The Ultimate Guide to Branding in 2020
Products are never simply products, right?
Coca-Cola is more than a soda pop. Starbucks is more than a coffee. Ray-Ban is more than a set of sunglasses. Glossier is more than a tube of concealer.
Getting together with these products provide experiences , and we buy them with that experience in mind. Even better, the companies that create and marketplace them know exactly the experience they want you to have once you make (or consider) a purchase. That is why they create a brand.
From the language within their Instagram caption to the color scheme on their latest billboard towards the material used in their product packaging, companies who create solid brands know that their brand name needs to live everywhere . They know their names extend much beyond the label.
The end result? These brands are identified, loved, and chosen away from a long lineup of choices.
Who doesn’t want that will? I know I do. That’s exactly why we built this guide — to equip you to generate and manage a strong brand name that’ll help your business end up being admired, remembered, and preferred.
Use the links below in order to jump ahead to parts of interest, and don’t forget in order to bookmark this guide for later.
What is a brand?
Before I dive into the importance of branding and the way to build a brand, let’s go back to basics: What is a brand?
A brand is a feature or set of features that distinguish one organization from another. A brand is typically comprised of the name, tagline, logo or even symbol, design, brand voice, and more. It also refers to the entire experience a customer undergoes when interacting with a business — as being a shopper, customer, social media fans, or mere passerby. the 2015 global Nielsen study, almost 60% of consumers said they actively purchase from brands they know, and 21% said they purchased a product because they liked the brand.
Branding gives your business an identity beyond its product or service. It gives consumers something to relate to and connect to.
Branding can make your business memorable . It’s the face of your company and helps consumers distinguish your business across every medium (which I discuss later).
Branding supports your own marketing plus advertising efforts. It helps your promotion pack that additional punch with added reputation and impact.
Branding brings your workers pride . When you brand your company, you’re not only providing your business identity, you’re furthermore creating a reputable, highly-regarded workplace. Strong branding brings in strong employees. Brand awareness refers to how familiar the general public and your target audience is with your brand. High brand awareness results in brands being referred to as “trending, ” “buzzworthy, or “popular. ” Brand awareness is essential because consumers can’t think about purchasing from your brand in the event that they’re not aware of it.
Solid branding makes your business known.
Brand name extensions are when businesses “extend” their brand to develop new products in new industrial sectors and markets. Consider Ford lawn mowers or Martha Stewart bedding. Brand plug-ins allow companies (or individuals) to leverage brand attention and equity to create a lot more revenue streams and shift product lines.
Strong branding brings in more income.
Brand name identity is the personality of the business and the promise you make to your customers. It’s what you want your customers to leave with after they interact with your own brand. Your brand identification is typically comprised of your values, how you communicate your service or product, and what you want people to feel when they interact with it.
Strong branding gives your business more than a name.
Brand management refers to the process of developing and maintaining your brand. It includes managing the tangible elements of your brand (style guide, packaging, color palette) and the intangible elements (how it’s perceived by your audience and customer base). Your own brand is a living, inhaling and exhaling asset, and it should be maintained as such.
Strong branding requires constant upkeep.
Brand recognition is exactly how well a consumer (ideally in your target audience) can identify and identify your brand name without seeing your business name — through your logo, tagline, jingle, packaging, or advertising. This concept goes hand-in-hand with brand name recall , which is the opportunity to think of a brand without any visual or auditory identifiers.
Strong personalisation keeps your business top-of-mind.
Real-life brand illustration : Want to test your brand name knowledge? Take this Logo Quiz by Business Insider to see how well you know your own corporate brands. This is brand name recognition at work.
Brand name trust
Brand trust describes how strongly customers and consumers believe in your brand name. Do you deliver on your marketing promises? Do your salespeople and customer service go above and beyond? These items can create trust among your clients, which is important in a entire world where a mere 25% of individuals feel confident in big businesses.
Strong logos builds trust with your customers.
Brand name valuation is the commercial valuation of your brand derived from customer perception, recognition, and rely on. This concept goes hand-in-hand with brand name equity . A powerful brand can make your business invaluable to investors, shareholders, and potential buyers.
Strong branding increases your business’s value.
Want to build a highly effective, measurable brand? Download our free guide on How to Build a Brand in 2019.
create a brand — or begin the process of rebranding your current one.
There are a lot that goes into a brand, and there’s a lot to consider when building a strong a single. So , grab a notebook computer and jot down ideas while you move through this section. Recognize that logos is an iterative process, so you might be repeating some of these guidelines as you brainstorm and create your brand.
1 . Determine your potential audience
Branding leads to awareness, recognition, trust, and revenue. We’ve talked about that. But let’s take a step back and understand where those stem through: consumers. And not just any customers — your target audience plus customers.
If your brand doesn’t resonate with your audience, this won’t lead to that awareness, recognition, trust, and revenue. That’s where target market research comes in.
Before pressing pen to paper (or cursor to digital document), you have to understand to whom your branding will be speaking. Who does your product serve? Who might be your ideal customer? Exactly why did you create your business in the first place?
What you learn about your target market and buyer gentes will influence your branding decisions down the line, so make this step your first priority.
Download our free Persona Templates to easily manage your target audience research plus strengthen your marketing.
2 . Establish your objective statement
Let’s return to something I asked in the previous stage: Why did you create your business? Answering this will help a person build your mission statement, which usually defines your purpose and passion as an organization.
Before you can craft a brand that your viewers recognizes, values, and trusts, you must be able to communicate the purpose that your business provides. After that, every part of your brand (logo, tagline, imagery, voice, plus personality) can reflect that mission and vision.
Your own mission statement is a building block of your brand manifesto, which usually encompasses why your organization exists and why people should care about your brand.
Download our free facts Defining Inspiring Mission and Vision Statements and learn the particular ins-and-outs of two of the most valuable strategic planning components for businesses.
3. Define your unique values, qualities, and benefits
There are most likely lots of businesses in your business and niche. It’s easy to focus on your competition (and there are a time and place for competitive analysis), but , for now, let us focus on you.
What’s one thing that your business has that will no one else can imitate (er, legally)? Your brand.
Because of that, you must ensure that your brand is comprised of and motivated by elements that are exclusively yours: the values, benefits, and qualities that make your organization unique.
Take a moment to jot down a listing of what sets your business aside from others. I’m not discussing product features (like look, components, or capabilities); I am referring to how your products or services improve lives and contribute to success.
Real-life brand name example : Alani Diet
You’ve probably never heard about Alani Nu; they’re the nutrition company based in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. I order their nutritional vitamins because 1) they’re shown to work, and 2) I actually trust and respect the particular brand (and it’s beautiful! ). On their website, they’ve clearly and simply outlined their unique values and benefits included in their overall brand. Highlighting these makes it easy for customers like me to trust their products plus choose them over competition.
4. Create your visual property
At this point, you should understand your target audience, your mission declaration, and the unique qualities that comprise your business.
If you can say with full confidence that you’ve mastered these steps, it’s time to move onto one of the more exciting parts of branding — the visual design. We are talking about your logo, color scheme, typography (fonts), iconography, as well as other visual components.
As you generate these elements, build a set of brand guidelines (or a brand style guide) to govern the composition and utilization of your visual assets. This can ensure that whoever uses your brand-new branding does so precisely and consistently. Check out HubSpot’s brand guidelines for guide.
Note : Design can be just as intimidating as it is exciting. Consider hiring a professional with logo plus identity design experience or even starting with a few helpful design templates.
Take your brand to the next level with this totally free e-book on creating a brand style guide. Download web templates, too!
5. Discover your brand voice
Following, consider the auditory component of your brand. What would your own brand sound like if you had a conversation with it, or if it texted you?
How you communicate with your target market is also considered part of your branding. You would like to define a brand voice that connects and resonates with your audience — otherwise, these people probably won’t pay attention. Due to that, don’t hesitate to return to step one to get familiar with to whom you’re speaking.
From your advertising campaigns and social media captions to your blog posts and brand name story, ensure your firmness is consistent throughout all of your written content. Give your market a chance to get familiar with your own brand and learn to recognize requirements of your voice. Better yet, learn a fun, entertaining voice, as well as your customers will look forward to your social media and email updates.
Real-life brand name example : MailChimp
MailChimp is a great example of a brand that will speaks with a clear, constant tone. When I used their own free plan for my small company, I always chuckled when getting their emails and doing work in their interface. From its web copy to its email blasts and social media captions, MailChimp has established a brand tone of voice and personality that is personable, fun, and accessible — it can be hard to explain the technical parts of a software product (like A/B testing), yet MailChimp has mastered that, too.
I love Chobani yogurt (confession: I’m eating it correct now). Their new logos immediately tells me that they produce authentic, healthy Greek fat free yogurt. That’s one of the main reasons I buy Chobani. Recently, I realized that their yogurt packages are made with a very earthy, distinctive material — an intentional decision that supports the overall experience they’ve paired along with purchasing and eating the Chobani brand.
Because advertisements (digital and print) are often used to establish brand awareness and introduce consumers to your brand, it’s vital that they reflect your logos. In fact , your branding need to make the ad creation procedure easier — with your brand name style guide, you already know exactly how your ads should appear and what type of copy to create.
Sales and customer service
A brandname is only as powerful because the people behind it, and if your people aren’t putting your brand to work, it won’t work for you. Moreover, your brand applies to more than your marketing. Inform your product sales and customer service folks of your brand guidelines and let them know to use it, especially when these people engage directly with customers. Whether they are sharing a branded product demo or answering customer support inquiries, cause them to become use your logo, tagline, imagery, and brand voice.
Download our Essential Explained Branding Your Company to learn all you need to go from same-old company to must-have brand.
Whiskey Riff is another brand name you’re probably not familiar with. It’s a two-man media company based here in Chicago that’s dubbed themselves “the many entertaining country music site ever”. I’m a fan because I love country music, enjoy their written and podcast content, and proudly wear some of their awesome outfits.
If Whiskey Riff was obviously a person, here’s how I’d think it would answer the questions above:
- “Hey, I’m Whiskey Riff. I love country songs and, you guessed this, Whiskey. My logo was inspired by the Y in the circle on the Chicago Theater marquee, and I’m adorned with horizontal reddish stripes and stars — which represent the American and Chicago flags. ”
- “I publish in-your-face articles about what’s going on within country music today. If you don’t like it, don’t read this. My podcast featured our founders interviewing country artists and telling hilarious tales. Check out my apparel range; my t-shirts, tanks, caps, and accessories can be seen from country music festivals (and on stages) nationwide. ”
- “Whiskey Riff is like that will first shot of Scotch — that much-needed, relaxing drink after a long day time. Its a break from that will cookie-cutter way of life, and you instantly appreciate — and believe in — its candidness. There is absolutely nothing like it in the industry. ”
Inconsistency is the number one branding mistake that will companies make. Inconsistency undermines your brand and confuses your customers. Recognizable, valuable brands prioritize consistency — and so they reap the benefits. When your brand is a unified presence across mediums and platforms, customers can easily get familiar with, acknowledge, and come to prefer your own brand over time. Brand suggestions can help with this initiative.
Create and follow a brand technique
A brand strategy is more than your brand guidelines; it is a plan with specific, extensive goals that can be achieved as your brand evolves. These goals typically revolve around your brand’s purpose, emotion, flexibility, competitive awareness, and worker involvement.
Remember how I stated that branding is a continuous process? There’s a lot that switches into it. A brand strategy will help you turn that process right into a well-oiled practice that helps to keep your brand moving toward success and recognition.
Don’t let inspiration turn into fake
Competitive analysis is important. Not just does it educate you on where your competitors stands and how they are excelling, but it can also give you ideas on how you can improve or further set apart your own brand.
However , be mindful to not fall into an fake trap. Keep your competitive research limited and focus on exactly what your organization brings to the table. Just because a competitor (or two) has top quality their company in a particular way doesn’t mean that you need to follow suit. New, unique, provocative brands are unforgettable brands.
Use branding to employ
Strong branding makes your own employees proud. I know I’m proud to be associated with HubSpot, much less function there. Power your branding to bring in talented people. If hiring is a strong initiative for your organization, dedicate some of your own resources to employer branding. Employer branding is the way you market your company to job seekers and current employees. If you’re publically proud of your organization, other people will be, too.
Ready, Arranged, Brand
Branding is your organization’s name, logo, color palette, tone of voice, and imagery. It’s also more. It’s that intangible feeling your customers have when they interact with your brand. You know … that experience we talked about in the beginning.
That’s just how powerhouse brands deviate through all the others. The concrete components contribute to this — a gorgeous logo, a clever tagline, an authentic manifesto, and a apparent brand voice — yet truly strong brands thrive when they focus on the big picture of their brand. Get to the center and soul of your audience and your organization, and a prosperous brand will follow.