A well-known and cherished brand is undoubtedly the most prized possession of any company. But the brand-building process has changed a lot.
An attractive logo is not sufficient to engage your customers. In order to impact their purchasing behavior, you should know them first. Once you do that, the next step is to create a brand focused on them.
For this reason, a strong branding strategy is an ideal approach to showcase your brand to your target market.
Your aim should not only be to build a business. The idea is to build a brand that consumers like to communicate with.
This guide will show you how to build an effective brand with comprehensive techniques to raise brand awareness.
What is a brand?
A brand is a persona built by a company to create an impression and establish its name in the industry.
Your brand is the outcome of identity (who you really are) and image (how you want to be perceived).
Take Nike, for instance. It is a well-known brand that makes footwear. For many years, Nike has created an impression in the market that the top sportspersons and eminent personalities use its footwear. And they prefer this brand due to its dominance in creativity and advanced manufacturing.
Here is an example of a Nike endorsement by top golfer Tiger Woods. This was Nike’s marketing strategy to showcase its authority in the market and raise brand awareness.
What is brand building?
Brand building is the method of bringing your target market’s attention to your product or service with the right promotional activities and tactics.
With the meaning of a brand out of the way, let’s understand what brand building means.
Brand building is the method of bringing your target market’s attention to your product or service with the right marketing activities (promotion) and tactics.
Eventually, each company planning to build a brand should aim to make it exclusive and long-lived.
Take Slack, for instance. In 2009, the platform had to compete with rivals like Skype and other top companies. So, what made this new venture grow and win? A strong brand development strategy!
Slack’s branding demonstrated that the program was created for business executives and is suitable for enterprises. Also, its casual voice and tone made users more comfortable.
Overall, you can consider banding as a roadmap of how your prospects will perceive your company. And you can achieve this with effective customer interaction and engagement throughout all points of contact.
Why is brand awareness important?
Brand awareness is essential as it enables you to give meaning to your brand, establish authority, and build confidence. It also helps you have more control over how much you charge for your product or service. Not only this. It allows you to beat your rivals and leads to effective promotion.
The significance of brand development is constantly neglected. In fact, I have often heard overconfident business owners say that their product idea was excellent. So all they required was marketing to ensure victory.
Obviously, I have never encountered a company that succeeded in brand building by merely employing marketing strategies.
Building a brand is essential for any company that wishes to be different from others and wants more prospects. With correct implementation, it can boost your company’s growth and improve brand awareness.
With that in mind, here I’ll explain why branding is essential and why you should go for it:
Gives you an identity
Brand building makes your consumers comfortable while communicating with your company. The reason is that they are aware of your brand identity and are unlikely to get any surprises. So, sticking to your brand value proposition and offering similar deliverables increases your consumers’ trust in your brand.
Establishes authority and confidence
Maintaining a credible tone is crucial for building authority and confidence in your brand.
Customers can be reluctant to communicate with your business if it comes across as unsophisticated or fake.
The customers’ emotional response to your brand can decide how they see and understand it. So, the aesthetics of your brand can very well impact the purchasing behavior of your consumers.
An effective brand roadmap distinguishes your brand from others. Not only this. It also ensures your brand is credible, appealing, and unforgettable to your target market. It’s an excellent approach to communicate your company’s commitment, goal, and offer solutions to consumers’ issues.
Dictates the pricing
Companies that spend a lot of money on brand building are seen as more reputed than those that don’t.
According to Salsify’s Digital Consumer Research study in 2022, 46% of American customers say that they are willing to spend extra for a brand they recognize.
And guess what? Brand building is a great technique (out of many) to take your company to a superior level.
For example, consumers are willing to pay more for a cup of coffee at Starbucks as compared to a local brand. That’s the power of brand awareness.
Beats your rivals
Above all, the main purpose of each company is to beat its rivals. The easiest method to achieve this is to build a brand that distinguishes you from others in the market.
If your brand is not unique, it can be lost in the crowd. This will not benefit your company in any way. Also, you will miss out on a competitive advantage to attract consumers.
If you plan to launch your brand across the country, you should build one that can contest internationally. This is communicated to your potential customers via brand awareness campaigns.
Sets the stage for marketing
If you want your promotion strategies to perform well, you need to ensure they are in sync with your brand.
With marketing and branding in sync with each other, the correct information will reach the target market via relevant techniques.
Instead of consumers seeing the companies from the marketing perspective, an emphasis on brand awareness offers a full picture.
So you can build a strong brand over the years only if you consider all these factors.
For this reason, you should master brand-building strategies. These tactics will help build a good reputation for your company and distinguish your brand from others.
Three core components of brand building
The three core components of branding are brand strategy, brand identity, and brand promotion.
Building a brand is not a quick process. It is a long-term strategy that involves conveying the same brand value proposition and living up to its commitment every time.
To create a powerful brand, three key components are essential. If you neglect these core elements of brand awareness or leave them incomplete, you are unlikely to build a lasting brand. So let’s explore each of them in detail.
The brand strategy includes defining your brand core (purpose, vision, and values), brand persona (personality, voice, and tagline), and brand positioning (audience, market, and goals).
The planning part is where you clearly define your brand. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who are you? (brand core)
- Who do you serve? (brand persona)
- Why should your target market bother? (brand positioning)
This flowchart shows the nine elements of a brand strategy.
The majority of companies miss this part. That’s why their brand image and brand awareness efforts are unable to impact their target market effectively.
When you are aware of your brand core, persona, and positioning, the brand development exercise gets quite simple.
For instance, the Mollyjogger brand was created by nature enthusiasts, for nature admirers. You can see this in their motto – “Field, Forest & Stream.”
You can notice the deep awareness of the brand and its target market in almost all visible elements of the Mollyjogger brand.
Take their color scheme, for instance. They have used a green color that signifies forest or jungle and blue that represents rivers or streams.
Not only this. They have also used playful and exciting fonts in their content. The real-life pictures exhibit their goods or accessories.
Your brand identity includes your brand logo, design, language, mission, vision, culture, behavior, and communication.
Brand identity is perhaps the most hyped brand-building component in every company. The reason is that almost all companies have a logo, at the least.
Yet, the brand identity structure is not only about a logo. The word ‘structure’ means all the graphical components of the brand operating in unity.
The elements of brand identity include design, communication, logo, behavior, language, mission, vision, and culture.
The graphical components of brand identity are created to convey the traits of the brand graphically.
A great example of a successful brand identity is Hydro Flask – a Gen Z bottle retailer. The Pacific Northwest-based business understands the importance of organic beauty. And employs it in each point of contact of its visual branding elements.
The logo of Hydro Flask has seen only a few revisions and modifications. The latest version is a hopping and beaming individual with a body that looks like an H. The monochrome color scheme contrasts with their vibrant metal flasks.
One of the reasons why Hydro Flask’s brand identity is quite attractive is the bottle personalization feature. Buyers can customize their flasks with colors, slings, and prints of their own choice.
But, irrespective of color, each Hydro Flask bottle is easily recognizable in the crowd. This level of brand awareness is the evidence of fostered brand allegiance and increasing fan base.
Brand marketing is a method of building and nurturing the relationship between your brand and customers. You can achieve this via content marketing, social media channels, blogs, marketing emails, and print media.
Branding cannot succeed in the absence of marketing.
You may offer the finest item across the globe with a strong status, a powerful selling proposition, and an appealing identity. But if you don’t possess the tools to bring your brand to your target market, it won’t make any difference.
Marketing is what makes results happen, and the brand’s value proposition is communicated through many points of contact:
- Social network accounts or pages
- Websites or blogs
- Outdoor advertising
- Sales kiosks
- Promotion or publicity
- Content marketing
- Media clips or films
- Marketing emails
- Business gatherings
- Print media (brochures, booklets, business cards, calendars, etc.)
For instance, Sephora reaches its target market by connecting with its community across social networks through video marketing. Initially, they noticed that their target audience was watching instructional (how-to) videos and user opinions on YouTube prior to buying a product.
With this information, they concentrated on producing lots of similar content every year.
That’s not all. Sephora even collaborated with YouTube and Instagram content creators. This partnership aimed to promote their beauty items, increase brand awareness, and connect with the potential, eligible target market.
Here is an example of video marketing by the Sephora brand on its YouTube channel.
How to successfully build a brand?
Building a brand involves identifying your business strategy, target customers, their needs, your competition, your brand positioning, and your messaging.
Whether you build a brand for your company or another party, you must follow a strong branding plan.
Once you are aware of the meaning of branding and brand image, you can begin building your brand. But keep in mind that brand creation is an ongoing (not quick) process. It takes perseverance and commitment to build a successful brand.
So here’s the blueprint you can follow to create a brand. Let’s dive in!
Determine your brand’s vision
Decide where you want to be and include it in your vision statement.
Nobody sets out with the intention of establishing an unsuccessful brand. Each brand is created with the ambition to lead the market. Yet many business owners hardly pause to define their brand’s vision.
Brands and business owners with a clear idea of their destination are likely to follow the right steps to ensure the success of their brand.
To increase the probability of your brand’s victory, you need to define what winning means for your brand and add it to your vision statement.
Brand mission – draft your brand’s promise
Define why your business exists, what its overall goal is, and identify the aim of its operation.
A brand’s mission or aim reflects the promises the brand will take responsibility for, in order to accomplish its ambitious long-term goal.
The mission statement explains the reason for a company’s existence, its general objective, and determining the purpose of its processes.
It is an official brief that covers:
- What you do
- How you do it
- Why you do it
The word ‘promises’ does not imply that top management needs to follow a certain checklist.
Rather, the brand’s purpose is a promise to provide an experience that captures the essence of the brand’s values and principles. It means taking a stand that standardizes ongoing operations and behavior.
Brand values – determine your key principles
Have clarity on what’s crucial to you in how you run your business. Next, draft clear and precise value statements to serve as a blueprint.
We, humans, are usually drawn to individuals with similar principles and beliefs.
If we are in sync with others based on our values or beliefs, the chances of having a solid relationship are high.
Brands that show principles similar to their target market, lay a strong groundwork for client relations.
For your brand principles to be useful, they should be workable or implementable. Next, they should be put into action.
Determine what matters to you in the manner you run your company. Then, write down brief guidelines to serve as a reference.
Market segmentation – determine customer groups
Identify your core market segments based on demographics, behaviors, hobbies, psychographics, and audience size.
Markets are nothing but a section of individuals looking for a product or service being offered by companies.
If you want to determine how to improve your brand awareness tactically, the first step is to recognize your target market and the sections inside it.
Some of the most commonly used market segmentation types include:
- Demographic segmentation – age, ethnic origin, region, gender, and dialect
- Behavioral segmentation – occupation, buying habits, and browsing habits
- Hobbies – interests, pastimes, and fanbases or fan communities
- Psychographic segmentation – character, principles, views, mindset, and way of living
- Size of the market – small, large, broad, and narrow
Figure out the various sections in your target market and what connects the individuals within each section.
For instance, the target market of physiotherapists consists of the following segments:
- Individuals recuperating from a wound
- Individuals who engage in athletics
- Individuals suffering from neck and back issues
- Expecting mothers looking for help
- Kids with growth-related issues
The physiotherapists should recognize these market segments before deciding the group of people they wish to target.
Determine your target market or intended audience
Build a buyer persona and use it to identify your target market. When done right, the final profile will match your intended audience.
Now that you’re done with segmentation, it’s time to pick a specific segment to target. This means identifying your brand’s target market. These are the market sections your brand intends to reach.
You must be aware of your customer avatar or audience profile. Not only this. You should recognize your target market and how they will benefit from communicating with your brand.
A customer persona is an imaginary or fictitious portrayal of your intended audience. If you do it the right way, the resulting profile will be similar to your ideal customer.
Having clarity about your audience segmentation can result in improved performance.
That’s why it is essential to determine your intended audience. It is a key component of brand-building and you should not neglect it.
Conduct a competitive analysis
Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your rivals to improve your brand awareness efforts.
Now you are aware of your target market sections and strategies to reach those sections. The next part of the brand development plan is to study the businesses catering to your target market.
You should be familiar with the strengths and weaknesses of your rival brands and aim to enhance your brand-building initiatives or endeavors.
That’s where competitive analysis comes in. It helps you study your rivals to identify the areas where they are shining and the ones where they need improvement.
This stage in the brand development method involves identifying ways to stand out among the competition or fit your intended audiences’ requirements.
Successful competitor research includes identifying distinctive possibilities to offer customers a better substitute for their present choice.
For this reason, you should study your rivals to identify different means of offering a unique experience to your target market.
Determine brand positioning
Identify the zone to operate in, don’t play it too safe, give your best shot, and don’t worry about upsetting your rivals. The ideal zone should be distinctive for rivals, inspiring for customers, and acceptable for the brand.
By now, you will have spent enough time studying and evaluating your market, the sections you wish to reach, and the rivals catering to them.
The next step is to determine your brand’s differentiation strategy that will make your target market pick your business over others.
Your brand positioning defines the distinctive advantage your company provides in the industry.
As a general guideline, if your target market appreciates this distinction, they may pick your brand over others. Not only this. They may even spend more money on it.
Don’t be too cautious while positioning your brand. Give your best, be brave, and don’t worry about offending or upsetting your rivals.
When you work on crafting your brand differentiation description, identify the zone to operate. This zone can distinguish your business to succeed in the industry.
The ideal zone should be distinctive for rivals, inspiring for customers, and acceptable for the brand.
Select a brand name
Ensure a certain degree of individuality and ingenuity while determining your ideal brand name. To do this, use online software or ask relevant people for help.
Creating a credible, catchy, and informative brand name is one more crucial element you must consider during brand building. Your brand name is critical for your brand awareness.
Selecting an appropriate brand name will assist in communicating your company’s purpose and the right place in the market. So, you will have to ensure a certain degree of individuality and ingenuity while determining your ideal brand name. This will help your target market recall your brand name and utilize it to reach your business.
Not just that. The ideal brand name will assist in distinguishing your brand from others, imparting your company a distinctive image.
Luckily, the web is swamped with numerous solutions and applications that you may utilize to discover the perfect name for your business.
Keep in mind, the name carries a lot of strength or significance for your brand awareness activities. You require a brand name that reflects your company’s worth and makes a lasting impact on your target audience.
This is achievable with the relevant software and the appropriate crew for assistance.
Set up your creative brief
Create your website, increase web visibility, and set up social accounts. Work towards making your brand distinctive, credible, and accessible to your intended audience.
At this point, you have a business name and all the elements required to build a brand. The next step is to bring your plan into action by displaying your brand in front of the audience.
During this stage, you create your website, increase web visibility, and set up social accounts, and work towards making your brand distinctive, credible, and accessible to your intended audience.
Plan graphic components
Choose a suitable font, appearance, color pattern, logo, motto, and typography that helps your audience remember your brand. Including your brand name in the logo might also prove effective in building your brand image.
Once you establish your creative brief, the next course of action is to build your brand’s graphic image. What imagery will make your target audience associate with your business?
Graphic brand components include your brand logo which is visible on every material (online and offline) associated with your brand. Each graphic component of your brand is essential for establishing your company as a believable, reliable, and authentic brand.
The logo, for example, will serve as the image of your company.
So, you should select the relevant text style and appearance that helps your intended market remember your brand. The easiest thing like including your brand name in your logo may prove effective in building your brand image.
This is when you will also pick an efficient color pattern, logo, motto, typography, and remaining key components for your brand.
Now you are aware of the right process for building a strong brand. If you don’t follow the right techniques to build a brand, you will be clubbed with other anonymous businesses.
Due to this, your target market will have trouble locating your business. Your ideal customers will fail to identify and select your brand among other businesses. This, in turn, will make it difficult to maintain your presence in the market.
Implement the techniques given above for effective brand development. And become the top supporter of your brand from this moment.
Did we miss anything? Did you try these steps to boost brand awareness? Do you have any questions or comments? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.