Branding. We are repeatedly smacked across the face with this word, this concept. Is there any true definition, we wonder? This one little word can have so much meaning behind it, enough in fact, to make or break an entire company. Branding, if approached and executed correctly, can take a business to a place unimaginable by any confused or struggling brand.
Branding, in essence, is the act of giving your brand a personality. It is an opportunity to put purpose and meaning behind your brand. It is the thing that can take a simple pair of sneakers, and spit out thoughts of “ambition” and “determination” (see Nike).
Tackling Branding can seem like a big task, but it is readily attainable. Follow these three simple steps below, and you will have the basic knowledge necessary in order to effectively steer your brand in a desirable direction.
Step One Have Meaning: Make sure that your brand works to support or achieve a particular idea or issue. While it is important to think about your own company’s mission, it is also very important to recognize and respect what your consumers represent. Choose a persona that your customers strive to, and will be able to connect with.
Take Stella Artois, for example. Recently, the brand decided to take a slight turn with their brand, and reposition their beer as “a thing of beauty”. This concept will play in to a certain audience. The idea alone will add distinguishing features to the beer, and will be the factor that helps buyers choose their beer over other competitors.
Step Two Stay on Track: Once you’ve chosen a direction for your brand, stick to it. The most crucial mistake a business can make in terms of brand identity is changing the message as they go along. If you decide you want to give off a fun and carefree feel, don’t create an advertisement that feels too serious. If you want to give off a retro, old-fashioned vibe for your campaign, make sure not to bring in too many modern elements. Although this step may sound fairly simple, it is one that can be easily overlooked. Even the slightest inconsistencies in your brand can throw its meaning entirely off course.
Wendy’s restaurants know how to stay on track. They are currently working to stay consistent with their “You know when it’s real” campaign. They want to reposition their brand as one that “serves fresh- and never frozen – food”. In order to do this, the company has completed extensive research and field work in order to make sure that their foods reflect the aforementioned message. A whole new line of salads that follow this healthy and fresh idea are being released, in an attempt to further instill and reflect the company’s beliefs.
Step Three Back it up:It is important that not only advertising efforts, but that an entire company mentality reflects what is claimed in your products. Make sure that a set of company standards are established, and more importantly, followed. The actions that occur in corporate headquarters, although mainly unseen by consumers, should be consistent with what the company claims. The mission and vision statements, as well as the particular practices followed should back up the story that your brand tells.