Nike, Coca Cola, Ikea – just a few household names with a strong brand identity and customer loyalty that reaches way beyond the products they sell. Each has a simple logo that takes but a millisecond to recall and we’re pretty confident you know what they sell without giving it too much thought either. You can probably even recite their last TV commercial word for word.
Whether you’re a fledgling business or an established family firm the benefits of creating a brand strategy are clear to see.
What makes a great brand anyway?
Pick any brand from whom you buy regularly and ask yourself the simple question as to what it is that keeps on reeling you back to them time and time again? Is it the reasonably priced worldwide shipping? The responsive customer service or the consistent quality that outweighs price?
Here’s a brilliant explanation from A Better Lemonade Stand–
To make a comparison, if a brand is a person, the visual elements of a brand (logo, font style, website design, photography style, etc.) would be the equivalent of how the person looked and dressed. However, we all know good looking people sometimes can have an ugly personality, thats where the personality of the brand comes into play.
If you’ve ever wondered why you’re happy to spend an extra pound here or there on your favourite brand then you’re half way to understanding brand loyalty already. And, even more so if you trust that brand enough to open up their promotional emails rather than junk them. Think about what drives you and try to apply it to your own business.
A Faceless Business
Like the horse with no name, if you’re an exclusively web based business you need to inject personality into the virtual contact you have with your customers in every way possible. That might be through your beautiful product photography or the free DIY tutorials your customers get on your bargain tools website.
According to Shopify, one of the world’s most successful marketplaces, brand loyalty is on the decline so there’s never been a better time to concrete your place in the market and keep your customers close. They say the internet has made us more savvy shoppers, therefore to win your customers over its important to humanise your brand with incentives, a voice and face they understand.
Tell Your Story
There’s nothing like concreting a friendship than knowing a bit about more one another, right? Your customers tell you what they want and in return you should tell them why you created your product for them. Creating a successful brand identity is about creating a connection with your customers, helping them to put a face to you. So consider your USP and making it known to your consumers along with your unique brand story. That combined with the fact that artisanal products are on the incline instantly gives your internet business a warmer, more human touch.
Your customers may like the look of you but do they actually like you? Do they like your ethical manufacturing processes and your eco packaging? Be sure to shout about your good points, the fact you use sustainable fish or run an apprenticeship scheme. If your customers love you for your cheap fabrics or speedy worldwide delivery service, build that into the personality of your brand too. Understanding from the start what it is that makes you stand out over the rest is key to creating a long lasting brand your customers will remember you for way beyond a fabulous logo.
Key Building Blocks
To help get your started, Richard Lazazerra has written a great article on here about the four key elements to building a successful brand identity.
Brand Pillars – 3 or 4 key words to describe your brand to refer back to through all aspects of your business.
Brand Promise – Exactly what your brand promises to deliver it’s customers.
Brand Essence – Core characteristics that define a brand.
Mission Statement – The mission statement helps to guide the actions of your company and brand, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making.
A Clear Brand From A to Z
Once you’ve established the above you can then start putting your ideas into practice to set you well on your way to creating a successful brand. Build your statements and promises into your marketing to reflect who and what you are and create a marketing strategy to reflect that. Be clear about what your customers get when they shop with you. How will you reward them? How will you entice them? Erase that element of the unknown and give your customers a comfortable, stress free experience they find so reassuring face to face.
Remember, the long term aim is to develop a successful brand identity that is as loyal to its customers are they are to you.