It seems like branding is a buzzword used by marketing firms across the world. There’s a reason for that: it’s important. It’s more than just a logo or color scheme. It’s your identity. It’s who your business is.
A good way to think about the brand of your company is to humanize it. Is your company male or female? If it could speak, what would it sound like? Would it tell jokes, or be informative? Is it sexy, smart, or both? Is it a caring friend, or a buddy to share a beer with? If you can nail down your company traits, you’re well on your way to creating a powerful brand.
These traits don’t need to be made public, it’s just to help you and your team develop everything around a brand style. Just like people don’t walk up to you and introduce themselves as smart, sexy, intelligent people – they exude these traits through their personal brand via speech, clothing, attitudes and actions. Your brand should do the same.
What makes branding so important though? What do you need to create a personal brand? There are a few key elements in all successful brands that you can tap into and make them work for you – no matter how big or small you brand is.
You Need Your Brand to be a Powerful Tool
Brands like Apple can evoke powerful emotions. Lexus and Rolex evoke status. What do you want your brand to evoke? Your brand is your calling card. Your Joe Camel. It’s the language in which you speak with the customer.
Once your customers become familiar with your brand, even the sight of the logo, or the sound of your jingle, or the color scheme of your website will bring the brand promise into focus. Whatever you’re aiming for, this should be the goal.
When you think about Apple, what do you think about? That’s branding. It’s all part of their branding strategy. They’ve to spend a lot of time and money getting you think that about their brand. Once it’s ingrained, you don’t need to say as much. You can say it all in just a logo, name or slogan.
Developing a brand is important so you can generate these feelings, and have your logo say it all for you.
You Need to Be Unique
Your brand is where you get an opportunity to show how you’re different from the competition. What makes your brand stand out from everyone else that offers a similar product or service.
Branding should be strategic. It shouldn’t be at the whim of one or two pieces of feedback. Small sample size is a major problem. If you’re constantly changing your brand messaging on a day-to-day basis, you’ll never actually develop a brand. Being unique doesn’t mean being unique to every customer, it means being unique as a brand in the marketplace. Be your own brand. Don’t just replicate another company.
Branding is a great opportunity to show how you stand out. How you can be meaningful to the consumer. It’s how your company can relate to them. If you think you’ve been branding your business incorrectly, don’t panic, many brands that were failing were able to rebrand and have great success.
Brands that compete in the same space need to compete aggressively. Nike and Adidas do many of the same things in many of the same spaces. They both have very different brands. With Nike, it’s more about individual skill and your ability to achieve it. Adidas is athleticism and sport. They both cross over but have unique brand positions.
Have Fun with Your Brand
Some brands take themselves very seriously. You should only do this if are a very serious business that really can’t be joked about. Something that is no joke. Most brands would be better served by having fun. It’s much more relatable.
Brands that have fun with themselves appear much more approachable than the all-too-serious looks that most corporations give themselves. Car manufacturers are learning this lesson the hard way. North American car brands have always had the lead. A serious lead. The best truck. The most safety stars. Highest performance. Very serious.
The car brands from the rest of the world really started to seize the opportunity and have fun with themselves. Instead of being scary foreign brands, they’re were fun – almost American – brands.
Volkswagen really took their German heritage to heart and embraced quality engineering. Toyota was all about having fun and living the carefree life. Civic Nation gave a name to a nationwide phenomenon. Just because someone else is more serious, doesn’t mean you have to be. It can be a great way to carve out your space among existing brands.
You Need to Leave a Lasting Impression
This is why it’s important to take a chance. Don’t be afraid of failure. You can learn a lot from failure in business. It’s why they say swing for the fences. Sure, you can play it safe and hit singles all day. You may never fail. But you’ll never clear the bases either.
Your brand needs to live in the mind of consumers. It needs to make a home in there and allow you to recall it at will. You only need to hear the name or see the logo of Air BnB before all their branding comes flooding back. They’ve done a great job branding themselves, and they know own a piece of your memory they can recall. They no longer need to explain themselves each time they see you.
Whatever you decide your branding needs to be, it needs to connect with the user. Do your best to ensure it’s personal, fun, and relevant, and you’ll find the hard work is just being consistent. Once you meet a person a few times, you get an idea of who they are. Brands are no different.