Creating a strong brand is something that companies can no longer take for granted. It is now an absolute requirement for success, and the most surefire method in which a brand can reliably differentiate itself from the competition. More importantly, a well thought out and properly planned brand strategy can help you to solidify your core values and ultimately boost the success of your product. Therefore, your brand should be thought of as an important asset that deserves the proper nurturing and attention.
As Tim Beard, Creative director, Bibliothèque said in a recent Creative Bloq article, "We live in a time of almost constant visual bombardment and distraction. Any identity that stands out, or communicates something emotive to a viewer, would seem to be smart. It's about understanding the client, product and customer, and making a connection with a bold concept and intelligent thinking."
Here are 6 ways in which you can utilize smart branding for your product:
- Always Remain Consistent: Once you have decided your key brand attributes, make sure it is clear and understood through all your communications – especially inside your own company. Don’t talk about things that don’t relate to or enhance your brand. Added a new photo to Facebook? What does it mean for your brand? Does it align with your message, or was it just something funny that would, frankly, confuse your audience? If it doesn’t tie back to your brand’s message, you will have trouble differentiating yourself from competitors. To reinforce the message, in your company meetings, over coffee or lunch, or just chatting at your desk, encourage the feelings you want your brand to evoke in customers and your fellow employees.
- Be Flexible and Responsive: A well-managed brand is always making adjustments. Branding is a process, not a race, not an event, so expect to constantly tweak your message and refresh your image. Successful brands don’t cling to the old ways just because they worked in the past; instead, they try to re-invent themselves by being flexible which frees them to be more savvy and creative. Give yourself options to test different marketing tactics, make sure they fit your brand authenticity and align with your strategy.
- Involve the Whole Organization: In this day and age, appointing one individual to be solely responsible for spreading your brand’s message is just not sufficient. There needs to be a concerted effort throughout your organization with everyone from the CEO to the front line employees buying in and contributing. This means ensuring through any means possible that all individuals understand your brand values, business goals and culture. They then need to be persuaded to fully embrace their roles as brand ambassadors, and be properly informed about how to effectively implement the brand strategy.
- Remember Your Core Values
Meaningful brand difference is a critical driver of brand success, first because it provides brands with the means of upsetting the status quo, and second because it can allow a brand to command a premium price. There are tremendous opportunities for brands that can, through innovation in a variety of forms, establish a meaningful brand difference. So how can forward-thinking companies create a relatable brand? Brands too often lose focus on what is important to them. They find themselves trying to be all things to all people, questioning how they view their brand. As soon as you lose your focus, your whole strategy is shot.
- Engage Your Employees: The importance of your employees to your brand strategy cannot be understated. Whatever their position, employees have two jobs—one is the work they perform, the other is conveying the brand image. That second job is their role as brand ambassadors – primary agents in communicating a product’s brand identity to the outside world. Employees are a company’s best brand ambassadors and if they are truly engaged in their product’s brand it will enhance customer service and increase customer retention. Employee engagement and creating the right culture is a critical step in developing a strong brand.
- Rely on Your Processes: Reconsidering your brand strategy and messaging can be a daunting task. Creating and sustaining customer trust and loyalty is more difficult than ever before...with so much competition for their attention. You may start to experience fatigue and a feeling of helplessness when you consider the massive task before you. Much of the value of a business is in its intangible assets. When marketers find that right perspective, find that right focal point, and get everyone to embrace its uniqueness and march to the same tune, the benefits are like a ripple effect that impacts your brand as well as your balance sheet.
Branding is no longer an optional marketing extension that you can choose to employ or ignore. Re-invest in your brand strategy in order to build an effective marketing approach, a network of excited consumers, and a company-wide revival of passion, commitment, and excitement for what makes your brand powerful and unique.