Everything changes, even branding.
As a consumer, your needs change. It is influenced by either social, cultural, personal, and psychological factors in your daily life, especially now that we continue to see the effects of the global pandemic that began in 2020.
This shift is also felt in branding. To excel at marketing your business, you want to acknowledge the ever-changing market. It ensures that your brand stays relevant and efficient.
Today, we are looking at the top 5 tips for building a brand in 2021. Each piece of advice lets you have a better idea of what it means to be a better option for your target market.
Besides, there is always something that you can do to get your business closer to perfection.
Let’s brush on some quick subjects related to branding.
What is Branding?
Branding is the process that determines how consumers perceive your brand. It is all about constructing the face of your brand that consumers can remember you by.
A brand is composed of five key elements. It includes a brand’s name, logo, voice, story, and position. Allow us to explain those elements below.
Name – This is the first element of any brand. The name of any brand must be catchy and be able to resonate with the audience. When picking a name, it is crucial to choose one that isn’t taken or sounds too much like other companies.
Logo – Whether it be text-based or with an icon, a brand logo stands as a symbol of your company. It features your name and accompanies it with design elements to make it distinct. You can acquire one by working with graphic designers or using an online logo maker.
Voice – A brand voice is an element of your identity that doesn’t rely on visuals. This is defined by the way you speak to your audience and what you say to them. You want to identify your brand’s personality to find your voice.
Story – Think about what feelings your brand harnesses. What impact do your goods or service have on your consumers? What drove you to provide that in the market? You want to answer questions like this to identify stories that will make you more trustworthy. The answer helps you create a more authentic and human side of your brand.
Positioning – To figure out your brand positioning, you must first think about what spot you want to take up in the market and the audience’s mind. Doing this lets you identify your core values and allow you to strategize better. The athleticwear company Nike, for example, wants to provide the perfect shoe for every athlete.
You want these elements to align the best way you can to build an identity that’s as iconic as household names like Coca-Cola.
Nailing these features won’t be a walk in the park, which is why we prepared the best branding tips that you can use to grow your brand.
Common Mistakes in Branding
No one gets it right the first time. Here are some of the blunders that occur over their career. You can learn more about it and know what you should avoid when working on your business.
Not knowing your audience – It is essential to have a clear idea of who you are trying to talk to and creating products for, as this allows you to be more intentional. Try to think about who the audience is and become more familiar with their demographic. Trying to appeal to everyone may negatively affect the way your target audience sees you. This way, you can avoid being vague and becoming more relatable to the ones who matter.
Starting without a plan – When it comes to banding, it is best to approach situations with a plan. You have to have a clear idea of your brand and how it differs from other brands. A plan will allow you to stay on track and, at the same time, make sure that you aren’t missing an essential step in your branding process.
Slacking on graphics – Graphic design plays a crucial role in creating a compelling and consistent identity. Because of this, you want to make sure that it is branded for a uniform look and is well-designed. You don’t want to introduce your business as a brand with tacky and unappealing assets.
Five Actionable Tips to Improve Your Brand in 2021
Nowadays, 81% of consumers choose to support brands that they can trust. This was found in a 2019 research by Edelman. The impact that your brand image can have on your business is robust. That is one reason you have to make sure you have an identity that embodies your trustworthiness and unique qualities.
Here are some quick tips to help you shape up your identity.
- Pay close attention to your customer’s needs
The economy has drastically changed over the last year due to the pandemic and continues to shift today. Unemployment was at its all-time high, oil prices crashed, small businesses were forced to throw in the towel—those are just some examples of how the pandemic changed the economy.
This global event has also changed the way your audience picks the brands they support. A 2020 study by Edelman finds that they prefer brands that can empathize with their needs. It helps to keep this in mind as you create campaigns and interact with them.
If necessary, it is best to change your tone and start talking to the audience in a more understanding way. Brands can even shift or pivot their offerings to something that the consumers need more. French luxury brand LVMH started producing sanitizers at the beginning of the pandemic to provide free hygiene products.
You can also be more empathetic to your audience by asking for feedback. This gives you actual data to base your decisions on. The answers you will get will allow you to identify the best approach to their needs.
- Go digital
Nearly everyone is in the digital-first mindset. But some brands haven’t joined the trend for different reasons, such as online attacks and lack of resources. But we’re here to tell you that it has a couple of benefits up its sleeves, too.
Digitization improves customer experience, revenue, and consumer data collection. These are some valuable resources for you to grow your brand and stay up with the times. It’s never too late to join the digital transformation.
Consumers are expected to make more transactions online as the pandemic and restrictions continue. To create a digital presence, you can start small and be active in social media. You can amp it up by having your own website that is informative and responsive.
Another extra step that you can do is create loyalty apps to reward your customers. This will allow you to retain more customers and at the same time, strengthen your marketing with word-of-mouth advertising.
- Tell stories and tell it good
Experts call storytelling the future of marketing for a good reason. The consumer is now seeking a break from data-heavy and impersonal transactions. In other words, they are looking for a connection with your brand.
You can begin providing this need by telling your brand story. Bearing your journey as a business to the world makes your brand appear more human and allows you to be more compelling. Additionally, it helps you to cultivate brand loyalty as well.
According to Harvard Business Review, a study has shown its effectiveness in growing an active consumer base by 15% and sales growth by 50%. This indicates that emotional connection is truly a game-changer.
A stunning example of this is Always’ #LikeAGirl campaign. The feminine hygiene brand shone a light on gender stereotypes that belittle women and damage how they perceive themselves.
Don’t forget to make friends
Advantages come with being a social butterfly. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are great for driving engagement. In fact, 64% of consumers want businesses to connect with them.
You can interact with your audience through comments or chat apps like Messenger. Not only will you be easier to reach, but you will also have your posts prioritized by the algorithm.
This applies for brand to brand communications as well. Even the most prominent brands collaborate for various reasons. Collaborations generate cost-effective projects, expand your network and allow you to tap a bigger audience.
An example of this collaboration is the Burger King and McDonald’s partnership in 2015 through ads in publications like The New York Times. The two competitors rolled this campaign out on September 21st of that year, also known as the International Day of Peace. They introduced The McWhopper, a hybrid of their best-selling food items, namely Big Mac and Whopper.
- Be consistent
The last thing you want to do after improving your brand is dropping the ball. You’ll never see its effects if you don’t make an effort to be consistent and stick to it.
Establishing your brand helps you build trust, but it may backfire if you neglect to live up to the image you’ve created. Brand consistency makes your brand dependable. This competitive advantage lets your consumers connect with you and know that they can depend on you for quality goods or services that you offer.
One thing that lets you culture brand consistency is having a clear set of branding guidelines. This is used as a reference for the right shades of colors, typeface, and other standards to ensure that your brand assets have a similar look. It also helps to apply your logo to materials such as packaging, web design, and business cards.
You may opt to work with design firms to create a consistent brand. However, you may also use a logo generator online. Some logo makers like BrandCrowd offer logos and other ready-made designs for brand materials like brochures and signages.
Following the branding tips we’ve shared will let you create a reliable and more convincing brand in today’s market. This article has shown you vital parts of branding that you could be missing. It also covers what you can do to understand your audience better, refine brand perception, maintain a long-term goal, and more.