Building better business branding
Whether a business specialises in business 2 business or retail transactions, branding forms a key part of marketing and the relationships established with both potential and existing with customers / clients.
Clear and effective business branding defines the message that you would like customers to associate with your products / services. Communicating the ethos of the business, its values and the promise being made.
Before building a business brand, it is important to consider the nature of the product / service being offered, and how you would like customers / clients to perceive your business through its marketing communications.
There are several different ways in which a business can create a branding strategy.
This type of branding focuses on the physical or technical characteristic of the product or service. Placing emphasis on how or why your product / service is faster, better or more efficient than competitors. As an effective form of marketing, it differentiates and reinforces the reasons why customers / client should choose your products / services from a functional perspective.
This type of business branding, symbolises the emotional reasons that customers /clients should take up the product or service offering. It places emphasis on how customers will interpret the message the brand is attempting to communicate. Encompassing, social or cultural perspectives that customers / clients and identify with. For example, friendlier, safer, more secure, trusted or reliable.
Attitude branding places emphasis on popular attitudes customers / clients may associate with a product or service. Using the example of sports drinks such a Lucozade Sport, where the benefits of gaining better stamina or strength as a result of consuming the product, are promoted. Similarly, this can be said for a range of lifestyle products / services – We Buy Any Car recently produced an advert promoting the time saving aspects of the service they provide. In this instance, whilst the service may have proven to be more expensive for the customers, the advert aimed to attract those that simply did not have the time to focus on selling their car in a more traditional way. Reaching out to people that are a more cash rich, time poor and looking for a quick sale.
With individual branding, businesses promote different products and services in a more individualised way. This can help to keep different products or parts of the business separate. Whilst the logo and corporate identity may remain the same, the actual identity of each product being sold differs. An example of individual branding can be found with a range of products that are manufactured by Cadbury Schwepps. In this instance, chocolate bars such as Crunchie, Fudge, Double Decker, Flake and Picnic all have their own unique individual look, feel and taste, but bear the same corporate identity under the Cadbury umbrella.
An example of own brands can be found in the range of products and services that Tesco provide. In this instance, the logo stays the same and products like Tesco Insurance or Tesco Mobile are easily recognisable as a result of Tesco’s corporate branding. In a similar fashion, Tesco also sell a range of white label food items that are given their identity through product labelling under the Tesco brand.
What works for you?
In order to identify a branding strategy that will best convey the message that you would like to promote to customers / clients, it is important to consider the following:
- What does the business do? (product/ service being offered?)
- What are the features and benefits of the product / service?
- Why do people buy the product / service being provided? (value for money, faster service, convenience, quality, entertainment etc…)
- What are you aiming to do better than competitors?
- What feedback have you received about the products / service so far and what improvements can be made?
- What are the business qualities that you want stand out?
Once you have considered the above questions and decided upon a branding strategy that you would like to use, you can also implement the following to improve the brand identity:
- Create templates for marketing materials that can be used across the business in different types of communication i.e. business cards, emails, website, social media pages, blogs.
- Create a tag line that summaries the business mission, values and ethos in way that your clients / customers will remember you for, over competitors.
- Believe in and be true to your brand.
- Be consistent.
Times, technology and trends change, keep your brand looking fresh and appealing, stay up to date with the latest events taking place in your industry, and most importantly, ensure that you obtain and listen to regular feedback provided by your customers /clients.