Ask 10 different people what is a ‘brand’ is, and you could reasonably expect to get 10 different answers.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines a brand primarily as:
‘a type of product manufactured by a particular company under a particular name.’
The reality is, your brand is so much more than that!
Your brand is not a name, logo, slogan, symbol, mission statement or trade mark. Yourbrand is the sum total of the emotionalexperience a customer has with your company, its products and services.
Here are some great tips to make Your Brand memorable:
1. A Brand Name is for Life (hopefully) – So Choose Yours Wisely!
As a rule, short brand names tend to work better than longer ones – they’re easier to remember and tend to deliver more of an impact. Think about your brand’s purpose and meaning. How do you want prospective customers to view you? If you already have an established name, think carefully before discarding it in favour of something else. Remember the fiasco when they decided to rebrand the Post Office as Consignia?!
Using initials – generally the preserve of financial institutions – as a brand name is highly controversial and the result is not usually memorable. One exception is the Liverpool Victoria which recently became ‘LV’ and resonates nicely with their heart logo to provide emotional appeal.
2. Who is Your Ideal Customer?
To brand your business successfully, you need to focus on your ideal customer. Sometimes it can helpful to begin with a list of who is not your ideal customer – the people you don’t want your brand to appeal to. Your brand cannot appeal to everybody, nor should you want it to. Doing this simple exercise will help you position your brand effectively.
3. Powerful Visual Identity
Can you think of a single great brand that doesn’t have a striking visual identity? Nike’s ‘Swoosh’, McDonald’s golden arches and Apple’s . . . apple! Your logo is vitally important to the visual identity of your brand, so view it as ‘an investment’ rather than a cost. Purchasing a 25 dollar graphic over the internet will do nothing for your brand’s credibility. Even if you’re on a tight budget, professional design is a ‘must have.’
4. Define Your Brand Positioning Line
Sometimes called a tagline, strapline, or even a slogan, a brand positioning line is a short phrase that accompanies your brand’s logo (usually underneath or alongside it). It is by no means essential to have one and it’s something that can evolve over time. Some examples: ‘Just Do It’, ‘The Future’s Bright’, ‘Every Little Helps’, ‘Vorsprung durch Technik’ (Advancement through Technology). In case it’s got you at it, the answers are: Nike; Orange; Tesco and Audi respectively. A good positioning line can be a real asset, adding memorability and ‘emotional flavour’ to your business or company.
5. Create Your Brand Story
Your brand story is a way of connecting emotionally with your audience. Brand story can include your personal history, achievements, journey, business mentors. These elements can be woven into business plans and proposals, marketing materials, sales presentations and PR activities.
6. And Create Your Brand’s Future . . . Today . . .
The secret to doing this effectively is to write down what you want to achieve as if it has already happened. So why not create your company’s annual review for one, three and perhaps, five years time. This kind of forward planning is great for helping you focus and it really works – so I’m reliably told!