Business branding is one of the major aspects for a business, B2B, B2C, large, or small. Branding strategies provide the edge brands need to survive in an increasingly competitive market.
Business branding plays an essential role in how your customers perceive the image of your brand. Unless you have a large enterprise like Apple or Coca-Cola, branding your business needs unstoppable efforts.
Your branding strategy will help you differentiate from your competitors – it shows customers why they should trust your offerings compared to other brands. Your brand image is born from who you are, where you stand, and what people think about you.
You can’t be everything to people, but you should be what your target audience wants and need you to be for them.
Your business branding efforts start from a logo – it’s what your audience uses to connect with your brand.
The Basics of Business Branding
There are some business branding basics you need to grasp that will aid you in the business branding process. The elements are how you start creating a brand.
Let’s dive into the branding basics you need to nail to be successful.
Design an impressive logo – Your logo is the graphic representation of what your brand is, and it explains who you are. The brand logo needs to be placed everywhere to make a lasting impression on the audience.
Create a brand message – Your employees should know the message your brand wants to spread to the general public. It shows your values and what brand attributes you stand for.
Integrate your brand – When you start creating a brand, your efforts need to reflect positively. Everything you do reflects on what your brand is, how you speak to customers, how you make sales and the tone of your emails. All these need to be integrated with your brand.
Create a unique “voice” for your brand – Your brand should have a unique voice that reflects in all your communication channels. The “voice” should be present in your visual, written, and audio marketing material. You need to find the perfect balance between conversational and formal.
Come up with a tagline – Sit with your marketing and branding team to develop a memorable, catchy, and concise tagline. The statement captures the essence of your brand.
Design a basic template for your marketing materials – All the marketing materials you use should have a similar feel to it. Use the same color palette, choose a logo placement, and be consistent.
Deliver a brand promise – Your customers won’t look back if you fail to deliver your brand promise. Be true to yourself and your brand to ensure unstoppable sales.
Be consistent – You need to be consistent so that you’re always on your customer’s minds. Consistency is the key to imminent success. If you fail, you won’t be able to establish a brand.
The Types of Branding
There are six major types of branding you can look into. These branding tactics will support your marketing strategies which is why you need to get them right.
The first impression lasts the longest, which makes them super important. Your logo provides a glimpse of your brand, and it’s the face of every brand.
The logo should be able to tell the customers what the business is about – it might seem tedious, but you can get it right.
A well-designed logo helps with brand awareness and establishing a brand identity. For example, Pepsi is a famous soft drink brand that has changed its logo multiple over the years.
Now, the logo might have changed numerous times, but what’s remained constant are the colors and the iconic ball. Pepsi made sure to alter the design while sticking to its roots. That’s what a logo does – it creates awareness and identity in the market.
When you’re creating a brand message for your brand, you can use certain questions to do that.
- What can you offer your customers?
- How are your offerings better than your competitors?
- What can you give your customers that no one else can?
Your brand message should answer all these questions and be concise too. The brand message defines your brand and gives you the edge you need.
Your business values reflect in your message and brand image.
Brand positioning can be a part of your brand message, but here’s how it’s different and deserves separate attention.
The brand position refers to how you stand out in the competition and what makes you different. Before you show that to your customers, you need to answer those questions yourself. If you understand the answers to those questions, you can answer them better when your customers ask them.
Branding experts can help you find answers to these questions. With thorough research, they determine what customers are looking for and then relate that to what you can provide as a brand. If you fail to give clear answers, your customers won’t be convinced, and the word will get around fast.
Brands are a lot like individuals – each brand has their own way of expressing themselves. Some brands are friendly, some are formal, and some are aspirational.
Creating a brand voice, resonating it across all marketing channels, and making it a part of all customer interactions is crucial.
If you have a bold brand voice, you can create a concrete brand image; anything else can negatively impact your brand.
However, when you set out to create a brand voice, make sure it connects with your audience because that’s the right approach.
The style guide is the next step once you’ve decided on the brand voice. Convey to all your stakeholders and employees about the style guide you will be using.
Instruct everyone to use the pre-decided style guide when talking about your brand. The consistent practice will help create brand recognition among customers. The style guide includes brand elements like:
- Your brand colors.
- The design layouts.
- The font type and size.
They represent your business, so they should be present whenever and wherever your brand is mentioned.
Social Media Branding
When I talk about social media branding, the key is to stay true to your brand message and voice. When you’re consistent with the message and voice, you leverage social media in better ways.
Your social media efforts should revolve around your brand and not the other way around. You need to find the balance before you fall flat.
Use social media platforms effectively to create brand awareness and recognition along with increasing your revenue.
The Business Branding Process
Every organization uses a different and unique approach when set out to build a brand; the one thing they agree on is branding is an ongoing process.
In this agile age, your customers expect you to be adaptive. If you’re just starting your branding strategy, then here’s a rough idea of how to do it.
Before you move forward, you need to look back at what you’ve been doing and where your brand stands currently. You can do this by auditing your brand to determine what works for your brand and what doesn’t.
The information you gather will highlight the areas you can perform in and help create a roadmap to implement new business branding strategies.
Thorough research will help you analyze what your audience expects from you, where your gaps are, and how you can do better.
The research phase depends on how much investment you can make. Quantitative and qualitative research will help you gather the data you need to create an effective branding strategy.
At this stage, you can use the gathered information from the audit and research then combine it to create a compelling branding strategy. Keep your clientele at the center of your strategy, and then start shaping your identity.
We’re in a digital era where branding is no longer just about logos and color palettes; it’s evolved into something bigger. It’s about the brand voice and the target audience. Business branding is more about measuring results to ensure you’re making an impact.
It takes a substantial amount of time to build a brand online. You might think Nike or Mcdonald’s are quite popular, and that’s because they have time and consistency on their side. That’s what every brand needs to focus on.
You don’t need decades to build your brand, but it does require patience for the strategies to prove fruitful.