Many entrepreneurs are rather carefree and passive when it comes to branding, and that’s one of the most important reasons why their business stagnates or doesn’t take off. Some owners understand to some extent that for a client to choose their service over that of other competitors, they need to create an emotional connection between the buyer and the product. Others completely discard the concept of branding and only settle for a well-designed logo. But if you want to be successful, there’s no way around it – you need a strong, memorable brand. Here are some vital principles on how you can create a remarkable brand that accurately represents and flatters your business.
Intensive research is the foundation for building a relevant brand
This is the hardest, but also the most crucial and most rewarding part of building your brand identity. Before you set out to create a logo, choose a design system, or decide on the type of iconography and typography you want to use, stop, and ask yourself the following two questions:
Who is the client?
Who are my competitors?
These are basic questions that every business owner should have a straightforward and clear answer before developing any form of presence on the market. Do you understand the values and needs of your customers? Can you put yourself in the mind of potential clients? Similarly, you need to find out what differentiates your product or service from the rest of the industry. What makes your business unique? You get answers to all of these questions by doing research, and a lot of it.
A powerful message is a powerful brand
Experts state that the average American is exposed to between 4,000 and 10,000 advertisements every single day. We’re bombarded with thousands of trademarks, logos, ads, and slogans during most of our waking hours. But how many of those brands have a powerful message and a backbone? Not many. When your (potential) customers purchase a product or a service from you, what will make the experience stick in their memory? What do you want them to identify your brand by and what is the core message behind your business?
Understand that your logo is not your brand
I see this so often both with small businesses and high-scale companies, which you’d think to know better. If you have the mindset that once you’ve designed your logo, you’re officially branded, your business will undoubtedly suffer. Your logo and tagline are merely identifiers of your brand, not the brand itself.
Don’t underestimate the power of emotional branding
You can have a witty slogan and an appealing logo, but that won’t make up for the lack of emotional connection. Buying from your brand can’t be a flat action – it has to be an experience (and a unique one at that) if you want to build a long-lasting, fruitful relationship with your clients. And to do that, you need to associate your product or service with an unmistakable, visceral emotion.
Hook your clients long-term using habit-forming
This is the secret all successful brands share – they provide habit-forming products that turn buyers into loyal, repeat customers. The strategy is built on the Hook Model, a conceptual framework that claims certain situations or emotions trigger people into taking action to receive a reward. A complex pattern that embodies this idea is, for instance, how an individual may feel lacking, ignored, or unimportant and, as a response, will buy a clothing item to feel more distinguished and included. A simpler example is: we feel bored and like we’re missing out, so we check Instagram and scroll through the photos. You need to figure out what “itch” you can satisfy your clients and create a brand identity that appeals both to the need and the anticipation of reward.