Brand Strategy

7 Steps to Establishing a Highly Effective Brand

When it comes to making purchase decisions — whether it’s for a restaurant, an internet provider, household goods, or nearly any other product or service under the sun — today’s consumers have a dizzying array of options. So, for any business to achieve success and sustain it in the marketplace, it has to find a way to stand out from the competition and stick in consumers’ minds. And in a nutshell, this is exactly the idea behind successful branding.

The importance of branding

A business’s brand is what conveys its identity to consumers. It’s the face of the company, and it can make or break a business’s first impression when consumers stumble across it. In addition, effective branding can help a business become more recognizable in the marketplace, establish trust among consumers, boost its marketing and advertising efforts, create brand loyalty among customers, and even generate added motivation and a sense of loyalty among employees.

And while the branding process is a long-term, continual effort that can still be in process years (or even decades) after it’s initiated, when a business starts the branding process off on the right foot and takes the right steps, it can establish a powerful brand relatively quickly.

7 steps to effectively establishing a brand

Looking to build a brand that makes a real and lasting impact for your business? When working to create a brand that will help your company stand out and thrive in the marketplace, keep these seven critical steps in mind:

1. Understand your competition

Before building a brand, it’s important to understand the marketplace and the opportunities/openings it may present. By performing some initial market research to identify the existing competitors within your business’s industry and niche, you can get a much stronger idea of just who your competition is and how you can fit into the marketplace, as well as discern ways your brand can differentiate itself and deliver a better offering to consumers. Further, examining your competition’s persona, voice and brand messaging via a competitive analysis can be useful in helping you determine the route you’ll take in creating these important elements for your brand, as well as how you’ll position your brand.

2. … and your ideal audience

Since a leading goal of your branding is to connect with and move your potential consumers to action, it’s critical to understand their wants, needs and motivations. Take steps to identify your target audience and build brand personas that will help you better speak to these consumers. Tools that can help in accomplishing these goals can include additional market research, consumer surveys and customer interviews.

3. Be true to yourself

According to research, 88% of consumers consider authenticity to be a major factor in deciding which brands they’ll support. This fact highlights the importance of your brand being true to your company’s vision and values. When building your brand, work to ensure that it is a fit with your company’s mission statement and its business plan. Keep your overarching business goals in mind, and craft a brand that moves you toward achieving them while reflecting who you are as a business.

4. Capture your brand voice and tone

From your company name and your slogan to your messaging, content marketing, ads, social posts and other consumer touchpoints, your brand should speak in a way that captures your company’s attitude and essence — and connects with your target audience. Depending on your industry and your brand’s persona, this may mean using professional and formal language in your company’s communications, or instead conveying a casual and fun attitude. Whatever direction you take here, develop a style guide that outlines the way you’ll speak to your audience, and share it with your team so that you can keep your brand voice and tone consistent.

5. Generate a visual brand identity that fits … and stands out as your own

Your brand’s visual identity is expressed not only in its logo, but in a range of additional brand assets you’ll create — from your website design and product packaging to your employee uniforms, company letterhead, facility furnishings and signage, and newsletter layout. Strive to develop a visual identity that is unique to your brand and captures its essence, then outline it in the above-mentioned brand style guide and use it consistently. Ideally, when consumers encounter your brand colors, typography, logo, imagery, icons, etc. over time, they’ll immediately connect it to your business and recognize it as your own.

6. Emphasize what makes you different

An underlying theme of your brand identity should be spotlighting the unique features and benefits your products or services deliver that set you apart from your competitors — all part of your brand’s unique value proposition. When creating your brand, try to find ways to have your branding, brand messaging and brand assets shine a spotlight on your company’s differentiators, which can help you stand out in the marketplace and in consumers’ minds.

7. Integrate your brand in everything you do

Once you’ve completed all the work that goes into establishing your new brand, put it to work and share it with the public. Incorporate your branding across your entire company, from your facility’s front door and your website to your trade booth, email signature, employee attire, business cards and product packaging. Use it in your marketing campaigns and in other consumer communications like your email newsletter, social media posts, blog articles and billboards. No matter the consumer touchpoint, your new branding should be front and center. And if the branding is created and employed effectively, over time, no matter where consumers encounter your branding, they’ll immediately think of your business.

Could your business use guidance from a team of marketing pros on how to establish a brand effectively, along with help making it happen? At Brandon, our team of data-driven marketing professionals is highly experienced in building consumer recognition for brands and leading them to elevated success in the marketplace. In addition, as one of only 24 certified brand strategy consultancies in the United States, we possess unique expertise in developing effective branding strategies that can make your business stand out from the competition. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your brand and business grow.