Identifying The Branding Strategy Your Firm Requires
Firms are nothing without the associated brands they curate. This is because a brand can both refer to your service, but can also serve as a larger-than-life representation of it. For instance, it’s easy to think of the engaging golden arches of the McDonald’s logo, the comforting familiarity of the Disney logo serving Walt Disney’s signature, or the proud stance of Marvel Entertainment.
Identifying the brand strategy your firm requires, though, is much more than a gripping logo and its associated connotations. It means how you structure yourself as an entity, the kind of values you adopt and promote, as well as the way you onboard your staff. A brand means more than its visual appeal, although that is an inherent part of it.
With all of this defining and consideration, it’s not hard to feel confused about what the term ‘branding’ even means to begin with. Luckily, accomplished services like Sterling Brands are here to give businesses of any size the chance to define that for themselves.
But what is it that comprises the branding strategy your firm requires? In this post, we’ll discuss the variant insights and implementations related to that, and move on from there:
What Is The Character Of Your Brand?
It’s important to ask what the character of your brand represents in the first place. Figuring that out can help you identify what kind of visual motif to go for. In fact, it can determine much from that point on, such as your fonts, what kind of stylistic voice you go for in your copywriting, what keywords you select for SEO purposes, and more.
Every firm has a character, even if that personality is ‘strict professionalism’ such as that offered by funeral directors services, law firms, and medical clinics. For a children’s toy brand, however, or a fitness supplement company, or a stylish sneaker company, it could be that you have more freedom to choose.
How could this influence your own driving decision to cultivate your brand? Well, it will define the brief you have for a potential graphic designer. It might change the kind of jingle you invest in for the radio, or if a jingle serves your purpose at all. It can also change what kind of associations you make, such as what influencer you sponsor to better promote your product. A combination of these factors leads to a coherent image, which in the end will become more memorable.
What Values Do You Hold?
This is an important question to ask. The values you hold will determine not only your overall branding image, but how that image operates out in the world. Actions speak louder than words, for instance.
After all, you may be able to pay lip service towards your efforts towards sustainability, but if your packaging is entirely plastic… well, consumers can more easily see through that kind of thing. Of course, values can speak to your audience in a myriad of ways.
For instance, high-end supermarkets in the United Kingdom, such as Waitrose, cultivate their expensive, quality image by having their staff personally fitted for each uniform they wear. This makes them dress more sharply and seem more professional. Goods are often wrapped in higher-quality packaging, and the description and storage of products is more careful and deliberate.
As you can see, branding comes through in almost every choice you make. It’s worth thinking about how branding influences your process and vice versa before you continue on.
What Products/Services Do You Sell?
This is perhaps the most foundational consideration to think about, as of course this determines what your business has to offer in the first place. Think of the difference between two fitness brands. One sells a supplement known as a pre-workout, a caffeinated blend that gives weightlifters a burst of energy. Another sells a supplement known to aid and abet weight loss after working out.
While the two brands share similar products, their goals and product aims are entirely different. For instance, you’ll generally find that the foremost company will uses images of power, of weightlifters, of raw determination to market their brand, while the ladder may use images of plant life, water, or radiant sunlight to sell the image of a healthier, temple-like living condition.
The goods we sell can adversely affect our need for proper imaging, even for the font or slogan we promote. That’s not to say a company with many products but be limited to one approach, but rather take the whole of that in aggregate. Think of Apple, still retaining their highly polished and professional tech persona despite also making sporting and audio tech devices. The more you can unify your brand image in relation to your services or products, the more consistent and understandable you become.
How Accessible Is Your Idea?
Depending on your audience and what it is exactly that you sell, it could be worth investing some of your branding space into explaining clearly and briefly what your idea even is. Perhaps you’re offering a new financial service to group bills together as part of a student rented household. Maybe you’re selling NFT’s as part of a larger communal program.
What matters is being clear and quick about how your service operates and why your audience should care – particularly if this relates to new technology in every way. For instance, think of the brand GiffGaff in the United Kingdom, one of the first mobile SIM providers that didn’t require you to purchase a month-to-month contract while still giving you minutes and texts for a certain amount monthly.
They sold this simply – by saying ‘the contractless-SIM with all the benefits of a contract,’ or rather, marketing to that clean effect, consumers could immediately understand what was being offered, and from then on, look further into the idea.
Now, not all companies and serves can fit their entire service and product portfolio into one slogan. But your values might be able to, as can your stated mission goal, or perhaps the reason you launched your business in the first place. If you play around and levy the skills of a competent writer, you may be able to get just what you need.
Your Social Media Strategy & What It Means
More and more companies are starting to understand the value and benefit involved with courting social media carefully for a worthwhile outcome.
However, more are also starting to think of it as an easy approach, a means by which to curry good favor without much in the way of professional development. It’s good to curate a proactive social media presence, but it’s better to determine your goals for doing such. Then, even the most seemingly irreverent strategies may play out in your favor.
For instance, think about the UK airline RyanAir, and their new TikTok candor. Browsing through these videos may seem as if a totally unprofessional attempt at gathering the virality of meme-culture seems to be paying dividends, but if you look closer, it’s a very calculated strategy. RyanAir have hired Olivia Neill, an Irish influencer known for her creativity, and a stellar understanding of what makes online culture progress.
As such, every post is no doubt approved, and also curated to gain maximum impact. While your brand might not be suitable for this (and lets face it, even if it were, this is hard to pull off), a careful social media strategy carefully planned in line with your branding can help motivate and develop that brand properly.
Finding Your Target Audience
Branding is never disconnected from the market surrounding it. It’s important to keep that in mind, because recognizing that fact can help you think of who it is your market is serving in the first place.
Even two companies selling products that may be similar can have vastly different target audiences. For instance, one company selling appropriately-realistic baby dolls for young children to play with as toys may brand themselves in a friendly, wholesome manner, while a similar company making baby dolls for use in medical training or educational environments will no doubt sell a similar product but in a much more professional, clinical manner, and their branding will follow suit.
Understanding that can help us properly define our output, as well as the terminology, phrases, web design, graphic design, and even brand name we select. Even as we evolve as a firm, this process must be achieved with a careful and consistent approach, ensuring that over time the brand more readily applies to our audience, rather than dimisses it. If we can do this, then we’ll provide the most worthwhile outcome possible.
With this advice, we believe you’ll feel more able to identify the branding strategy your particular firm requires. It can be a long creative process, but with the right insight and professionals to guide you, you’ll certainly be on the right path. If a given path doesn’t always play out as effectively as you had hoped, there’s always the possibility of a rebrand.