Developing a strong brand presence, regardless of what market you compete in, is a key for any company. Branding a company involves more than a catchy company slogan, good-looking logos, and an effective website. While these are all tools that we use in branding a company, there is so much more that goes into it. Effectively, your brand is the culmination of all your marketing, messaging, positioning and market perception. Building a brand consumers will be loyal to critical when we consider that often with consumer decision making consumers will choose one brand over another fairly rapidly when looking at their options. There are many factors that go into good and effective branding from the Brand Promise to the Brand Identity, Framework and Brand Persona.
Understanding, articulating, and delivering on your Brand Promise for your consumers is essential to establishing and growing your brand. Competitively, you want your brand to be the best for your consumers and provide the most value so that you can better control market share. In other words, if you want a larger share of the pie you have to find a way to optimize the value derived for your customers from your brand. Your brand message should display that value whether it is in a mission statement, a vision statement, reviews from other consumers and so on, your customers want to know what they are getting out of engaging with your business over another.
Your Brand Identity is what your consumers see first when they are observing your brand and what is associated with your brand image as a whole. Brand Identity is important to establish well because, as was stated earlier, consumer decision-making can at times be a rapid process and you don’t want a consumer to skip over your brand when making a decision because your Brand Identity was not done well. With this concept, you as a company need to know what attracts consumers to brands in your market as far as logos, colors, and anything else that a consumer would interact with firsthand. These pieces make up the face of your Brand and you need to have these developed in a professional way that truly represents your company culture and tone in order to connect and set a foundation of trust with the right kind of customers.
While a Brand Promise and Brand Identity focus on the more initial elements that consumers interact with first in their decision-making process, your Brand Framework focuses on the deeper parts of your brand. Within developing your Brand Framework, there are four key areas that are looked at, which are identity, meaning, response, and relationships. Identity focuses on the key descriptors of your brand that set you apart from your competition, and for this, you’d want to know what are the most important terms that describe your brand as a whole. The meaning is the driving force of your brand, and it lays out what is most important to your brand and gives it life. Response is how the customer sees and interacts with your brand and that could be in a positive or a negative light which is critical to how the brand operates competitively. Finally, relationships are the ways in which your brand connects to the consumers. It is vital that each and every piece of this framework is working positively for your brand in the market where you compete because this can either be a competitive advantage for your brand or a hindrance depending on how well you establish it.
Brand Persona is the next and last piece in establishing a solid brand presence in a competitive market. This element focuses entirely on understanding who the consumers are viewing and interacting with the brand. Since it is entirely focused on consumer perception this area can be constantly changing and adjusting to help your marketing better connect and engage with your ideal customer. However, just like every other piece of branding, it is important to establish this on a good foundation in order to maintain your competitive advantage.
Regardless of how your brand is developed in any one of these areas, it is important to refine and develop all of these areas of your brand together to keep a solid brand foundation. You can not be effective competitively in any market without a strong brand presence, which makes each area of branding extremely important. From Brand Promise to Brand Identity, Framework and Brand Persona there are many different consumer perception points that companies need to be aware of and establish to be stronger competitors. If you are looking to gain market share, re-engage with your customers in a fresh new way, or re-establish your brand identity to reach and engage and incoming customer demographic, then we recommend starting with a brand audit to help uncover and develop a strong brand presence.
Tammy is founder and president of Element212. Her passion lies in conducting research for clients and creating marketing plans that help bridge the gap between the company and the customer.