A well-defined brand is not only important for a business to position itself in the marketplace, it is important and necessary if that business is to stand out by establishing itself as the best at what it does. To explain the importance and the whole concept of branding, in general, I’m going to use some rhetorical questions based on some popular brands that you can relate with.
What comes to mind when I say the word, apple? If you ask that question to a group of college kids, I bet most of them would not even think about the fruit but what comes to their minds would be one of Apple’s gadget’s and in 2017 that would be the iPhone 8.
The reason why most of these students would relate the word apple to the company instead of the fruit is that
Apple inc. has done a solid job positioning itself as one of the best mobile phone manufacturers in the world and just because of that, so many consumers want to associate with them making their brand popular.
In addition to the question on apple, I want to ask you another one. What comes mind when I say, “The best-fried chicken in town?” Yes, you are right, KFC. But to be honest, are they the best at preparing fried chicken? Probably not, heck, my mom is even better than them but the reason why KFC is seen as the best is that they have put millions of dollars into branding themselves as such.
I’ve been using the above paragraphs to give you an idea of the power and influence of branding but you might want to know what exactly it is and how you may answer when someone asks you to define branding. Well, here’s a definition for you;
Branding from an academic point of view is the overall process involved in the creation of a new unique image for a product in the consumer’s mind. This whole process is done by leveraging advertising campaigns that go with a consistent theme. The reason why all this is done is to position and establish a significant presence of a company in the marketplace which will, in turn, allow it to both attract and retain loyal and existing customers.
If you subdivide and split the definition above, it’s easy to see that there are three key pillars involved in branding namely strategy, branding design and marketing, the key pillar of the three being branding design.
To reinforce the two examples I gave above, I think it’s important to give examples of some startups that established their market positions through effective branding. One key example of a startup that effectively branded itself until it became a great brand is the social networking company, Snap inc.
Everything about the brand and how the company branded itself is unique, I will explain how exactly in the following paragraphs. Some other startups that branded themselves effectively are Dropbox, Social Media Agency, Socialchain and African online mobile top-up company Senditoo.
Take for example, Senditoo, their business concept was simple. They were offering a solution that would enable Africans based in European and American Countries to send mobile top-up to their loved ones who were back home.
When they did their first marketing campaign, they used the tagline, “Send a smile home.” So whenever someone would use their service, their perception was that they were not spending money, rather, they were doing something that would make a loved one in Africa, smile. That’s why, even though they are two years old, are generating a total revenue of $3 million every month.
Here are 5 Branding tips you can use to position your company in the market.
When it comes to branding, nothing will take the place of consistency, it is indeed key. It’s the reason why you will never think of very large datacenters but a simple website when you hear the word Facebook. Although they have some of the world’s largest data farms, they have rather hammered on their website in their ad campaigns and have been consistent in branding themselves as the world’s best Social Networking site.
Another company that has been consistent in the way it branded its coffee startup, Starbucks. They offer great service and personalization and they are consistent at doing it.
Authenticity is key
Want customers to run away and never associate with your company ever again? It’s simple, lie about the quality of either your product or service. Dropbox is undoubtedly the best solution when it comes to remote file sharing. They have done their best to position themselves as the best and their delivery is consistent with what they say.
That is what you should do for your startup. Your branding agency should go a great deal in making your message authentic with the delivery or your customers will get frustrated.
Make your brand relatable
Yes, you might be a brand but every great social media marketing agency will tell you that for your branding efforts to succeed you have to be relatable. Professionalism was a thing in the 20th century but the dynamics have changed for the 21st century.
The people in the 21st century care more about their emotions as compared to the way they do about your message or the features of whatever you might be branding. So, one of the key questions to ask while branding your company is how the message will invoke a response to people’s emotions. If you can’t answer that question, revisit the campaign and start again. Growing a startup is all about reaching out to people’s emotions.
Be unique and extraordinary
Imagine if Uber was just another taxi service where one would shout in the street or have to call to have a taxi come pick them up, I bet, they wouldn’t be as popular as they are. The thing is they came into the market through their own unique angle and they did a great deal emphasizing on that, “Hire a ride with the click of a button.”
Find something unique about your own startup that would appeal to a wider audience and use that as the primary message of your branding campaign.
Your Logo is your first name.
I said I was going to talk about Snapchat. We’ve reached that part. Your logo should be thoroughly marketed to an extent that people would easily know your company by just looking at the logo. Snapchat is the only company and viable challenger of Facebook in the Social Media space and I believe the mystery lies in the logo and how it was integrated into every part of the app’s features.
Another example of a startup with a great logo is Squarespace. The elegant design is easily recognizable which makes it easy for customers to relate to their brand.
A great logo is a must and the only way to have a great logo is by hiring an amazing branding agency to create one for your company.
In addition to these five tips above, there are a lot of other tips to follow and use if you want your business to stand out and establish itself as the best provider of a particular solution. The most important thing is to just stay consistent and have a unique appeal to your target audience.