Any business or company strives for a strong brand. In fact, in many cases, most businesses or companies perceive their branding as strong, which in reality is not the case.
If you ask any top official of any firm whether they believe or think that they have a strong brand, chances are that they will confidently and enthusiastically respond with an “Yeah, our brand is damn strong!”
Just to get your head clear on what a strong brand is and should, as lack of this understanding may leave room for assumptions and ambiguity, thus businesses not having at least the bare minimum knowledge on what entails a brand and how best to position your business as a brand to remain unique and identifiable in your industry or market.
Daymon John, the branding genius and founder of FUBU. An author of Brand Within, Display of Power and recently, The Power of Broke, and one of the Sharks on the ABC television series, Shark Tank. In building FUBU to a global clothing brand, he leveraged a strong brand with a strong color and message the hit the market right at the core, and as a result, massive success.
Let’s set the record straight, can we? Okay!
First, strong brands are defined by two core elements; visibility and reputation. Visibility refers to the level of popularity or how ‘mainstream’ is your brand to your target market or audience. Reputation refers to what your business or firm is known for in relation to your target market or audience. For example, Kim Barrett is known for being a world expert in Facebook Marketing. When you mention Kim, he’s easily identified with or associated with Facebook Marketing. It’s as if he’s synonymous with Facebook Marketing. One cannot exist without the other.
Here are the five pointers on how to create strong brands
- Maintain congruency across the board
Be congruent in all your marketing effort. Business owners and entrepreneurs need to have their message congruent across all channels; in print and electronic media. Your brand has to be easily recognizable. Your target audience should easily interpret your brand and what it stands for; the products or services.
This is done by having a tagline, a vibrant color and a culture or energy behind your brand that is unique to it.
- Do not depend solely on the quality of your products or service as your brand strategy
The quality of your products or service speaks volume about your brand to your target audience. Your current customers or clients can substantiate the quality of your work by referring their friends to you. Unsolicited testimonials can work magic for your business, and result in growth. However, you should not solely rely on it as some sort of a brand strategy, as this is one of the most marketing mistake small business owners make. Hoping on your current clients or customer to support your business by referrals or requesting referrals from them is a recipe for disasters. Why? You ask, because this approach is not scalable, let alone being tracked and measured.
It is for this reason that the strength of a brand is based on visibility and reputation. A brand that is seen everywhere (visibility-advertising) and has an excellent reputation has the ability to scale its business operation significantly by communicating the right message to its targeted audience. The aftermath is more new clients or customers and client or customer retention, ultimately leading to increase in revenues.
- Brand differentiation: Your business must display a strong differentiator
Displaying a strong differentiator portrays a high-level of perceived value. In essence, your brand differentiation is your competitive advantage. Throughout the lifetime of your business or company, it is inevitable to evade changes. Changes are life’s natural rhythm. As such, marketplace is going to change and a business has to know how to keep its brand dynamic and relevant. A strong brand knows how to remain distinct and powerful over a long period of time.
You should embrace or think of differentiation as a continuous process-assessing your competitiveness in the marketplace and positing your business to win. The brand has to evolve as the business grows into different phases- an attribute of a strong brand.
- A logo as brand identification
A logo is a symbol that communicates a business or a firm’s unique identity to the target market or audience. It represents a business’s product or service to the market. The logo works with the brand name to tell the market what the business’s product or service is all about. Consumers, customers or clients are able to identify your business from another by the brand name and logo.
In essence, a logo is a visual representation of a brand to the market. Consumer and clients are able to communicate with your brand as a result of the brand name and the logo. The brand name and the logo are the DNA of your business to the outside world, making it easier for the target market or audience to recognize it when they encounter it.
It is important for a business to have a well-designed logo and brand name to make it stand out and easily memorable and recognizable by the market. A well-designed logo and brand name is an identification of your business to the outside world. It is your identity. It is how the outside world will interact with your business, product or service. Make it stand out. Make it outstanding.
5. Brand promise
A brand is a complex living organism. A brand promise is one of the key components of a strong brand. When a customer or a client purchases your product or sign up for your service, he or she has been indoctrinated into the benefit and outcome. The indoctrination is largely due to the promise made by the brand name. However, a time these promises lead to presumptions and preconceived notions which may not deliver to the customer’s or client’s expectations, thus leading to disappointments.
It is crucial for business owners to effectively communicate their brand promise to their target market. You should keep in mind; your integrity is always at stake here. Make sure your product or service is able to meet or if possible exceed on your customers’ or clients’ expectation.
The brand should effectively communicate the expectation to its target market.
Use these tips and strategies to launch your business into a strong brand that dominates the competition. A brand with a force to reckon with. It starts by mapping out at the core your market, their deepest desires, problems and challenges-a quality product or service that solves the problem. A brand strategy should incorporate a strong brand with high-quality product and service to annihilate the competition.
Positioning your business as the “go-to-person” to scratch that itch should be at the forefront of your brand strategy. Strong brand awareness is mandatory to stay in front of your target audience eyes and mind. Apply these strategies and you’re on your way to building a strong brand that stands out in the marketplace.