The art of a successful brand

The art of a successful brand

Branding: it is a term that has great weight in the world of advertising. Your brand is your identity; it's every piece of the puzzle, fitted into the bigger picture of your business. From its name and logo to its business philosophy and corporate mission; from your ad campaign message to your design elements; of its products and services; Everything that your company owns, produces, declares, sells and markets is included in the broad title of your brand.

What exactly is a "brand"? Ranchers carry an iron to mark their cattle, as a way of signifying that they own those cows. Similarly, modern corporations choose a logo to mark their name in the mind of the consumer. Every time you tag an ad or website with your company logo; Every time you take a political stance on behalf of your company, you are putting your brand into practice. And if a brand indicates ownership, then your ultimate mission should be to dominate or own your niche. Brand your company. Own the cow.

How do you determine your branding style? Analyze your audience. Are they men, women, or both? What is the age group and economic level? What are your spending habits, your values? How do they TALK? What worries them? What do you think you NEED? Where will your focus be in six months? And most importantly, how does your marketable product fit into the scheme? If you never really get to know your audience, you can read all the practical marketing strategies in the world, and it won't mean anything to your business. It won't help you build your brand.

What is the next step? Always, always, always put yourself in their shoes. Jump straight to their heads, if you can. Think about your audience during the business plan conception process. How do they communicate? What do they find visually attractive? Are you marketing to seniors? Use larger fonts, a nostalgic tone, and a morally outspoken attitude. Is it the filthy, stinky rich you are trying to attract? Save the Crazy Eddie hack, because money is not an issue here. All the energy used to promote your brand must be focused on winning over your key customer.

There will be a time when you will completely lose sight of who you are trying to attract. This, in turn, dilutes the power of your brand. This happened to me once during my writing stint at a digital media company that sold greetings from Santa Claus. In my sales letter, which spanned pages and pages, there was no limit to what Santa could do! I could praise the little ones for using the potty. He could be a matchmaker for a couple of young lovers. I could arrange an argument you had with Aunt Freida in Topeka. This was all great, but it really revolutionized Who We Were as a company, and our Santa was turning into a Jack Frost of all trades. That was not good! So we returned to the starting point. And through simple words and a narrower focus on our original audience of children, we finally captured the magic of Christmas that we had originally thought of as our brand.

Reflect your brand in everything you do; from the design of your website, to your public relations, to how you sell your product. Once you have done this, the next step is to build brand awareness. This is achieved through consistency. You can dream of the brightest ad campaign on the planet, but if you are not consistent in implementing it, you will never establish brand recognition.

If your company's tone is "fun, light, and non-controversial," steer clear of anti-war demonstrations. If Arial is your font of choice, then don't switch mid-campaign and post affiliate program materials using Tahoma. If tongue-in-cheek humor is your eye-catcher, don't line the edges of your website with super soft personal ads. Ask yourself: will this resonate with my key customer? And use your logo and company tagline whenever possible - in email correspondence, on your website, as letterhead, on your business cards, in your advertising, and on your product packaging. Remind people who you are. Burn your brand on their minds.

To some extent, the brand is following the pack ... emulating respected companies that capture what you'd like to be known for. Still, a wise entrepreneur should never forget that today's success story is tomorrow's dot-com that went under. Just because Joe Baloney made millions selling with a bilingual circus clown doesn't mean that works for you ... or that anyone will find him remotely interesting in six months. The market changes like the tide, depending on the direction society goes. Where they were before, in what direction they are headed, and wherever they are likely to end ... socially, economically, ethically, politically, culturally, intellectually, psychologically, philosophically.

How will you know that you have scored successfully? When people start listening to you. Not just listen to what he says, but let you make the decisions. You will know when people start to imitate you too. You will begin to see imitations of your products and your company image. This may flatter or annoy you, but when it happens, it is your signal to take the group in a new direction. Here's how to stay on top of the brand's game.

The day you find yourself functioning as a real live spokesperson for a group of people will be the day you have achieved brand recognition. The day it makes headlines on the front page is the day it will become a household name. But a word to the wise: once your brand reaches true power, someone will try to bring it down. Remind them that you own this cow.