Branding is a word many people have heard, yet many don’t know what it means. It is a word and concept that every business person should know however, because it will be the blueprint in which you will use to communicate with your audience and customers. Philip Kotler, American marketing author, consultant, and professor gives a breakdon of what a brand is by saying;
“In principles of Marketing (Philip Kotler/Gary Amstrong) a brand is defined as a “name, term, sign symbol (or a combination of these) that identifies the maker or seller of the product…”
Entreprener.com goes into detail in defining branding as;
“The marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates a product from other products. An effective brand strategy gives you a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. … Simply put, your brand is your promise to your customer.”
Both of these definitions show us that branding is essentially your brands personality and how it is perceived and experienced by the world. Here are some important elements that make up your brand;
-Tone of communication
You need a brand identity because without one, your brand will drown in the ocean of other unnoticed brands who haven’t been able to stand out of the crowd. Your primary aim when branding should be to create an emotional experience that your audience will connect with and remember. To create this experience you need to ask questions such as what you want your brand to stand for, what you want your brand legacy to be, and what your brands voice is. The next step is to permeate the answers to these questions throughout every aspect of your brand, more specifically throughout the key elements mentioned earlier.
People should be able to identify with, see themselves in, and express themselves through your brand. They should become disciples taking on your values and brand as if it were their own. That is the ultimate reward of creating a good brand identity.
If you don’t already have a clear one, begin by creating a strategy and work from there. Get feedback from customers, do surveys and find out what words people use to describe your brand as well as how their interaction with it makes them feel. This will give you an indication of whether or not you’re on the right track. Looking at large established brands who have managed to carve a distinct brand identity will also help. Look through their social media pages, website, emails and all other related materials and you will see a seamless flow of communication as well as their core message being communicated throughout all mediums.
Whatever you do, make sure people know what your brand is about, and what you stand for. Having a strong identity is a great starting point for success.