We often think of a company brand as just the name and logo. But while these externally facing elements are crucial for things like brand recognition and loyalty, they only scratch the surface of what branding really is.
Brand strategies run deep. In order to have a brand that stands the test of time and builds a loyal customer base, you need to ingrain your brand into everything you do.
In my experience helping clients build brands, I’ve discovered five key components of strong brands. Here’s what they are and how you can build them.
1. Brand Identity
Brand identity is what you often think of when you think of branding. This is your externally facing image and all the components included within that. For example, your brand identity would be your logo, brand colors and website (just to name a few). In other words, your brand identity is the “look and feel” of your brand.
Brand identity is the most common thing customers remember, so it needs to stand out. In addition to being on-trend and in alignment with customer expectations, it needs to be different enough to be identified in a crowd of your competitors.
2. Brand Purpose, Mission And Values
While purpose, mission and values are all different components of your brand, they should all work together to tell a larger story about who you are and what you do. Your purpose is what you do and what you can promise your customers, your mission is the larger goal you hope to achieve through doing business and your values are what your brand represents.
For example, if your company is a mobile-first CRM, your purpose might be to deliver a better management experience to mobile users. Your mission might be to help on-the-go professionals thrive in busy environments, and your values might be to deliver top-of-the-line service at a reasonable price.
3. Brand Messaging
Your brand messaging is the voice of the brand. Just like the brand identity, the messaging helps you connect with your customer base to deliver a better experience. It’s the language you use on your website, in social media posts and in conversations with your customers.
It’s important that brand messaging is consistent, no matter who the customer is talking to. You should train your sales team, customer service reps and anyone else with a customer-facing role to use the same language and tone when conversing with customers.
4. Brand Differentiation
Your brand differentiation is what makes you different from competitors. In other words, this is your unique selling proposition — what do you have to offer that customers won’t get anywhere else?
Brand differentiation can be price, but it’s easy to get cut out of the market this way. Instead, you want to offer a feature or unique value that your customers can’t copy or imitate. Find a truly unique differentiator for long-term brand success.
5. Brand Experience
The brand experience is the way your customers connect or interact with your products, services, team and various connection points along the way (such as your social media). Everything from when a customer engages with a salesperson to when they use your product is considered brand experience.
Continuing to build your brand post-sale through delivering an above-and-beyond experience can create long-term connections with customers who buy again and again. Even better, customers who have had a great experience with your brand tell their friends and family and grow your customer base for you.
Building A Stronger Brand
Building a strong brand is an ongoing process that needs constant refinement and adjusting. However, for your brand to be successful and reach an audience long-term, you need to have the right branding components.
When building your brand strategy, make sure to include these five elements.
Article Credit Forbes.com