Understanding the Meaning of Your Brand
Newsflash! Your brand will never be all things to all people — you’ll need to pay attention and refine your positioning as you discover the needs and wants of your customers. So, how can you stay on top of your brand’s relevance? It helps to follow some branding best practices to keep things looking fresh!
Understanding what your company stands for (or what you want it to stand for) is essential when establishing your brand. Set aside some time and make a list of qualities, features and benefits (characteristics) that best describes the product/service your business offers and how you would like to be perceived the marketplace.
When you’ve completed this list, plan on setting aside some additional time to fine-tune it — this will ensure you have a thorough understanding of your brand and how it resonates with your current customers… and your potential customers.
The qualities, features and benefits that make up the foundation of your brand will differentiate your business from its competitors, while delivering a clear and concise understanding of what your business is capable of, what it’s known for, and how successfully your products and services are received and consumed.
Brand Strategy & Equity
Brand strategy is the ‘who, what, where and how’ of communicating your brand’s message. The ‘where’ and ‘how’ you choose to market your brand is an important factor in reaching your target audience. The ‘who’ and ‘what’ you aim to communicate, both visually and verbally, is key to defining overall Image as a brand. So, make yourself stand out from the competition – be different. Speak louder.
Building equity in your brand requires consistent, and strategic, branding/messaging —it’s the added value that your company’s product or service offers above and beyond the competition, and can even classify your product as a ‘premium product’ – justifying an increased spend for a product that is branded to be of higher quality than most. A prime example of such branding would be Mercedes. Because Mercedes has focused on building prestigious brand equity, it can put a larger price tag on its product, and customers in this market (luxury cars) will pay that higher price.
Another factor in a brand’s equity is its perceived quality or the emotional attachment associated with said brand. For example, Nike athletic shoes are constantly associated with famous athletes — the intent is to persuade/convince its customers to transfer their emotional attachment from the athlete to the product. In other words, it’s not just the shoe’s features that sell it, it’s the association to the athlete and what they stand for.
Defining Your Brand
Defining your brand will be a like a voyage of self-discovery. It will be challenging, time-consuming and frustrating, at times. At the very least, it will require answers to the questions below:
- What is the mission of your company?
- What are the features and benefits of your company’s products or services?
- What do customers and potential customers (prospects) think of your company?
- What qualities do you want customers, and potential customers (prospects) to associate with your company?
Research is essential; you will need to learn and understand the habits and desires of your customers and potential customers, as well as their pain points. Never, ever, rely on what you think your customers might be thinking. You must know what your customers are thinking.
Defining your brand and developing a brand strategy can be complex, but we’re here to help! Give us a call, and we can help you on your brand journey. Remember to buckle up!