When you start your own company, better make sure that you’ve also planned out what you’re going to do to build your brand strategy. The goal of brand building is to generate awareness of your brand through social media or other means. You want people to have heard of your brand and to know what your brand is all about. You don’t want then to say “What’s that?” whenever they hear your brand. Instead, what you want is for potential customers to think of your brand first whenever the topic of your products, services, or industry comes up.
A proper brand building plan is crucial because it’s very difficult to change course midway. Brand positioning is paramount in the first year of your business. By building your brand the right way, a successful brand can firmly establish your company in your particular market so that your products and services are often regarded as viable consumer options.
So which branding strategies should you try out? Here are some of the more effective strategies that experts have used to great effect:
Picking the Right Name for Your Company
Like it or not, your company name is generally your brand name. This means you better pick the right name to start with. If you ever change your company name down the line, it’ll be like starting over for your brand.
The key to a great company name is that it resonates with people. Here are some features you should look for in your company name:
- Unique and memorable
- Easy to spell and pronounce
- It communicates the essence of your business and invokes an image
- Future-proof instead of “trendy”
- Can have a great history or story behind the name
This means you give a separate brand to different products. You may want to have a different brand for certain products to differentiate them from the usual products of your original brand. One example of this is Seiko, which shot into global prominence by launching the first production quartz watches. These quartz watches almost destroyed the entire Swiss watchmaking industry. These quartz watches were all battery-operated and quite affordable. These were the features which then became associated with the Seiko brand.
What did Seiko do when they launched luxury timepieces? They avoided brand confusion by creating then Grand Seiko brand. Seiko intended the new brand to showcase only the very best that the Seiko company has to offer.
The same principle is behind the founding of the Lexis car company. Toyota wanted to get into the luxury car market, but the Toyota brand is associated with affordable reliability. So, they forged a new identity for their luxury cars with the new Lexus brand.
This is all about evoking feelings and emotions in your consumer base so that they see your brand as a mirror of their own attitudes towards life; this is your brand messaging or brand personality. These emotions don’t have to be related to your actual products and services. All you really need to do is to associate a certain attitude for your brand that you can have in common with your potential customers.
Brands such as Apple, Coca-Cola, Google, Starbucks, and Nike, for example, do attitude branding very well. Their marketing plans have succeeded in encouraging consumers to think that their products are cool, trendy, and/or advanced. It’s all about promoting a lifestyle in which these products are essential components. Starbucks also managed to evoke this type of feeling; they follow a very strict brand guidelines.
This is all about developing a strong identity for your brand that your brand becomes an icon in the industry. One great example of this is the Harley Davidson, which makes people think about being somewhat rebellious and being free. The brand identity is hardly subtle or understated. Instead, the brand is big, bold, and confident, and so are the people who identify with the brand.
If you already have a strong brand name, you can use it to sell other new products and services that you may offer. There are lots of good examples of this type of branding strategy in the fashion industry. You can have a brand famous for its fashionable clothes, and then it can place its brand name on other items such as fragrances and wristwatches. The underlying argument is that the identity and personality of the brand name transfer to these new products.
That’s why you can now see wristwatches featuring the logos of fashion powerhouses such as Armani, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Hugo Boss, and Louis Vuitton. These brands may not have the extensive watchmaking history of famous wristwatch brands, but they do have a serious reputation in the fashion industry.
This is about grabbing more market share by offering a new brand, even if it competes directly with your original brand. It’s like having a restaurant called Joe’s in a town, and then later starting up another restaurant called Bob’s in the same town.
Obviously, the main problem with this approach is that you may take away customers from your original brand. However, this can work in a saturated market. For example, if Joe’s restaurant is competing with 10 other restaurants in town, having another restaurant called Bob’s can double your chances of snagging diners to your establishments.
This is why Procter & Gamble has 10 different detergent brands—they’re 10 times as likely to get your consumer dollars against the competition compared to if they just have a single brand.
This is when you’ve developed such a strong brand name for your store that you can then use it to hawk your own products. So, if you have a retail store and you’ve established a reputation for selling only the best products, you can then sell your own items with your private label. People will then think that these products are just as good as the other brands of items you sell.
As you may have noticed, there are plenty of branding strategies you can try out to differentiate your brand from the rest of the competition. Do your market research, and get a clear understanding of who your target audiences (target market)are; then plan your marketing campaigns. If you pick the right one, then it’s pure gold for your business!
Also, check out Brands Are Built With These Four Components