The 5 Beatitudes of Branding
One of the most challenging parts of a business is building a memorable brand. Branding goes beyond a snazzy logo and the perfect color palette. A strong brand has a voice that consumers recognize. A brand’s “voice” is the messaging that is connected to the brand based on how the brand has operated, from their product’s performance to their advertisements. Whether you are a small business, a large business, or still in the planning stages, it is important to know how to create a unique voice for your brand. As you continue reading, you will find, what I call the ‘Beatitudes of Branding’, these are 5 important must-dos for creating a memorable voice for your brand.
1. Branded be the Prepared Every company that has done a good job with branding, has a branding statement, also known as a positioning statement. A branding statement defines a brand. All the thoughts, ideas, promises, and values that your company upholds will be reflected in the brand statement. Creating a brand statement for your company is the first step in creating a strong brand. The brand statement sets the stage for how your company will operate and be perceived. Your statement should be brief, be clear, be unique, be true to your business' core values, include what the brand offers its consumers, and express how your business is distinctive.
2. Branded be the Informed A well-branded company knows what their consumers think about them. It is important to conduct research that pulls results that inform you on whether what the public thinks about you aligns with your brand. Do you know what people think about your brand? If you do not, find out. There are many methods to conduct qualitative research. Some methods are focus groups, face to face or in person interviews, observations, or polls and surveys. Choose one, a couple, or all and evaluate the results closely. Is what people think about your company aligned with your brand statement? If so, you are on the right track, keep going. If not, take a close look at what business and public relations practices are occurring that do not exemplify what your brand is about, then change them. After the data has been gathered and analyzed, if you find that your messaging is not being received by the public how you would like, you have some work to do. You can now implement the necessary changes needed to strengthen your brand.
3. Branded be the Consistent Consistency is key to creating a strong brand voice. Take a hard, long look at your brand statement, then evaluate everything that is connected to your brand. Does the way you conduct business match your brand statement? If you have employees, do they know and respect the brand statement? Are your products top quality like your brand statement says? In every corner of your brand should be your brand statement. In every operation, product release, and advertisement; there should be messaging about who you are as a company. IKEA, the furniture store has never claimed to carry the best quality furniture and they would get a lot of flak if they did make that claim. IKEA prides themselves on being affordable to almost everyone, and that they are. Their messaging has always been about affordability not quality and that will always work in they favor.
4. Branded be the Valuable Make sure your brand is valuable! What separates you from your competitors? Do you add value to the consumer’s life? Why should they choose your product over the next? These are questions that you should have answered before they are asked. Before your product hits the consumer’s hand, you need to be able to tell them the value that will be added to their lives if they give your product or service a chance.
5. Branded be the Authentic Do not try to be something that you are not. It is okay to have weaknesses, but it is not okay embrace strengths that have never belonged to you. Know your brand and understand your strengths and weaknesses. If you are a battery company whose batteries are not the most durable, but they are affordable, embrace that!
Highlight your strengths, do not make up your strengths, or lie about them. Sooner or later, customers will see through that because people naturally connect with authenticity. Remember when we went over IKEA? How would it look if they claimed to carry the best furniture in the world? Crazy, right? They do not highlight how low quality their furniture is, they highlight how affordable their products are and that works for them because it’s authentic.
Building a brand takes time, patience, and detail, but if you can implement these five tips into the way you brand, you will be on the right track to owning a well-branded company. Hopefully you can find value in these tips, and may you be successful in your business endeavors. Be branded!