What do you think of when we mention the colors red and white along with a family of polar bears? Unless you’ve had your head in the sand for the last half-century, you likely conjured up images of those heartwarming Coca-Cola Christmas adverts.
This, in essence, is what branding is all about. Using as few words or details as possible to create something that sticks in the minds of your customers.
And while we may not be able to help you become the next Coca-Cola or McDonald’s, we can help you understand more about branding practices and the principles behind them.
Ready to take your brand to the next level? Check out these nine awesome branding tips.
1. The Significance of Semiotics
You’ll need to understand the ‘Why’ before you understand the ‘How.’
There’s so much more to branding than awesome logos and catchy slogans. And if you want to create a truly effective branding campaign, you’re going to need to understand that.
That all begins with a quick lesson in semiotics. In short, semiotics is the academic term for the study of signs and signals along with how we interpret them.
Think of a traffic light, for example. The colors red, yellow, and green don’t really mean anything on their own. It’s only when we assign meaning to them — stop, slow down, and go, respectively — that they actually hold a value.
Semiotics and branding go hand-in-hand. Take our Coca-Cola example, for instance! Those colors and images have become synonymous with soda through decades of branding.
But we don’t just know these things. It takes tons of repetition and brand awareness to make these work for you.
2. Call In The SWOT Team
Fortunately, this doesn’t actually involve calling in any sort of militant presence. Instead, it involves you and your team sitting down to take a good hard look at your company’s past and present to determine its future.
SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
The former two are quite self-explanatory, but the latter half of the acronym is where you’ll really start to flex your marketing muscles. Who is your biggest competition and what opportunities are they seizing that your company currently isn’t?
The more you flesh out your company’s standing in the market, the more successful your efforts will be.
3. Analyze Your Values
Whether conscious of it or not, every brand exudes certain values. A surefire way to make branding a business easier is by taking a hold of those values and leveraging them in a positive way.
What is it that you set out to do when you first created your company? Furthermore, what sets you apart from any other business in your field?
Admittedly, these questions can be difficult to answer. However, they’re often actionable responses, such as an increased focus on customer service or an open mind and desire to help the local community as your business grows.
Whatever the case, your brand has values, and you’ll want to make sure they’re sending the right message.
4. Assess Your Audience
Whether you’re in the midst of a campaign that isn’t quite making its mark or you’ve never launched a branding campaign before, you’ll want to take a closer look at your market.
Who, exactly, are you trying to sell your goods or services to and why did you choose that market?
5. Create A Customer Avatar
This step works in perfect tandem with your assessment. Once you have a clearer picture of who you want to sell to, you’ll want to create a fictional individual that exemplifies your audience.
Personifying your audience can make your marketing seem more tangible, in a way, as you’re no longer selling to a faceless group. Now, you’ll have an (albeit fictional) person to market toward.
Include at least basic elements such as their age, gender, income level, language style, and degree of education.
6. Develop Your Brand’s Voice
Branding a business is about setting your company apart from the pack. And part of that includes humanizing yourself, as well as your audience.
One fantastic way to achieve that humanization is to develop a voice for your brand in conjunction with your customer persona.
Speak like your audience speaks. If they’re using casual language, go casual. If you’re trying to sell directly to other businesses, use a more formal, buttoned-up approach.
It is worth noting, though, that warmer language and more personalized content tend to generate better results. So even if you’re a B2B company, try and implement warmer, friendlier language.
7. Make A Memorable Logo
While the more humanistic aspects, such as your brand’s voice and customer persona, matter a great deal, it’s likely your logo that is going to best stick in customers’ minds.
It’s hard to nail down what makes a great logo, but every successful logo has a few things in common:
- Use of color psychology
- Brand relevance
As you begin to create your logo, think of how you can use each element together to create something your audience will remember.
8. Establish Branding Guidelines
If your marketing team consists of 15 people, and each of those 15 people has their own ideas of what is and isn’t going to help your branding, it’s safe to say that your campaign is going to be quite muddled.
We recommend teams work together to create a set of guidelines and best practices for their personal brand so that branding remains consistent across channels like social media, your website, advertising, and pamphlets.
9. Be Patient
As the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And, unfortunately, your branding won’t be, either.
Be patient throughout your campaign and don’t expect results to flood in instantaneously. It’s going to take some time for your efforts to have a noticeable effect.
These Branding Tips Can Make A Corporation A True Brand
These branding tips are designed to give you the basic outline of a strong branding campaign. Now, it’s up to you and your team to create something truly revolutionary!
Ready to get started on your branding? Make sure to check out our free logo-making program that can help you create the next memorable design. And best of all, it’s completely free!