How to Develop a Strong Brand
by Ashley Sipe
Illustration by Gabi Allen
Having a strong brand is essential for any successful business. Branding can include a few different things, such as how your business is perceived by customers, how your business differentiates itself from competitors and what your company stands for. However, the big question with regard to branding is how can it be done successfully?
In short, branding is a way to separate yourself from competitors and establish yourself within a market. Branding also helps to establish a company’s personality and personal mission. Additionally, companies with a strong brand are more recognized by consumers, and consumers feel more comfortable investing in a brand they feel familiar with.
Let’s use Patagonia as an example. Patagonia is known for being a sustainable company and for giving back to the environment. A portion of the company’s sales go directly back to conservation efforts. This branding is strong and consumers recognize Patagonia as being environmentally conscious. In turn, consumers feel better about giving their money to Patagonia and feel more trusting of the business as a whole. I mean, who wouldn’t want to help the environment and also get some cool new outdoor gear?
So how exactly does a company develop a strong brand like Patagonia? These are a couple key tactics that will help your business stand out from competitors and connect more with your audience.
The first tactic is to establish brand recognition. When consumers recognize your brand, whether it be from your tagline or logo, you will have officially established yourself within the market. Think about Disney World. Almost everyone will connect Disney World with the tagline “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Nike is another example of a company with strong brand recognition. “Just Do It.” is one of the most well known taglines, and consumers will immediately think of Nike when they hear it. When trying to develop a recognizable tagline or logo, like Disney World and Nike, be sure to include this within any advertising that you do. Whether it be a commercial or print advertisements, the more exposure will make it more recognizable. Gaining this recognition from consumers will increase their trust of your company and make your company appear more official.
The next tactic for successful branding is figuring out how to separate yourself from other businesses who do similar things. How is your company different from every other business and why should consumers choose you? For instance, there are plenty of shoe companies. However, Toms has differentiated themselves by establishing a one-for-one program, where for every pair of Toms purchased, another pair is donated to children in need. While this alone won’t secure customers, customers will be more trusting of the brand and feel more comfortable giving money to Toms. Any way of differentiating yourself from competitors makes your business more recognizable and memorable to consumers.
Lastly, developing a positive and enticing tone to your company helps establish a brand. This could include the name of the company, the social media of the company, or even the company colors. If you want your company to appear exciting or adventurous, be sure that the other aspects of the company match this. For instance, bright company colors, a unique and intriguing company name and social media posts that allude to a fun company culture. When the tone of the company excites customers, they will be more intrigued to explore the products and services.
Whether you’re just getting started in branding or looking to rebrand your business, developing a strong brand is essential to the success of a business. Utilize these tools to showcase how your company stands out from competitors and appeal to consumers more.
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