More than ever, an entrepreneurial mindset defines a generation of youthful marketers. No need to explain the essence of being one step ahead of the competition to be successful in the market, but where does one start? How to establish a brand? How to make it stand out? We have listed the basics.
Even the general public, possibly light-years away from marketing and advertising, seems to have a clear understanding of what is in a brand. One of the brand definitions goes like: “A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or other feature that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer”. Nevertheless, it may be far from reality to think all it takes to start with branding is to come up with a name, a logo and a slogan. Modern consumers have deluged with a massive variety of known and unknown brands that it is merely impossible to attract their attention only by a haunting slogan or a razor-sharp logo.
You have got it! There is work to be done.
We assume you know which product or service you are going to offer and that you have already done some research on the target audience and competitors.
1. Defining the Purpose
What are your purpose and mission? This question looks quite easy to answer, but it is not as effortless as it may seem.
There are four steps to bring sustainability into the business: Purpose, Values, Mission and Vision. The last three terms have a more objective orientation, while the purpose of a company has a broader and more crucial dimension. Considering your brand purpose, focus on its ideology. In other words, what will you fight for and what may be the engine for the whole organisation? Choose wisely in the right direction. Remember, not your next year’s goal, neither a short-term objective, but the belief in your brand makes your workforce to go all the way. Moreover, your purpose should relate to your target audience.
You can read more about purpose, values, mission and vision here.
2. Narrowing down your positioning
You must have thought of your market segment and defined your target audience. Still, we would like to advise you to narrow down the focus. Your positioning depends on factors such as pricing strategy, the demand for your type of product, or the rivalry among competitors. Suppose you are offering snacks. Ask yourself, which function do they fulfil? Do they satiate appetite? Too many brands are already doing that. As a result, you may need to think deeper.
— Is my product for those who are on a budget?
— Does it provide special nutrition and vitamins?
— Is it suitable for allergic people, for vegans or others?
— Do I care about the environment and do my snacks have recyclable, eco packaging?
— Do the ingredients of the snack guarantee a fascinating taste?
The list goes on. By far, it is not only about the distribution of the nutrition, but it is also about how you provide it and to whom. Can you feel the difference? That is excellent.
Now it is about time to double-check whether your purpose, values and mission still go together with the narrowed target. While thinking about positioning, you would better keep in mind your future strategies to win the market. You need to plan if you decide to compete with similar products in the market or cooperate with your contestants. For sure, collaboration may be possible. Moreover, it can be the only way to enter the market when it is packed.
3. Unique Proposition
Why should customers go for your product? To what extent does it diversify with the already existing ones? Does the value the product offer match with its price?
The unique selling proposition (USP) developed by Rosser Reeves in the 1940s is still relevant. This method talks merely about a unique feature of your product. Although it touches the advertising surface, and marketing has significantly developed in the past few decades, it will nevertheless make things easier and fasten your A&P process during the first stages of brand building. Do we not all know those “Gluten Free” sticks on packaging, used on products which never contained any gluten? These sticks positively affect sales, so who cares? When uniqueness does not exist in your product, try to find a less transparent product feature and stick to it. However, simply do not try to impress your customers with a fake.
4. Brand Identity
You already know what your brand values are, what its goals are as well as who the customers who should love your product are, so now it is time to put everything into a visual form. Yeah, at last, you are ready to start to conceptualise your branding.
When the brand visuals are done, as part of its identity, what is the voice of your brand going to be? In this social media times, it is vital to develop a brand voice and know how to manage it. In which way, shape and form will you communicate with your consumers?
5. Win the Trust
Here comes the importance of customer experience and loyalty of your consumers. This year, various trade magazines published articles including statements that define the nowadays customer experience as an integral part of a brand. We cannot agree more. Once you have gained the loyalty of your customers, they may endorse your brand like crazy. Therefore, maintain a friendly atmosphere on your social media channels, eavesdrop on your audiences and make sure you do your best to find and fix the reason of complaints.
Be consistent all way through, from defining the brand’s purpose to the creation of its images and the way you run your business. Trust remains a delicate issue. When consumers believe you have fooled them, it may be hard to restore their loyalty.
To read more about customer experience, click here.
6. Conquering the Market
When you accomplished each of the previous steps, the world may be yours soon, at least starting humbly at home in your domestic market. At this stage, the preparation on building your brand is complete and your product ready to be presented wherever you wish to compete for (a share of) the market. The saying goes that a new brand is formatted before the “Win the trust” stage. We tend to differ with this. Brand or product does not mean anything without a sound customer base. Consequently, if you did not gain trust yet, you need to go one step back to revise all processes.
The adage that one of the biggest obstacles on the way to establishing a brand is a simple lack of understanding the target audience is not about visuals and colours of the logo, those clichés about being an exceptional advertising proprietary won’t save you as well. Today it is all about a brand’s purpose, the deeper meaning and a closer connection to your audience. Be open, be consistent and be agile. Mixing a conceptual approach with creativeness and courage will yield results for sure.
Keep up the good vibes, and stay with us.