Branding is the art of giving a product, company or product line a distinct personality and image through the name, packaging, logo, colors and messages. Seasoned advertising executive John Williams says that simply put, branding is “your promise to your customer.” There is more to branding than just pulling a name out of thin air, however, and getting it right can mean the difference between success and failure.
- Gain an understanding of who your potential customers are and how your products can fulfill their needs. Use industry associations, census data or market research firms to put together a profile of your target consumer. At the end of the exercise, you should have a firm grasp of how you might position your brand to your potential customers.
- Understand the positioning and branding of competing products. Pay particular attention to the distinct benefits their brands bring to your consumers. Identify any market gaps that might be a good fit for your brand.
- Use the information you have gleaned about your consumer and competition to determine how you should position your brand to your target consumers. If you produce handbags, for example, you may position them as a luxury item, something to help keep women organized or something that works well for casual, everyday use.
- Develop a name for your brand, making sure that the name fits with the image you want to portray to your audience. A name like “Luxe” implies luxury, while “Mama’s” implies family. Try to keep the name as short and memorable as possible to help keep it top of mind with consumers. Do your homework first to be sure the name you choose is not copyrighted or trademarked, and that it is not too similar to any other brand in the same space.
- Create a slogan. Keep it short and sweet and under five words long if possible. Make sure that it clearly portrays what your brand is about. Burger King’s “Have it your way” or the U.S. Army’s “Be all that you can be” leave nothing to the imagination.
- Put together the remaining elements for your brand, including a logo, colors, font and packaging. Ensure that all of these items are in line with the image you want to portray to your customers. Use the logo, slogan and other elements in all public communications.
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