Best Option

Find the right accountancy solution for your requirements

The central premise of running a business is pretty black and white: you sell a product or service in exchange for money, with the aim of making more cash than you spend. The concept of branding is not quite so clear cut. It’s full of intangible elements, and it’s difficult to tell whether you’re getting it right.

However, perfecting your brand is crucial to the success of your business. To assist you in creating the next Nike, Apple, or Coca-Cola, we’ve put together a crash course in branding basics.

 

Why is brand important?
There’s no two ways about it: a strong, well-positioned brand can be the difference between business success and failure. Take the iPod, for example. It offered all the same functionality as its competitors but it left every other MP3 player in the dust, thanks purely to the incredible brand built around it. Here’s three lessons we can learn about branding from the iPod:

  • Before the iPod, MP3 players were ugly. They looked like portable hard drives with a tacked-on screen and a headphone socket. Steve Jobs saw this and decided to focus on design and presentation to give the iPod a real point of difference.
  • Can you remember watching the keynote speech for the launch of the Creative Zen MP3 player? Don’t worry, no-one can. But we’ve all seen the polished professionalism of Steve Jobs as he unveils his products to the world. Aim for that same level of professionalism whenever you are promoting your brand.
  • As per the consumer tech industry of that time, every new MP3 player boasted about its capacity in terms of megabytes. The iPod, however, positioned itself as a way to ‘carry 1,000 songs in your pocket’. Of course, every MP3 player could do that. But it was only Apple who directly appealed to music lovers rather than computer nerds, by talking about songs rather than hard drive size.

Brand is more than just your logo
The visual identity of your business is extremely important. Logos, colour palettes, and web design will all have an impact on the way that your brand is perceived. But, it’s important to remember that the look and feel should be an outcome of branding, rather than the central focus.

What do we mean by this? Take Starbucks—one of the most recognisable brands in the world. That unique green colour, artistically-designed emblem, and clean sans serif logo are all designed to exude a sophisticated, cosmopolitan feel.

Now, had that beautiful design work been used on a brand that sells fancy dress outfits, it would have felt stiff and pretentious. In short, get the brand nailed on and the visual identity will follow.

Get to know your target customer
Many business owners know their product, their market, and their industry really well. But few have a keen grasp on who their target customer is. If you want to create a robust and respected brand, it’s worth investing the time and effort to paint a detailed picture of your target customer.

Building an ideal customer persona doesn’t have to be laborious—for many businesses it can be liberating to drill down into the specifics of their target customer. What other products do they buy? What kind of things do they watch on TV? What kind of job do they have?

Answering these kinds of questions will enable you to better visualise your target customer and, furthermore, it’ll help you build your brand into one that will really connect with them.

Build a brand pyramid
Okay, we’re getting into serious brand strategy now. Stick with us. A brand pyramid is a classic device used by brand experts to dial into the vision, values, and true essence of a business.

It can sound overwhelming at first. But the brand pyramid exercise is extremely useful as a foundation for crafting your business into a powerful, unique brand. To read more about how to build your brand pyramid, check out this excellent article.

Three quick tips to maximise your brand
We’ve looked at some of the in-depth strategies you can use to craft your business into an established brand. They’re useful, but it’ll take time and effort to implement them. So, to finish, we’ve got three simple tips that you can carry out now to help you build your brand:

  • Stand for something you believe in. Authenticity is a major buzzword in branding right now—but the idea is not without its merits. If you have a strong belief in sustainability or minimalist design, let it shine through in your brand. Your business will be all the more appealing for it.
  • Keep a consistent tone of voice. Whether you’re speaking at an industry event or writing a product description on your website, aim to keep the brand’s voice consistent.
  • Think of your brand as a person. Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, described branding as ‘what other people say about you when you’re not in the room’. This description is useful for many reasons, including the fact that it personifies brand. Always think about who your brand is, and how they are portraying themselves.

Getting help with your brand
As the above discussion shows, branding is a huge consideration for any business. If things start to get overwhelming for you, it’s always worth considering hiring a professional to help.

There is a whole industry built around branding, so with a bit of research you’ll definitely be able to find someone in your area who will be able to assist you in building your brand. Just remember, the services of experts don’t come cheap. But, as we’ve seen throughout this article, a strong brand could help guide your profits into the stratosphere.

Looking for more advice, guidance, and tips on building your business? Check out our list of free resources

 

Other guides you may find interesting:

Need help finding the right accountancy solution for your requirements?

Answer the questions below for our recommendation.

1
2
3
Do you: (select the first that applies)
Please select an option