Branding combines abstract and tangible elements in order to make your products or services natural and desirable for your prospective customers. However, it’s seldom something you can do on your own. After all, as a business owner, you have an inordinate number of decisions to make, and most importantly, products or services to develop!
Consider outsourcing branding as much as possible. To ensure a professional consultant or agency can translate your product or service into a recognizable and appealing brand, think about the following priorities.
What Is Brand Recognition?
Your brand is the first thing consumers encounter. Before you can sell them on your products or services, they must first come into contact with and connect with your brand. Think about the colors, logo, signage, stationery, website, and product packaging. It is the use of consistent colors and images that help guide consumers through their decision-making process. If your goal is to create brand awareness, be the company that resonates with them when they are ready to make those crucial purchase decisions.
What Goes Into A Strong Brand?
According to Kissmetrics, 93% of consumers base buying decisions on visual cues. Color combination is just one of the many facets associated with the effective design and aesthetics of packaging. Effectively branding your company means working with experienced branding professionals from concept to finish, who will take the time to learn every aspect of your business to differentiate it and develop it into a recognizable brand.
Your Brand’s Building Blocks
There are things every brand must have, but how you develop and execute them is what will give you the advantage over your competitors. Among them, having a strong, iconic visual identity is key if you’re pursuing omnichannel retail. These visual cues should easily and creatively convey your message, your brand’s ethos, and your underlying motivation in a way that speaks to customers implicitly.
This should be supported by good product development and contract packaging solutions. Lastly, you need to consider when and where your customers find your products, how they’re informed of your brand, and their perceptions of it.
Let’s take a look at these priorities in practice.
Having a visual identity means much more than slapping your brand’s name on a box and shipping it off to a customer or retail partner. You need to consider several factors, namely:
- An identifiable and appropriate color palette
- An iconic, easy-to-understand logo
- A distinct brand message
For instance, think about the differences between branding for a children's boutique clothing versus a high-end women’s apparel line. A children’s boutique may utilize bright pastels or neon tones in its logo and signage. Along with that, graphics and content may be simpler and easy-to-read, appealing to both kids and parents. Meanwhile, a luxury clothing line may appeal to older, well-to-do customers through discreet signage, muted earth tone or grey and black visual elements, and a strong emphasis on quality over quantity when it comes to merchandising.
The same principles hold true in other industries. For instance, consider the differences between brands of children’s cereal one might find in a mid-tier grocery store versus decidedly upmarket, health-focused cereal for adults typically found in an outlet like Whole Foods.
Overall, visual cues play an implicit role in informing customers of a brand’s intentions, its direction, and ultimately, if it speaks to them.
Tactile Brand Narratives
While eCommerce is swiftly becoming the dominant force in retail, consumers still crave a tactile relationship with brands and products with which they identify. Regardless of distribution, your product’s packaging tells a narrative your most loyal customers will still want to experience.
Let’s say you’re launching a shoe or apparel brand vying for more upmarket, discerning luxury customers. Your packaging and presentation will need to stress quality, along with value. Along with those priorities, presenting premium leather and fabric care products conveys to consumers that your brand is one worth the investment, as its products will age well with a certain attention to care.
Strategic Outreach and Placement
Marketing and promotion comprise a third but no less important component in your brand’s development. After all, it doesn’t really matter how good your product may be without the investment of loyal customers and retail partners who can access your brand through multiple channels and media.
First, consider the benefits of omnichannel retail. In fact, mobile eCommerce is already a leading force in retail. 51% of Americans already spend most of their online time on mobile platforms. As such, any web presence you provide needs to be fully responsive or accessible through AMPs (accelerated mobile pages) that are specially designed for the parameters of mobile device screens.
These mobile-friendly online outlets should be fully vetted in terms of CRO and SEO (conversion rate and search engine optimization). This ensures that not only are the right customers finding you, their experience on your website is as positive as possible. Think of any potential roadblocks between a customer landing on your site and their final checkout. Make sure your product pages and categories are easily navigable and that your shopping cart is easy to use. Finally, ensure there’s a secure payment gateway that can facilitate orders from across the world if you’re thinking of global distribution.
In terms of strategic marketing or promotion, consider PPC ads (Pay Per Click) through Google, which will further target your products to people specifically looking for what you’re providing, and remember to leverage social media as much as possible.
Developing Your Narrative
So, there you have it. Being a leader in your business and industry means knowing when and where to delegate certain tasks. In the case of brand development, it’s usually one that’s better left to dedicated professionals or agencies who can intuitively translate your products or services into something with which consumers will immediately identify.
Author Bio – Alex G Forrester is a content marketing and SEO professional who enjoys the challenge of driving sales through blogging while creating awesome and useful content. In the beginning of 2015, Alex quit his day job and ditched his plan to head to law school all so that he could start and launch his freelance career. When Alex’s not at work for clients or coaching business owners and solopreneurs on how to start a website and earn money online, he can be found on the beach with his black lab, Louie. Say “hi” to Alex on Twitter!