Great branding can help increase sales, credibility, and stability, all through brand recognition. You need to have a solid brand strategy and visual identity behind it all. There are a lot of elements to consider and determine when you’re working on brand strategy, but here are the three main pillars you need to take into consideration:
Your client base is at the center of it all. If your branding doesn’t speak to them, you’re setting yourself up for failure from the get-go. You’ll need to take the time to either determine who your ideal customers are, or, who your actual, with a strong emphasis on actual, customers are. A lot of company owners think they know who their customers are, when in fact, they’re completely off base. A whiskey brand might launch a Holiday campaign marketing to 35-55 year old males, their target consumer, when in reality, it’s primarily their wives who purchase the product as gifts for their husbands and loved-ones. If you’re a toy company, you might be making products for kids, but it reality, you’re going to be marketing to the parents who are buying your toys. Now branding and marketing are two different things, granted, but you still need to take the people who will actually make the purchase into consideration.
Start drafting out client profiles so you can make sure you’re talking to the right customer. Use these profiles throughout your branding journey, and always come back to them, asking yourself how they would react to every element or piece that comes out of the brand strategy.
The second pillar is very obviously your company. Your company has its own personality, its own voice, and you need to make it shine and enhance it as much as possible. All while still considering the interaction with your client profiles. Two companies can have a similar product, similar clienteles, and still be completely different from one another. Chose your angle, work on your strategy, and go all out. Make sure you start by determining your mission statement, your brand message, your long-term goals; it will help align the vision and clarify the direction to opt for.
At this stage, it can also help to set up a company persona, brand attributes, and look and feel.
The last pillar is the market. Touching on the previous point, two companies can have similar products and still stand out in their own way within the same market. Take Apple and LG within the mobile phone space. They both have very different positioning, price points, etc. There is also an important factor to consider: brand perception. Unfortunately, although there are multiple ways to influence it, brand perception is just that; how your clients will perceive you, and that’s not something you can force onto them. If you have great branding but your product isn’t up to par, it’s more likely that your brand perception will tend towards the negative side. But that comes a little later. For now, you need to focus on your competition, your customer base, and your product, and then position yourself where it makes sense on all counts.
Your positioning will greatly influence your visual identity, so it’s important to get this figured out before even considering going into visuals.
As a general rule, even if your company is launched and you know where you’re going, it’s best to take the time to go through the whole strategy process and make sure that you’re not only hitting all the marks, but that you’re also making adjustments along the way to help boost your brand and/or company.