Think about the biggest corporations you can. What do you think of? Is it their logo (the swoosh), their slogan (Just do It), a specific color scheme (black and white), or a product (a running shoe)? If you’re Nike, that’s all I have to say to connect you to the brand, but we’re not all Nike; after all, that calibre of brand equity takes DECADES and millions, no BILLIONS of dollars to establish. But just like Nike, your brand simply must be your own unique footprint (no pun intended); and it must be one that nobody can ever replicate or come close to.
Maybe it’s the feeling you associate with the end product and the outcome it delivered, or maybe it’s the branded bag you kept to re-use later. No matter what first comes to mind when thinking of any company, it’s their brand you’re connecting with. And your brand is not just what you sell, it’s what you promise, how you sell it and how it leaves your customers feeling afterwards.
Branding affects everything from products, packaging, marketing, its customer experience, its digital footprint, its employees’ attitudes and the ever critical social sentiment. For this reason, building a brand is above all else, essential. And you have to live, breathe and believe the brand to be continuously fostered in order to stay top of mind.
When launching any new business, the brand custodian is charged with creating so much more than just a name, a logo, a flyer, an ad, or a landing page. Establishing a thriving business means digging deep into consumer insights and uncovering a specific need, and building a brand that embraces and delivers on that need, again and again. Understanding what your customers expect and how you can deliver on it is the first port of call.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What do I do better than any other brand doing the same thing?
- If I was in the target audience, why would I choose my brand over my competitors?
- How can I differentiate my brand from my competitors?
- How will I know my customers are satisfied?
- How can I make sure they tell their friends, and their friends, and most importantly, come back?
These questions should underpin everything about your brand development, not just in your logo, your tagline or your marketing collateral, but in every single thing your customers come into contact with; from your product, your website, your social media, your customer service, your packaging, your entire digital footprint.
No matter how impressive your product is, your brand has to connect with your consumer and stick with them. It must lure them in, deliver on it’s promise and keep them continuously interested. Think about apple and the beautiful and simple brand that keeps consumers coming back for more. Despite the cracked screens, the broken buttons, the fact it’s so easy to drop them in the toilet, consumers keep coming back for the apple brand experience. Everything from that logo at the front door, to the beautiful white boxes their products come in, to the sheer whiteness of everything the apple consumer comes into contact with just oozes apple!
Without your own recognisable brand footprint, you may well be forgotten, or worse, mistaken for someone else.