When a customer purchases a product or service, they’re not just buying a product. Rather they’re buying into a specific experience that a company has created and marketed towards them. Nike is more than just running shoes: their messaging “just do it” is a mindset. Mercedes-Benz doesn’t just make cars, it sells luxury and a specific lifestyle.
From the color palette used on packaging to the font on the latest billboard advertisement, companies make very specific choices that are reflective of their overall brand. Why? Because it helps generate familiarity, which makes it easier for a customer to choose one company over the other out of a long lineup of options. Clear branding leads to awareness.
Before diving into the importance of branding and how to effectively build a brand, let’s first start by defining what a brand is.
What exactly is branding? What is a brand?
A brand is a set of features that distinguish one business from another. A brand can consist of a logo or symbol, a tagline, and much more. Branding is the process of developing and applying these distinctive features throughout your business so that customers can associate your brand with its products or services.
Your brand is your identity and your business’s most important asset. Everything that represents your business, tangible and intangible, collectively forms your brand.
Building effective branding requires a deeper understanding of your business’s place in the market and its relationship with its customers. So how do you get started building a brand?
First, find your ideal customer.
Branding leads to more awareness about your business and helps your products stand out from the rest, but only if the right customers come across your brand.
One of the biggest mistakes many businesses make is targeting every possible customer. The practice sounds simple enough: if everyone is targeted, then chances are some in the crowd will become customers. However, in actual practice, when everyone is targeted, your business isn’t appealing to the specific population that needs what you sell, and in turn your business is wasting money advertising to people who may realistically have no interest in your business at all.
When your brand doesn’t resonate with an individual, it doesn’t lead to further awareness or help your brand stand out from the rest. This is where your ideal customer, or target audience comes in.
Your business’s target audience refers to the population of consumers your business best serves, and those who need the products or services that your business provides. Knowing your target audience makes it easy for your business to understand what messaging to use and helps develop how your business presents its products or services to its customers.
Next, create unique visual assets.
Once you have a better understanding of your target audience, the next step is to develop the visuals your audience will come to recognize your brand with. Your logo, taglines, fonts are all visual components of your brand that will help establish awareness and familiarity of your business with its core customers.
When developing your visual assets, it is important that all of your messaging and artistic choices are cohesive throughout your business. Your logo won’t be effective if it has a different shade and font on your packaging than what’s on your website. Ultimately, consistency contributes directly to brand recognition, which fuels customer loyalty.
In a global study done by Nielson, researchers found that roughly 60% of consumers actively buy from brands they know. With your brand being your identity, developing unique visual assets that are easily distinguishable will help your business succeed in the marketplace.
Put your branding to work, everywhere.
Okay, so you understand your target audience, know how to speak and craft messages for them, and have a cohesive set of unique visual assets that help differentiate your business from the rest, so where are all the customers?
Well, your branding only works if you put it out there. Once your brand is ready, integrate it throughout your entire business, especially anywhere your business interacts with its customers.
Here are a few key places and tips on how to apply your brand:
With the expansion of the online marketplace, your website is your business’s new front door. Your chosen logo, color palette, and fonts should all be clearly integrated within your website to better drive awareness towards your brand. Be sure that all website content, descriptions, and call to actions are directly tailored for your target audience.
Building your brand won’t help your business if it isn’t being advertised. Ads help establish brand awareness and introduce new customers to your brand’s network. Much like your website, make sure to keep all visual features and messaging tone consistent throughout your advertisements to better help future customers understand what your business offers. Because branding goes hand-in-hand with marketing, developing advertisements is easy with an established brand because your business already knows who it is targeting and what type of messaging to include.
Integrating your brand throughout all your social media networks will better help your business become a part of your customer’s day to day, which leads to customer loyalty. Be sure to make your logo the profile photo across all your social media to help customers recognize your business.
When it comes to your branding, social media will be your best tool to show the experience your product or service provides to its customers. As with your website, be sure all post captions are reflective of your brand’s messaging.
How to make building your brand simple.
As shown, building your brand is a timely process. With consistency being key, brand building requires multiple advertisements and social media posts to fully increase customer awareness. For many businesses who have little to no experience in marketing, innovative services are now available that can help simplify your brand building process and increase awareness of your business with automated social media posts and smart ads.
Using artificial intelligence, Practina automates your business’s social media posts and creates ads for Facebook, Instagram and Google, so you don’t have to. With Practina’s Brand Kit, your business simply uploads its unique logo, chooses its color palette and fonts, and Practina automatically begins building your brand’s online presence and connecting you with your target audience.
Practina incorporates your business logo within each automated post, and directs ideal customers towards your branded website with each automated Smart Ad for Google. Practina was developed with every business owner in mind, meaning it is easy to use even for those with no marketing experience!
Your brand is your business’s logo, color palette, tone, but also so much more. It’s the experience your customers have when they interact with your business and its products or services. You may sell similar products or services as others, but it is your brand that helps ensure you stand apart from the rest.