Strong Branding: 5 Things Your Brand Needs to Stand Out Amongst the Competition
How do you build a strong brand? Why is strong branding so important? These are some of the questions that I will address in this article. To start, take note that a significant part of building a business involves establishing a solid and stable brand name.
It can take months, if not years, of intensive effort to create the loyalty, recognition, and image that you’ve been working towards. This is why it’s crucial to fully understand the ins and outs of branding.
In fact, what are the elements of a strong brand?
Keep reading as you and I take an in-depth look at the 5 things your brand needs to create have strong branding.
Develop a Clear Brand Strategy
Establishing Your Mission
To build a strong brand, you need to develop a clear picture of what you’re doing and what you stand for.
Take Starbucks, for instance. This coffee shop has become an international brand. They’ve developed their business model on the premise of striving to be a place as well as a ‘place of routine’.
Their humanitarian and community-based approach has created an emotional resilience to their brand and has made them exceptionally trusted.
On the other hand, Coca-Cola has created the subconscious impression that they’re a go-to drink and ideal for social settings. It’s an immediate thought for many of us whenever we have a get-together or a party. Who’s buying the Coca-Cola?
Undoubtedly, a key element of strong branding is establishing a clear mission that customers and stakeholders can hop on board with.
Clear Target Audience
People trust what they relate to. This brings me to another point: selecting a target audience. It’s without a doubt a lousy strategy to create your company as an aloof entity with pure objectivity and sales in mind.
This outlook won’t sell your products or services. It’s a flawed logic that some companies attempt to prescribe to, at great expense.
You need to select who you want to sell to and then mold your marketing to suit them. It’s clear to me that Starbucks is attaching itself to the urban on-the-go executive, the tech-savvy entrepreneur, and the environmentally and socially conscious consumer. It’s an image, and it’s worked well, with the proof of over 30,000 stores worldwide.
You need to appeal to your target audience with who you are, what you offer (and how it’s different, but I’ll get to that), and what you stand for. A clear viewpoint personifies a successful business.
Strong Branding Values
What is it that’s important to your business? Will it be the environment? Will it be equality and diversity? Will it be tradition and consistency? Maybe it’ll be a mixture of these concerns. Whatever it is, your business needs to have clear values.
This is vital for a strong brand. Just like with establishing a target audience, it may feel isolating and exclusionary. On the contrary, it’s the only way to attract and maintain customer loyalty and retention – an emotional appeal is vital.
It’s also a great way to establish employee loyalty and reduce turnover. You’ll also be more likely to attract qualified and genuinely interested candidates.
Further, a lot of business is incurred from employee referrals and testimonies and their marketing efforts.
Develop Strong Customer Loyalty
As you’ve already seen, a clear mission, values, and target audience (as part of your brand strategy) are all keys to unlocking this ultimate goal known as customer loyalty.
In a day-and-age where a consumer can do an internet search and come up with a hundred different companies within a 100-mile radius that offer very similar products and services to you, it can feel daunting.
Bear in mind, however, that it’s this very diversity of choice that makes it extremely difficult for prospective customers to trust a business, and trust gained is also quickly shattered in the early stages.
Understand the Importance of Brand Recognition
What is a strong brand identity?
This is an identity that has formed clear associations within the minds of customers, employees, and those involved in some way with the business.
If you think of Land Rover, what do you imagine? You probably see sturdy vehicles moving seamlessly over jagged terrain.
This is an example of what it means to establish a brand identity and what your business is recognized as. Of course, aside from simply making your brand recognizable for something, you can also take several steps to establish good brand recognition.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
It’s a vital part of the modern company’s brand strategy. SEO is the aspiring heir of the Kingdom of Marketing. With either an SEO expert in the United States or an incredibly well-researched marketing management team, you can ensure that your business’s online presence is optimized to a T.
This is a vital part of strong branding, that is, understanding how a search engine works, what keywords are, and how to use them to your business’s advantage.
How to Design Your Brand Logo
Did you know that your brain can process an image within 13 milliseconds? What does this say about the importance of an effective logo? Your logo must be easily recognizable, memorable, and original.
This is a tall order considering the complexity of today’s globalized markets, but vital considering its’ competitiveness. Your logo has to be different, and associable in some way with the mission, values, and product or service of your company.
Establishing a Good Name
What are the elements of a good company name? How does it relate to the company’s success? How important is it? Well, for one, if your brand name is easy to remember, it follows that customers will be more likely to retain it in memory.
Further, if their experience of your business is good, they’re much more likely to refer your company to friends and family.
Consider the simplicity of the name ‘Apple,’ this is easy to remember, and it immediately draws to your mind all the aspects of the business.
However, an original company name like Apple is hard to come by. Some companies, like LEGO, have taken a unique approach. Did you know that the name LEGO means play well in Danish? It’s crucial to be original.
So we know it must be simple, original, but what else? Of course, it needs to be memorable. For instance, Google is a highly memorable brand name. Consider the fact that people often say:
instead of “do an internet search.”
Have a Unique Selling Proposition
A solid article on branding is not complete without mentioning the significance of the vital concept of the unique selling proposition or point (USP). This is how a product or business differentiates itself.
Of course, this is aside from just strategic, image, and marketing management. This is what inherently makes your business different from others.
The differentiator can be minor tweaks in the product, such as using more environmentally conscious packaging. It can even be as much as using entirely different technology that makes the product faster, lighter, cheaper, or stronger.
Creating this unique selling proposition and then articulating it clearly is crucial to a great marketing strategy. You’ll also achieve greater customer recognition once this has been formulated.
Be a Thought Leader…Like Elon Musk
If you think of SpaceX or Tesla, what immediately comes to mind is the innovative and creative genius of Elon Musk.
His vision, paired with his interesting philosophies, makes potential customers and investors highly attracted to the company.
He’s a thought leader – someone ahead of his time that people wish to invest in.
To fall into this category, you’ll have to be innovative and then be able to explain your product or service in a way nobody has before. This also fits into offering a unique selling point. A thought leader understands the needs of the present and plans to meet those needs with his or her products or services.
You don’t have to be a popular public figure to establish a brand personality and loyal customers like Elon Musk, but you have to have a voice, a vision, and a means to achieve that vision.
Getting Your Strong Branding Place
The idea of ‘trust the process’ fits when we think about the complexity of brand management. Suppose you genuinely do have a unique product, a strong marketing team (or some well-researched expertise yourself), a memorable name, a good logo, and a clear mission and values. In that case, you’re on the path to developing a successful company and standing out amongst the competition.