A new Brand is like a new baby. As we get ready to deliver another brand to an excited client we feel compelled to share some ways to work on strengthening your brand - or create a new one.
Over the years we have had hundreds of discussions with company founders and executives which we can boil down to 5 main points. We research, workshop and collaborate our way to final Brand components such as logo, colors, fonts, patterns etc to express the soul of a company.
Discussions vary greatly depending on industry, but each topic always means a great deal to founders. From questions about gender, to sustainability, history, or finding ways to measure a re-branding effort.
Working with brand-questions allow us to get to WHY an organization exist at all, and its nearly impossible to have that discussion without getting to know the people starting or running a company, and ultimately, what is matters to them and why. Which problem drives them to wake up and grind towards a goal in the way they do? It is interesting and often inspiring to get to understand what motivates entreprenaurs, and a really exciting way to get to know someone.
Before we get into 6 ways to look at your own brand, here are some reasons to do this work - and some benefits of getting it right.
Understanding brand strategy will help you attract customers and make use of consumer behaviors. By analyzing customer journeys and knowing where your brand plays a role in a decision-making process, it is possible to create better content and figure out which messages can engage further - and in time inspire action. This understanding can help you generate more sales, and few brand have enough of that.
Internally, a well-developed brand helps an organization focus by creating a greater understanding of what their company is and why it excists. The brand should bring meaning both to customers and employees. A healthy brand also develops and changes with age, growing new characteristics as it matures. The process of re-examining a brand and its target audience help your company thrive today, as well as tomorrow.
Successful brands use both art & science to connect and create a strong following: They use scientific evidence (consumer data), and they connect using the art of storytelling including video, images and narrative. Below you will find our favorite 6 ways to look at your corporate brand.
1. UNDERSTAND YOUR SPACE
There are exceptions to the rule and those who come into a new industry and succed at the highest level in at directly, but those are few and far between. Most successful companies start small and at a low or medium pricepoint. They test the waters learn by doing, before going big or exclusive. Experience in a field is vital to succed in most industries today. Have it, or hire it.
2. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
If you don’t know whom your ideal customer is, or don’t know how they will consume your brand, you lots of work to do before launch. Even if your brand has a broad customer-base its important to define your core comsumer. It will give you focus and help you direct your sales and marketing efforts, it will sharpen your communication, and hopefully create advocates and followers of your brand. (Defining your target audience is a deep topic for another time).
3. FIND MEANING & EXPRESS IT
The reason 'why' a company does what it does, whether selling food or developing software matters when connections with consumers. Let your audience know what is importnatn to you and why you exist. The 'why' will also help you align internally and give meaning throughout an organization. With great meaning comes great purpose. If you have alot of competitors in your industry the story of 'why' you exist becomes even more important. Human beeings respond to meaning and often it’s your passion and drive that connects customers with a brand.
Unless you are Elon Musk and create entirely new industries, like tunneling underground or populating new planets, you will probably have competitors. To gain marketshare you will need to stand out, and do so in ways that matters to your core audience. There are as many ways to stand out as there are personalities and countless more ways to communicate them, but finding your uniqueness and telling it as a story will take you a long way towards a good marketshare.
One of the most famous cases of brand-development is of course Apple Computors. In 1990, Apple had about 8% of the personal computer market share, while Microsoft had their software in most of the worlds §PC’s. IBM was another huge company, but it was Microsoft you used and experienced. Apple and Steve Jobs changed the world of personal computors, not by making a vastly superior product, at least not for some time, but because of how they portrayed their brand with a very particular style and tone of voice, which of course came directly from Mr. Job’s own persona. Today, their closed-system products has come to change how we listen to music, talk on the phone and use the web.
5. DO NOT DISAPPOINT YOUR MOST LOYAL CUSTOMERS, EMPOWER THEM
Its ok to take chances. Hell, you might never have a successful company if you don’t. But if you find yourself with a business that has managed to gain popularity, try not to risk it by disappointing your core audience. Stay consistent and keep giving them more of the same while exerementing with new ways grow outside that core. We hate to be dissapointed by people we care about, the same goes for brands.
6. GROW COMPETITIVE AND STAY COMPETITIVE
There is no easy way to compete today, but if you believe in your idea, your team and your plan then push forward and don’t look back. Find your edge and use it. Double down on strengths and keep evolving. Facebook used state: “If we don’t create the thing that kills Facebook, someone else will.” Today that seem to have turned into: "If we don't create the thing that kills Facebook we'll buy it". But regardless, the world will keep evolving whether we like it or not and your business should be a constant wheel of Planning – Executing – Measuring – Evaluating – Adopting.
Feel free to reach out to discuss your company, product or service.
Branding is about building connections with your consumers. This comes natural to some, but for almost all companies there is a great need to create a strategic plan to have a chance at growing and maintaning meaningful bonds. Its not easy, but it does help to do it over and over again. We love the art and science that goes into the creation of a new brand and we are excited to learn WHY you love what you do. -Your passion should translate into a personality which your organization and business can be built around.