Branding is the most important and valuable asset for your business development. It’s a physical reflection of who you are and how the consumer perceives you. Your branding serves as a differentiator from competition and as an identifier that supports consumer to recognize you. For example, when new products come to a market, a consumer can imagine a brand’s quality by name and logo. And that will protect the consumer from its competitors. Thus, branding affects consumer buying decision and sales.
On designing a branding strategy, you must fully understand the value of your brand at first. You should conduct some industry research to understand trends, unmet needs, competitor brand identity, etc. Also, we recommend you to do the 3 brand analysis; customer analysis, competitor analysis, and self-analysis. Based on the data, the next steps are to determine your brand identity.
Brand identity is how your strategies want the brand to be perceived. It’s different from the the brand image that is customer-driven. To deliver the value of your brand, you should set a clear value proposition and brand position as well. Once you made a strong brand identity, you will help increase brand loyalty and drive financial performance. It is more cost-effective to maintain loyal customers than acquiring new ones. Thus, developing a strong brand identity is vital for your business.
Here’re 10 steps to design a strong brand identity for your business.
10 Steps for a Strong Brand Identity
Understand the Marketplace and Customer Needs/Wants
Marketing information and customer insights are critical data for branding. Collect information about marketing environment, competition and customer needs. The findings allow you to take advantage of an opportunity as well as to combat threats. It also helps get a better understanding of your target customers and develops a competitive advantage. That will be the basis of creating brand value and brand loyalty.
Conduct SWOT Analysis and Targeting
Based on your research, you should write a SWOT analysis and targeting. A SWOT analysis helps you identify your internal and external capability and limitation that impacts all your marketing efforts. Analyzing the environment by offensive and defensive points-of-view reveals strategic problems. It also indicates the directions you should take.
Targeting narrows down the focus to one or only a few target groups of consumers divided by segmentation. This will allow you to deliver the right value, capture more attention to your promotion, and build stronger and more profitable relationships. It is necessary to find attractive targets where your strengths can be optimized.
Define a Clear Vision and Mission
A vision statement is your brand objectives, like what you want your brand to be. A mission statement describes the organizational purpose of your company. For example, list what your brand wants to accomplish in the large environment. Mission statements should focus on customers and brand experience rather than your benefits.
Set the Value Proposition
A value proposition is a statement of how you provide your value to customers. It is your commitment through your brand, including the competitive advantages to the chosen segment. You should describe these three conditions; how you solve the problems the brand target has, how it benefits customers (emotionally and functionally), and your unique points are.
One of the most crucial branding factors is brand positioning. Brand positioning is the process of positioning your brand and making a specific image of the brand in the mind of your brand target. Also, it demonstrates its advantages over competing brands. An efficient way of selecting your brand positioning is to create a perceptual positioning map. It will give you the big picture of your brand position in the market and the directions for your branding strategy.
Identify Your Brand Equity
In short, brand equity is a brand’s value that linked to a brand’s name and symbol. There are the following dimensions of brand equity; brand awareness (visibility), perceived quality, brand associates, and brand loyalty. For example, if you have strong brand equity, you can reduce marketing costs for your promotion and command a premium price with the trust from your brand target.
Craft a Brand Strategy
This might be one of the biggest challenges for brand development. Brand strategy is how you execute your value proposition and create a brand identity in the mind of your brand targets through a long-term plan. You must stick to your brand’s purpose to develop your brand reputation and increase brand loyalty. It is vital to follow your strategies for success, but you should stay flexible whenever possible.
Design Your Brand Elements
A brand is much more than your brand name, logo or website. However, these brand elements play a significant role in representing the brand. It is possible to increase brand recognition and make people recall you easier by your symbol. The consistent design in all your presence will help you build a strong brand, so it is best not to take shortcuts when designing your brand elements. They are significant investments for your business success.
Promote Your Brand
Brand advertising allows you to introduce, establish, explain, reinforce, and maintain your brand. You need to use promotional channels to deliver your brand’s voice and increase brand recognition. Maintaining a good brand identity is the most challenging part of branding. Make sure to communicate with consistency and actively. Keep your brand memorable!
Measure Branding Success
To track how well your brand and your strategy is doing, you can host an online brand survey which is efficient and reactive. Online survey gives you definitive answers, but it’s expensive to get enough results. Another way of measuring your branding success is to monitor and analyze data by setting which metrics to measure. For example, brand awareness can be tracked by search volume, external links, file downloads, engagements on a blog, and social media, etc.
Branding is generated by continual challenges and accumulation of customer perception and experience. Having a strong brand identity is a must for any successful business. It will lead you to differentiate your brand from the competition, get more attention from your target audience, and encourage them to participate and interact. Keep in mind to continually check and be aware of what image customers have about you.
How does your customer perceive your brand? Do you have any other strategies for strong brand identity? Let us know in the comments!