Who is your brand? Would you know how to define it? Of course, you have an idea, but do your consumers know it too? Today, 65% of people that feel an emotional connection to a brand, and say it’s because “they care about people like me”, so having a defined and well-implemented brand strategy is crucial. A brand itself is a personality that identifies a product, service or company, thanks to a name, term, sign, symbol or design. It also represents the relationship between customers, employees, partners, investors, and relevant stakeholders (Boundless). But, just having a personality is not enough, this personality should be unique and recognisable, it should have its own set of traits and characteristics to humanise the non-tangible elements and make consumers feel a particular way when they think of the brand.
Define your brand
You need to ask yourself, “who is your brand and who do you want it to be?”. This requires a deeper level of sensitivity and understanding to bridge the gap between the consumer and your brand. As humans, we connect on a deeper level and communicate more effectively with one another if we establish an emotional connection. Similarly, brands can engage with their audience if they adopt these human characteristics.
To help determine your brands' personality, apply the 5 dimensions of brand personality principle by Jennifer Aaker. Simply put, it measures the “personality” of your brand by dividing it into five core dimensions. The model describes the profile of a brand using an analogy of a human being. An effective brand increases its brand equity by having a consistent set of traits which its consumers resonate with.
THE FIVE CORE DIMENSIONS AND THEIR FACETS
Then, you should think about the visual elements of your brand. Colour increases brand recognition by up to 80%, according to a study performed by the University of Loyola, Chicago. How can your brand adopt the best colour palette? It should be distinguishable and recognisable from your competitors. Don’t forget to do a deep-dive into your audience. If they are traditional buyers, impulse shoppers or shoppers on a budget, the colours will differ. For example, orange represents confidence and catches attention, while purple represents royalty and trust. Coca-Cola adopted this approach in its branding, using the colour red to symbolise vibrancy and energy creating an easily recognisable and memorable brand.
To have a better idea of your brand’s personality, you can create a mood-board. It is a visual document in which you gather the visuals that would suit your brand, like colours, type of content, textures and so on. This document is used by your team to create relevant content for your brand and to ensure that your brand remains consistent throughout your marketing communication.
Finally, you will be able to create the perfect logo. Applying the relevant colours and fonts, the logo should be recognisable and impactful. Capture your brands' mission, vision and direction, with all the above elements that define your personality within a brand style guide document. An effective way to reinforce your brands' communication not only internally, but also to external vendors and suppliers.
Put in place your strategy
Now that you have defined your brand, it’s time to create your brand strategy. Your brand strategy needs to encompass specific, long-term goals that can be achieved with the evolution of your brand. A well-defined strategy should take into account all aspects of your business, this includes internal and external factors.
A successful brand strategy should capture the brands' purpose, an expression of why the brand exists and how it intends to create meaningful value for its employees, customers, and the environment. Your brand purpose should be driven by your brand positioning strategy; a conceptual place you want to own in your target audiences mind. You may be asking how to achieve this. Well, It comes down to reinforcing your message with emotion. Consumers are far more emotional with their purchasing behaviour, so injecting your messaging with emotion, while effectively communicating your purpose is key. Capturing the hearts and minds of your audience and creating a reason and desire to choose your brand will enhance engagement and maintain sustainable long term relationships.
The way to interact and engage with your consumers says a lot about your brand. Make sure to demonstrate that you understand your consumers’ problems, that you pay attention and that you want to solve their issues. However, it's not the number of interactions a buyer has with your brand, but the quality and relatability of the interaction. Of course, don’t engage with your customers just to inflate your statistics. Everything you say should be meaningful and always follow the tone you established for your brand.
Finally, be consistent with your strategy, don’t change it all the time. If you do, it will prevent you from getting quality data that you could use to further develop your strategy. Consistent presentation of a brand increases revenue by 23% on average. Repetition and consistency are two cornerstones of any successful branding effort. By presenting your brand consistently, over time, consumers will internalise your brand values and be more likely to become a loyalist (Zimmer Marketing Group).
What can it bring to your business?
Having a well-defined brand strategy considerably increases your brand’s credibility. In fact, it gives you a place amongst competitor brands and the ability to be easily distinguishable. Like any brand, they want to drive more sales and convert more leads, an effective brand strategy will assist to not only humanise your brand, but improve market penetration, and in the long term, increase your market share. Though this is not a one-week miracle brand cure, as we mentioned, consistency is key!
We focus much of our brand strategy to be customer-centric however, employees are the greatest advocates a brand can have. Driving your brand values internally and creating a shared sense of ownership for the brand will ensure that your team is driven to delivering and growing the brands' profile and success. When you involve all stakeholders, create a meaningful brand purpose driven by a tactical strategy, success will only be a matter of timing. When your brand is recognised by anything other than its name, you have reached the goal of every brand!
If you are looking to launch a new brand or have an existing brand which needs some TLC, get in touch with us! We have worked with many brands from start-ups to large household names and have helped them to create meaningful value for their brand. Act now and get in contact!