There are millions of brands in today’s competitive market; consequently, your business needs an identity to separate it from the rest.
There is a widespread misconception regarding brands. Many small businesses think that the word ‘Brand’ only applies to businesses with a larger footprint and consumer recognition. This is certainly not the case. With creativity, the right skill, authenticity and proper execution, your business can build a brand that connects with your audience like never before.
This brings us back to the question, how can my business benefit from branding? Which is usually followed by how can I turn my business into a brand? We have decided to avoid overcomplicating things that we will break down each element of branding and discuss each one separately for better oversight. Defining your brand can be tricky, but we are here to help. A brand is usually defined as an identifying symbol, name, or logo of a business. It could also be attached to a particular set of beliefs that a company might have, defining to the public who they are and what they stand for.
Benefits of branding
As your brand grows, so does your business. Establishing a brand takes time and patience, but it’s well worth the wait. Here are some benefits of branding according to Entrepreneur.com.
- Branding allows you to set yourself apart from your competitors
- It also gives your business credibility
- Branding improves customer retention, referrals and loyalty
- It keeps your business consistent and helps attract your ideal customers
- Last but not least, it helps prove your worth, allowing you to ask the price that you want
There are five distinct features of a brand: promise, position, personality traits, story, and association. All of which can be interlinked and is interdependent on each other.
Let’s explore each unique feature separately for better context. See below.
This is the part that describes your business, who your audience members are and what makes up your unique value proposition. It is also essential to know what differentiates your brand from your competitors when positioning your brand. Is it the price, product quality, values or customer service? Once you’ve decided on your brand’s positioning, you can start by showcasing it to your audience.
When you are working on your brand promise, it is crucial to think realistically what you can and can’t deliver to your customers. Making a promise you can’t keep will only ruin your reputation as a brand. This could be anything such as delivery time-frames, prices or product quality. Your brand promise should complement your daily business operations, systems and processes. If you promise your customers quality, then that is what they expect to receive. Not keeping your commitment to your customers is like shooting yourself in the foot. So be careful of what you promise and always back it up. These days, word of mouth spreads like wild fire. Customers will let others know that they are unhappy with your brand by means of reviews or social media.
Developing a brand personality does not happen overnight. It takes time to cultivate the essence of your brand. It’s best to think and strategise from a different perspective, such as the view of the customer. How do you want clients and prospects to describe your brand? Fun, quirky, serious? Take a look at personality traits and select at least five or eight personality traits that fit in with your brand. Also, be considerate towards the fact that the personality you choose for your brand will ultimately be the deciding factor in whether or not customers relate to your brand. Personalities clash, and so does brand personalities. If people can’t relate to your brand personality, they’re not sticking around for much longer.
When developing your brand story, we suggest glancing at the past. How was the business started, and why? What problems did your company want to solve for people? By piecing all of the small details together, you end up with the puzzle. Creating a broad picture showing how far you’ve come and where you’re going. Your brand story should also include a section explaining to the customers what your products and service offers are and how it will change their lives.
Have you ever heard of the saying – Guilty by association? Well, when people see some aspects of your brand, such as the logo, they easily associate it with your business. When looking at the swoosh symbol, you don’t need to see the word Nike to know it’s a famous Nike brand. You just know it’s Nike! It is crucial to keep in mind that your brand promise and association should correlate, ultimately supporting your positioning statement.