What is a brand?
A brand is a ‘promise of an experience’ and sends to consumers a certain assurance as to the product or service they’ll receive.
Creating a brand gives your product or service a personality. It differentiates you from other companies, particularly your competitors. Without branding how will you stand out? If you don’t stand out then you won’t make any sales.
People build relationships with brands they like and are loyal to them. People trust brands and trust equals sales. Brands create fans and communities. Products and services themselves are one dimensional but brands excite and engage.
No matter what your business idea, it’s important to build a positive brand image so you can become a symbol of quality, trust and good service.
Building a recognised and trusted brand will lead to your product or service selling itself!
How to turn your business into a brand
This is done through all of the touch points people have with your company, such as your:
USP – What image are you portraying with this? Does your USP fit in with your brand image?
Logo design – what does this say about you?
Website – the design, tone and content
Social media platforms – the design and content. Are you engaging with people?
Tone of voice – do you have a personality and the right tone of voice when communicating with the outside world?
Name of your business
Store design and atmosphere
Marketing and events
Product and service design – why are you different? What makes you unique?
Trust is hugely important in business and without it you simply won’t succeed!
Trust is the most important factor in every consumer purchase, from food to electronics, clothes and holidays. If you don’t trust in a brand, you simply won’t buy into them. Consumers want a guarantee that what they’re spending their money on is of a certain quality.
Just like relationships in your personal or professional life, trust in a brand is the backbone of any relationship.
To build a brand people trust in you need:
Longevity (People need to trust in your stability).
Keep innovating (keep the business fresh and exciting, move with the times and react to lifestyle changes).
Build a relationship with your niche.
Benefit your customers in some way.
Offer them a great service and product.
Show vision and competence in what you are offering.
People don’t trust words they trust action!
People that trust in your brand will choose to buy from you over any other brand again and again, regardless of price. Bottom-line, they trust that your brand will deliver on its’ brand promise and meet their expectations every single time. People are made to feel safe and comforted when buying into a brand that they trust. It’s a no brainer in their purchasing decision.
Think about brands that you buy into and why you’ve bought into them.
Brands however, do need to give people a reason to trust them and trust has to be earned through consistent positive brand experiences and interactions. Every interaction they have with you and your brand is an opportunity for you to build trust and respect, or lose trust and respect!
Every interaction is a chance to have a direct conversation with your niche and demonstrate the quality in your product or service first hand.
The emphasis now is on brands building an emotional relationship with consumers. This builds a much stronger affinity, a much stronger business, much stronger growth and much stronger sales results.
For example, Maybelline is a trusted beauty brand. It has been around for a number of years, it is sold throughout the world in all leading beauty retailers, they continue to innovate with new and improved products catering specifically to their niche, and are the official make-up sponsor of New York Fashion Week. Maybelline’s packaging, advertising and brand messaging all communicate its’ quality and it creates an image which their niche to buy into. When you buy one of their products you are also buying into the brand because of their status and because you know you are buying something which is safe and trustworthy.
Of course there are always exceptions to you choosing a well known brand name over a label-less unknown product, but what we are trying to show you is that creating a brand will make your life a lot easier as your product will sell itself.
Design your brand. Using the information you have just learned, sketch out your visual identity. What does your brand look like? What is the name of your company?
What does your logo look like?
What will your packaging look like?
Brainstorm words that sum up the feel of your business. For example, you could use words such as, original, exciting, funky, cool, edgy or traditional, authentic, authority, expert, quality, luxury.
Now take a look at the words you have listed and write down how the words make you feel?
Is that feeling carried through in your brand design? (USP, store design, logo, environment, atmosphere, product packaging, service etc) How is that feeling translated in those areas?