“A business based on brand is, very simply, a business primed for success.” David F. D’Alessandro
The brand creation process is a long one, it requires perseverance, consistency and an underlying emotional connection with the target segment. Its aim is to instill a level of brand loyalty in its customers, which will in turn generate exponentially increasing recurring streams of income. This process needs to be thought through thoroughly from the very beginning of developing a business model. It is far more challenging to change the perception of your product/service in the mind of your customer once it is established. Therefore, focus on first impressions and how to position your product/service from the onset.
Listed below are 5 steps to help you get started in the brand creation process. I believe these are vital foundational steps. The development of a brand is however not limited to these steps alone, and I will discuss advanced branding concepts in later posts.
1. Brand Personality: A brand personality consists of two important components. The first being a thorough understanding of what your business is, and what it stands for. These can be goals, objectives and core strengths. The second component is understanding your target segment. One should be completely aware of their needs, pain points, competition and goals. When these two components are brought together a better understanding emerges of how to get across to customers and stakeholders. To learn more about creating a brand personality please click here.
2. Competitive Edge: Why should a customer pick your product/service over a competitor’s? Your brand needs to communicate its competitive edge clearly to help develop a connection with the target audience. Use your competitive edge as an integral part of brand development and positioning strategy to enable you to not only build a worthwhile brand, but also a strong business model. To learn more about integrating your competitive edge into the brand development process please click here.
3. Positioning: Every customer classifies a business or brand internally. This internal wiring is the definitive feeling at the interaction point with your product/service. The last thing you want as a start-up organization is to be known as “Oh you do the same thing as say… Facebook”. Much thought needs to be put into how you want the customer to perceive your brand. How is it distinctive, what are the common associations with your business model and how can you use them to your advantage? To learn more about positioning your brand correctly please click here.
4. Selecting a Name: Once you have a good understanding of the steps mentioned above, sit down and brainstorm possible names for your business. I find it useful to follow basic guidelines of keeping them simple, avoid generic terms, the name should be easy to pronounce and spell and, should be unique. Apart from that, formulate a list of questions highlighting word associations, emotional associations and other factors which help formulate a right name. After this process, shortlist and get feedback from friends, family or even stake holders. Take your time with this step, do not force a name just because you cannot think of anything else. This is something you are going to have to live with for a long time. To learn more about selecting a name please click here.
5. Key Brand Elements: The devil is always in the details. The final step in the process focuses our attention to key brand elements which include, logos and word marks, tag-lines, colors and typography selection. These elements need to reflect your brand personality and positioning. These factors are integral for instigating a connection with your target customer. It also helps to establish consistency in how we communicate with our customers and stakeholders at every touch point. Without this consistency we will not be able to establish a level of trust which results in brand loyalty. To learn more about different key brand elements please click here.
As you can see, the brand development process is a lot more than selecting a name and creating a logo or word-mark. It requires us to think deeply about the business we are establishing, the message we want to communicate and how we want to communicate it. There needs to be a story behind your brand and what it stands for. When you look at world class brands today, each one of them means something different to each and everyone one of us. Why are some individuals fanatical about drinking Coke and not Pepsi or selecting a PC compared to a Mac? When did the brand become more than a symbol, to being an integral part of who we are? I hope we all get the opportunity to create such a brand one day. Best of luck!
This is a very well developed presentation on branding. I hope you all enjoy it.