Anything can be a brand. From services to individuals, cities, products, and even government agencies.
Every day, there is more and more business emerging. In 2021, the number of applications to start a new business reached 5.4 million, which is a record.
Data from the BLS¹ shows that approximately:
- 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open
- 45% during the first five years
- 65% during the first 10 years
Only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more.
The main reason? They haven’t investigated the market.
Here are a few tips about how to create a powerful brand identity.
1. Define your target audience:
To communicate effectively, you have to precisely identify your target audience. What do they like? What attracts them? What motivates them?
Let’s say you want to design a new sportswear brand. Are your targeting regular gym visitor who are fitness-minded, beginners who do not know much about sports clothes, or consumers who frequently wear fitness outfits in their everyday life?
Narrow down your audience, and reach leads that will be actually interested in buying your product or service. Create a detailed buyer persona and develop your marketing strategy accordingly.
If you have been in the business for many years, it doesn't mean you should stop making research about your audience. Remember, the market is always evolving, your customers too.
2. Crystalize your mission statement:
What is the ultimate promise you are making to your customers?
"66% of customers think transparency is one of a brand’s most attractive qualities" - Accenture, 2018
Tell your audience who you are, what is your company’s purpose and objectives.
The mission statement should remain consistent throughout the years and help your customers know more about why you are doing what you are doing.
Be honest, unique, and communicate with your customers to develop an emotional connection with them.
For example, McDonald’s corporate mission is “to be our customers’ favorite place and way to eat and drink.”
3. Define your vision core values:
In parallel, your business vision and core values can be flexible.
The vision and core values portray who you are and how you want to be seen as a brand.
McDonald’s corporate vision is “to move with velocity to drive profitable growth and become an even better McDonald’s serving more customers delicious food each day around the world.”
4. Perfect your assets:
You have to think of a brand identity that will help customers recognize your brand amongst millions of others.
When we speak about brand identity, we usually think “visual” like logos, flyers, etc.
Visual is indeed really important as sight is the sense that is the most solicited when it comes to branding.
However, it is important not to forget the other senses such as smell, touch, or hearing.
Abercrombie & Fitch’s dominant multisensory experience is very popular among younger shoppers. Abercrombie & Fitch’s is indeed well known for playing loud music as well as perfuming their store with strong sent².
From a managerial perspective, sensory marketing (“marketing that engages the consumers' senses and affects their perception, judgment, and behavior”³) can be used to create subconscious triggers that characterize consumer perceptions of abstract notions of the product.
5. Refine customer experience:
Once your assets are created, there is one more thing you need to think about: the customer experience.
The way you communicate with them can impact how they will perceive you as a brand. You should therefore do your best to make sure every interaction and touchpoint you have with your audience is aligned with your brand guidelines.
What services are you providing to your customers? On which platform are you communicating with your audience? What is your tone of voice?
The new technologies allow us to find new ways to communicate and get closer to our audience. Social media is the perfect example. Many big brands recently invested a lot of money to hire community managers that will focus on developing a deep bond with their customers, increasing their level of engagement with the content.
If we can give you one piece of advice: when you create your brand book, always put yourself in the shoes of the customers.
Picture credit <a href='https://www.freepik.com/vectors/brand'>Brand vector created by vectorjuice - www.freepik.com</a>