Brand identity is crucial for any business, however big or small, and can dramatically impact success. Not only does it help to build reputation and protect your company’s value, it can be the key factor in making you stand out from the competition. By definition, a brand, is a ‘name, term, sign intended to identify and distinguish a product from its competitors.’
It can be easy to only see a business as a shop that sells its wares, but branding can make your company and products become a lot more than that. Branding puts across a personality and style that your customers are drawn to, Apple being a prime example. People see Apple as superior to others, because of their brand.
Apple were ranked number one in the 2015 BrandZ value report and are instantly recognisable through their iconic design that seems to connect with consumers across the world, as their brand has grown by 67% since 2014.
Similarly, Nike, have almost become the definition of sports, by involving sports stars, studying and then being better then their competition, and making their products so irresistible you have to have them. Their brand symbolises authenticity, innovation, a winning performance and dominance in the sports world. This is reflected in their logo, brand image and visibility. If these financial benefits don’t convince you of branding, stats show an 168% growth in value of business where the branding is good compared to 27% when it is not.
So how do you go about creating a strong brand identity to rival Apple and Nike? We’ve compiled our top hints and tricks to ensure your branding is up to scratch.
Understanding your target audience
As a business, it is important to identify who your key audience is, which can range from internal and external groups. This can take time and money but understanding who you’re marketing to is half the battle. Part of this is knowing what makes your audience tick; do they want products fast or prefer higher quality? Conducting research into your potential audience can help you understand that audience and therefore optimise your advertising.
Know your industry and what you’re up against
The business marketplace is a busy one and when you’re planning on dipping your toe in, researching the industry you’re going into is a must. Chalking in 3-6 months of deep research is something you may not want to do, but we highly recommend it. Identifying external gaps in the market could be your foot in the door.
If we look at the luxury hotel industry as an example, you would need to factor in how Hilton operate (best known for it’s business properties) compared to the Four Seasons (who are most well known for their intimate accommodation). Researching the industry will also give you understanding of what customers want and currently cannot find, whether it’s good location or excellent meeting facilities.
Know what your brand is trying to say
Personality is what makes a customer pick one business over another. A business with no personality doesn’t appeal and may make consumers uncertain to use them, as they look more corporate then caring. Appealing to your customers will hopefully make them more likely to purchase from you, whether that’s by being friendly or funny! Brand persona defines brand image so making sure this is spot on from the start is crucial.
Keeping all your marketing materials consistent
As marketing no longer just includes traditional methods and now incorporates modern tools, it is important to make sure marketing materials are consistent. This means logo, colourways, style of graphics used across your website and social media accounts need to match up. When you have so many different types of marketing materials, designed by so many different people, the messages you want to portray may get confused.
If possible, we recommend keeping all design elements with one person/company so there is no possibility of confused branding.
If you have a business, you have a brand too. Depending on what the business is and who runs it will determine how that brand is defined but if your brand aligns with your vision and focuses on what your target audience desires, your clients should come rolling in.