The Story Behind A Brand
What is a brand and why is it important for my business.
Author: Traci Rehill
Okay. So you’ve heard the term, branding or brand so many times, but what is it exactly?
Simply put, your brand is defined by your customer’s overall perception of your business. How it feels, how it speaks and how it looks. A successful brand is consistent in communication and experience, across many applications.
Environment – your office or storefront
Print, signage, packaging
Sales and customer service
Personal online presence
People don’t fall in love with businesses, they fall in love with personalities. – Yo Santosa
Building a brand is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Creative director, Yo Santosa describes branding as a human connection; “making two things love each other.” We are human and we like to feel a connection to the product or service we are using; is it hip, funny, comforting, familiar, loving, practical, or childlike? We want it be someone or something we can count on to get the job done. It’s the personal connection that hooks us into a brand.
Apple is a great example of brand strategy focused on emotions. It connects to a human experience and it’s brand personality is lifestyle; imagination; innovation; passion; hopes, dreams and aspirations; and power-to-the-people through technology. Apple is a humanistic company, with a heartfelt connection with it’s customer’s, and it speaks volumes about simplicity; the ultimate removal of complexity in our lives. It’s not just an intimate connection with Apple’s brand, it’s truly loved and the community is built around this connection.
It’s important to put the foundation in place for your brand.
A strong brand will lead to increased sales, word-of-mouth referrals, and advocacy for your products and services. It is also, an ongoing effort, which will build long-term relationships with your customers. A great starting point, is to know your company’s target audience. Knowing your audience, will help you build a cohesive brand which connects personally with your customers.
Once you are familiar with your audience, you need a beautiful brand package including, a logo mark, your company’s vision and mission, tone of voice, tagline, and style guide. Now, with all this wonderful goodness, you need to tell people your adventurous story with a cohesive website and social media platforms. Your big adventurous idea is off to a great start and before you know it, your brand will turn heads and everyone will want to go on the journey.
Brand or be branded.
Why do you need branding?
Brand or be branded. If you don’t actively define your brand, the market will do it for you. And you may not like what you hear or see. Therein, you need to get a head start on building your adventurous brand story exactly how you want it to look, feel and sound.
SOME KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER:
Branding helps you stand out among the competition. Use social media on a majority of different applications; don’t just use one. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin, Pinterest and Snapchat, are all at your fingertips and the best part, they are free. Use these social roads to talk about your brand, show images and tell your customers what you are doing daily or weekly, they want to get to know you! Be mindful of your color choices, the mood and tone of your posts and keep them cohesive. Use the story features, these are quick updates for your customers that are on a time crunch. Most importantly, just keep posting and stay in touch with your customers. Here is great cheat sheet for sizes and specifications for popular social posts.
Branding creates an human connection with your customers. The art of storytelling lets you engage with your customers on an emotional level. They get to know the person behind the product or service. Apple’s innovative ad campaigns have maintained our interest for lifestyle and ease.
Branding builds customer loyalty. It’s in the heart. You win the heart of customers when your product or service is tangible. Creating a brand your customers can relate to, will build a sustainable relationship; recommendations to friends and sharing social posts about positive experiences with your product or service.
The results of good branding.
At the end of the day, marketing is the process that will lead to increased leads and sales but branding is the foundation upon which you build your reputation and customer loyalty. With brands like Apple and Nike, it is evident that good branding is the secret weapon to success.