Business Branding Basics | How to Build a Brand That Attracts Die-Hard Followers: The Six C’s Of Successful Brands
Business Branding Basics | Contrary to what most people think, starting a business does not have to be a complicated, or a stressful task. For a smooth start, adequate planning and preparation are vital, and one of the most important elements to consider when starting a business is branding. Most business owners know enough about the power of effective branding to know they want it – they’re just not sure what “it” is. You might think that since you have a logo, tagline, and business card, you’ve completed your branding. But, unless you’ve carefully considered and defined ALL six of the key brand elements, you still have work to do.
Thinking about a business without branding is basically planning to fail. If you want to attract a large audience and grab a large piece of the pie in your industry, you have to build an identity that people will quickly learn to trust. A successful brand has six basic attributes. If you’re thinking about re-branding, growing your brand or creating a new one, keep these six C’s in mind.
Company | Business Branding Basics
The name you give your business is your branding name and it is what people will call your business. Since you want it to be a household name, you should make it simple, and easy to remember. It should be uniquely identifiable to help distinguish your small business from your competition. Think of how many brand messages you are exposed to every day — be it on a public transit ride, in a grocery store, or surfing the internet.
Client | Business Branding Basics
One of the most important elements of successful branding is defining the type of clients you want to attract. Moms with toddlers or women without children? Men who like drag racing, or those who prefer quiet afternoons in nature? Find out what is important to the audience you want to attract. If you already have some clients, you can survey them. Once you know what’s important to your target audience, choose the three or four outcomes that are the most important to them and build your brand around them.
Clarity | Business Branding Basics
In an age of information overload, less is most definitely more. Keep it short, keep it simple, keep it clear. Strong brands are clear about what they are, and what they are not. They understand their unique promise of value. And this promise of value sets them apart from their competitors. The way you write and the words you choose will tell the audience whether you are a laid back business, stodgy, friendly or professional.
Choose your writing style carefully and set your tone to rhyme with the type of business you want to be seen as. Trying to be all things to all people results in a diluted and weak brand, whereas differentiation based on what your unique clients want, need and value most will result in strong branding and sales.
Consistency | Business Branding Basics
In addition to being clear about who they are, strong brands are also consistent. They are always what they say they are. Every interaction a client has with your brand must be consistent across every marketing channel. How consistently is your brand’s message communicated? Do the messages of your various marketing programs conflict? Every single branding element, including your logo, slogan and tone must be consistent across every single communication piece, because that’s how you actually build your brand. So keep it consistent, and you’ll be in good shape.
Credibility | Business Branding Basics
Credibility is about whether you fulfill your brand promise. Over time, a consistent and reliable brand performance builds trust, and trust leads to brand preference. Today, clients look at reviews, read in-depth information, and pay attention to word-of-mouth in order to feel confident that the purchase and post-purchase experiences will live up to the expectations raised by brand marketing campaigns. Nothing torpedoes branding efforts faster than failing to live up to marketing claims.
Creativity | Business Branding Basics
You can’t attract a loyal following if nobody notices you. So if you are serious about developing a successful brand, your first order of business is to make sure you stick out from your competition. Every time a potential or existing client has contact with your company, whether it’s by visiting your website or seeing a print ad, he or she has a branding experience. Fine-tuning your brand image is particularly important if your business is in a highly competitive product or service arena – your brand will separate your company from the pack.