Everyone knows the big brands in the world now: Metallica, AC DC, Bloomsbury Publishing, Voyager Harper Collins, Apple, Etsy, Redbubble. But they weren’t always big. They started small just like you, but they sat down, decided who they wanted to be, and who they wanted to be seen as, and then worked hard AF to get that message out into the world so that people could find them.
A brand is more than just a logo. Yes, a good logo is essential, but it’s just the beginning. A brand is taglines that stay in the hearts and minds of the public long after the advert or social media post has fallen off the feed. It’s a personality, a vibe – one that people connect to, resonate with and want to return to because they trust it.
Now I know what you’re thinking. How do I give a non-living thing a personality? Well, consider this. Anything can have a persona projected onto it. We humans are good at personifying all manner of things from people, to animals, to inanimate objects. Archetypal forms are everywhere in the world.
In this article, you will come to understand how having a clear brand can benefit your business and where to start developing your strategy.
#1. Be recognised and remembered
People are busy. You can’t expect them to remember that one company in a thousand that has appeared on their online ads or in social media. A simple, colourful logo that is unique to your company will help you stay in the minds of your audience for longer.
#2. Build Trust
We trust things that are consistent. Only Hollywood actors can get away with playing a comedian one day, and a business tycoon the next. Trust is built over time when people see that you are consistent in what you say and what you do. We inherently distrust others when we see they are inauthentic.
With trust comes brand loyalty, and with brand loyalty comes the natural growth of influencers and brand spokespersons. People who have nothing to do with your company but share and like and leave positive reviews.
#3.Grow your Audience
Again with the trust, but if you are more trustworthy seeming than your competitor, it is more likely that your customers will choose you over your inconsistent competitors.
#4. Create Connections with your Audience
Being real, giving your audience pleasurable experiences with your brand and products, being relevant to them, will create a connection that lasts. When they like, comment and share your content, engage with them back. It’s not about shouting into the void and expecting everyone to love you without giving them anything in return.
#5. Make Advertising Pay Dividends
Ads only work to a point. If your brand image is poor, if your message is inconsistent, you will be throwing money at ads that don’t generate the business you want. For ads to have maximum impact, they must be consistent with your brand image, convey a simple, single message that applies to the consumer at that moment. If you have a clear brand image and brand strategy, you can cut through the noise of other ads to the people who will be most interested in what you’re offering.
Now that we’ve established the importance of having a clear brand, the rest of the post will be dedicated to how you can create, develop, or rebrand. The first thing is to conduct a brand audit to see where you are currently and from which you can decide where to go next. The where to go next is your brand strategy and to help you stay consistent, you can also develop brand guidelines to help you stay on point.
Conducting a brand audit
A brand audit can be undertaken by a brand specialist, either a freelancer or an agency. Average cost of a brand audit varies depending on whether you are a low end or high-end company. If you’re an average Joe looking to create a passive income or sell products online, then you can expect to pay about £1000 for a brand audit. Whereas if you’re someone like Marvel, or PlayStation, you would expect to pay upwards of £10,000.
A brand audit should contain a SWOT analysis. That’s an assessment of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunity, and Threats to your business and products. It’s an internal assessment of your offering and an assessment of the market and its potential influences on you. Market research is invaluable to your process as it helps you learn about your competitors, assess their strategies and develop ideas on your own individuation.
A brand audit should also involve looking at your personal goals, your financial goals and understanding your core values both as a person and a brand.
You can read more about what kinds of things are involved in a brand audit the INFJ way here.
This report will be an analysis of the data presented in the audit. Through the strategy process, you can expect to discuss various options for your brand and settle on the one that best fits your company’s profile and goals. The final report will provide the details of the strategy decided upon.
Your brand strategy will include a brand position and statement. This means that based on your personality, and core values established during the audit, you have a written statement and clearly defined USP, something that sets you apart from your competitors and helps you create marketing campaigns that reflect your brand.
This is a really useful document to have, especially if you have a team of people writing content and social media for you. This enables all people within your company to write within the guidelines of the brand and is essential to maintain consistency across your channels and platforms. It is often included brand strategy, but sometimes this is charged separately, so it’s worth checking with your brand strategist.
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