Branding… We see it everywhere, from logos, colours, font, images, sound and – in some cases – smell. Good branding means your customers can identify you almost anywhere, with any sense. We don’t know about you, but if we smell a Lush store, we’re immediately daydreaming of a pink, glittery bath.
BUT here’s the surprise: branding isn’t a competitive advantage, it’s an asset. It can be bought, sold and invested in. Competitive advantage comes from economies of scale and/or customer captivity. In some cases, it’s both: Coca Cola have huge economies of scale, mass producing the drinks that people habitually drink because they’re available everywhere you go in the world.
Every company wants a strong brand game, but it’s more than just a kick-ass design. It’s about relatability, transference and, most importantly, value. The million-pound question is how do you want people to FEEL about your brand?
What makes up a strong brand?
Scalable and versatile
Ownable and unique
It’s the emotional side that we’re focusing on today. Brands are evolving now to personify their target audience rather than their company to evoke more emotion. As humans, we’re emotional by nature and decision-making in a crowded market place all comes down to how we feel. This is where branding comes into play. Some companies focus on the positive outcomes of a product and others the negative.
Pain relief is a good example of how positives and negatives work:
An image can focus on the potential outcomes of living without pain, or experiencing the pain itself. The colours on painkillers are often primary colours like red, which alert us and are associated with the primal functions. Natural remedies, however, prefer softer greens or browns. You’ll notice it everywhere, trust us!
So what do you need to consider for your brand?
Warning! Marketing fluff:
When thinking about your business branding there are 2 major things to consider:
Where to play- Target Market
How to win- Value Proposition
This is marketing speak for: who’s going to buy my product and why are they going to buy it? Branding isn’t just for your customers, it’s for all of your stakeholders; suppliers, influencers and competitors. Just because a brand is well known doesn’t mean they’re immune to failure. Companies fall down because they sometimes don’t consider the entire ecosystem of their business and focusing wholly on customers isn’t sustainable.
Think about your business in relation to The 5 C’s
Consumers– these are the end users of your product/service
Customers– those who purchase the product/service, it may not be the person who uses it themselves
Company– your suppliers, staff and stakeholders
Competitors– what are you competitors doing? If it’s the same thing, how are you planning to stand out?
Collaborators/Influencer– it could be friends and family, or even children pulling at the hem of your shirt yelling for the newest game
Context– Where will they see it and how will it make them feel?
So, you’ve worked out how you want the members of your business ecosystem to feel. Now it’s time to think about where to position yourself. Adding words like ‘premium’ can sometimes do the opposite; turning off a customer by making them feel a brand is arrogant or out of their price range. Other premium brands want to make themselves more accessible and use branding in-line with lower cost competitors.
The Evolution of a Brand
Branding can feel like a mine field of confusion. But keeping your finger on the pulse of your customer emotions and the changing market means you can reinforce your values and of course be consistent.
The majority of them go through an evolution and reduce in text and complicated imagery as they become more recognisable.
Don’t be baffled by brands.
Ask us the best ways to make the most from your current brand, or create you a winning brand ID that you can take into every facet of your business.