These days, everyone is either looking for great brands or looking to create a brand of their own. As a result, the term ‘branding’ has become the topic of many conversations. But, what is a brand? And how do people create a brand? Here what you need to know:
What Is a Brand, Anyway?
For all of its popularity, the term ‘brand’ is pretty difficult to define. A general definition of a brand is the perception of a good, product, service, or company evoked within the public. Fortunately, the components of a brand are a little easier to define. So, while the idea of a brand is ambiguous, creating a brand is certainly tangible.
A Bit of Background on Branding:
It all started with a mark; the term “brand” was first introduced by cattle ranchers who would mark cattle to prevent theft. Then, in the 1880s, packaged goods became increasingly popular, companies like Coca-Cola began using their logo to differentiate themselves from their competition. Fast forward a few years, and David Ogilvy, known as the father of marketing, defined a brand as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes.”
Over time, branding has become increasingly complicated and more subjective. Instead of an image, branding had become focused on accumulated meaning and perception.
While branding does take a bit of work, there are a lot of reasons that you will want to create a brand around your product or service. In some cases, you may even want to create a brand around yourself. Here are just a few advantages of branding:
Be Relatable to Your Target Audience
People have come to expect a brand, which means that they will attempt to put your product or service in that context, regardless of whether you are not actively trying to brand. Make sure to find your target audience and then find how to be more relatable to them from there.
Refine Your Marketing
Defining your brand will help you market more effectively. From figuring out the logo to describing yourself on your website and social media, refining your brand will help your market effectively and successfully.
Most people want to know that their job makes a difference, even if their job isn’t exactly glamorous. If you have a brand with a strong, positive identity, you can inspire your employees and rally them behind your brand message. For instance, if your brand is focused on the environment, your employees will know that they are doing something for the planet.
Brand Recognition Increases Business Value
A well-branded business is appealing to customers. If customers can immediately recognize your brand by name or logo and know that your brand is reliable, you have a significant advantage over the competition. It helps to make sure that you are manufacturing products as high quality as possible. For instance, Amazon is known for its low prices and a diverse selection of online goods.
A strong, well-known brand identity can also help attract investors and shareholders who want to share a well-known brand’s profits.
How to Create a Brand
Now that you know how to create a brand, you can start thinking about creating one of your own. Here’s what to keep in mind when creating a brand:
It Starts With An Idea
Whether you are looking to create a product or want to offer a service, you first want to identify what it is you will be doing. Then, once you have a mission, you will want to have an idea. For example, are you determined to help animals or want to help people who are looking for work? The initial idea can be as complex or simple as you like, but it helps look at existing brands.
For instance, the Coca-Cola company started with a single beverage but is now among the most well-known drink-makers in the world. As one of the first brands, Coca-Cola has had the advantage of time. After becoming well-known as a company that makes delicious drinks, it was also able to acquire a reputation for caring for the environment and helping the world.
As you begin to brainstorm your brand, ask yourself how your company can make a difference in the world.
Create and Imagine
This is where you would like your brand to be one year from now, and then ten years from now, and then fifty years from now. Sure, you may be starting this brand alone, but what will happen when you grow to have employees or even shareholders? Looking into the future will help you create a strong identity and position.
Define Your Brand Perception
Your brand’s perception is essentially the reputation of your brand. You want your brand to have a good reputation, naturally, but being perceived ‘positively’ can mean many different things. For instance, companies like Apple and Microsoft are known for creating powerful and reliable technology. Meanwhile, Nike is known for making sports apparel.
Be Honest and Consistent
The most successful brands have made a name for themselves by being honest about their goals and aspirations and being consistent. For instance, Apple is known for its great electronics because they’ve consistently created great electronics.
Show and Tell
You will want to stay true to your brand in your imagery, content, products, and actions. This means creating a brand logo, message, and goal because these are the things that will be most recognizable to the public. You want your message to be authentic and positive, and you’ll want your logo to reflect your message.
Prepare to Do a Lot of Work
Creating a brand takes work. After you’ve finished conceptualizing and have come up with a brand identity, you will then need to express your brand identity. This means creating the logo and putting your brand story and brand goals into words. Next, you will need to apply any necessary changes to your online and physical presence to ensure that everything aligns with the brand.
Great brands are not built overnight. But, if you develop a good reputation for your brand and continue to grow, your brand will eventually be recognized. Preparing to be consistent in the long run is one of the best ways to start your brand.
Sometimes, your initial idea is too small or simply wrong for your brand. That’s fine. Changes are bound to happen. However, you want to ensure that you carefully weigh any potential changes and how they will affect how the public perceives your brand.
While branding is challenging, it’s also rewarding and, if you are consistent, can lead to long-term success.