In fact, the level of sales, the income of a company or an individual depends on how loyal customers are to offers on the market. Therefore, more and more business owners are paying attention to the development of effective branding.
After all, a brand is not just a logo, but a recognizable image that distinguishes any product or service from competitors.
However, branding and branding are often used interchangeably, which is not entirely true. These are completely different concepts, as it turned out upon closer examination. The definition gives a clear understanding that branding is a general strategy, and branding is one of the directions in promoting a brand in the market.
So what is branding for, when is it important to rebrand and what is branding? It is advisable to tell in simple words about the most important thing in the world of business.
Brand: 4 main tasks
In order to create a recognizable brand, you need to do a lot of work. Reveal the values and mission of the company, define the target audience, think over additional elements.
For this, specialists from various fields are involved. Together they develop a concept, conduct analytics and propose different solutions. After all, a brand, by definition, is not what customers see. This is what they think, what emotions they have at that moment.
The main objectives of the brand:
- Due to the clearly expressed USP (Unique Trade Advantage) declares uniqueness. Thus, differences from similar offers of competitors appear.
- Due to the experienced emotions, it increases the value of the offer and increases the price of goods, services.
- The corporate identity helps to form trust, recognition and increases reach.
- Unobtrusively attracts loyal customers, thereby expanding the base.
In short, branding is not only a visual part. There should be an integrated approach to solving the problem, since these activities are aimed at creating a single positive image among clients.
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It is important to understand that there is a tactic and strategy when promoting any product, service, company or individual. In fact, branding is a strategy for creating a positive image of a company, product or service among potential customers, and marketing is a tactical part of brand promotion.
Branding, on the other hand, consists of several stages, the step-by-step passage of which gives the desired result. It doesn’t matter what acts as an object – a product, service, company or individual.
- At the first stage, it is necessary to find out the purpose, to determine the importance and significance of the brand itself, to determine the competitive adjustment, advantages. If there is a rebranding, then surveys, tests are carried out among the selected focus groups, analytics of the results obtained.
- At the second stage, it is necessary to proceed to detailing and planning the main points. It is here that the deadlines, possible obstacles and difficulties are determined. All resources that will be used for branding are weighed. Possible target audience is also determined. The name and slogan are thought out for better memorization. If you need to brand the site, then it is necessary to create or reconstruct an existing one.
- Analytics of the market situation. A deep marketing analysis of competitors, requests and audience is carried out.
- At this stage, a visual image is formed. The usefulness of the product, service, value is determined. Visual features of perception of potential buyers are tested.
- Preparatory stage for the launch of the brand on the market. Responsible people for certain stages are determined, plans for promotion and monitoring are developed. Efficiency calculations are being prepared.
- Active stage of promotion. This is where advertising starts, a loyalty program with unique cards is offered, and various promotions are held.
- Evaluation stage. It is carried out immediately after all the previous stages. Thus, all branding activities are summarized. The current state of affairs and what was originally planned are analyzed without fail. All necessary adjustments are made to the further strategy.
These are the stages that will help the quality management of brand development, timely adjustment, and further development of a company or an individual. By the way, only a regular audit will show the first signals for action in the event of a decrease in demand for goods, services, a change in the course of the company’s development.
After deep analysis of all components, a decision can be made to change individual brand elements or rebrand. That is, a complete change of the brand and the development of a new development strategy.
Branding as part of an advertising campaign
When promoting a brand, it is very important to maintain the unity of meaning and visuals. In everything you need to adhere to the chosen style, even in the smallest details. Even the design elements of an advertising campaign on social networks should be in the same style with the rest of the components.
This is a whole range of activities that create a recognizable image of a physical product or manufacturer, company, individual. Suffice it to recall the successful Coca-Cola brand.
Although the company produces cleaning agents, solvent, but most people, when mentioning the name of the company, immediately imagine exactly the drink. By the way, no holiday takes place without it, especially the New Year.
It is quite difficult to promote a brand associated with the provision of a service or service. In some cases, you can provide a trial period for the provision of services for free.
When promoting a service, it is important to create a certain atmosphere of trust, safety and comfort. In exceptional cases, resort to interactions with other brands.
Many large companies pay attention to corporate culture. Thus, they create detuning from competitors in the chosen niche. Ideally, employees should share brand values and use the company’s products and services.
In addition, a corporate style of clothing for employees is being developed, a uniform design of workplaces, scripts for conversations with customers and visitors.
In order for advertising to be successful, it is necessary to adhere to the corporate identity in everything. The very essence of branding in this case is to apply branded ads to various surfaces.
It all depends on the texture and shape. These can be garden benches, stopping pavilions, transport, stationery, printing.
Any branding method helps potential customers remember the name of the company. And the more often they see the logo or other brand elements, the better.
The most common ways to implement branding:
- Printing. The most popular method available. Moreover, the number of products is only increasing and the line is expanding: business cards, notebooks, posters, booklets, calendars and postcards with corporate symbols. Such products are used as handouts at various meetings, seminars, presentations.
- Embossing . It can be used to apply logos and symbols on various surfaces: leather, soft wood, paper. Embossing is used for the manufacture of business cards, diaries, various packaging and souvenirs.
- Silk-screen printing, thermal printing, thermography . These methods are suitable for branding clothing. These are mainly T-shirts, caps, aprons, scarves and more. This branding option is quite in demand for creating a corporate style and developing uniforms for employees. It is possible to create a kit for presentations or as gifts.
It should be remembered that any souvenir or brochure with a company logo is a tool to expand brand influence and attract potential customers. By the way, the efficiency of branding does not depend on the size of the souvenir, whether at least a small block with leaflets for notes.
What about the Internet?
Now more and more companies are switching to remote operation, creating personal pages on social networks and developing websites. The site must maintain the corporate identity and use brand elements.
A company page on any social network is also part of a developed strategy to promote the brand and attract subscribers and potential customers. Everything should be considered here, from the published content to the manner of communication in correspondence.
In addition, it is important to involve subscribers in the dialogue under the posts, participation in various contests and quizzes. The more actively they react to publications, the wider the reach not only for a single post.
Subscribers are very well involved in game contests, creative events. However, everything should be in harmony with the brand’s mission and not contradict it.
In fact, branding on social networks is indirect advertising that allows you to profitably differentiate yourself from competitors and draw attention to the page, company.
Now the trend is minimalism and simplicity of usability. In addition to brand elements, there must be a convenient menu, high-quality and useful content, unique materials for illustrations.
Branding Instagram content
The difference of Instagram is that visual content attracts attention here first of all. Therefore, there must be a high-quality photo for text posts, stories with elements of corporate identity, online broadcasts.
Ensure that published content does not conflict with the brand’s mission and values.
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The main differences between good branding
Successful companies in their branding necessarily use the following tools:
- Mission and values. They answer the question of how the company can help, what values it carries and how it can improve people’s lives in general.
- Text content. You cannot use clericalism and stamps. It is better to write easily, in a consistent style, using words that will be strongly associated with the brand. Each text should be unique and useful to the readers.
- Visual content. Think in advance about the color palette that will match the corporate style. It is imperative to work out a general concept: who or what will be in the photo, how it will look. If these are people, then how they will look in the photo, what to do, what emotions to express.
- The unity of all brand elements. In any case, there should be harmony among all elements: text, visual series. Each post should carry one general message. If something is out of the ordinary, it can negatively affect the perception in general.
When communicating with potential customers through various instant messengers, it is necessary to adhere to the norms accepted in the company.
It should be agreed in advance: how to communicate with subscribers and potential customers, what phrases can or cannot be used, whether there will be a ready-made script or freely enough to answer questions, supporting the general idea.
It’s hard to say that branding is just one way to promote a brand. After all, this is a whole range of activities that begins with the development of a mission, a general concept, company values and determination of the target audience. And all these elements should complement each other, be harmonious.
Sincerely, Olga Lyalyukova
specially for the proudalenku.ru project