Branding basics So what is a ‘brand’ anyway and why is it so important for businesses? There are many textbook definitions for what constitutes a brand, but a simple and effective way to think about it is like this: if a brand were a person, what would other people say about them when they weren’t in the room? Ultimately, your brand is how people perceive and think of your business. For companies and even individuals, branding is a proactive way of creating, altering, enhancing and managing the perception that others have of you or your business. Perception can be a powerful thing and can determine whether a customer chooses your product over a competitor’s. How to create a brand Before you can create and build your brand, you need to clearly identify and articulate your brand’s ‘values’. In a nutshell, these should be a simple and concise summary of what your business stands for. These values should then be reflected in your company’s vision, mission, goals, products, people and culture. Your brand’s visual identity or logo is one of the easiest ways that customers will recognise you, so it’s a key component of your company’s branding. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, visually-appealing logos can significantly impact your success, so don’t think of this as a simple graphic design task. You should think about consulting design professionals – such as locally-based 4040 Creative – to ensure the end-product accurately represents your brand. Develop brand… tick! So what now? If you’re going to the effort of developing (or redeveloping) your brand, you then need to get it out in the marketplace and working hard for your business. The best way to achieve this is be developing a marketing plan. Once again this is where a creative agency can help. By having a thorough strategy that will guide marketing activities such as advertising, both your brand and bottom line will benefit. A good marketing strategy should help your business to:
- Analyse the marketplace, including competitors.
- Determine your point of difference in the marketplace. That is, how to differentiate your business and its products from competitors.
- Clearly identify your customers (target audience), their characteristics and how best to reach them.
- Promote its brand and products through highly targeted marketing activities. For example, advertising (print/TV/radio), online campaigns, sponsorships and events.
- Drive sales and profitability.
- Build a good reputation.