In a world full of brands, defining your brand can seem like a daunting task.
Whether you are a brand manager of a small start-up, a marketing director of a mega-brand, or a CEO overseeing a mammoth corporation, defining your brand identity can be a challenge. The time and effort invested into your brand definition could make or break your business. A solid brand identity can be the critical foundation for customer loyalty and retention.
Research shows that with the rise of the digital age, we are exposed to more and more brands everyday. Assuming that we see anywhere between 4,000 to 10,000 adverts a day, how many individual brands are we being exposed to? How many do you remember?
Out of the thousands of brands we see in a day, the likelihood is that only a handful of brands actually get our attention. Considering all this competition, brands need to do more than just sell a product or service to succeed. Brands need to connect with their customers through their story and identity.
We have found ourselves helping brands answer similar problems, while working on brand identity and strategy with many clients. From clarifying a brand’s purpose to conducting in-depth research into a market sector, we have helped many brands with their issues of brand definition.
We’ve turned these issues into five key questions to ask yourself when defining your brand:
1. What is the purpose of your brand?
Most businesses can answer the question of what they do (what product or service they sell).
Some can explain how (how they stand out and what makes them unique).
However, considerably fewer brands can articulate WHY (what is the purpose that drives the brand forward).
Can you explain this purpose in words your neighbour would understand? Is that purpose important and valuable to your target audience? Clearly defining your brand purpose will help you better reach your target audience.
2. And who is your target audience?
Why do they buy into your brand instead of others? Are you happy with this being the reason for their purchase?
Think about what your ideal customer values and what changes your audience wants to see. By better understanding which world issues they consider most important, you can create a brand that will relate to their values, worries and beliefs.
3. Do you understand the sector that you are operating in?
Who are your competitors, and what are they doing? What are the rules of your sector? Is your sector in decline or growth? How can you ensure your brand is not swept up in the tide if in decline? Knowing your sector, inside and out, will help you create a brand that will adapt to inevitable changes within the market.
4. Do you know the occasions in which your brand is purchased and used?
Are these occasions in growth or decline? Could you stretch into any other occasions without compromising the brand?
5. Do you, and everyone who works on the brand understand what it stands for?
Are the team all clear on the brand values and emotional personality? The strongest brands are built when everyone aligns with this and are inspired and motivated to be a part of it.
Understanding your brand and clearly defining your brand identity can help you identify how to cut through the competition and how to stand out. Knowing what makes your brand different and effectively communicating it can create an intangible yet real connection between your brand and its customer.
If you can answer each of the above questions, you are well on the way to crafting a meaningful brand and can sleep easy!