It’s more important than ever to have a strong, unique brand in today’s crowded market. A strong brand can help you stand out, deliver a clear message to your target audience, build customer trust, and grow your business long-term.
But what is a strong brand, and how do you create one? This post explores the key elements and provides actionable tips to build a brand that resonates and stands out. Get the insights you need to start (or refresh) your successful brand.
What is brand building?
Brand building is the process of creating and cultivating a unique and consistent identity for a business or product. In this way, the company develops a visual identity, establishes a set of brand values and messaging, and consistently communicates these elements across all marketing channels and touchpoints.
Creating a solid and recognizable brand that resonates with the target audience and differentiates the company from its competitors is the goal of brand building. A strong brand can help businesses gain customers’ trust and credibility, leading to increased sales.
Building a strong brand involves many elements, including:
- Developing a visual identity: Creating a logo, color palette, and font choices that reflect the brand’s personality is part of this process.
- Defining brand values and messaging: All marketing materials should reflect the brand’s core values and messages to its audience.
- Consistency: The same visual elements and messaging should be used across the brand’s marketing channels and touchpoints, from advertisements to packaging to websites and social media.
- Monitoring and adapting: An ongoing process of monitoring and tracking the brand’s performance and reputation involves staying in tune with customer feedback and market trends, as well as adapting and making changes when necessary.
Reasons for building a strong brand
There are many reasons why businesses should invest in building a strong brand, including:
- Differentiation: A strong brand can help businesses to stand out from the competition and differentiate themselves in the market. By creating a unique and recognizable visual identity and messaging, companies can make themselves more memorable and memorable to customers.
For example, Apple’s strong brand identity sets them apart from other technology companies. Their trademark branding, including their signature apple logo and sleek design aesthetic, distinguishes Apple from its competitors and makes them easily recognizable.
- Trust and credibility: A strong brand can help to build trust and credibility with customers by consistently communicating the values and benefits of the business and its products or services. This can help to build long-term relationships with customers and encourage them to choose the business over competitors. For example, a study by Rudzewicz Adan found that a small increase in product quality increased the odds of consumer loyalty success by 60%. Here are the four key takeaways:
- Brand trust has a positive effect on consumer loyalty.
- Product quality has a positive effect on consumer loyalty.
- Brand image has a positive effect on consumer loyalty.
- Customer satisfaction has a positive effect on consumer loyalty.
- Increased sales and growth: A strong brand can help businesses grow and sell more. Creating a strong and consistent brand identity can help businesses increase brand awareness, customer loyalty, and sales by creating a positive and memorable impression on customers.
- Valuation: Brand strength can also make a company more attractive to investors and customers, as it can increase its valuation. Starbucks, for instance, has established a reputation for providing high-quality coffee and a consistently good customer experience, which has led to high customer loyalty.
- Employee morale and retention: Building a strong brand can also have internal benefits, such as improving employee morale and retention. Engaged and motivated employees are more likely to perform well and help the company achieve its goals when they are proud of the brand they work for and believe in its values.
Takeaway: building a strong brand can help businesses to differentiate themselves from the competition, build trust and credibility with customers, drive sales and growth, and create value for the company.
Identify your target audience
Who is your target audience?
To build a strong brand, you must identify your target audience, which refers to the consumers you aim primarily to reach and engage.
To identify your target audience, you need to consider factors such as:
- Demographics: The statistical characteristics of your target audience, such as age, gender, income, education, and location. These factors affect how people perceive and respond to your brand and products/services. Different demographics may have different needs, interests, and preferences, and they may react differently to different types of messaging and branding.
- Needs and interests: The needs, interests, and motivations of your target audience, along with their hobbies, passions, and values. For example, if your business sells organic food, your target audience may be health-conscious consumers looking for natural and sustainable alternatives.
- Behavior: Your target audience’s behavior provides insight into their preferences and interests. This includes their purchasing habits, engagement with your brand and competitors, and feedback.
- Psychographics: Attitudes, values, and lifestyles of your target audience. For example, marketing luxury watches to affluent consumers who value quality and prestige.
- Life stage: The stage of life your target audience is in, such as students, professionals, families, or retirees, and their particular needs and challenges.
- Media habits: Identifying your target audience’s media habits helps you understand how to reach and engage with them. This includes the types of media they consume and the specific channels and platforms they use.
- Social and cultural influences: Your target audience’s social and cultural influences, such as their cultural backgrounds, social networks, and interests in trends and events.
- Gender: When identifying your target audience, consider their gender and whether it affects their needs and interests. For example, a beauty product business may target a specific gender or aim to appeal to both men and women. Remember that gender is not always binary, so consider inclusivity and diversity in your marketing and branding.
Identify their needs and goals
After identifying your target audience, it’s important to consider their needs and goals. This will help you build a brand that resonates with them and meets their needs and challenges. To determine your target audience’s needs and goals, consider the following:
- Motivations: What motivates your target audience and drives their behavior and decision-making? Understanding their motivations can help you create a brand that speaks to their needs and desires and aligns with their values and goals.
- Pain points: What challenges or problems does your target audience face, and how can your business help to solve them? Identifying your target audience’s pain points can help create a brand that addresses their specific needs and solves their problems.
- Interests and hobbies: What does your target audience enjoy doing in their free time, and how can your brand align with their interests and passions? By understanding what your target audience enjoys and cares about, you can create a brand that connects with them on a deeper level and creates a more meaningful and lasting impression.
What role does marketing research play?
Market research plays a crucial role in identifying your target audience’s needs and goals. Market research allows you to gather valuable information about your target audiences, such as their demographics, motivations, pain points, interests, and media habits. This can help you better understand your target audience and what they care about, which can inform your branding and marketing strategy.
- Surveys: A common method of gathering information from many people, which can be conducted online or in person.
- Focus groups: A method of bringing a small group together to discuss a specific topic, providing in-depth insights into the target audience’s needs and goals.
- Interviews: Conducted one-on-one or in a group setting, providing valuable information about the target audience’s motivations, interests, and challenges.
- Online research: Using the internet to gather information about the target audience, such as their engagement with the brand on social media or their feedback on online forums or review sites.
Here are a few real-life examples
|Brand||Target audience||Marketing efforts|
|healthy food||health-conscious consumers||natural and sustainable products|
|fashion||young adults aged 18-24||social media influencers and trendy designs|
|fitness||working professionals who are looking for ways to stay healthy and fit||convenience, accessibility, and results|
|pet supply||pet owners||health and well-being of pets, such as natural and organic products|
|travel||adventure seekers||exotic and exciting destinations, such as safaris, hiking, and surfing|
|home decor||homeowners looking for ways to personalize and beautify their living spaces||creativity, inspiration, and customization|
Create your brand image
Define your brand’s essence
You can define your brand’s essence by identifying your target audience and understanding their needs and goals. Your brand’s essence is the core of your brand, and it should permeate everything you do to brand and market your company.
To define your brand’s essence, consider:
- Brand values: What are the core values that your brand represents? These values should be authentic, meaningful, and relevant to your target audience.
- Brand personality: What is your brand’s personality, and how do you want it to be perceived by your target audience? Your brand personality should be unique, consistent, and aligned with your target audience’s needs and interests.
- Brand promise: What is your brand’s promise to your target audience? Your brand promise should be specific, achievable, and compelling, reflecting the value and benefits your brand offers to your target audience.
Craft your brand’s visual identity
Your brand’s visual identity is an important element of your overall brand image, and it should be carefully crafted to reflect your brand’s essence and resonate with your target audience.
Even though 66% of consumers prefer well-designed content over plain and simple content, consistent and impactful brand visual identity is often neglected. Furthermore, social media posts containing images attract 6.5 times more engagement, while customers are 85% more likely to purchase a product if they watch a video. After all, 90% of information transmitted to the brain comes through visual means.
As your brand’s primary visual element, your logo should be distinctive, memorable, and aligned with your brand’s essence. You should carefully choose the colors, fonts, and other design elements you will use when designing your logo to send the right message to your target audience.
Bold, bright colors convey excitement and energy, while muted, softer colors convey sophistication and calmness. It is also important to choose the right fonts because different fonts can express different emotions and messages. For example, a serif font can convey tradition and elegance, while a sans-serif font conveys modernity and simplicity.
2) Color palette
Branding and visual identity can be enhanced by using color. Colors can be used to communicate your brand’s personality and values, as well as elicit different emotions and associations. You should carefully consider your brand’s color palette and be consistent across all your marketing and branding materials, including your logo, website, social media, and packaging.
Using color strategically and consistently can help you communicate your brand’s essence and distinguish it from competitors by creating an impactful, cohesive visual identity.
|Red||Passion, energy, and excitement; Grabs attention and creates a sense of urgency|
|Orange||Warmth, friendliness, and creativity; friendly, approachable, and playful vibe|
|Yellow||Happiness, optimism, intellect, cheerful atmosphere|
|Green||Nature, health, and tranquility; a sense of calm and harmony|
|Blue||rust, dependability, and professionalism; reliability and security|
|Purple||Luxury, royalty, and wisdom; sophistication and elegance|
|Black||Power, sophistication, exclusivity, and mystery|
|White||Purity, cleanliness, openness, and simplicity|
|Pink||Romance, playfulness, femininity, tenderness, and innocence|
|Brown||Dependability, reliability, stability, and ruggedness|
|Gold||Wealth, luxury, and extravagance|
|Silver||Modernity, sophistication, and sleekness|
|Bronze||Strength, durability, and endurance|
|Platinum||Purity, rarity, and exclusivity|
The fonts you use in your branding, and visual identity play a crucial role in your brand’s overall design and aesthetic. The right fonts can help to create a cohesive and distinctive brand, while the wrong fonts can detract from your message and make your brand less effective.
When choosing fonts for your brand, it’s important to consider factors such as legibility, readability, and style. The fonts you choose should be consistent across your branding and marketing materials, such as your logo, website, social media, and packaging. They should also be aligned with your brand’s tone and style.
For example, if your brand is fun and playful, you might choose a more playful font, while if your brand is sophisticated and upscale, you might choose a more elegant font. By carefully selecting and using fonts, you can create a visual identity that reflects your brand’s essence and helps to differentiate it from competitors.
- Google: Google’s brand font is called Product Sans (now called “Google Sans”) and is used consistently across all of the company’s branding and marketing materials. The font is simple, clean, and legible, reflecting Google’s modern and innovative brand identity.
- Coca-Cola: Coca-Cola’s brand font is Spencerian Script, used in the company’s iconic logo. The font is elegant and flowing, reflecting the company’s heritage and classic brand identity.
- Nike: Nike’s brand font is Futura and is used consistently across the company’s branding and marketing materials. The font is modern and bold, reflecting the company’s energetic and sporty brand identity.
- Starbucks: Starbucks’ brand font is called Starbucks Sans and is used consistently across the company’s branding and marketing materials. The font is simple and friendly, reflecting the company’s warm and welcoming brand identity.
Here are brief explanations of some common font categories and how they might be used in branding and visual identity:
- Serif: Serif fonts have small, decorative lines or “feet” at the end of each letter’s strokes. These fonts are often seen as traditional and classic and often used in branding and marketing materials for businesses in industries such as finance and law.
- Sans-serif: Sans-serif fonts do not have small decorative lines at the end of each letter’s strokes. These fonts are often seen as modern and clean and are used in branding and marketing materials for businesses in technology and fashion.
- Monospace: Monospace fonts are fonts where every character takes up the same amount of horizontal space. These fonts are often seen as clean and technical and used in branding and marketing materials for businesses in industries such as programming and data analysis.
- Display: Display fonts are fonts that are intended to be used for large, eye-catching headlines and titles. These fonts are often decorative, unique, and used in branding and marketing materials to grab the audience’s attention and create a strong visual impact.
- Handwritten: Handwritten fonts are fonts that mimic the appearance of handwritten text. These fonts are often seen as personal and friendly and are often used in branding and marketing materials for businesses in industries such as food and beverage or in situations where a personal touch is desired.
To create a strong brand, it’s important to use imagery that’s consistent, relevant, and consistent with your brand’s identity. This will help convey your brand’s personality and tone and create a strong emotional connection with your audience.
Different images can be used for branding, including photos, illustrations, graphics, logos, and other visual elements like colors and fonts. They all contribute to the personality and tone of your brand.
Photos, for example, can show real-life situations and convey your brand’s values and message. Illustrations and graphics can create visual interest and add a unique touch to your brand’s identity.
Apple is a good example of a brand that uses illustrations to create visual interest and add a unique touch to its branding. Apple’s branding often consists of simple, clean, and minimalist illustrations that reflect the company’s focus on innovation and design. For example, Apple’s website often features illustrations of products like the iPhone or MacBook that are simple and elegant and convey the brand’s values and personality. These illustrations help create a distinctive visual identity for the brand and differentiate it from its competitors.
When choosing images, consider the emotions and associations they evoke and how they relate to your brand’s values and message. For example, if your brand is associated with nature and sustainability, you might choose images of natural landscapes and plants. If your brand is associated with luxury and sophistication, you could use images of elegant and refined items such as diamonds or champagne.
People are more likely to remember visual elements than plain text, so consistent and coordinated imagery can help create a sense of familiarity and recognition for your brand. You can create a strong and memorable visual identity for your brand by carefully selecting and using imagery.
Where to get imagery?
5) Patterns, textures, and icons
The patterns, textures, and icons used in your branding can add depth and dimension to your visual identity.
6) Voice and tone
The tone and voice you use in your branding relate to how you convey your brand’s messages and values to your target audience. Your tone and voice should be consistent across all your brand materials and authentically and genuinely reflect your brand’s personality and values.
The tone and voice you use in your branding should be consistent, authentic, and aligned with your brand’s personality and values.
Takeaway: By crafting a strong and consistent visual identity for your brand, you can create a memorable and recognizable brand image that resonates with your target audience.
Outsource your brand image
Outsourcing your branding to a graphic design agency can be a smart and cost-effective way to maintain a consistent and professional look. Services like Awesomic and Vecteezy Studio offer unlimited premium graphic design and provide access to professional designers who can help you maintain and improve your brand image.
For businesses on a budget, there are also more affordable options like ManyPixels, which offer high-quality design services at a lower cost. Services like Kimp and Kapa99 are even cheaper, but the quality of their designs may not be as high.
Working with a professional graphic design agency can be a more cost-effective solution than hiring your designer, especially for startups or businesses with limited resources. By outsourcing, you can tap into the expertise of professional designers who can effectively maintain and improve your brand image. This way, you can create a strong and consistent brand that stands out from the competition and builds trust with your customers.
Develop your brand messaging
Create a tagline
You must create a tagline for your business to build a strong brand. A tagline lets customers know who you are and will help them remember you. You can use a tagline to differentiate your business from your competitors and increase brand recognition and sales if it’s done well. When creating a tagline, consider these helpful methods to ensure that it strongly impacts your target audience.
- Identify your value proposition: Convey the unique benefits of your product or service in your tagline.
- Keep it short and simple: A concise and memorable tagline will likely stick in customers’ minds.
- Be consistent: Use the same tagline to build brand recognition across all platforms and mediums.
- Focus on benefits: Emphasize the value and benefits your customers will gain from using your product or service.
- Be memorable: Create an emotional connection with your target audience by crafting a catchy tagline and easy to remember.
- Get creative: Brainstorm with your team or potential customers to find your brand’s unique and creative tagline.
Examples of successful taglines:
- Nike: “Just Do It”: short, simple, and memorable. It encourages customers to take action.
- Apple: “Think Different”: sets Apple apart from its competitors and encourages customers to be creative.
- McDonald’s: “I’m Lovin’ It”: catchy and playful, encourages customers to visit McDonald’s for a positive experience.
- Coca-Cola: “Open Happiness”: positive, upbeat, and relatable. It conveys the brand’s message of joy and enjoyment.
- Amazon: “Shop with Confidence”: reassuring and trustworthy, conveying the brand’s message of reliability and security. It also encourages customers to shop with Amazon knowing they will have a positive experience.
Write copy that connects with your audience
Writing copy that connects with your audience is crucial to building a strong brand. The written word can help create meaning and foster customer relationships. Here are some tips to help you craft effective, engaging copy that resonates with your audience:
- Identify your target audience: Understanding the mindset of your customers will help you create content that addresses their specific needs and wants.
- Keep it short and simple: People don’t want to read lengthy brand messages, so choose your words carefully and only include the essential details.
- Use the right language: Use language your audience will understand and relate to. Incorporate terms and jargon that are specific to your customer base.
- Use action words: Incorporate verbs such as “discover”, “create”, and “explore” to encourage people to take action.
- Tell a story: Stories can engage people in ways that facts and figures cannot. Create a story that captivates your audience’s attention and is memorable.
- Highlight benefits: Focus on how your product or service can improve your customers’ lives rather than just listing its features.
- Use visuals: Visual elements such as images and videos can help give your content more impact and make it easier for readers to understand your message.
- Show, don’t tell: Showcasing the features or accomplishments of your product or business is more effective than just telling customers about them. Include pictures, customer testimonials, or other visual elements in your writing.
By following these tips, you can create compelling copy that connects with your audience and helps build a strong brand. Ensure your messaging aligns with your brand values and conveys your brand’s unique character to create a lasting bond with your customers.
BONUS: We recently learned about the BLUF writing technique. It’s a military standard that can make your writing more powerful. Read this brilliant blog from Animalz on the topic.
Promoting your brand
Develop and implement a content marketing strategy
- Identify and understand your target audience’s needs and goals.
- Prepare a content plan that details what content you will create, where it will be shared, and how you will measure its success.
- Differentiate yourself from your competitors and appeal to your target audience by establishing a unique voice and tone.
- Publish content in various formats, such as blogs, videos, infographics, and social media posts, to reach a wide range of audiences.
- To reach as many people as possible, publish new content regularly and promote it across various channels.
- Improve and refine your content marketing strategy by tracking and analyzing its performance.
Create a social media presence
Social media is a powerful tool for promoting your brand and engaging with customers. It’s a very broad topic, so this article won’t get into many details. For more information, read this article by Sproutsocial.
- Set up accounts on your target audience’s major platforms and develop consistent, engaging profiles.
- Create a content plan that promotes your brand and appeals to your customers, and post content regularly.
- Engage with your audience by responding to comments and inquiries, and track and analyze the performance of your content.
- A strong presence on social media can help you build trust and credibility with your customers and drive long-term growth for your business.
Influencer marketing is an effective marketing strategy to reach and connect with a wide audience. You can use it to build authority and relationships and reach out to potential customers. To make the most of it, you need to choose the right influencers and create content that reflects your brand’s values.
When choosing influencers, go for those who represent your target audience and can create compelling content. Research their work and followers’ comments to get an idea of their reach, reputation, and engagement. The right people should be selected based on their geographic location.
Once you’ve selected the right influencers, you can work with them to create customized content for your brand. Get to know their style and messaging to create content that will resonate well with their followers. Don’t limit yourself to popular social media platforms – explore other websites, forums, and groups to increase your reach and reach a larger audience.
To build a lasting relationship with influencers, keep them updated on your posts and products, comment on them, and thank them for their contributions. Track their performance by measuring clicks, likes, and shares to determine if their content resonates with your audience.
Where to find influencers?
- Online directories or platforms that connect brands with influencers.
- Social media networks such as Instagram or YouTube, where influencers often have a significant following.
- You can meet and connect with influencers at industry events or conferences.
- Online forums or groups related to your industry, where influencers may be active and engaged.
- Collaborate with other businesses or organizations in your industry that may have connections with influencers who could be a good fit for your brand.
Leverage traditional marketing tactics
Traditional marketing tactics can help you promote your brand and build a credible image. To do this, it’s important to identify your target market and understand their needs and wants. Create messages that appeal to them and show how your product or service meets their needs. Use user-generated content to get an idea of how people see similar products.
Once you have a clear picture of your target audience, you can reach them with traditional marketing methods such as advertising, direct mail, email campaigns, and public relations. Incorporate visual elements like videos and graphics to grab attention and interest. To reach as many people as possible, you should use a mix of measures such as radio and TV spots, print ads, outdoor advertising, and online measures such as SEO, social media advertising, and content marketing.
With a well-thought-out plan and the right tools, traditional marketing can effectively promote your brand and help you build a strong, credible image.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
How do I identify my target audience?
To identify your target audience, you can conduct market research to gather information about their demographics, interests, and behavior. You can also use tools like Google Analytics and social media insights to learn more about the people who engage with your brand online.
What are the key elements of a strong brand image?
The key elements of a strong brand image include a clear and unique brand essence, a consistent and cohesive visual identity, and messaging that resonates with your target audience. These elements should be integrated across your branding materials and communications to create a consistent and memorable brand experience.
How can I create a tagline that resonates with my audience?
To create a tagline that resonates with your audience, you should first identify your brand’s unique essence and values. Your tagline should be concise, memorable, and reflective of your brand’s essence, and it should appeal to the needs and goals of your target audience.
What are the best ways to promote my brand on social media?
The best ways to promote your brand on social media include creating engaging and relevant content, interacting with your audience and responding to their questions and comments, and using paid advertising to reach a wider audience. You can also leverage influencer marketing and partnerships to amplify your message and reach a new audience.
How do I measure the success of my brand-building efforts?
To measure the success of your brand-building efforts, you can track key metrics such as brand awareness, customer engagement, and conversion rates. You can use tools like Google Analytics and social media insights to track these metrics and conduct surveys and focus groups to gather customer feedback.
Benefits of building a strong brand
Creating a strong brand is essential to the long-term success of a business, organization, or individual. It can help companies stand out, attract and retain customers, and drive growth and profitability. A recognizable brand can also lead to better customer experiences and greater loyalty.
Some of the key benefits of building a strong brand include:
- Increased trust and recognition: a strong brand can help companies build trust with their customers and establish themselves as an authority in their industry.
- Differentiation from competitors: A unique brand identity can help companies differentiate themselves from their competitors and stand out in the marketplace.
- Consistent marketing messages: a strong brand provides the foundation for consistent marketing messages that help companies build a loyal customer base.
- Financial benefits: A strong brand can attract customers, open up new opportunities, and increase long-term value and profitability. It can also help businesses get better credit terms from banks.
Building a strong brand is critical to long-term success in today’s competitive marketplace. It can help companies build customer loyalty, differentiate themselves from the competition, and drive growth and profitability.
Re-evaluating and refining your brand as needed
You need a long-term commitment and a plan to build a strong brand. It’s possible to put in the effort, but you must regularly review and refine your message. Analyze how you’re positioning yourself and how you’re perceived by the public.
Look at what your competitors are doing and get feedback from your customers. Don’t be afraid to experiment, measure successes and failures, and learn from the results. You can create a successful and lasting message by constantly reviewing and refining your brand.
Branding Fun Facts & Statistics
- The term “brand” comes from the ancient practice of branding livestock with a hot iron to identify the owner.
- The Averill Chemical Paint Company filed the first registered trademark on 30 August 1870 under the Trademark Act of 1870. It featured a design mark with an eagle and a ribbon and the words “Economical, Beautiful, and Durable.” (Wikipedia)
- The world’s most valuable clothing brand is Louis Vuitton, with a brand value of over $32.3 billion.
- In 2022, the Tesla brand was valued at approximately 75.9 billion U.S. dollars, making it the most valuable car brand in the world. Toyota, the previous leader, is now in second place, followed by Mercedes-Benz. (Statista)
- The world’s most valuable sports brand is Nike, with a brand value of over $33 billion in 2022. (Statista)
- The world’s most valuable food and beverage brand is currently Starbucks, with a brand value of over $13.01 billion, up from $3.34 billion in 2010. (Statista)
- The world’s most valuable luxury brand is currently LVMH, with a brand value of over $75.7 billion, followed by Chanel at $47 billion and Hermès at $46.4 billion. (Statista)
- Adam Rudzewicz, Anna Strychalska-Rudzewicz (2021). The Influence of Brand Trust on Consumer Loyalty, European Research Studies Journal Volume XXIV Special Issue 3, 454–470.
- Coca Cola Font. FontSwan. Published January 24, 2021. Accessed December 3, 2022. https://fontswan.com/coca-cola-font/.
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