Marketing a Brand
Marketing your business is as important as your brand when is comes to a successful business sales strategy. Branding covers many issues including images under corporate identity the positioning, values, voice, promise and overall promise made when advertising and communicating a business.
Most the work of a designer and image consulting resulting in logos must come from underlying market research before a company embarks upon any consumer or business communication work as the creation and development behind top brands is years of understanding how to interact with customers.
Brand Positioning and Values
The brand of your business supports everything you undertake for your business and it's generally a method that businesses use as seen as a value added or even premium pricing. The top brands pump millions of dollars in investment and advertising to improve brand recognition so you instantly recognise the company simply from its visual appearance (eg: golden arches for McDonalds) or tone and type of voice and even text used (eg: The Times Newspaper or Marks and Spencer "it's not just ordinary food....").
It is how you position your company in the market place and how you interact with this - ie: your customers. How your business is received will be from all elements including employees, advertising and print materials.
Most small businesses grow up from the personality of their owners and how they conduct business, but if you think about all successful businesses, they have a life of their own and not dependent on how their owners behave.
First think about how your customers behave. What are their demographics and their needs. You should have analysed this whilst undertaking your business plan so you know the age, income, geography, gender of those customers who will purchase from you, and the exact benefits that these customers want from your products or services.
Now you need to communicate to these people.
Is your product a premium product that costs more that the average in the market place? Is it the cheapest? What unique benefits does it have over everyone else?.
When you understand these, you will know the exact positioning within the market you are trading within.
Think about the restaurant business. There are thousands of players from McDonalds to The River Cafe. Each has a different positioning based upon the needs of their customers and each has a different personality.
Brand personality is how your organisation behaves in the market place. Think about your company as a person. How do they behave?. Are they serious, are they comical, are they a consumer champion or passionate about the environment. How you believe your business behaves is important because this will underpin how you communicate to your end customer.
In a way the voice is the end result of your personality analysis. And even results perhaps in the colour choice of your identity. For example, blues are general for conservative organisations, where as red conveys more aggression and is used in many consumer brands. eg: Red is always used around special offers.
Your company voice will also underpin the words that are used when communicating your message. Think about some of the advertising you hear and you enjoy. You enjoy it because it is targeted to you. Think about why you enjoy it and how that company is communicating to you.
Branding a difference for your company
Most brands stand out from the crowd. They are different - in their markets. So think about the best brands that you think are great in their industry. Can this work for your business in your industry at all?
Some of the best are cheeky in their wording and visual identity. One of the best consumer brands in the UK is Tesco.
They are a consumer champion. They want to get other in demand products to your for the cheapest price possible. And they keep adding new products to their portfolio. Their advertising is not "in your face" but brings you new offers all of the time. This is mainly about purchasing power, but consumer champion is what they are. And a very trusted brand as well.
Brand Visual Identity
Once you understand how you will behave as a company you can finally build an identity around that. You don't need flashy slogans or anything like that but choose the basics carefully to underpin your brand and be different from your competitors.
Choose a small palette of colours for the visual part as well as the right font for your written communications. Sometimes a different font can keep a company different from the rest.
Most larger companies register their logos together with "devices" so that certain characteristics can not be copied. McDonalds and the "Easy Group - eg: Easy Jet" have attempted to protect everything about the word so no one can develop a new company that has "easy" in the name nor use the colour orange with that name. Some words are TradeMark (™) but that is limited protection as you need a registered trademark (®) to be properly protected. As mentioned previously, larger FMCG companies invest millions on their brands to keep them at the forefront of consumer minds and will not let this investment be take away by new companies seen as "passing off" their investment.