Business / Startup Challenge

Building A Brand thats…WINNING!!!

In today’s society people are LOYAL to their brands. They take ownership and participate as if the company has them on the payroll.  Companies have turned their loyal customers into more than just drinkers of the water but also wearers of the clothes, walking advertisements and human commercials that tell the stories of their product or service wherever they go. when watching sports you hear fans shout “we” won as if they were in the game. The relationship between a company’s brand and their customer determines how people make decisions. The effect that branding has on society today has a longer reach than is viewable on the surface. everything and everyone is now a product or a service. think about it you have the holiday brand that affects the way we shop, you have the political brand that affects the way we vote, you have the sports brand that affects the way we pass the time, and now we have the celebrity brand that affects the way we lose our minds. Traditionally  branding was once thought of as a part of building a successful business. today branding has taken on all new meaning perhaps you have heard of the Kardashian brand. So what is branding exactly?

Branding is all about creating an memorable experience for the customer. The brand of a business is made up of a series of parts but those parts can be broken down into a simple equation.
written + visuals = customer experience

1. written: the words people hear, the content and message delivered.

2. visuals: the colors, logo, pictures people see.

The brand is how people connect with a product or service.

Don’t be confused, the brand is not the product, logo or the company. Those are just components of what makes a up a strong brand. Nike is not the Swoosh, however when people see the Swoosh symbol they immediately connect with an experience they had related to Nike.

A strong brand:

  • Promises an experience to the customer and follows thru on that promise.
  • Listens to what customers say to them and about them
  • Solves customer problems and implement customer ideas when necessary
  • pay attention to emotion of the customer

Before getting started answer these questions:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What is the experience you are trying to create?
  • How will your brand be distributed?
  • What visuals and verbiage is brand made of?
  • What is your brand’s place in market?

Keys to creating a brand machine that will last:

Brand Identity:

In order to create a brand identity you must first understand branding in relation to advertising marketing, and public relations.

  • Advertising- brief repeat communication
  • Marketing- direct communication w/customer or client
  • Public Relations- attempt to influence the ppl who influence the customer

The brand ensures that the above forms of marketing shares around a common concept

Strategic Brand Development:

1. Packaging and Verbiage-

  1. Mission statement- the functional description of what company does
  2. Vision statement- big, grand, unmeasurable goals for company
  3. Brand positioning- place in the market that belongs exclusively to you (cannot be all things to all people)
  4. Home- context and verbiage that form your brand
  5. Brand personality the way company behaves and carries itself, how it makes people feel i.e. southwest (the humanity of business)
  6. Brand pillars- foundation of what company stands for

2. Define Brand-

  1. Research with purpose. Study the psyche of your customers, and understand their lifestyle.
  2. Research indirect competitors. They have a similar or different product but are creating the experience you want to create with customers.
  3. Identify current trends

3. Design Brand-

  1. Don’t be lazy be proactive
  2. Decide the colors you like
  3. Decide on using an icon (iconography)
  4. Play around with the logo sizing (logo needs to look good in all sizes)

Brand Architecture:

This the management of the sub-brands. It consists of additional products and services provided. Get started by mapping out the products and services and how they connect. Having secure brand architecture allows the consumer to feel apart of the company. It also makes it easier for them to make decisions, feel apart of the brand, be loyal and more likely to upgrade.

Brand Execution:

This is how your brand is distributed. Identify the brands touch points, this is the point where the brand and the customers meet. Pinpoint the brands palettes- logo, color patterns,  style, photography, media, font, website everything must be as detailed as possible. 

The importance of understanding brand extension:
growth beyond single brand, elements of brand that are extendable, relationship that goes beyond what we see and encompasses other potential opportunities.
Be cautious with brand extensions, avoid going outside of  the brands mission and compromise brand equity.

Share the Brand-

  1. Teach customers to be brand advocates
    1. Train customers on your product or service for better engagement
    2. Making your customers smarter makes them loyal and advocates
  2. Extend client relationship beyond sale
    1. Help customers accomplish their goals
    2. Leverage their networks
    3. Word of mouth
    4. Make it easy for people to talk about your brand
    5. Give incentive
  3. Get the brand in the hands of the employees
    1. The brand is for customers and employees i.e zappos, google
  4. Expose your brand online
    1. Set up  multiple social media accounts, find relevant services and content thats appropriate for each
    2. Blogging- blogger syndication provide others with content and share their content on your blog, set up link sharing arrangements
    3. Ads-twitter promoted ads, Facebook, google adwords/adsense

Last Minute  branding TIPs

  1. Brand business as a whole
  2. Building a business is hard to do, takes time and energy to learn and master what you do best
  3. Give yourself the freedom to get educated in other areas
  4. Take time to ask yourself open ended questions to the point where you can explain it clearly to others
  5. Before creating name create purpose
  6. Decide impact brand on consumer, consumer connections and relationship with brand
  7. Process for creating name:
    1.  Decide position in market
    2.  Determine competitiors and analyze their names
    3.  Brainstorm the process
    4.  Give yourself freedom to suggest anything
    5. Describe brand in 5 words
    6. Create 10 names
    7. Check out for patents
    8. File trademark

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