If you wanted your business to be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
It's a headscratcher.
How can you possibly pinpoint your whole business into a tiny nutshell?
That's where your brand comes in. Your brand represents everything your business is. It's a pretty big deal.
A memorable brand is a strong one - but getting there means making all the right decisions. With so much hanging on the balance, developing a strong brand can be one of the hardest parts of establishing your business.
Strengthening your brand helps your business reach new heights
Strong brands have the potential to become so ingrained into their customer's lives that their customers won't hesitate to repurchase from the same brand.
A brand is so much more than a logo. It's an identity, an ethos, a community, and sometimes even a lifestyle. Let's take the whole 'Apple Vs. Android' debate. Many Apple customers stay loyal to the brand, and continue to purchase Apple products over other brands without thinking twice about buying an Android.
Of course, we can all live our lives just as easily by using both Android and Apple products, but hardcore loyal Apple fans likely wouldn't even sweep the market for an Android product, only buying gadgets that are Apple-branded.
Or perhaps you've redecorated your living room. You've found that the Next Homeware collection suits your taste. If you enjoy the products you've previously used to decorate your home, the chances are, you're probably going to shop at Next when you decide to redecorate.
But what makes a brand strong?
So what ingredients can you feed your brand, and how can you exercise it to become mighty, and muscle through the competition?
To help strong brands survive and adapt, they are fed a balanced diet of
- Smart positioning
- Clear values
Put together, these criteria will cook up a storm of brand equity, which in layman's terms is essentially: How much social value does the brand have?
Your branding is consistent
Repeat something again and again, and it'll become so ingrained into our brains that it's stitched in forever. Consistency is key.
Remember the 'Go Compare man' who plastered the TV with a painfully haunting rendition of the operatic Go Compare jingle? Haunting as it was, we still all remember it because it's repetitive, consistent and attention-grabbing. Go Compare aren't deaf, and they certainly know the meaning of 'deliberately annoying marketing.'
They created a character that promised to deliver annoying content, regularly. The entire UK knows about the price comparison website brand through pure, painful repetition. But they were consistent and it worked.
The price comparison site was sold to Future Publishing for £594m in 2020. Even the 'Go Compare man' opera singer Wynne Evans himself has earned a reported £450,000 for a two-year contract for the adverts alone.
But it's not all about creating ad characters or keeping your colour palette the same. It's about consistency in all aspects of your brand so that the customer experience is always the same.
You could use great visuals and keep a uniform typography. But if you're customer experience isn't consistent, the brand won't gain as much traction.
It's about keeping consistency in everything your brand does.
Keeping a brand consistent in all areas will gain leveled feedback and build a reputation through repeated positive customer experiences.
Consistency = trust
Trust = loyalty
Rinse and repeat your brand's consistency, and your customer base will expand in no time.
Your brand is unique
It's all about what makes your brand perfectly matched to your niche audience. Just like snowflakes, no two are ever the same.
Your audience is encapsulated by a collection of specific buyer personas. That's who you're selling to. To sell to this audience and really grasp their attention, your brand should be as niche and unique as possible.
Pick out what sets you apart from the rest of the crowd, and shine the spotlight over it until your audience knows who you are.
How can you target specific pain points that other brands can't?
(If you need any help getting a buyer persona together, check out our downloadable buyer persona tool. It's free).
Your position is strategic
The brand position is the big pointing finger that directs your brand toward your audience. It's your marketing, in every sense of the word.
Effective marketing tactics play a crucial role in building brand equity. Invest in socials, content, partnerships, and influencer marketing to reach out to your audience. Voice your brand into the market and cut through the competition with campaigns that are tailored to raise awareness. Generate content that really hits, and deliver it in the same language as your audience.
Your values are clear
Of course, a strong brand considers its audience - but it's also a reflection of the business behind it.
Not sure which values to focus on? Constitute a business manifesto and handpick the pillars you wish to support your business. If research is lacking, or if processes are hypocritical, then values can become skewed and blurry.
Ask yourself: What exactly does your company stand for?
Communicate these pillars through the branding, so that audiences know exactly what you're aiming to achieve as a brand.
The brand is adaptable
The goal for all businesses is ultimately to achieve growth.
That means brands must allow some breathing space to grow simultaneously with the business. As the industry changes, you might expand your services or products to accommodate.
That means making sure it's adaptable to the changing of the seasons, making sure it's malleable to the ebbs and flows of the industry.
But how can you measure your brand's awareness to improve it?
- Customer feedback surveys
- Split A/B testing
- Competitor research
- Tracking with your CRM
Working on each area of your brand's strength is like building muscle. It takes time, patience, and consistency - but once achieved, it can handle a much heavier workload.