The Fundamentals of Creating Brand Identity
A brand is a unique name, emblem, design, symbol or whatever else that identifies one vendor’s goods or services as distinctly different from the goods and services of other vendors. Brands also differ in their strength, suitability, and dependency on the market. In marketing terms, a brand is a very important element of a business. It can mean the difference between success and failure. Furthermore, brands are essential for building and sustaining long-term relationships and customer loyalty. Brands help customers differentiate your products or services from others and this leads to increased sales, better customer relations, and ultimately higher profits.
The main drivers behind brand awareness are identification and associations with a specific set of characteristics or traits. For example, “My brand is perfect, I have no flaw”. The key to successful brand creation is to build a consistent message across a range of different channels, using personal attributes, personality, and style to link your brand with that particular ‘perfect’ quality. The other key driver behind brand awareness is that consumers want to be associated with an individual or character, so that they will want to buy something that is similar or ‘identical’ to them, which in turn creates a bond between you and your target market.
Brand development is about identifying your brand’s core values, then communicating these values consistently in your marketing. It doesn’t matter whether your brand is for a small business, a big business or a celebrity. Your brand needs to appeal to the target market, and identify and articulate the benefits that your product offers. These benefits need to be communicated in simple everyday language, but also strong enough to resonate with your target market.
Branding and corporate identity development need to have two separate yet interlinked goals. Corporate branding should be seen as a strategy, which builds a single brand for a company. Branding should be considered an integrated set of processes, which includes strategic thinking, creating a vision and mission statement, establishing specific brand values, and building a reputation and customer base. It also includes the activities and strategies used to build brand value, such as building trust, positioning, differentiation, and innovation.
Brand building is an investment in promoting your brands. Branding can be developed through multiple channels. However, the most effective marketing and promotional tools are still advertising and consumer loyalty programs. Advertising is the most direct and visible form of brand recognition. For large corporations, television, radio, and newspaper ads are an essential part of their marketing mix. In addition, a number of options exist for digital media, including podcasting, VODs, pay per play, video, and social media.
The art of developing brand equity is about understanding your audience and defining your brand’s unique selling proposition (USP). The USP is the central value that drives all other brand elements. Brand Equity refers to the total worth of the end-product or the end-user’s experience with a particular product or service. The USP should be well-defined and carefully communicated to consumers. It enables businesses to differentiate their brands from similar products and distinguish themselves from competitors.