Branding is a term that has become popular in recent years. Among marketing experts, this word is of utmost importance for the life and creation of a brand. This is because it’s vital to achieve the positioning necessary to increase the number of customers. Some claim that branding is the difference between a unique and successful brand versus one that fails to emerge. In this blog, we will give you the grounds to understand how branding works. This way you will be able to start your business. Learn about Branding 101 to start your business.
What is branding?
The definition of branding says that it’s the work of brand management to make it known. Thanks to branding you can create a positive image in people’s minds.
This, in turn, implies taking actions and plans that promote the positioning of the brand.
In addition to creating a connection with the public, using the values of the brand, which influences the decision-making of customers.
The origin of branding dates back to 350 BC where people used it to set apart one product from another. The original term comes from “brandr” which means “to mark with fire” in an Old Norse dialect.
After a long time, farmers used a brand to differentiate their livestock.
They used simple and easily identifiable signs that marked the animal with fire. This may be one of the first times that people used a logo. It dates from 1500 AD
Currently, these practices are still used (differentiating products from the rest).
Branding 101 to start your business. However, nowadays companies use more complex and meaningful methods. However, the objective remained to be the same, which is wanting to stand out in the market.
What is it for?
These methods have different uses because they are a very broad element within a brand. They help companies differentiate their strategies from those of any other competitor in the sector. They also facilitate the work of reaffirming the positive points in the values of the company.
These values are what will help you position yourself.
Also, as another element, it provides a unique identity to the product that makes it recognizable to the consumer.
Besides, you can change the image that the customer has of the product if you do it correctly.
Why is it important? Branding 101 to start your business
The importance of branding lies in the fact that it’s the differentiating element of your product. It will give your company a whole personality.
Think of a brand as a living being, since it’s born, grows, matures, and then dies. Like everyone else, brands should be associated with values that are built continuously. Without these values, you cannot fully develop the personality of that brand.
Branding seeks to show each of the qualities that the product has and give it an identity. This, in turn, will allow customers to associate certain values with the brand and remain in their minds. To be able to do this, the identity of a brand is constantly being built every day. Thus, this is a time-consuming task that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Differences between brand and branding
It’s important not to confuse the brand with branding or other similar elements. ‘For example, the brand is how the public sees a product or company, that is, their thoughts about it. As a result, these perceptions must be carefully worked out as they will give you an idea of what the consumer expects from you.
The brand concept is closer to a mental aspect or a set of thoughts, emotions, and evaluations associated with an external perception. This means that a brand is everything we think about and associate with a company name. They are also the meanings linked to the signifier, in more semiotic terms.
On the other hand, branding is the set of actions that manage to create these structures in the mind of the consumer. If done correctly, branding can be an indelible element in people’s minds. This is due to the mix of design, language, or experiences intended for the goal.
First steps for successful branding
First of all, you have to know if you will do branding for your company or a personal brand because even though branding seeks the same objective.
It must be worked differently.
The own brand is a strategy in which a person generates a brand for themselves.
This strategy seeks to position yourself in people’s minds as someone trustworthy.
Usually, this is used by politicians or businessmen, but also for other cases.
Today, the own brand is as important to many as the brand of a company.
The importance of your own brand
This lies in the fact that by generating trust in the customer they will feel more comfortable to make purchases.
We can divide this into two important factors:
- Tangible factors: such as market share and company revenue.
- Intangible factors: such as the strategic benefits of the brand.
Define your key goals
Goals are essential to start any plan. They help guide you when starting work. For a brand, this should also be the first step for you or your company. If you don’t take into account determining what your goals are, you won’t be able to do a good job.
So, to start, as a company or personal brand you can ask yourself some questions: Who are you as a company? What are your most important values? What do you want to achieve? And what distinctive features do you want your future brand to convey? Besides finding out what defines your company, you can also wonder about how you are going to achieve your goals. For example, questions like what market segments are you targeting? What added value do you bring to the world? How do you want to communicate your existence to the public? Are also important.
By answering these questions honestly and sincerely, they will help you get started with the branding of your brand. The answer to these questions will give you a solid basis for the next decisions to be made by the company. Thus, they will help you achieve each of your objectives and continue to grow.
If you have an idea that doesn’t fit the goals you have in mind, you can refine it, tweak it, or just drop it. Another question that you can ask yourself is what you want to achieve. The next step is to imagine how you would look in the long term with your business.
Write them down in a document and keep them in mind at all times. This way you can constantly review them to modify or discard them according to the plan’s progress.
SWOT analysis is a tool for studying the situation of a company. It helps you to analyze its internal characteristics and external situation. The internal characteristics come to be the strengths and weaknesses, while the external ones are the opportunities and threats.
Originally this analysis comes from the acronym SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). It’s a tool to know the real situation in which an organization, company, or project is, and in this way to plan a strategy for the future.
The technique was originally proposed by Albert S. Humphrey during the 1960s and 1970s in the United States. This tool was revolutionary in the field of business strategy. In the same sense, its objective is to determine the competitive advantages of a company.
SMART Goals are acronyms that provide some standards to guide the setting of goals in project management.
The letters S and M generally stand for specific and measurable.
Then the other letters stand for achievable, relevant, and duration, in that order. However, the creator of these goals had a slightly different version. Depending on each author, the lyrics can mean different things.
SMART goals and SMART objectives are also discussed. Goals are the distinct purpose expected of the assignment or project. While the objectives are the determining steps that will guide the complete realization of the project goals.
Know your target audience
Knowing your target audience means that you are not going to sell to just anyone.
You should design your product to meet the needs of a specific group and not several. Otherwise, you may not be able to increase your sales. Thus, the answer to “Who are you trying to sell your product to?” shouldn’t be “To everyone”.
Once you know your ideal client, you can carry out strategies that bring you closer to them in an easier way.
Companies must create and distinguish who their ideal customer is.
This is the customer profile that is created as a reminder of what the key target audience should be. To do this, you can look at who your current customers are, those of your competition, and start developing that ideal person for you.
Once the analysis is complete, make a list of the advantages of your products and make sure they fit your ideal person. It’s like a game, create that character that is ideal for your products. On the other hand, remember that they have wants and needs, so if your product or service can’t satisfy them, you have to change characters.
This type of approach is called segmentation and it’s important to set limits for your clients. Before, companies used to put out products, and people adapted to them. Today, that is the opposite. Clients have unique needs and are very demanding. Therefore, you must find a way to make the product fit your consumer and not vice versa.
What is a niche?
In addition to segmenting, you can search for your ideal niche. A market niche is a part of consumers, which is usually neglected. Here you can find an opportunity to sell your products with less competition. However, a common misconception is that niche and market segments are synonymous.
A market segment is a group of consumers with similar interests and needs. It’s the largest part of the market, while the niche market always refers to a tiny and unexplored group. That is, the market niche is a small part of a segment.
For a company, choosing a suitable market segment is very important. Once the segment is selected, it becomes the target market group, to which you must direct each of the product proposals.
Conceptualize the personality and identity of your brand
This is when the creative aspect begins. From now on you begin to use all the information collected in the previous points to develop the identity of your brand. Remember that branding is conceiving its authentic personality and not just a name with a logo.
Thus, the idea is to create a visual element that represents all the values through branding. This will make the public feel connected to you and your products. There are several elements that you must take into account as the pillars of branding.
The first of these should be the logo, which has to be impressive and consistent with the values of the company. Also, the strategy of the corporate identity or graphic identity package must be addressed.
The corporate visual identity strategy lays the foundations for graphic production. Not only that, but this identity also lays the foundation for the overall appearance of the company. The corporate visual identity is completely linked to the values and knowledge of the brand. Thus, each of the decisions made regarding the graphic aspect must follow the same values.
The tone of your brand
The next element to create good corporate branding is to create the tone of voice of the company. This tone does not have to be formal. So, it can be informal and carefree or very technical and direct.
Besides, this component of your corporate identity will be dictated by your sector of activity. It will also come from the market data and your own style. You should not force the tone of voice, let it flow as long as it meets the values of your brand.
The personality of your brand means creating the same narrative in all the implemented platforms. Use different tools to create websites or your social media, but keep the same style, voice, and general image on all platforms.
Branding 101 to start your business. Naming is the set of techniques used to name the brand: a good name for a brand must be and have:
- Meaning: that communicates something of the essence of the brand.
- Distinctive: easy to remember, to pronounce, and to spell. Besides, it must stand out from the competition.
- Future-oriented: seeks to position itself to favor growth, change, and success, while preserving all possibilities
- Modular: allows you to easily create extensions.
- Registrable: possible to register and that internet domains are free.
- Positive: with positive connotations in the markets it serves.
- Visual: possible to use for representation in the form of logo, text, and brand architecture.
Brand extension is when a brand enters a new product or service category. This can work as a company if it’s within your future goals to continue expanding.
Here, you keep the brand while adding new elements to favor the understanding of this new offer.
Some brands that use this are those that sell carbonated drinks.
Branding 101 to start your business. This is because they can create new flavors or proposals but at the end of the day, it’s the same product.
The slogan is the phrase that speaks of the qualities of a brand in the framework of an advertising or dissemination campaign.
Here, you must explain the essence of the brand. In addition to that, it must be an essential part of verbal identity.
Thus, in a single phrase, word, or sentence, you must make people understand who you are as a company and what you want to achieve.
How to create a slogan?
Define attributes or benefits
The best way to create a slogan is by defining the first two or three attributes, benefits, or advantages of your brand.
These attributes should be the most important or outstanding of your brand.
Thanks to this, consumers will relate to your products and, finally, connect with them.
Make a list of possible slogans, Branding 101 to start your business
After identifying the attributes and benefits of your brand, company, or products that best define your brand, it’s time to make a list.
In a document, begin to make the list of slogan proposals.
It can be hard, but try to at least have 10 examples that you can analyze in the future and choose.
You can ask for help from marketing experts to make these proposals.
Choose a slogan and include it in the media
Finally! This is the most fun and exciting part. Branding 101 to start your business. Once you have a list of slogans, you can choose the best ones.
Between each of the phrases that you have on the list, find out which ones are the best and which ones are more in line with your brand. Ideally, choose one that is hooky, easy to remember, and explains who you are.
Take into account that in the future you might want to change or modify the logo.
This to please the new needs of the markets or because you want to change the entire structure and your values as a company. The document with the slogan list may be helpful. Save other slogans on your list in case you decide to use them later.
The logo is a graphic design that represents the corporate image and visual identity of a brand.
Thus, we often see them being the graphic design of the word, name of the company or organization.
The confusion between logo and brand is also common and understandable.
This was because the term branding has its origin in the marking of cattle, as we explained above.
The logo remains a central element of all brands. While it’s not the only visual element, it’s the most important for a brand.
Visual key, Branding 101 to start your business
A visual key is a base design that a brand uses as a guide or visual reference for its campaigns.
This base design shares style, typography, and color palette, among other elements.
The visual key is related to logos since in many cases the most identifiable thing about a brand is its logo.
However, several iconic visual elements reflect the values and essence of the brands much better than the logo.
For example, the color Coca-Cola red.
Look and feel
As its name implies, this is everything that is seen and perceived by a brand.
All this goes from the design of the packaging, posters, website, and social media, among others.
Thus, everything must share characteristics that are associated with the brand.
You should take a storytelling approach
Storytelling or narration for a brand is an art, but at the same time, a necessity for brands.
These content and story creation strategies are very successful according to marketing experts.
With them, you can promote all your products or ideas. Besides, it’s ideal for brand growth.
However, for this to work, stories need to be creative and engaging. Try to tell something relevant to consumers and develop an emotional connection with readers.
Brand storytelling, Branding 101 to start your business
Here comes another of the important points of marketing and branding. You must have control of the verbal identity of your brand.
The storytelling of the brand must have a whole personality that adapts to the needs and style of the consumers. This way, it will be much easier to get closer to them, position yourself in the market, give them a vision of who you are, and your values.
Nowadays, brands shifted their focus to the telling of stories to help consumers relate to their products and services. That’s why storytelling is important for branding. It helps you to increase the interaction and loyalty that the client or community has towards you.
It’s important to understand that people today are not looking only for products, but complete experiences.
The fact of acquiring a product is no longer to satisfy a need or a desire.
As a result, you must give the consumer a whole experience with the packaging, the emotions you make them feel, and the story you will tell. Branding 101 to start your business.
Create emotions and work with them throughout the life of your product. Make it part of a consumer’s life-changing experience, this way they will come back more than once and recommend you.
Define your strategy on social media and other marketing channels
According to the 2017 Annual Social Media Study, 8 out of 10 users follow brands through social media. Here you can see the importance that social media has in the lives of consumers.
Thus, as you can see, your company must have an online presence. If you still do not have a presence on social media, you must consult with a marketing agency and seek help or consultancies with them. They will facilitate the task of creating content and branding online.
Once you create your social media accounts, you need to start developing a strategy. Within this strategy must be each of the contents that will be relevant to your audience.
Stick to your goals and the needs of your customers. It can be fun to experiment, however, keep an eye on the stats to see what your followers like the most.
Create a website. Branding 101 to start your business. There are a lot of applications and platforms that allow you to create one from scratch. Remember that you must maintain the same narrative for all social media, be it Instagram, Twitter, or the website. Thus, apply the same style and tone of voice for it.
Managing the branding of your brand is not an easy task and can be very difficult to achieve. However, with the help of some marketing experts, you can make this task much easier.
BluCactus, your ally in Digital marketing
BluCactus international marketing agency serves clients all over the world. Our specialty?
The creation of web designs and SEO positioning in online searches.
Besides, our group of experts is dedicated to helping businesses and brands succeed in one of the most competitive sectors in the market, the digital world.
BluCactus will accompany you every step that your brand takes.
This goes from the creation of the branding of your business to the creation of content.
Our focus is on supporting you with the development of your website or the administration of your accounts on social media.
This online marketing agency, based in Dallas, TX, seeks to strengthen your image as a brand and take it to the next level.
Don’t wait any longer to have the help of the best specialists in digital marketing and contact us through our social media or website.
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.