to have an audiovisual element to remind you of it. A good branding strategy allows you to live in the mind of your target “rent-free”.
Branding 101: Basic Guide to know how to create a brand strategy
Before, we told you all the bases you need to understand to start working on the branding of your business.
However, there is another basis as important as the previous points.
The work of creating a branding strategy must begin with the communication and understanding of who you are. In other words, this part of the process can be divided into two phases: determining the mission and vision of the company.
On the one hand, a company’s mission is a statement of what the company does and what its current status is. However, the vision is really the engine of the business.
This is because it’s all the wishes that companies have to achieve in the long term and how they want to be seen in the future.
You must now mix up these two because each element or action taken by organizations will be collected in a brand manual. A brand manual is a document that contains all the philosophy and basic aspects of a company’s branding.
What does a brand manual contain?
All brand manuals should contain:
- Business objectives.
- What sets you apart from the competition?
- Behavior with customers.
- Provides some guidelines for decision-making.
- Inspire ideas for future marketing campaigns.
Steps to create a branding strategy
To start creating a successful branding strategy, you must know that this process is continuous. These tactics are essential to turn your business into an unforgettable company for all your clients. Here are some steps to follow to start the process to create a brand:
Define your target
Before you publicize your business, gain the recognition and trust of customers, you must define who your target buyer is. For your company to truly become a pillar of your audience, you first have to know what they want from your business.
The first step in market research is to ask yourself some questions such as: Who is my organization aimed at? Who is your ideal client? Why did you create your business in the first place? What are the needs and tastes of your consumer? How do you communicate? Among others.
Once you learn about your target market, their needs, tastes, and how they behave when buying, your branding strategy has a clear focus. By understanding who you are targeting, you can start working to prioritize their needs and truly offer them a strategy that suits them.
Define your unique values, qualities, and benefits
These items should also be within a brand manual. Determining the values, qualities, and benefits that make your company unique in the industry will help you discover added value within the market.
Another important point when defining these aspects is that without them, it’s harder to create a branding strategy that helps you stand out from the competition.
So, don’t only spend time on the visual aspect, take some time within the creation of your strategy to create a list with these elements.
Determine what your differentiating characteristics in terms of the contributions your services and products offer to consumers are. After this, use them to boost your business.
Create your visual assets
Once you have the intangible elements of your brand such as the values, mission, vision, and defined the groups and audiences with which you’re going to work; it’s time to move on to something more tangible. Having mastered these elements, now you need to focus on the creative works of the company.
From now on, you can start with the creation of your color palette, fonts, and options for logos, iconography, and other visual components.
The more you work with these elements, the easier it will be to create a style that defines your company. This way, whoever uses or works with the brand in the future will have consistent guidance.
We know that creative work isn’t easy. Because of this, you should seek support from experts in graphic design. After all, they are the ones who know about colorimetry and know how to create a brand identity.
Find the voice of your brand
Take a few minutes to imagine your company as a person. Now ask yourself, how does my business talk to people? What words does it use? Is it more formal or casual when addressing others?
Finding a brand voice means finding how you will communicate with your target audience.
This voice is what will make your messages resonate in the minds of your customers and capture their attention.
You shouldn’t take this for granted because it’s one of the most important. If you can’t find a way to reach your audience from the way you speak or write your content, you will never grab their interest. Use this voice in your social media, website, print media, billboards, and any other channel you choose to advertise your brand.
Bring out your brand
Once the design and development phases are finished, you can start to implement branding in every part of your business.
It isn’t just about creating the branding strategy and leaving it there.
As we said before, this is a constant process done throughout the company. Besides, it’s a process regularly monitored to know if it’s releasing the expected results.
Here are some tips for applying your brand throughout your organization.
Branding on a website
Use your logo and color palette throughout the website.
Don’t forget to work with the best typography as this will be your cover letter to potential clients. If you can, try not to use already predefined visuals. This way, you will create a unique page and represent your business in the best way.
Besides, you must also implement the voice of your brand in every piece of text you make. For example, calls for action as well as the description of products and services.
Branding on social media
Social media is less customizable than websites.
However, this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t allow you to create a unique account for your business.
Use your logo as your profile photo as well as in posts if possible. Here you can give yourself a lot of freedom with your brand’s voice as this is what is really going to attract customers.
Keep your profiles optimized and updated with SEO tools to attract new consumers who may want to try your products. Don’t leave any visuals to chance.
Branding in advertising
Every day digital advertisements become much stronger in terms of the impact they offer brands.
That’s why each ad you make must be created with the greatest detail.
This way, you will be able to show who you are as a company.
Good advertising consists of a strong brand voice and meticulous work on all visuals working in unison.
5 branding tips for an SME
If your business is just starting, and you need to create a branding strategy but don’t have the support of experts and professionals in the area, here are five tips that will help you create a branding strategy without failing in the attempt.
Treat your company like a person
We already told you this before in this guide on how to create a brand strategy. Imagine your business as a person and, like every individual, discover their personality, tastes, behaviors, and the experience they make you feel.
Create a brand profile by asking some questions like: What would someone say about your brand after meeting it for the first time? How would your brand talk about its products or services? Is the brand serious and professional, or fun and out of the ordinary?
Each of these questions will help you better understand the way your business is and know more about its purpose when establishing a relationship with customers.
As part of the process of learning how to create a brand strategy, you must know that a common mistake of all small businesses is inconsistency.
When we talk about inconsistency we mean the gaps that occur within the same brand and on different platforms.
So, once you establish the colors, the voice, and the typography of your business, you must now change them any time you want. Be consistent and don’t forget your brand identity.
Another important step to learn how to create a brand strategy is establishing your strategy’s goals.
These goals generally revolve around purpose, emotion, flexibility, competitive awareness, and employee engagement.
Without them, you can’t review the work you carried out because you won’t know whether they had results.
Don’t let inspiration turn to imitation
You must know your competition very well and what their tactics are to attract new customers.
However, on many occasions, we can get very excited about these businesses.
As a result, we get lost in the want to work in the same way as them. This means that we end up copying their content, ways of communicating, and creating a whole new strategy that doesn’t suit our values.
Focus on your audience, who you are, and your own differentiating aspects before these brands. Find a way to become unique so that you remain in the minds of others. Don’t let your momentum get inspired to end in a constant theft of ideas and jobs.
Use branding in your hiring
When learning how to create a brand strategy, you must have in mind that your first clients are the members of your company. Because of this, you must enhance the aspects that really motivate your workers.
This way you will make them the carriers of your business. Give them some kind of inspiration for the tangible and intangible aspects of your brand. By doing this, you will be giving them a much more powerful business experience.
In short, get involved and become part of the lives, minds, and hearts of your customers (internal and external) to boost your brand. Branding is a job that takes time to create but if you do it well, it will be the key element for the success of your business.
BluCactus, your ally in Digital marketing
BluCactus international marketing agency serves clients all over the world. Our specialty? The creation of web designs and SEO positioning in online searches. Brand strategy. Our group of experts focuses on helping businesses and brands succeed in one of the most competitive sectors in the market, the digital world.
BluCactus will accompany you in every step that your brand takes. This goes from the creation of the branding of your business to the creation of content. Our focus is on supporting you with the development of your website or the administration of your accounts on social media.
This online marketing agency, based in Toronto, ON, seeks to strengthen your image as a brand and take it to the next level. Don’t wait any longer to have the help of the best specialists in digital marketing and contact us through our social media or website.
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