There is no one definition that actually captures the essence of brand building in its entirety. Many people think that brand building is all about communicating and exposing your brand.
That is just one side of it though. The best way we can define it is that it is a process of creating value to consumers. It encompasses all things that consumers know, feel and experience about your business in its entirety.
Having defined brand building, we shall now look at 3 popular types of brands and what they stand for.
- Service brand – this brand is built on knowledge, culture and experience that one has with the service delivering agency/company/people. Think of Geek Squad or Molly Maid.
- Retail brand – this brand is build on a mixture of product and service experience. Think of Chick-fil-a, Kroger or KFC.
- Product brand – is built on the experience that one has with a specific product. Think of Nike, Ford or Sony.
Having looked at the three popular types of brand, we shall now look at steps involved in brand building.
Define Your Brand
The first step in brand building is defining your brand. This is a very critical step as it ultimately determines what your brand truly stands for. When defining your business brand, you should create a checklist of its core strengths. Similarly, if you’re defining a personal brand you should look at the skills and expertise that you possess especially those which stand out. You also need to know what your brand stands for and what is important for your brand (brand values). Your values should in one way or another show that you are contributing to the environmental, social and economic well-being of consumers. You may not realize some of these important aspects of barnd building immediately, until you look at them subjectively.
Differentiate and Position Your Brand
Before embarking on brand building, you have to take time to differentiate it so that you can attract attention and stand out from competitors. To differentiate your brand, you have to create a unique advantage in the mind of consumers not merely getting attention by brand building colors or logos or other superficial elements. Once you come up with a unique value proposition, you should use a good branding strategy to position your brand in a way that will help consumers see and appreciate the greater value of your brand over competing ones in the market.
Build and Expose Your Brand
Building a unique and powerful personal or business brand takes time and consistency. To build your personal brand, you have to keep reinforcing your values and skills by taking up new roles and assignments that will give you more exposure. Alternatively, you can use promotional channels, blogs, forums and social media (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook) to create a voice for your personal or business brand.
When building your brand, you should also endeavor to develop brand personality (what people know, think and say about you). This is what drives or motivates people to identify with and engage with your brand. The truth is, if you execute your brand building strategies consistently, then you will easily establish a pattern that will forever be associated with your brand name.
Personalize Your Brand
If you want your brand building campaign or brand to be successful, then you have to personalize it. It is important to give your brand an identity. Let consumers see and experience the personality of your brand in its entirety. Look at your brand as something that a consumer wants to identify with pretty much as they would with their favorite cars, cellphones or computers.
As you engage in brand building, you should also invite customers to be co-creators of brand values so that they can feel that they also own it and relate with it. Top brands encourage consumer-brand interaction by personalizing products to meet the needs and preferences of consumers. When you personalize your brand, you give consumers reason to participate and engage with your brand for life.
Review Your Brand
Your brand is not static; it will change and develop as your business moves forward. Depending on your brand strategies, your brand will either grow in strength or remain dormant or recede with time. In this brand cycle, new events, changes and circumstances bring challenges and opportunities to enhance the value of your brand or re-establish it. All these possibilities should give you the impetus to take charge of your brand building activities.
As your brand name grows, so do the responsibilities and expectations to continue with brand building. The best way of ensuring brand growth is reviewing your activities and evaluating your successes through metrics such as levels of brand awareness and levels of engagements. Regular reviews will help you seize and exploit new opportunities while upholding your commitment to remain true to your vision and brand strategy. It will also help you steer your brand in the right direction and keep it relevant as you move into the future.
As you can see, brand building is not a one-off thing. You have to define your brand, differentiate it, present it and review what your brand stands for from time to time. It is very important to be clear about your branding strategies and how you are going to implement them. You should also adopt brand strategies that will add value to your consumers and help them develop the right impression of your company and what it truly stands for.
If you’re unsure of how to build your brand for your business reach out to me. I’m a serial entrepreneur with several multimillion dollar businesses under my belt. I know what I’m doing and by the time I’m done mentoring you, you’ll know what you’re doing to. Contact me today to learn more about what I can offer your business!