A brand is more than just the logo, color, or name – it encompasses more than the marketing paraphernalia. The truth is that it represents the identity of a company that includes certain intangible aspects like its psychological and social effects on consumers.
Creating a brand is the first step towards a company’s success, but an effective brand marketing strategy is what makes it stick. To achieve this, your branding must have the following five key elements:
1. A Company Vision or Purpose
A company’s vision is perhaps the most crucial component of a brand. It dictates the purpose of your business and which direction it should go – beyond making money, of course. It also distinguishes one firm from its competitors by identifying what is unique about their offering and how it can help consumers with their needs.
Take Google, for example. They chose a brand mission to organize the world’s information in a way that will be most useful and accessible to everyone. With this mission, their vision is clear: They want to deliver access to information to anyone, no matter the time and place.
But while Google’s vision itself is laudable, the primary reason behind their evolution into the tech giant that everyone looks up to today is that they followed a path that is consistent with their vision.
Consistent and focused branding makes it possible for customers to discern a company’s goals and what they can expect. This also prevents companies from sending them mixed signals and ensuring that their brand is remembered the way they wish to be remembered.
To achieve consistency, anything and everything related to the brand should deliver the same message. This means that all images and other forms of content should be the same in your website, email, social media, TV ads, and even in the in-store experience you provide.
Take a look at how Google did it. They stuck to what they set as their company mission through and through since it was born in 1998. Because of this, they successfully established themselves as an authority – or, instead, the authority – in the online search industry that propelled them towards the success they’re enjoying today.
3. Target Audience
Another crucial element that should always be considered before a brand strategy is crafted for a company is the target audience. After all, how would you create something that will pique the interest of people if you don’t know who you’re trying to impress?
For business-to-consumer companies, the target audience encompasses people who will potentially buy products or acquire services. The same is true for business-to-business firms, except that they entail a more complex process since the target audience will be people who make buying decisions within a company (e.g., department manager, purchasing manager, or executives).
4. Brand Perception
Another vital element an effective brand should have is brand perception. This entails how consumers currently see your brand and how it relates to your intended brand image.
This particular aspect of a brand is solely based on the decision of your target audience. How they see your company will dictate whether your branding had been successful or not. One way to determine this is to conduct a survey asking your existing customers what they think of you.
Once you answer this question, you should be able to determine whether your existing brand strategy is working, or if you need to come up with a new plan.
5. Excellent Content
To focus your brand, you must create consistent content. This will allow your brand to “live” and exist in a way that will enable your company to interact with the community well.
Of course, you must understand that there are several types of content you should be working on. Here are several types of content you should be looking at and some tips on how to use them to make your brand stick:
A logo serves as the face of your company. It offers emotion and expression of your core brand message.
When designing a logo, make sure that you emphasize the name or choose an image or graphic that represents the company well. You should also remember to:
- Use clean fonts and colors that harmonize well together
- Pick a symbol that represents your business’s integrity
- Maintain simplicity for better recall
Typography can be crafted by hand or generated using a computer. No matter which one you choose, it should be able to deliver the right message to your target audience.
When creating typography, you must:
- Choose fonts for the logo, headers, and body of the copy separately
- Maintain consistency across all the platforms you intend to use
Graphics is like the icing on the cake that is your brand. Graphic elements provide a final touch of style while ensuring that all the elements of a brand come together completely and consistently.
A Final Word
Creating a brand involves making plenty of important decisions that could make or break your company’s chances at success. Whether you’ve already established a brand or are just trying to create one, the essential elements listed in this article must be present to ensure that your brand sticks.
Stuart Harris is the Creative Director at Yellow, a Dubai branding agency, digital partner and advertising company working with progressive businesses to build bold, meaningful brands.