In the process of launching a new product or service, or even “refreshing” an existing offering, branding is the first step in creating your central marketing message. Brand identity is the first touchpoint between your customer and your business, so its importance goes way beyond the attractive logo.
What is a brand?
At Zambelli Brand Design, we think of the brand as the soul of the product; the intangible element that has a defining role in creating a desire for the product.
According to the American Marketing Association, a brand includes any name, term, design, symbol, or other characteristic that identifies a product being different from other similar products on the market. Here are a couple of other definitions:
Simplified, a brand is what your potential customer thinks when your brand name is mentioned.
– Jerry McLaughlin, branding expert
A brand is the personality of a business. In fact, you are free to replace the word ‘brand’ with the word ‘personality’
– Allan Dib, marketer and author of the bestseller “The One-page Marketing Plan”
A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, make the customer’s decision when choosing one product or service over another.
– Seth Godin, marketing guru, author of several bestsellers, entrepreneur and educator
Branding’s impact and benefits
Undeniably, branding is very important, especially today with the “tsunami” of different products and services on the market coming from all economic sectors, and thus, competition. The brand has a key role in choosing products and services, and that happens in the process of differentiating itself from the competition and understanding its specific offer.
In other words, your brand is created to be a true representation of what your business is and how you want others, and especially your potential customers, to see and experience your company, product and service.
Benefits of branding are numerous because when a brand is well done, it:
- Communicates your unique value on the market and differentiates you you’re your competitors
- Creates a clear message that develops a sense of trust between your business and your customers
- Defines the focus of a company that inspires and connects employees into a successful team
- Gets the attention of new customers and develops a strong sense of connection with the product
- Facilitates and increases sales
- Increases the overall value of the company
- Supports other parts of the marketing campaign and advertising
Branding is part of the overall marketing strategy and works in conjunction with other elements of marketing to define a unique, attention-grabbing business profile.
Branding has the power to completely change the customer’s perception of a company; it can lead to a significant increase in business results, as well as general awareness and recognition of business in the market. The impact is enormous, but to approach the whole process thoroughly and do it the right way, companies need to develop a brand strategy.
What is a brand strategy and why do you need one?
A brand strategy is a thoroughly designed platform that contains all the elements of branding in one place and serves as a strategic document that works as an extension of the company’s business plan.
The power and impact of a brand strategy is so important that it can add significant value to your business by implementing the company’s business goals, positioning products on the market, and unleashing the hidden potential of a business.
To create a logo and change the colours and style of company’s visuals is certainly one part of the whole process, but a brand strategy is much more than a “beautiful facade”. With brand strategy, the process is deeper and more thorough, serving as a strong foundation for business development and growth.
Also, the brand strategy document serves as a point of reference to which a company can always come back, in case of unplanned changes in the business direction over time. Experience has taught us that organisations often start with one goal but then pivot or “get lost” in the next year or two. A solid brand strategy helps them to remind themselves of the initial idea and a message that they originally wanted to convey.
Creating a brand strategy
Imagine building a house or having a tree. In both cases strong growth happens when there are good foundations and strong roots. Brand strategy has the same impact on your business.
Before the creative process begins, it is necessary to determine the specifics of the product, define your goals, aspirations, analyse the competition and the current market situation, discover the desires and habits of your customers and target groups, then integrate all of these into the character traits of your new brand. In order to do all this, you need to answer questions like:
- What kind of problem does your product solve for your audience or what new opportunity does it provide?
- Who is your ideal customer?
- Who are your competitors and their products?
- What emotions does your brand create?
- Why would your customers trust you?
- What is the story and philosophy behind your brand?
- If your brand was a person, what character traits would it have?
- How does your brand position itself on the market?
Read more about brand strategy elements in our blog… [link to a future blog on brand platform elements]
Brand strategy examples
Many successful companies have documented brand strategies. But it’s not just the most famous international companies like Coca-Cola, Apple or Google. A brand strategy is recommended for any business that wants to grow, from small to mid-sized companies to enterprises.
Zambelli Brand Design has created brand strategies for many local and international companies. Read our case studies and discover how we have developed a brand platform for an imaginative beverage franchise from Kuwait called Bora Bora, an IT company in the field of financial technology Own.Solutions, or Leen’s, a renowned restaurant in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Want to add character to your business?
These are some of the companies we’ve had the pleasure of working with.