Coca-Cola spends an average of $4 billion on branding each year. Amazon spent $18.88 billion on Branding in 2019.
Now, these stats may give you a hunch about why branding matters. Even after years of establishing themselves globally, these companies spend billions on branding each year.
Branding is indeed one of the most important aspects of a successful business. But, while spending large amounts proves that your brand matters, there is much more to know about what makes someone purchase the product you're selling than just marketing and branding alone.
Brand marketing is important because it makes people trust whatever you sell, whether a product or service. People will pay more for something they think the company already has a reputation for doing well and good things to say about them.
Brand marketing is how companies try to make the public think they are better than other companies. In other words, brand marketing is about building a reputation.
81% of customers only make a purchase decision when they trust a brand.
Building a brand is not something that can be done overnight. You can't just decide to create a brand and hope for the best.
It usually begins with strong copywriting, an "identity," and visual assets like logos.
A brand is the product of all actions to make it known throughout society. Once created, its creation applies force in several areas.
The brand needs a logo, known as "identity," containing simple visual elements such as colors or shapes.
These visual elements help represent the company's purpose and culture through symbols and evoke an emotional response from potential customers.
The brand must be built in an environment that is acceptable across many cultures.
Visual elements can help create a much more noticeable identity, but they should not overstep boundaries. Brand-building gives consumers an experience that they like, think about and want to experience again.
There are considerably three types of brands that are important for your business:
Personal Brand: A personal brand is generally recognized as an impression of a person based on their experience, skills, abilities, activities, and/or successes in an industry. Elon Musk, Gary Vaynerchuck, and Neil Patel are examples of personal brands.
Employer Brand: Employer Brand is a brand that represents your work environment and employees to customers. It can help people choose your company based on what you stand for as an employer.
Employee satisfaction describes how happy employees are at an organization, directly influencing the company's bottom line. Employer brands are important to build recognition and attraction of potential employees.
Business Brand: Business branding is promoting a company's name instead of specific products or services.
The activities and thinking that go into business branding are different from product and service branding because the scope of a business brand is typically much broader.
How to Build a Brand Strategy?
Before we dive into this in-depth branding strategy, you must be clear with the definition of brand development. Brand development is the process of creating a set of values and traits that characterize your brand.
Once these are established, it will help differentiate you from other brands (and similar ones). It's important to have solid concepts for success in branding because this could also lack specificity when applied to a specific situation.
How you build a brand depends on various circumstances.
But, there are always some laws and rules that remain the same for all brands.
Furthermore, some other things are essential to consider when building a brand. In this section, we have shared this step-by-step devised strategy and the building blocks for building a personal brand.
Brand Development Strategy
Brand development strategy is the process of defining your brand & how it will get there.
Quickly growing a business can be very challenging without proper planning and preparation, so designing a strategy from the beginning to take you towards success should always be taken into account when someone starts up their company.
Branding is about time. Making sure you capture the right images in your mind allows your company to grow steadily, resulting in greater profits and more clients.
You should work with a professional firm that can help create ideas and are great at helping visions turn into realities.
Here is the step-by-step brand development strategy to turn your business into a brand.
- Find a Purpose
For every business, there is a specific reason for its creation. Step into your brand's purpose and then create a plan around it to achieve the objective. Building your personal brand will need you to focus on mission statements and goals.
Leadership expert Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle framework is one of the best ways to guide new brands on their journey of creating success.
The ULTIMATE Guide to Make Your Life A SUCCESS | Simon Sinek
The key to building a personal brand lies in defining who you are, what you are about, and ultimately giving it shape with image & persona. Building characters is essential when launching any new venture or business because they serve as the subconscious biography of your brand.
Many things can affect how people perceive you, what kind of person they see in you, and ultimately create view habits towards you.
- Your Target Audience
Performing a cognitive interview and understanding the consumer segment you will be serving is very important. It backs an insight into what kind of character the audience needs to see in their brand.
This could help create your core values, what personas give them relevance & essentially help improve marketing awareness.
These insights can also lead to how people perceive this persona, so you could showcase yourself through media channels like TV advertisements, event participation, or just creating and posting content.
Creating a persona is all about defining the characteristics you want to surround your brand with and taking on something new.
Simply put, when people see personal branding in practice, they feel it is real and natural.
Your business will want to create specific tactics like made-up personalities that appeal to potential consumers.
- Know the Unique Value Proposition of your Brand
For a brand to succeed, it must have a unique value proposition. A value proposition is a statement that differentiates your brand from your competitors. It is the reason why customers choose you over your competitors.
A brand is your company's personality, and you must know how to build it and grow it. You must also know how to use it as a tool to create value for your customers. If you can articulate the unique value proposition, you will differentiate yourself from the competition and stand out from the crowd.
A brand identity is one of the simplest elements of a business - their mission and what they stand for, all ready to offer value to prospects.
It's about sticking with this personality throughout phases & growing into something that stays relevant and provides insight into how someone may perceive you through media channels like TV advertisements or events.
- Develop Your Brand Position
It is a must to create the branding strategy that will allow you to evaluate key items throughout the business' lifecycle, be it new product development or enhancements in marketing efforts.
It is never too late to reflect on your brand and improvise it with new ideas, allowing you to stay on top of the competition. You must establish a market positioning for your firm.
A positioning statement summarizes the basics of how your business works and why it's different from other companies’ products or services.
Your brand's vision must be realistic and aspirational simultaneously. It has to be grounded in reality and must also aspire to something great, but nothing too hard.
- Develop Messaging Strategy
With all the aforementioned marketing tactics, you cannot allocate enough time to developing content for your brand or marketing message. The personal trusted touch is the most desirable feature of a brand as it is presented through an experience.
It can be either negative or positive. This one decision will determine the different ways in which your organization will present itself to potential clients and customers alike.
Your core brand positioning must be the same for all audiences, but each audience will have different concerns that you address.
You need to talk about what is important to a particular group of people and in a certain way in order to reach them effectively with your message(s).
- Create a Unique Name, Logo and Tagline
Your name, logo and tagline are a part of your brand identity. They help communicate how you conduct yourself as a business or organization within the world around you. They uniquely identify you and therefore get noticed by your customers.
Don't show the new logo around internally to get a consensus. The name, logo and tagline are not for you.
Revitalizing the brand must include a different approach to interacting with other people or products, but this will not work if it is unrelated or inconsistent within your core business process.
- Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy
According to Demand Marketing, Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.
By developing your content marketing strategy, you can reach out to potential customers, increase engagement, and get more sales. A content marketing strategy will help you build your brand and reach out to more people.
How to Build a Brand Identity?
To understand the brand identity of a business, you need to identify your target audience. A brand can be broken into 2 parts; Core Messaging and Visual Identity.
The core messaging should communicate the objective behind your product/service, and it should be consistently evident throughout all of its communications.
The visual brand identity is the set of images that helps people connect with an organization. It may take various forms but still aligns with the core theme.
Generally, there are eight important elements of branding. These elements are significant for improving the brand identity. The main elements of branding include:
Logo: Logo is an essential part of branding because it can make or break a brand image in the market.
The following image is enough to depict the power of a branded logo.
The company's ability to come up with a perfect logo often depends on its budget and the time available. It must be thoughtfully designed from all aspects, from human figures to shapes that precisely represent the product lines.
The result should look great and satisfy customers' expectations regarding style and quality.
Color palette: A color palette is the set of colors used in branding and marketing. These color will help re-create the company's image, since it tells basic information about a brand, such as the type of product and the era when brands first started using these colors. A rainbow-style multi-colored logo may not be effective for many businesses, especially those that impart customer service or high levels of quality products.
Typography: Typography is the art and science of arranging text/type so that it looks pleasing while still being legible. This is important because font influences how a brand will be read, affecting its reputation throughout time. Typeface must always be used consistently to provide people with an understanding of brand references from one communication to another. The result of brand font appears in all written materials, including brochures and business cards. This can be done by putting a tagline in business cards and other printed materials.
It must be legible yet still appear classy at the same time. When done well, a font can be as ownable as any other element of your brand.
Shape: Shape is another part of creating an overall brand image. It's not just the colors on your logo or the shapes in your web page backgrounds, but also how everything looks together that makes up what it means to be a company.
Tagline: The main purpose of a tagline is to capture the essence of a company. It should be written for the potential customers or people who have been associated with that business for long, and reflects how it's being run from day-to-day.
Taglines are the flagship of a brand's messaging strategy. They make people recognize what is going on with the company and its products or services.
Tonality: Tonality is the overall sound that accompanies your logo. It can be different for colors (i.e., blue versus red) or even styles of logos, but it should stick within organizational guidelines to maintain a professional appearance.
Visual branding is, in essence, the overall impression that your logo makes on consumers. It’s not often obvious at first glance exactly what your brand means.
In addition to these elements, the key process in branding your business is the need for appropriate brand monitoring or listing infrastructure.
For instance, companies must monitor their brands’ health through daily research. This includes common brand elements that consumers are likely to notice and interpret about your business or company’s global image.
If you want to build a brand for your product or service, you must monitor the competitors and their customers.
This will help you identify your weaknesses and strengths, so that you can focus on the customers who are willing to buy your product or service.
Brand monitoring is an essential tool to leverage your company's marketing efforts. A crucial aspect of branding is identifying the benefits and values behind your brand.
Branding metrics allow companies to assess whether their campaign is working effectively.
Google Alerts is a great tool to monitor brand mentions and keywords related to your brand. It helps you stay updated about the latest trends and developments related to your brand.
You can monitor the search terms people use to find you and discover new ways to improve your brand.
For example, you can use Google Alerts to monitor searches for keywords like your brand name, your company name, your competitor's brand name, and other terms that might be relevant to your business. Interest in the brand’s health is monitored by measuring sentiment.
Social media marketing generates a great deal of data that companies can use to track what consumers say about them and how they interact with the product or service associated with your brand name.
Monitoring these factors allows you to measure customer engagement levels over time once the campaign has been launched on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter etc.
Your Brand Monitoring Mentions Feed shows which tweets mention your product or company name. By using a tool like this, you can track how consumers are talking about your brand in real-time so that you can see if there is an increase or decline in conversations regarding your products.
Only 9% of tweets mentioning companies start with@. This means that 91% of people are talking about you, not to you.
Most brands also use sentiment analysis to look for the brand mentions based on positive, neutral or negative sentiment.
This is an excellent metric to determine the quality of your customers' feedback. The more loyal they are towards you, the greater trust they have towards your brand name.
After finding the brand mentions, businesses must make a strategy on packaging and re-packaging the messages, tweets or mentions into intriguing stories that make your brand more appealing to customers.
How To Build A Brand on Any Platform?
In 2021, 91.9 percent of U.S. marketers in companies larger than 100 employees were expected to use social media for marketing.
Customers rely on social media and influencer recommendations to make a decision on the purchase. Be it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram or YouTube, brands invest in marketing themselves on all the platforms to understand persona and get more visibility.
Using social media marketing makes consumers get connected to the business. But this call for investments is no more a challenge. There are many factors you should remember when using these channels to promote your brand.
Bearing in mind that digital communication has already become mainstream, customers no longer hesitate to pay attention or give their opinion about what they like and dislike about brands over chat apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Here is how brands are using these social media platforms to build brand tactics:
Facebook marketing gives opportunities for businesses to reach millions of buyers through their target audiences by posting images, short videos or replies related to what they usually talk about in the group pages.
Undoubtedly, Facebook is one of the largest social media platforms globally.
94% of businesses are actively using Facebook for marketing. Though there are a number of brands, these brands have a large following. Brands like Adidas, Nike, Airbnb and others are leveraging Facebook marketing.
For example, GoPro is a brand that makes the world's most versatile camera. On their Facebook feed, they engage the users with images and videos that capture adventure, action, and adrenaline.
GoPro has a large following of about 10 million on Facebook. This brand is unique because they showcase the intriguing images and videos captured through these cameras instead of posting the camera's images.
The marketing strategy used by GoPro draws in customers who are invited to join the party, which is shared through social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube using various hashtags that include #GoProMilliondollarchallenge and tag the company to feature their images.
Tasty is yet another amazing example of how brands are using Facebook marketing. This brand's Facebook page has 97 million likes and shares the delicious recipes of foodies.
Tasty does a good job of captivating users with their videos, but it's not because they have great contents to show off.
- LinkedIn Branding
LinkedIn has evolved into a very powerful digital marketing resource for brands.
The users of this platform tend to share content on the platforms they are most active in, which makes it an ideal place to build up brand awareness and recognition.
Users can also include their own information within shared posts (i.e., LinkedIn Groups) or photos.
Many entrepreneurs and businesses use Linkedin to create their personal brands.
Dave Gerhardt, for example, is a huge fan of Linkedin and uses the network to promote his company without any worries.
In fact, he follows his team members from their LinkedIn profiles so that they can keep in touch with him too.
He built a large group of people by making podcasts and selling them online using LinkedIn. This made him an expert in what he sells online, so everyone paid him $10 a month to join his exclusive B2B marketing group on Facebook, where he uses it to launch the university course.
Instagram is one of the most popular photo-sharing platforms. People use this platform to share scenic trips, food photos, and much more.
This means that the influencers view it in the business aspect and the society in general. They love seeing peoples' beautiful lives on Instagram, which reinforces their image of a modern lifestyle. Thus, Instagram is one of the key platforms in branding your business.
Instagram also has the 4th-most users of any mobile app, with 500 million people using Instagram stories every day and 130 million Instagram users tapping on shopping posts every month.
For example, Recess is a sparkling water brand that gained massive popularity over Instagram in merely 6 months.
Their target audience was mostly millennials. Recess focused on creating engaging and distracting content for the audiences in everyday life. It focuses on solving the pain points like people dealing with stress and anxiety.
Madewell is yet another exemplary example of how Instagram branding works. This is a brand for a modern city girl with a chic, tomboyish style. It took only over a year for this brand to reach 1.4 million followers.
What makes this brand page worthwhile is its unique visual content and the hashtags that attract the target audience.
Madewell's visual content is a way of reaching out to the younger shoppers with this demographic by using visuals that appeal to them.
- Quora and Reddit
Most businesses make the mistake of ignoring Quora and Reddit for branding purposes.
Reddit and Quora are both online communities of people who share information on various topics. These sites can be an opportunity for your brand to reach out to its audience and answer their questions about you or what you do as a company.
Quora and Reddit are platforms where you can ask questions on different topics, including websites created by other users. They give customers the freedom to talk about things that they think are important.
It might also provide some information about your business that may not have been known before, which can help build more trust between the companies.
Brands like Audi, Microsoft, and Elon Musk's SpaceX are highly engaged with Reddit audiences.
Audi has used both platforms, Reddit and Quora, to promote the brand creatively. The brands have been very active in solving issues and answering questions for people on these social media sites.
They even conduct Reddit Ask me Anything to solve issues and answer the questions for their audience.
Similarly, Microsoft uses Reddit and Quora extensively to promote their brand.
Xbox of Microsoft was linked with Reddit to give all information about their new gaming devices and tell the audience how to use them. They even rewarded fans with exclusive content.
Thus, social media can be a great tool for leveraging brand opportunities. Various brands like LEGO and BMW use video content to drive views and boost engagement.
How to Build a Brand in Any Industry?
Building an authority can boost the trust in your customers for your brand.
It's the only way to establish your company as a go-to web resource. You can take your company to the next level of growth with the appropriate blend of digital marketing and brand-building techniques.
In this section, we will be sharing these tips by using the case studies in various industries.
Use Emotionally Driven Stories
One of the best ways to establish a brand authority is by using the emotional angle in your stories. This is a good way to create a hook and empathize with the audience.
The shaving subscription company Harry’s used 2 archetypes of emotional stories:
- The Welcomed Prophet
- The Scrappy Underdog
Story Archetype #1: The Welcomed Prophet
Starting with their about page (aptly titled "Our Story"), Harry's positions themselves as a solution to a problem that has afflicted men for decades: overpriced razor blades.
They go on to clarify what they do, who they do it for, and why they do it. It's crucial to tell the audience why you're doing what you're doing in the form of a story.
Harry's would be just another "me-too" online merchant wanting to make a quick gain from a booming sector if they didn't have their “Why.”
They are, however, a voice for the commoner, and a cause worth supporting (more on that in a moment).
To put it another way, everyone knows how much razor blades cost. They always have and always will. Despite this, only a few brands rose to the occasion and made clear mention of it in their marketing.
Harry's understands that effective marketing is the outcome of saying things to customers that support and reinforce what they already believe.
It's an archetype that, unsurprisingly, connects with its audience on an emotional level.
Story Archetype #2: The Scrappy Underdog
When Harry's first opened its doors in 2013, the industry was dominated by Gillette, which held 66.3 percent of the market share.
In the beginning, Harry's faced an insurmountable hurdle.
Companies have played the part of "the scrappy underdog" for as long as the archetype has had a name. Harry's role as "the scrappy underdog" is nothing new.
But, their three-way fold approach is what made them bold.
First, they are consistent in marketing.
Second, they got various reaffirmations on social media channels.
And third, they have been featured on media outlets like Forbes.
Create Personalized Campaigns
Who doesn’t love personalized campaigns? When you stand up for a social cause or ask the audience to speak up through your platform, you are probably getting more attention.
That’s what Coca-Cola does best.
Coca-Cola’s advertising history is littered with well-known marketing initiatives that rate among the world's most successful.
In the United States, Coke launched its "Share A Coke" campaign, which used 250 of the most popular millennial names to sell its beverage to individual customers.
The campaign was a great hit with American audiences, with the commercial acquiring significant traction in the short time it was on air.
According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 125,000 social media posts referred to the "Share A Coke" campaign between June and July of 2014. The campaign accounted for 13% of online Coca-Cola conversations during that period.
Source: Coca Cola
One of the reasons this campaign has been so successful is that it speaks directly to individual consumers.
What better way to get someone's attention than to put their name right on your product?
Of course, this isn't a realistic or good strategy for many businesses, but it's critical to consider how your campaign will be perceived at the individual level.
Another feature of this advertisement that makes it memorable and effective is its ability to adapt to different narrative structures. That is, this campaign provides limitless opportunities for storytelling in its advertising. And, because ads that tell a story are more likely to be effective, this is a big plus for Coca-Cola.
Do Not Forget The Power of Email
Email is one of the best ways to stay connected to your prospects. Social media is indeed a modern way, but it can’t give your customers a sense of personalization.
Email marketing ROI stands at 4200%. Isn’t that massive?
Enterprises and brands see email marketing as one of the most lucrative ways to reach their customers and get new leads.
That’s what Dropbox excels at.
Dropbox's incredible simplicity in everything they do has set them apart for years and helped them achieve their wild levels of success.
Everything about their website, from the signup process to the layout and navigation, exudes simplicity.
One of the best examples of this simplicity in action can be found in their "Baby Come Back" email.
It might be frustrating and hard to get back the customers once the subscription ends.
On the other hand, Dropbox achieves this goal admirably by combining simple and poignant cartoons with a tongue-in-cheek emoticon and some very simple copies.
Instead of the typical lengthy form and benefit-focused language most organizations employ, their email copy is brief and product-focused.
Dropbox has risen to become one of the most influential software giants despite their apparent rule-breaking.
Our Final Thoughts on Branding
A strong brand is a necessity for any business in today's competitive world.
You won't be able to connect with your customers emotionally unless you have the correct branding. This means that any consumer who finds another eCommerce store with whom they may connect will desert your business.
Without branding, your business will simply become another faceless and nameless entity. People will be unable to distinguish you from the crowd, and survival will be difficult.
On the other hand, establishing a brand identity can be quite beneficial to a company.
Branding can help you raise your prices, build trust with customers, and keep customers coming back for more.
Building your brand identity provides something with which your customers can actually relate. It's what keeps customers coming back for more, distinguishes you from the competition, and converts one-time customers into loyal brand champions.
Because your brand is your reputation, you must make the necessary efforts to create one from the ground up.
Never underestimate the significance of developing a brand.