What’s in a brand? How to build a brand that carries
We all know that your brand is your name, your design, your identity; but there is so much more to it if you want to be a step ahead of your competitors. You need to build a brand that people recognise and become familiar with; then, your brand will become one of your company’s most valuable assets.
So, what does the word ‘brand’ mean?
When you search the word ‘brand’ you get words like; make, label, identity, type, stamp, variety and many more. You might think of Kellogg’s as a variety of cereal, or Nike as a sportswear label; they are household names. But they’re also more than that – they’re a brand, and they have a fully formed identity.
A brand is an identity, and an excellent brand is an identity with a personality
Your brand is the personality of your business and like a person, it needs certain attributes to give it a personality:-
- A name
- A design
- A voice
- Core values
- Target market
For your brand to have a strong personality and the right one for your business, you should start with your target market. It’s best to have a focus; you can’t be everything to everyone. Do your research to identify those most likely to need/buy your product or service in order to build a brand that they can relate to.
Now, what are your core values? What is your company most passionate about? Your mission and your passion need to be reflected in your mission statement. For your target market to connect with your company and trust your brand, the business itself needs to know the value they give. Make sure that your mission statement sends the right message to your target market.
Nike is a great example, with a mission statement; “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world“, and their famous tagline: Just Do It.
Once you have done your market research, identified your target market and created your mission statement, it will be far easier to work with a designer to create a logo that will encompass these key aspects. Both your name and your logo need to be easily recognisable and associated with the product you offer if you want to build a brand to go from strength to strength.
A brand is a promise of an experience. It communicates to consumers a positive assurance as to the nature of the product or service they will receive.
How do you build a brand that lasts?
Firstly take your time and do your research. Check out the competition; your aim should be to differentiate yourself and convince consumers to buy from you, not them! Look at what they are good or bad at. If they are bigger brands with bigger budgets don’t despair, focus on your qualities and the benefits you can offer that are unique to you. By drilling down into your target market to really focus on their needs, you can create a unique brand to give them reason to choose you over another brand.
Invest time and money in your brand logo design. Creating something unique will reinforce the visual identity of your company. This brand logo will appear on everything relating to your business; if it doesn’t live up to your core values it could devalue your brand. Enlist the services of a professional designer, one with experience in brand building if you want to build a brand that lasts. A designer will also help you put together brand guidelines to ensure consistency when you use your logo on different applications.
Brand guidelines will include:
- Pantone colours used
- Logo size and placement
- Typography and fonts used
- Image styles
- Web elements
Your brand needs a voice. Once you have your research done, target market indentified, core values nailed, you will know what your brand voice should be. Whether professional, friendly, authoritative or conversational, it is how you communicate with your customers. Getting this right gives you the best chance of making connections. Maintaining this brand voice helps you to build a brand across all mediums, from social media, blog posts, and printed brochures to printed bags.
What does a brand mean to customers?
To build a brand that works it’s important to know what a brand means to the customer. People tend to go for recognised brands for a number of reasons…
- Quality consistency of big-name brands
- Confidence in the experiences of others, whether word-of-mouth or online reviews
- Believe buying brands will give them greater social acceptance, like the term ‘keeping up with the Joneses’
- People develop a loyalty to a brand, buying a particular brand of car is a common display of this loyalty.
- A brand can be a person’s image. For example a tech-savvy consumer will buy Apple, or a sophisticated professional may buy Armani suits to contribute to their image.
- Company rivalry can lead to loyalty for a brand. There might be good reason for buying a product at first until debates kick off and brand competition becomes serious business. Coke vs. Pepsi is a good example that we can all probably relate to.
- When a customer buys a product for the first time from a brand they don’t know, they take a chance, hoping it ‘does what it says on the tin’. If it does they are delighted, will recommend the brand, follow it and look for again in future purchases.
An important reminder
When you build a brand and create your message address not what your product can do – but why it is important to your customer and how it can improve their lives. Keep this in mind and you are on the right track.
As brand owners, it is our job to decide what we want our brand to stand for and then do everything in our power to deliver on that promise to customers at every opportunity!
At The Printed Bag Shop, our brand is about providing our customers with an affordable range of printed bags that get their message out to a wider audience, and helping your business get noticed.