What is a brand? It’s more than a company name and a logo. A brand communicates who you are, what you do, and why. It sets you apart from competitors and speaks to your target audience. Read on to learn the key components of brand building and the dos and don’ts of building your brand, courtesy of DigitalWires.
Brand identity is your company’s public personality. It includes visual elements that identify and distinguish your brand as well as your brand’s mission, values, and voice.
- Do: Identify your target audience. A successful brand reflects its customers’ preferences, not necessarily its owners’. Understanding who your audience is and how they benefit from your product or service is a must when crafting brand identity.
Do: Create a comprehensive style guide. A brand’s logo, color palette, typography, imagery, and voice should reflect its identity and unique selling proposition. Fortunately, tools like a free logo design app can make these tasks easy to accomplish..
- Don’t: Copy competitors. It’s good to know what competitors are up to, but don’t let competitors dictate branding decisions. A unique brand identity differentiates and creates authenticity.
Don’t: Go cheap on design services. DIY design tools promise professional-quality results, but the truth is, you get what you pay for. Professional web designers like DigitalWires can create a website that accurately represents your brand.
Brand architecture refers to the hierarchy of a company’s brands, products, and services. While some companies only have one brand, others use sub-brands to tie together diverse products and services.
- Do: Use sub-brands to separate unrelated or competing offerings. In a house of brands, each brand extension is separate from the parent with its own brand identity.
Do: Use sub-brands as part of a hyper-targeted marketing strategy. Hypertargeting delivers highly relevant messaging to a defined audience segment. Sub-brands with distinct brand personalities allow one company to hypertarget multiple niche audiences.
- Don’t: Launch new brands without a strategy. Creating a sub-brand every time you launch a product or service is a recipe for confusion. Consider how products relate to each other and the customer journey to achieve clarity in brand hierarchy.
- Don’t: Overlook the legal side of brand architecture. One company can operate under multiple names by filing a fictitious business name or “DBA”, but establishing separate business entities may be a better choice for the core brand’s equity.
Brand experience is the impression a brand creates through positive user experiences. Weaving brand identity throughout the user experience creates authentic and memorable experiences.
- Do: Make communication a two-way street. Customers want responsiveness, personalization, and empathy from brands. To forge this type of relationship, brands need to both give and receive.
Do: Turn micro-interactions into moments of delight. Every touchpoint along the customer journey is an opportunity to engage with branded design, relevant content, and opportunities for feedback.
Don’t: Ignore customer feedback. Feedback is only valuable if you have a strategy to categorize and implement it. Following up on feedback also ensures customers feel heard and valued.
Combined, brand identity, architecture, and experience shape a company’s overall brand strategy. Use these dos and don’ts to create an effective brand strategy that differentiates your brand from competitors, speaks to your target audiences, and fosters brand engagement and loyalty.