There’s bland, and then there’s brand.
Strong brands don’t simply stand out in the crowd; they connect with the consumer on an emotional level. They convey trust, knowledge, reliability, credibility, loyalty and prompt the user of the product or service to recall a past positive experience.
Brand awareness is understanding what product or service is offered — which is the first of many steps involved in creating attitudes toward a brand — and how someone feels about that product or service when they see it. When you’ve spent the time maintaining awareness and building those warm, positive attitudes about your brand with a targeted audience, there is less of a need for a call-to-action strategy because people already understand and know what they’ll experience. They begin to just automatically reach for your brand because it provides comfort.
In an increasingly competitive business world, the ability to create and sustain a consistent brand is becoming essential for survival. Brands are built over time through the messages you communicate in every medium and how consistently you communicate those messages. Even small migrations from corporate identity standards add up to big losses in the value of a brand.
The power of a brand is stronger than most realize. It can inspire loyalty in the buying public or empower employees. If there’s a crack or fracture in how the company is perceived, it’s damaging.
Here are our top tips for creating a strong brand.
- Invest in a Brand Audit. A brand audit helps businesses gain a fundamental understanding of where their brands stand in its existing state.
- Adjust and Tweak when Necessary. According to Forbes, your brand has seven seconds to make that vital first impression with a consumer. Minor tweaks to your logo or color scheme can help your brand stand out or make a stronger impression.
- Don’t be Afraid of Rebranding. While rebranding seems like a drastic measure, the marketing automation firm SendPulse noted the strategy has numerous advantages, including everything from reaching a new target audience, improving brand recognition and maintaining a high rate of relevancy to streamlining teamwork and bosting your Google ranking.
- Recruit the Experts. As the saying goes, “You can’t read the label from inside the bottle.” In any rebranding strategy, the first step should be to hire a company that has marketing expertise. An agency specializes in giving organizations the tools and direction they need to sustain a look and feeling to associate with their brand in all aspects, internally and externally.
- Designate a Budget. Don’t just dip your toe in; branding is a process and takes time. Proper resources and time need to be considered when looking at your brand.
- Invest in Research. You know who your audience is, but how well do you actually know them? Do you know their likes, interests, needs, or frustrations? What about how they make purchases or why they make a purchase? Research is the perfect way to find out who your audience is and what they want and need. This information will help you build a brand that resonates with your audience. One that will keep them on your side and keeps you top of mind.
- Keep an Open Mind. A rebrand empowers an organization to shift the look, feel and messaging to align with what clients and buyers want from an organization. Although the process can be uncomfortable, the upshot creates internal brand ambassadors and provides potential customers an opportunity to understand your brand’s essence.
- Think Big, Think Bold. A good brand is a one that’s memorable. Doing what competitors are doing is only going to get you so far. Don’t be afraid to try new things and set the stage for what brands in your industry should be doing. Remember, it’s not about what you’ve done in the past, it’s about what your customers want from you now.
Branding is not rocket science. It’s just a way of doing things so that you are top of mind, maximizing awareness and building enduring customer relationships.
F.P. Horak has marketing and design professionals who can provide you with insight and advice on building and maintaining your brand. Give us a call at 989-892-6505 or visit us at fphorak.com.