Many markets are highly competitive, and the products hardly differ in price or quality. The buyer has the power, and they have to be convinced. And this is where the aspect of branding comes into play. A good brand helps you to stand out from the competition, to build trust with the consumer, and to make a statement. Slowly, slowly! First, a brand needs to be defined: a brand is not, as many assume, a logo or visual identity. According to Marty Neumeier, a brand is more about how the consumer feels about the brand. “It’s not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is!” But how do you build a successful brand?
We try to provide clarification in this blog with 5 steps:
It’s what the customer feels about the brand! But who is your customer? First, it is necessary to define your target audience. The customer must always be studied throughout this process, so that a company can act in an economically sustainable way. The customer is king! Therefore, the definition of the target group forms the basis of the brand strategy. Among other things, this can be done by means of one or more personas. The creation of personas helps personalize the target group and bring it to life. This allows you to empathize with the target group and understand them better. But beware: today’s target groups are constantly changing. A company cannot focus on a once-defined persona for 5 years, and instead must be able to track customer needs and continuously define new target groups. There are more and more possibilities and various online tools to create and analyse customer personas. However, when creating the target group, it is important not only to rely on estimates, but also to define them precisely using your own data.
Once why is clear, how usually follows naturally! And that is exactly why the brand mission is of great importance. It is the goal in which all stakeholders must believe in. Without a goal, the brand just floats in a vacuum and has nothing to really stand for. It is like Marc-Sven Kopka said: “Nothing makes people glow more and nothing unites them more than a mission”. And so, together with the target group, the brand’s mission is the basis of every successful brand.
Be different from everyone else! It is essential to familiarize yourself with your own environment and to know your competitors well. Once you know the environment, you can try to stand out and be noticed with a strong and authentic brand. The environment can vary depending on the size of the company and the sector of activity. A useful tool to analyse the environment can be a competitor analysis or a stakeholder map.
Find your voice! This is the creative part of branding. This part is about finding a voice and eventually translating it into a visual language. As mentioned earlier, this is also about standing out from the competition. It is about visually and characteristically rising above the competition and standing out from the crowd. Every single person in the company should share in the brand philosophy so that coherent communication can be conducted both internally and externally.
Live your brand! Once the brand philosophy, the visual language and the positioning have been defined and are lived and embodied within the company, they can finally be brought out into the world. The brand is put into the world and presented to the market. It is important to be authentic, honest, and creative in order to anchor the brand image in the hearts of the customers. And as mentioned, everything starts with the customer and ends with the customer. Therefore, their reaction is also immensely significant and adjustments should always be made based on customer feedback.
As you can see, there is more to a brand than just a visual identity. For example, a brand can be compared very well to a person. Their appearance does not only define a person. It is their actions, the way they speak, their values and much more. So let’s look at our brand with the same eyes as a fellow human being looks at us and act as authentically as we do in our “real” lives. Not flawless, but human. As an advertising agency in Valais, destinazio. helps many clients to find the “why” of their brand, to live it fully, and finally to carry it into the world. To find out more about our branding process, click here.