Your company is as unique as you are, and should have a unique message…to reflect who you are and what you do.
The main point of branding is to communicate that message and generate a response. Outlined are five areas on branding to hopefully illustrate each point and why they are important.
Brand Strategy and Message: To start your brand is not just your logo, or name – it is the feeling it evokes that separates you from the competition.
As you develop your brand (who you are) you need to include a brand strategy that will be your long term outline on developing and maintaining a successful brand that will achieve your specific goals. Obviously the main function is to make money in your field and grow, but most successful brands achieve this with other objectives. Your company and brand will need a willingness to achieve more than just profitability.
A good Example is TOMS Shoes. The company has built a strong loyal following due to the “One for One” campaign.
For each shoe sold, one person is helped.
Not only have they built a strong brand that stands out and maintains the messaging, they built the company on a simple theme of affecting lives by giving back. Through your purchases, TOMS helps provide shoes, sight, and water to people in need. Obviously the company needs to be profitable, but it started out as a company that gives back to those in need. TOMS has shown the willingness to achieve more through their company than just selling shoes.
Consistency: All areas that touch your audience require a consistent and cohesive message. You must be consistent with the logo, branding, color, type and tag line. Even images need to reflect the voice of the company. As you build brand recognition, it fuels customer loyalty.
Coke has been a master at brand recognition from the beginning. The name, the logo type, the color and images are all consistent to achieve a symphony that works together evoking a message of youth, fun and refreshment.
Emotion: Successful companies provide the emotion or lifestyle that ties you to the brand. This continues to connect the audience and build relationships.
Every human being wants to belong and connect to a group with similar likes, brand or cause. Like TOMS Shoes, how can your business connect with your audience on a deeper level? Do you provide peace of mind, make life easier, or help promote a cause? By adding this emotional connection, it will tie them back to your brand.
Harley Davison Motorcycles believes in their product and the emotional connection to its audience.
They know the Harley is tied to their lifestyle and they build on that. By creating HOG, (Harley Owners Group) they promote annual rides that promote a cause, have BBQ’s at store locations, and builds upon the brand loyalty. We all see tattoos today, but the Harley Davison Logo was one of the first logo starting in the 60’s that people tattooed on their bodies…now that is loyalty!
Flexibility: Can your brand and message change with the market? You may have started in a brick and mortar store, but to reach a wider audience you connect via the web. Here the brand and messaging still need to reflect the personality, mission and product that built your company.
Today we know that just a website is not enough, you need content!
Telling your story on a personal level resonates with your target audience. Can you brand move into social media, digital advertising, blogs? Each elements needs to build upon the brand and the messaging. Keeping your brand focused as it reaches out in the digital landscape.
Loyalty: Loyalty is having built a successful brand, product or service. Do you have a strong loyal fan base? If so…reward them!! Each person wants to feel that they are appreciated and a reward is just the way to make them feel wanted.
Sephora offers a reward based on points for product purchased in their store or online…offering a free gift based upon the level of points. Who does not like a free gift when you are at the register buying the product anyway! A great way to say thanks!
Each element is important in the branding or your product or service. Create a strong strategy, stay true to your brand, connect with a cause to reach us emotional, and reward those that help you build your brand.