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Expert advice on how to build a strong brand

by Michelle Alexander
on 30 Aug, 2016

The term ‘brand’ has had many meanings. Over a century ago ‘brand’ was used to reference an identity mark that was burnt onto herds of livestock to distinguish their owners. More recently a ‘brand’ was the commercial name for a product or service; you’ve heard of products/brands like Band-Aid, Panadol or Sprite right?

However today, and since the later part of the 20th century, marketers and advertisers alike began to realise there is more to the perception of distinctive products and services than just a name. Through a clever manipulation of language and visual elements they have found ways to craft a tailored perception of a product or service in customers minds. They took to calling this perception ‘a brand’.

 

Defining your brand

When it comes to physically quantifying your brand, you’re going to have a bit of trouble. Today’s definition of a brand is a perception – conjured when a customer, prospect or lead thinks, hears or talks about your brand. It is a combination of factual aspects (e.g a fast motorbike) and emotional (e.g a feeling of freedom). P.S can you guess which brand we’re talking about?

Although you may have products, advertisements and a great looking logo, this perception of your brand really only exists in people’s minds. If you have any chance of influencing your customer and their buying behaviours, you need to be down with the psychology of their perception.

So how do you get started with building a epic brand? It comes down to really understanding yourself, your customers and the tangible and intangible (typically emotional) value you provide. (Tweet this)

You then take that knowledge and craft a product or service with a story, visual direction, voice and strategy that you can take to the world.

Ready to get started? Ask yourself some of the key questions the Thirst Creative team ask when building or redefining a brand.

 

What is your purpose

Why does your product or service exist? Why are you important? What problem do you solve? What will make your customer jump to attention? What are your goals? What do you want to achieve?

Once you have defined your purpose each decision you make should bring you closer to this vision.

 

Who is your audience and what do they need

Who will buy your product or service? What is their personality? What makes them unique? What do they need? What are their pain points? What problem will you solve?

Use these findings to create distinct audience personas. Knowing your audience will help you make decisions about your brand and marketing messages.

 

Find your unique personality

What personality attributes do you have? What personality attributes do you NOT have? What tone of voice should you use? What will resonate best with the personality of your target audience?

Your personality is the way you present yourself to your audience, it defines the way you speak, think and act as a brand.

 

Define your products or services

What products or services will you provide? How will you package them? What sets them apart? How do you deliver them? What emotional feeling will your customers have when they interact or experience your product or service?

This is what your brand actually does, it’s what you sell, trade and promote. Through your products and services you deliver a brand experience.

 

Write your story

What is your differentiator? What will distinguish you from others in the marketplace? How do you want to be perceived? What is the message you tell your customers? What is the message you tell the world?

Craft your unique selling proposition and share it with the world. Through key message statements you tell your story to your audience

 

Build your strategy

What will your visual graphics look like? What will they say? How will you share the message? What advertising channels will you use? What partnerships can you create?

Your strategy brings together your desired brand direction and paves a pathway to communicate your brand to the marketplace.

Read more on building a strong digital brand.

 

Why do we build brand profiles?

Earlier we talked about perception. Everyone has a different perception, including you. The process of defining your brand will give you the opportunity to explore your brand and what you want it to be, and also to explore your customers and what they need from your brand. You should find that each vision aligns, but if it doesn’t there’s an opportunity to gain great insights into how to grow your business simply by meeting your customer needs.

Strong brands connect with their customers and build loyalty by being consistent and trustworthy. You want to create a brand identity that resonates with your audience, that they’re proud to be affiliated with.  You want people to wear your logo on their chest.

Creating a brand profile also gives your whole business a reference on “who” your brand is, the way it talks, they way it looks, how it communicates with customers. This will ensure brand consistency at all touch points – keeping your brand message and image “on brand”.

 

Looking for more?

Are you starting a new business or looking to grow or transform your current one? Building a strong competitive brand can be the best baseline for success. Speak to one of our brand experts today.

 


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