Brand development is a complex process, subordinated to a range of economic, social, cultural and political factors. Today, managers of large enterprises do not risk doing it themselves, transferring the task of creating a brand image to the help of professionals. It requires considerable expenses; not all junior businessmen can afford hiring branding specialists. Any competent business owner must understand, at least in general terms, how the brand is doing and how to avoid making mistakes in the beginning of the journey.
What is a brand?
This is a very important issue because there is no such legal concept as a “brand” – it is rather a set of characteristics in the minds of the consumer. In the legal field, there is a notion of “a trademark“. This is the company’s name and logo that combines numbers, letters, decorative elements, color combinations, and the location of all these components in a particular composition. It may include the names of individual products, the design of the label, the packaging form, and the corporate slogan.
A brand is not only a trademark but also all components of the image of the company, its reputation, and the attitude of buyers. The brand includes both what you can “touch with hands”, and something invisible, that is expressed in the many-sided word “image”.
How to design a brand: the stages of a brand’s development
1. Research and analysis
The development of a new brand begins with the study of customer needs and market demands. It seems to everyone that it is enough to offer goods of the highest quality, but in the modern world there is a huge number of manufacturers, and lots of them sell awesome goods. Why are some of them popular, and others are not?
To understand this, you need to know what the future target audience needs. Businesspeople prefer convenience and simplicity; they have little spare time. So, they need a “smart” technique which will do everything for them, whether a box of healthy food that is “all in one”, comfortable clothes or other goods to simplify their lives. Older people will prefer conservative products in which you do not need to be too creative when developing, and most children like products that are bright and unusual. A company has to offer a buyer what he or she wants, even if they do not know it themselves.
2. Determine the target audience
Each product group has its own audience. To retain it, you need to understand what exactly this product is loved for, what qualities need to be strengthened and which experiments should be put aside. These steps will help the business to become a brand.
The target audience is determined by gender, age, social status, financial position and the location of potential clients. If you understand who will need it here and now, and who will want to buy a particular product at a certain price, it will be easier to plan an advertising campaign and promote the product on the market.
Real buyers may not always be a part of the target audience that the brand claimed to have. Not only children are happy to eat Kinder and Johnson’s Baby has become a favorite brand for many women and people with sensitive skin. They are willing to buy delicate baby lotions and shampoos for themselves.
3. Create an idea and a mission
When buying things, appliances and products, people prefer to feel certain emotions in the process. It is good when the emotional component is already included in the image of the brand: there is an experience, a set of sensations that are created with little noticeable details – odors, music, flowers or words. The consumer not only needs a product but an ideal theme that identifies with him or her.
What kind of yogurt will a buyer choose – the ordinary one, or the one on which the stars fall? What kind of laundry detergent will be used? A generic brand or one used by sophisticated housewives?
Brand developers should answer the question: “How is this product different from others?” Many business owners make the mistake in trying to paint all the numerous merits of their product. As history shows, the emphasis should be on the most standout feature. All other positive features will be recognized organically by consumers.
4. Name the company
The name of the company and the product is a real art. There are various firms out there that earn good money by designing names. One recognizable name can cost thousands of dollars. By searching for only one word, up to 100,000 variants can be selected and several thousand new words can be invented.
The name should reflect the essence of the brand and its message to a consumer. You need to put it in one or two words. For example, the name of Google comes from the number googol. If it is written on paper, it is the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. This huge number reflects the circumstance of the searcher; he or she can find a giant number of responses when Googling a question.
5. Advertising campaign
Everything is ready, and it’s time to bring your brand to the world. Run video placements on YouTube, prepare affiliate content for sites, print leaflets for distribution, promote groups in popular social networks, develop a brand book, announce an engaging promotion or organize a business event. Advertising has many forms.
The main thing to remember is to not overdo it. An example of an excessive advertising campaign is when a film has a highly publicized promotion that takes place around the entire world, yet the audience somehow leaves the theater disappointed after watching the show. Make sure your advertising strategy fits the value your business has to offer.
A brand is a living, developing entity; it needs to be modified and molded, corrected and maintained. And then it can fulfill its main goal – to strengthen the company’s position and protect the product’s relevance. After all, the love and attention of customers is the main guarantee of any business’s future existence.