Branding is not a new concept. It is also the most misunderstood element of building a business. Yet if you get it right, it is the single most powerful tool to develop a flourishing, profitable business. Most people think that their logo is their brand. But ‘Apples don’t sell computers’ – the brand does that.
So if your logo is not your brand, and your brand is different to your business, what is the difference between them all?
Simply put, business is about transactions, however branding is about connection and reputation. Anyone who sells something is doing business – even the child selling lemonade on the side of the road. However, not every business has developed a brand.
Here are 6 must have elements to help you create a strong brand strategy. This will help you connect and resonate with your customer, turn them into raving fans and keep your brand front of mind when it comes time to buy.
If your brand were a person, what would it look and sound like? What language would it use and how would it make your customers feel? What kind of reputation would it have and how would people talk about it? Having clarity about ‘who’ your brand is, is essential if you want to connect with your customers. Developing a brand with personality will attract and resonate with the right type of clients. The type of clients that you want to work with as they value what you do and stand for and they are happy to tell everyone how amazing you are. Developing a brand personality with subconsciously allow these perfect clients to better understand ‘who’ your brand is – not simply what you do.
Why does Harley Davidson have a more loyal/cult following than Yamaha? It’s because Harley Davidson has built a brand based on freedom, shaking up the status quo and a smattering of rebellion. At the same time they are non-conforming and allow self-expression in a non-judgemental environment. According to Brand Personalities which is build off Carl Jung’s 12 personality archetypes, Harley Davidson is The Rebel. Does your brand have a personality or is it bland and only focused on making transactions? Find out what your brand personality is at www.brandpersonalities.com.au
A brand promise is way more than a slogan. It goes to the heart of ‘how’ you do what you do, who you do it for and why you do it. It’s something to be shared amongst your team, your supporters and your customers. It should always at the core of what you do and be the primary focal point for everyone who works in your business. You may fault in other areas of the business, or drop the ball every now and then, but if you consistently deliver on your promise you’ll be amazed at how many people will forgive the other oversights.
Apple’s brand promise to “Think Different.” Interestingly this also happens to be their slogan. This promise can be seen in everything that they do; from the products they produce based on innovation as well as design, the experience you have visiting their stores or the Genius Bar through to the exciting experience when unbox one of their products. Apple applies their Think Different promise to everything they do.
It’s tempting to try and be all things to all people. However, you don’t need multiple brand promises. You just need one good one. If you fail to deliver on your brand promise, expect your reputation to take a hit. So take time and get this right.
As humans we LOVE stories! Stories fill our world. They connect and resonate with us far more than facts and figures. So when we hear a brand’s story, we can’t help but place more value on it than a brand that doesn’t share theirs. Stories need to be infused with characters and personality to help people remember them. This is where your brand personality gets to shine. Your story gives you an opportunity to inspire, engage or entertain your customers with the ultimate intention of evoking an emotion. So are you telling your brand story – and let me give you a hint – it has nothing to do with what you do – but all about why you do it.
This is the part of branding that most people are comfortable with and understand. Your brand identity is the visual representation of your brand. It includes things such as your logo, colours, fonts, website, signage, brochures etc. It’s the type of imagery you use, the language and tone of your brand voice and the way that you like to communicate with your customers. The design of your identity relies heavily on the personality of your brand. If you are The Hero brand personality such as Nike you have a very different look, feel, tone and way of communicating than if you were Disney, who is The Magician.
Brand culture influences our behaviour, our perceptions and shapes our personalities. The culture of the brand needs to start from within. Hiring staff that fit in with the company culture, ensuring that everyone is properly trained, that they understand the brand values and can uphold and deliver on the promise each and every day enables a strong brand culture.
The brand culture has to come from within the company before it can be filtered through to the customer. If staff are well trained, feel valued and part of something bigger than simply making money, then the culture will authentically grow and spread. Google has become famous for their brand culture of fostering innovation, flexible work, employee perks and the freedom to be creative. They have a very strong brand culture that nurtures happy, productive and dedicated employees which results in happy, loyal customers.
Create a memory for your client. A memory that they can take with them, share with their friends and be a trigger at the time of purchase to again come to you. Your brand experience is once again built off your brand personality. If you are The Entertainer personality such as Ellen then your brand experience will be very different to Oprah who is The Sage. Think about how you want to make your customer feel and then create an experience around every touch point in the business.