What actually is brand? We’re here to show you exactly what it is and how you can create a brand that builds trust, loyalty and advocacy!
What is Brand?
Put simply, brand is the general perception surrounding your business and its products or services. It is the emotional reaction or gut feeling you get when interacting with a business.
The American Marketing Association describe brand as “A name, term, design, symbol or any other features that identifies one seller’s goods or services as distinct from those of other sellers.” In contrast, Jay Baer (author of The Now Revolution) believes that “Branding is the art of aligning what you want people to think about your company with what people actually do think about your company.”
To illustrate what branding is and how it works, we thought we’d show you a short and sweet example:
There are many brands out there selling the simple product we all know and love, and that is orange juice! Notice that the main difference and attribute that persuades consumers to purchase a particular juice, is brand! Brand is the perception surrounding a company that you can’t quite put your finger on but still influences your purchase decision depending on which brand resonates the most. We all know which one we’d choose from the supermarket shelf, don’t we!
Brand identity is what makes you instantly recognisable to your customers and the characteristics associated with your products or services.
Defining your brand identity is the first step in building a breathtaking brand. Start by defining your business’ values and ethos; These values should infiltrate every aspect of your business, from customer service and packaging design all the way to your website, tone of voice and company policies. 77% of consumers prefer to support brands who share the same values as they do. Hence, brand identity is becoming closer and closer to customer identity as the years go by! We suggest you spend time getting to know your customers inside and out and allow this research to inform your brand identity.
Not only that, your brand colours, logo and symbols also represent your brand identity. If your brand exudes positivity, perhaps a black and grey colour palette isn’t the one for you? Making time to research colour psychology to ensure that your brand colours portray the meaning you intend, is extremely important!
Colour can also be used as a tool to differentiate from competitors. A great example of this is Swedish fashion powerhouse H&M. Instead of conforming to the usual black text logo’s we see from so many fashion houses (think Asos and Zara and you get the picture) H&M went bold and brash with their shocking red logo. Choosing a vibrant red that represents energy and passion is a very wise move for the brand whose target audience is young adults and teenagers.
Here are our top tips to nail down your brand identity and present your business in the right way;
- Be creative. It sounds simple, but using creativity to your advantage is crucial to presenting your brand as a leader in your industry. Follow in H&M’s footsteps and think outside the box!
- Be authentic. Demonstrate your company’s missions and vision within your brand and show them who the people behind the business really are!
- Be consistent. Consistent presentation of a brand can increase revenue by a colossal 33%
- Show your personality! Remember that you’re customers want to interact with a brand that shares the same values as them
Brand Loyalty & Advocacy
Aside from brand identity which underpins your business’ look and feel, loyalty is another important thing to consider when building your brand. Cultivating a positive perception around your brand is key to retaining loyal customers who will shout about your products or services from the rooftops!
A whopping 86% of consumers say authenticity is key to deciding which brands they like to support and this statistic increases to 90% when it comes to millenials. It’s clear that authenticity and transparency are extremely important when it comes to encouraging brand loyalty and subsequently brand advocates. And it’s clear that brand advocates are hugely important when 90% of consumers say that word-of-mouth is the leading influence in their purchase decision – even in today’s digital age!
Another important factor in achieving brand loyalty in the form of repeat customers is excellent customer service. 73% of consumers say they love a brand because of its customer service!
Here are a few ways to encourage brand advocacy and build trust;
- Ask real customers to write reviews or testimonials of your products or services
- Listen to your customers! Ask them what they love about your brand but also ask what could be improved, you might be surprised by the results!
- Utilise specific hashtags that your customers can use when sharing their purchases and reviews across social media
- Be approachable and friendly. No-one wants to land on a website that feels cold and robotic
Without a strong brand, your business could have the best-in-class products and services but you just won’t see the growth you need to succeed in today’s competitive climate.
If you want to learn more or are in need of a brand refresh, don’t hesitate to get in touch!