by Jeffrey Prag
by Jeffrey Prag
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What comes to mind when you think of the word “branding?”
If you immediately thought of impactful logos, curated fonts and recognizable color pallets you’re not wrong. The world’s biggest brands have unmistakable images—from the golden arches of McDonald’s to the Nike swoop.
But when it comes to branding, it’s what’s underneath the design that matters.
Sure, when you see the golden arches you know without a doubt there’s a Big Mac within reach. But you also associate that logo with the brand in its entirety.
Regardless of where you stand on the nutritional value of fast food, you know McDonald’s sells happiness, convenience, value and reliability because those are the brand pillars the company has marketed for decades.
Branding is one of the most vital parts of growing a business. It goes far beyond logos and font choices – it’s how you differentiate yourself from your competitors by creating a persona your audience connects with.
It’s what your customers feel when they think of you, the problems you’re trying to solve, and the promises you make to them.
Internally, your brand acts as a manual for who and what your company stands for.
The products you’re selling and whom you’re selling them to, the voice and tone of your marketing, and the culture of your employees.
The McDonald’s franchises of the world have stood the test of time because they have a clear brand image that stays consistent—even during internal or cultural shifts that force them to pivot (like adding salads to a menu known for burgers and fries).
Here are some key actions to take to build an impactful brand that will fuel growth:
Identify Your Unique Value Proposition
Whether you’re an entrepreneur who has brainstormed an innovative new product or a startup founder whose service offering will have a big impact on your prospect’s day-to-day lives, you find yourself here because you think differently.
You’re a change-maker—you have a unique advantage over the competition because you’ve developed a product or solution that hasn’t previously existed. So, it’s imperative that you identify and communicate that unique value proposition when building a brand strategy.
Think about why your customer would choose you over your competition. Are your products more dependable? Are they more affordable than others in your industry? Are you filling a gap or solving a problem that few others can?
Your unique value proposition will become a signpost for your brand. It will influence your marketing, brand voice and understanding of your target audience (more on that below).
Understand Your Audience
Your customers are your bread and butter. They are the key to your growth, product development and, of course, your market. But in order to attract the right prospects, you have to know exactly who they are.
When doing market research, be sure to be as detailed as possible. It’s not enough to say that your target audience is men between the ages of 25-40. Do they live in urban areas? Are they young professionals? How do they like to shop and interact with brands? What other brands are they buying from?
These are the questions you need to answer in order to make sure your brand is reaching exactly those it needs to reach to succeed.
Develop a Consistent Brand Voice
How do you want people to feel when they read about your product or service? What pain points are they trying to solve? What kind of transformation will they experience after investing in your business?
Your prospects are coming to you not because they want to spend money on a new product or service, but because they’re looking to gain something from that product or service. This is why it’s key to develop a consistent brand voice that communicates your unique value proposition.
By tapping into those emotions, you’ll build trust with your audience and set the tone for the kind of experience they can expect when investing in you.
A solid brand strategy is a pillar for all of your marketing, communications and culture-building efforts. And while your brand is vital to the outward success of your business, it’s also a core building block for your internal success.
We work alongside companies to help them refine their brand strategy to attract their ideal clients. But we also develop branding strategies and programs that communicate core values and belief systems internally so you can attract the best and brightest candidates and build an internal culture no one will want to leave.
If you’re looking for help building the next globally recognizable brand—one that everyone wants to work for—we’re your guys.
Get in touch to book a discovery call and see how our team can help you deliver measurable value.
Howbridge is a growth advisory firm that helps companies take the next step to market leadership.
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