How to Build a Brand That Resonates With Customers
When you think about soda, most of you would immediately think, “Coca-Cola.” Princess characters? Disney. Phones? Apple. Samsung. Pop Queen? Beyonce. Annoying orange? Trump, and so on. The point is these things don’t only pop in your head because of their products (or even the quality of their products). You recognize them because of their relationship with their customers, what people think of them, and their reputation in the marketplace. That’s how branding works.
While most people know and understand what a brand is, however, many of them don’t understand how to build one. A lot of them still get caught up in the brand vs. product argument. As the great brands of the world have proven, however, those two go hand in hand. No matter what kind of prestige Apple, Samsung, and all the other competing phone brands have, they’ll be worthless without competitive products. Fortunately, building a brand that resonates with customers today can be done by anyone. They simply require careful consideration.
Cohesive Branding: The Only Brands That Matter
Before we get into the steps of building a brand that resonates with customers, you have to first understand one of the most important aspects of brand development: cohesiveness. You have to convey one united message to your audience. If you do, you get these:
Strong Brand Identity
Do you really trust a coffee place if one day you get in and get a great cup of coffee and the next you get a watered-down cup of garbage? No. Some of you might give it a second chance but other people would immediately think they’re not worth it. After all, the experience can be a bit unsettling. That’s what customers experience with inconsistent brands.
With cohesiveness, however, you have consistency. You have only one image imprinted into your customer’s minds. And you have only one face for them to think about.
Like memorizing a song or memorizing the answers to a test, consistency is the key to make them stick in your mind. That’s the same with brands. Keep presenting your brand in one way and once the time rolls around for your customers to decide, you’ll be the first one on their minds.
When customers know what to expect from you, they’ll be able to trust you and do business with you. If your brand isn’t cohesive, however, they can turn away in suspicion. Cohesiveness and consistency are where you start building on your relationship with your customers.
Branding That Resonates With Your Audience
It’s quite easy for a brand to go haywire especially in the hands of your customers. So instead of letting them do the job for you, define your brand even before you break out into the market. Here’s how.
Step 1: Do Your Research
When building a business, you look at the market and look for gaps and needs you can fill. On the other hand, when it comes to building a brand, you need to understand more than the climate of the market and the trends. You need to understand your customers and competitors.
When researching your customers, look at what factors encourage them to make a purchase, what makes them loyal to certain brands, and what perceptions they have of the services and products you offer. It’s also wise to look at the demographics and do customer segmentation. This way, you can understand why certain groups of people would purchase your product and what matters to each of them. This would also affect how you would be presenting your message. Insights straight from your current customers would also be incredibly helpful since they’ll be providing you the client-view of what they’d want from your brand.
After your customers, switch your focus on your competitors and analyze how they present themselves to their audience. Look at their social media, their websites, and the like to gain a feel of their style.
Step 2: Define Your Brand
Once you have all the data you need from the external factors affecting your brand, you can use that in combination with the elements that your business stands for (values, missions, personality) to define your brand. Ask yourself what you want your brand to be. Do you want it to be professional, fun, elegant, eccentric?
The most important thing you have to remember though is that you have to deeply understand your brand. One way to achieve this is to use a S.W.O.T analysis to examine the most important aspects of your brand. Feedback from others is also valuable and would help you understand how you connect to other people.
Step 3: Create the Brand’s Components
Now that you have the core of your brand in place, you can start developing the creative elements that will present your brand to your customers. This is where your brand look and personality starts taking shape.
The most important of these elements is your logo. It’s your mark. It’s your signature. Whether it’s a photo or text, you have to determine what color palette, iconography, and typography you’ll be using. Remember, your logo should be simple and memorable but also versatile. Think of Nike’s check, Apple’s apple with a missing bite, or Gucci’s facing G’s. They’re simple things but one glance at them and we know just how huge the companies behind those logos are.
In addition to your logo, you should also determine your brand voice and personality. Think back on how you defined your brand and build on that. Your brand’s personality is what allows you to build relationships with your customers and your brand voice is the language that helps you convey that personality to them. If you’re a fun brand, you might want some bright and preppy language. If you’re more high-end, then you may want to use more well-mannered language.
Step 4: Build a Branding Strategy
Now that you have your brand, it’s time for the world to know about it. And at this point, it’s time your marketing efforts make an entrance. To determine what marketing tactics and strategies you should do, however, you need to define your brand strategy by the goals you want to achieve. Do you want to increase brand awareness? Do you want to introduce a new product? Are you breaking into a new market?
When it comes to marketing your brand, both advertising and marketing campaigns on social media are crucial. Advertising drives awareness while social media gives your customers a channel to converse with you. This is where your brand voice and personality would really come to play. While constructing materials for these, consider factors like consistency and its emotional impact on your audience. Be sure to include frequent engagement as well in your brand strategy to show your customer’s you are listening and are interested in their thoughts.
Step 5: Analyze and Keep Refining
One of the main reasons all these big brands today have gotten so big and have become such icons is because of years and years of refining their branding. After putting your brand out there, analyze results, and keep improving on them. Use analytics tools and also check your metrics. Also, check social media. It’s a treasure box of data that can give you a sense of what people are saying about you and what they think of you. Use these data and keep refining until your brand has reached a state of consistently delivering the results you’re looking for.
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