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Think about David, that young man at your office. He comes in looking sharp and neat with his sweet-smelling cologne that is not overpowering yet fascinating. Above all, he does his work like a pro. In summary, you can say that he is sharp, dedicated and efficient. This is what you know him for: this is his brand. It is his personal brand.
Branding is all about creating an image in the mind of your customer(s). It is your pledge to customers. For every day that you strive to put your company out there, showcasing your goods and services, you are sending a simple message – “I am what you need.” A brand is a living entity that can evolve with time and also evoke certain feelings which can be either pleasant or unpleasant. To this end, it is important to ask yourself these questions:
What is my company’s mission?
What need is my company trying to meet?
How does the company appear to customers (existing/prospective)?
To have an effective branding process, the following factors come into play:
A vision is a summary of what you seek to achieve as a product/company. This is the foundation on which your brand is built. Your vision should be clear and tie back into how you conduct your affairs, the language of trade, how your employees conduct business: everything you stand for. This will make you stand out from the crowd and help you stay on track in the face of challenges.
Target Audience (TA)
Every product or service is special. This means that it solves the problems of a select few (not everyone). It is important to carve a niche for your business by considering the section of the market that matters to you. That way, your message will be crafted in a manner that appeals to these people. For example, Snapchat appeals to young adults and Millennials who are young, spontaneous and crazy about capturing the moment while sharing same with everyone. The unique selling point of snap chat is the fact that videos posted on this medium disappear after a period. Identifying the characteristics of your target audience is what will make your brand stick. A well-conducted market research and a thorough study of trends/habits will give you answers that will make you brand speak the same language as its TA.
Words can be forgotten, but pictures are not quickly forgotten. A beautiful logo that appeals to the customers emotionally and physically goes a long way. It also becomes the major picture by which your company is recognized. The Coke logo speaks volumes to customers after so many years. Your business/product logo should leave a lasting message in the heart of your clients. Create one and put it out there for everyone to see and internalize.
Every brand has a voice that makes it different. Find the one voice that suits your customers and speaks about what you do. It could be fun, reliable, reassuring as long as it is consistent and real. Your customers will be drawn to you by the sound of your voice and will become loyalists as long as your brand delivers on its promise.
Finally, do your work and do it well. Carry your employees along and ensure that they do not forget that they represent the brand in every way. Once you get the branding process right, every other thing will fall in place.