Branding is a pivotal part of any business. Done well, branding gives you an identity, something to differentiate you from market competitors. Your brand is a promise to your customer, it tells them exactly what they can expect from you. When it comes to branding, there’s no better experts than Here, There & Everywhere, the branding division of seventy7. We spoke to Dayo Obisesan, Insight and Strategy Executive at HT&E to discuss her 7 steps to building a successful brand.
The first question brands need to ask themselves is, “Who are you and what do you stand for? What is your why?” It’s essential they begin with purpose in order to achieve meaningful results from beginning to end of the process.
– Start with ‘why’?
– ‘Why explains the reason your brand exists and how it motivates your tribe.’
– ‘What is your purpose, your cause, your belief?’
– ‘Why does your organisation exist?’
– ‘Why do you get out of bed in the morning?’
– ‘Why should anyone care?’
– ‘What do you believe?’
– Your ‘why’ drives behaviour, it drives sales
‘People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it’ – Simon Sinek
Source: TEDx Talks via Youtube
Next, a brand must ask itself, “Why are you unique in the marketplace?” It may even be important to help a brand discover that point of difference, as many businesses may struggle to identify it for themselves.
– You are bound to be up against competition in the marketplace, with some markets being more saturated than others.
– In order to thrive you need to identify, amplify and communicate your distinction at every customer touchpoint.
‘If your brand suddenly didn’t exist, would anyone miss it? A really good brand leaves a big gap.’ – Juan Pablo Ramirez, Brand Strategist at Saffron Brand Consultants
Following that, it’s important to decide how your brand is going to engage with its customers. Ask yourself, “How do you emotionally resonate?” What story do you want to tell and how are you going to tell it?
– Connecting with your customers as people, ensures a enduring relationships with longevity.
– ‘When it comes to branding, businesses often over-emphasize the facts focusing on a product’s new feature or superior benefits. However, given how much of decision making is emotional, focusing on feelings may be a better strategy for brands.’
‘The vast amount of purchasing choices inspiring companies to enhance the brand experience to lure and keep customers. Every customer contact provides an opportunity to enhance an emotional connection. A good experience generates a positive buzz; a bad experience becomes a lost opportunity sabotaging the brand.’ – Alina Wheeler, ‘Designing Brand Identity’
Remember not to overcomplicate things. Don’t confuse your brand’s audience, and ask yourself, “What is your core message?” This should be clear and concise, something that is easily memorable as it is easy to get lost in marketing jargon.
– ‘A big idea functions as an organizational totem pole around which strategy, behaviour, actions and communications are aligned.’
– ‘These simple worded statements are used internally as a beacon of distinctive culture and externally as a competitive advantage that helps consumers make choices.’
‘Simple can be harder than complex. You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end, because once you get there, you can move mountains.’– Steve Jobs
Next, you need to think of your brand’s target audience. “To whom are you talking to? What is your tone of voice?” It’s important to choose your audience and be consistent in how you address them in order to build up a strong customer rapport.
– Identify your audience and speak to them in a way that resonates.
– It is not always what you say, but more often the way that you say it.
– Your tone of voice projects your personality, influences your audience and evokes feelings and emotion.
– Your tone of voice is the expression of your values. It is the way that you think.
‘The fundamentals of brand building, from listening to and learning from customers, to relevantly meeting their needs, have been magnified in a world of digital communications and consumer empowerment.’– Adam Adamson, ‘Brand Digital’
Once you have identified you tone of voice, ask yourself, “Who are your customers? How do you make them your ambassadors?” Strengthening your brand’s relationship with their customers is key to a successful brand as they are more likely to recommend you to others and grow your audience.
– Build a community around your brand.
– Galvanise them around your ‘why’ and they will gravitate towards your ‘what’.
‘A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea.’– Seth Godin, ‘Tribes’
Finally, you must consider, “Where are your customer touchpoints? What happens at each one?” It’s important to plan these out in advance in order to create a coherent journey that will guide your brand’s customers to achieving the best interactions and experiences.
– ‘Customers experience your brand at specific touchpoints, so choosing what those touchpoints are, and influencing what happens there, is important work.’
– ‘The best way to start choosing and influencing your touchpoints is by mapping your customers’ journey from awareness to brand loyalty.’
– ‘Every brand is built with experiences, whether the brand is a company, a product, or a service, and whether it serves individuals or businesses. The key is to craft those experiences so they create delight for people who determine the meaning and value of your brand – your customers.’
‘Okay. So you’ve got a name, a trueline, and a tagline. Now you need to unpack the meaning hidden within those assets and deploy it across a series of touchpoints – the places where customers will come into contact with your brand – so they become true believers and spread the gospel to their friends.’ -Marty Neumeier, ‘ZAG’