The 5 Building Blocks of a Successful Brand
A brand is so much more than a logo and tagline. It embodies your mission and core values and drives your entire marketing strategy. Regardless of industry or product, the success of your business depends on creating a brand that your customers will love. From Nike to Apple to Coca-Cola, all of the biggest brands have certain things in common – despite serving completely different niches. These are the fundamental building blocks of a successful brand, and they apply to small businesses too. Here are the five markers of a winning brand and some tips on how to achieve them.
When it comes to branding, simple equals easy to remember. Everything about your brand should roll off the tongue – think snappy, short and to-the-point. This is especially important when choosing a name; anything difficult to spell or pronounce will immediately leave your brand at a disadvantage. The most memorable brand names are catchy and uncomplicated, so try to come up with something that will stick. It's also important to bear in mind that your brand name will form your web address; before making any final decisions, use a free domain checker tool like this one to make sure your desired name is available.
The only way your brand can truly make its mark is by being original. Assess the competition and determine what it is that sets you apart – what gap in the market does your product or service fill? Find your unique selling point and use it to carve out your individual brand identity. The look, feel and sound of your brand should reinforce this USP, so everything from the colour of your logo to the wording of your slogan should be chosen accordingly. Creating a distinctive brand is crucial to standing out in your chosen niche and piquing the interest of your target market; brands that blend in will struggle to make an impact.
One of the biggest mistakes a brand can make is to try to be all things at once. The key to good branding is a specific focus, so don't cast your net too wide. If you try to appeal to too many different people, your brand message will become vague and confused. Instead, focus on a specific target group and get to know them inside out – what are their interests? What kind of budget are they likely to have? Start by building a buyer persona and create a brand that will appeal to them. By focusing on a narrower target group, you can ensure a powerful brand message for maximum impact.
Successful brands are relatable – and this means speaking to your target audience in their language. Your brand voice should establish a connection with your customers, so getting the tone right is crucial. A fun brand identity might call for an informal, light-hearted tone; however, if you are creating a more corporate brand, a serious, informative voice may be more relatable for your audience. Consider your target group and the kinds of language and imagery that is most likely to strike a chord – you can also look to other brands within your niche for inspiration. Ultimately, the more relatable your brand is, the easier it will be to connect with potential customers.
With a reported 60% of US millennials expecting consistency when dealing with brands, creating a consistent brand experience is absolutely essential. Indeed, inconsistency results in a weak brand message and can be extremely confusing for potential customers. No matter where your brand appears, make sure it is uniform across all channels – be it on your website, via social media or on printed marketing materials. This applies to everything from the logo and colours to your unique brand voice. Only with consistency can you start to build a brand that is easily recognisable and truly memorable.