Building a successful brand requires using creative marketing and branding strategies to create strong brand equity. In today’s competitive market, a brand can only achieve success if it can connect with consumers and effectively communicate its unique qualities in a way in which they create a positive impression in the minds of consumers. In addition to the obvious benefit of driving market share, a strong brand can command a price premium, improve customer relationships and ensure successful future product/service extensions.
Half the battle is won in brand building when consumers recognizes the brand visually, or say “Oh yeah, I know this brand!”. Your website, social media profiles and everything you do online should present a cohesive brand identity. Many businesses invest time and money in their website, it’s a great place to start but they fail to carry over the strong branding on their website to their social media.
The brand visuals on your social spaces such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram should make sense for your business. Your customers will look for you there, and you don’t want to break their understanding of what your brand is about with inconsistent messages. If you engage customers through video promotion, do consider branding your Youtube channel and creating playlists that makes navigation easier.
Your customers should be able to recognize your brand immediately when they see you online. Keep your logo, design, colour schemes and themes consistent and prominent. Customize your profile settings as much as possible to your brand and include a well written bio along with your essential information. Social media platforms frequently update their tools and settings, so it’ll be wise to keep up to date on new trends.
Once a brand has recognition, the next objective to achieve is to become a part of your consumers’ preferred or “go to” choice. Creating memorable brand experiences can set great brands apart from average and even good brands. The truth is that creating brand experiences don’t have to be a complicated process. Often times it is the most simple, yet pleasant experiences that are most memorable, which can range from helpful tips in the form of posts and blog content, a timely gesture in the form of impactful visuals, right down to a personal message via Facebook.
Memorable experiences can…
- Touch the heart.
- Make you laugh.
- Make you cry.
- Make you think.
- Inspire you to engage.
- Help you learn.
- Help you teach.
- Help you grow.
- Help you do more.
- Help you give more.
When your brand starts to provide your customers with memorable experiences, they would want to share it by posting onto various social media platforms. Be prepared and reciprocate by providing the platform to share these expressions. Likewise, provide an outlet for questions and answers which leads us to the next section…
In addition to memorability, a brand should be viewed as meeting the needs of its consumers and be respected by influencers who can make or break your winning streak. This includes a basic trust of the brand as well as belief in its value proposition or the promise of the value your clients will receive. In our amazingly complex and competitive world, in which it’s increasingly hard to know what is real and what is not, having your customers not only acknowledge but support the promise of your brand is the key to building a thriving business.
To become a known and trusted brand, you may need to be focused on values such as:
- Punctual delivery
- Ability to resolve issues
- Efficiency & efficacy
- Being cost sentitive
Integrate these values with good customer service, sales promotion, public relations, traditional touchpoints, discounts, event sponsorship, word of mouth, and other communications channels to present a unified message about the company, its products, and its services.
Your brand will integrate all your marketing around a core idea and vision. As a result, you will find it easier to sell yourself, because your message will be uniform and powerful.
When prospective buyers are ready to act, they will choose a brand that fulfills a promise they desire. Consumers very often perceive brands at a functional and emotional level. The functional has to do with various promises, such as offering value, having high quality, or being relevant to like minded customers. The emotional delves into aspects of brand personality, such as being edgy, playful, masculine or serious, attributes that can be studied through qualitative research and analysis.
Distinctive assets are non brand-name elements that are able to evoke the brand in the memory of consumers. Some of the most famous examples include the Nike ‘swoosh’ and Mastercard’s priceless advertising. All of these elements are able to represent their brand name without needing any other prompting.
Many creative elements have the potential to become distinctive assets including logos, slogans, colors, shapes, typefaces or fonts, characters,celebrities, music, sounds, advertising style, tastes, textures and scents.
For an element to be an asset, it needs to meet two criteria:
Uniqueness – To what degree is your brand only linked to the element? When consumers link multiple brands to an element, brand confusion ensues. Ideally, brand owners would want to develop brand assets that are unique in their category.
Association – How many consumers link your brand to the distinctive element? The more consumers that are able to identify your brand based on the asset, the stronger and more valuable the distinctive asset becomes.
To sum it up, there are many facets to building brand equity, which include awareness, attitude, image, preference and satisfaction. All of these areas need to be considered in order to craft the appropriate marketing strategy for developing a brand. A solid system for measuring and diagnosing brand equity includes a wide range of measures, including data and analytic collection, social listening and qualitative research. Working with such information, savvy marketers can then know how to craft a message strategy and direct resources to develop a brand over time.