It is no secret that a recognizable and loved brand is one of the most valuable assets a company owns.
According to a Nielson survey, 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them. (Let it be Bangladesh or any other country)
Even if you ask me, I as a consumer prefer to shop from brands that I am familiar with.
Nonetheless, you must have competitors in business and so you have to find ways to differentiate—with a solid brand identity building process of your own. That will help you to stand out in the market of Bangladesh.
How does it work?
At first, You need to get one thing right.
Building a brand identity is much more than just a cool logo or a well-placed advertisement.
You need to do more.
Let me provide you with a quick definition before diving into the nitty-gritty of brand building.
What is a brand?
Simply put, your brand is defined by a customer’s overall perception of your business.
The founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, says it even better: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Your brand is your reputation!
In today’s market of Bangladesh, a successful brand has to be consistent in communication and experience, across many applications:
- Environment (storefront or office)
- Print collateral, signage, packaging
- Website & online advertising
- Content publishing
- Sales & customer service
Now, the question may arise, is a brand-building really simple? The truth is-branding doesn’t happen overnight or even in a few months.
Building a brand identity is definitely a process. However, the ongoing effort will result in establishing long-term relationships with your customers.
This can lead to a steady increase in sales, more projects, word-of-mouth referrals, and advocacy for your products or services.
What is brand identity building?
The definition of brand building is to generate awareness about your business using marketing strategies and campaigns with the goal of creating a unique and lasting image in the marketplace.
Positive impression + standing out = brand success.
In 2020, the amplification of your brand image can be done effectively through various digital marketing activities:
- User Experience (i.e. your website)
- SEO & Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Paid Advertising (PPC)
Together, these channels are fundamental to gaining brand awareness and growth.
Are you wondering where to start? Or how to start?
Use these steps as a guide for how to build a powerful brand identity in Bangladesh!
How to Build a Brand Identity
1. Discover the purpose behind your brand.
Every successful brand has a powerful purpose behind it.
And so should you.
It’s what you wake up every day loving to do for other people (and the world) through your product or service.
There are four questions you should ask yourself when defining a brand purpose:
- Why do you exist?
- What differentiates you?
- What problem do you solve?
- Why should people care?
You’ll use these ideas to inform the foundation of your branding, through a tagline, slogans, voice, messaging, stories, visuals and more.
So dig deep and find those nuggets of truth which can distinguish your brand from others.
The Golden Circle concept of Simon Sinek can help in identifying the purpose behind anything in business or life, really.
The 3 Parts to The Golden Circle:
- What – the products or services you offer to your customers
- How – the things that differentiate you from the competition
- Why – the reason you are passionate and why you exist
In fact, in the video you’ll see below, Sinek explains how to truly differentiate a brand when most of them fail.
I’ve probably watched this presentation over a hundred times, and still get chills when I do. It’s one that I send to all clients prior to our kick-off meeting for the brand discovery phase.
Some people in the marketing industry think it’s overrated, but I disagree. It’s inspiring, certainly if you are new to branding a business or idea. And, there’s a reason why it’s one of the most popular TED talks of all time.
Sit back and take a look:
“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.
The goal is not to do business with everybody that needs what you have.
The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.”
– Simon Sinek
2. Research competitor brands within your industry.
It is very important that you know your competitors.
You should never imitate exactly what the big brands are doing in your industry.
But, you should be aware of what they do well (or where they fail).
The goal is to differentiate from the competition. Convince a customer to purchase from you over them!
We’re always thinking about how to make a brand stand out from what’s out there already. Don’t skip this step in the brand identity building process.
Research your main competitors or benchmark brands. For instance, study how well they have gone about building a brand name.
Creating a brand competitor research spreadsheet
Competitor research is a key element of your own brand development. Start by creating a brand competitor spreadsheet for comparison. You can use Google Sheets, Excel, or even just a notebook.
Then, answer these fundamental questions.
- Are the competitors consistent with messaging and visual identity across channels?
- What is the quality of the competitor’s products or services?
- Does the competitor have customer reviews or social mentions you can read about them?
- In what ways does the competitor market their business, both online and offline?
3. Determine your brand’s target audience.
The foundation for building your brand is to determine the target audience that you’ll be focusing on.
While building an identity for your brand, keep in mind who exactly you are trying to reach. You’ll tailor your mission and message to meet their exact needs.
The key is to get specific. Figure out detailed behaviors and lifestyle of your consumers.
4. Establish a brand mission statement.
Have you thought about your brand mission? In essence, you’ll have to craft a clear expression of what your company is most passionate about.
This is your why; the reason you get up every day.
Before you can build a brand that your target audience trusts, you need to know what value your business provides.
The mission statement basically defines a purpose for existing. It will inform every other aspect of your brand building strategies.
Everything from your logo to your tagline, voice, message, and personality should reflect that mission.
When people ask you what you do: answer them with your brand mission statement.
Brand Building Examples: Nike
We all know the Nike tagline: Just Do It. But do you know their mission statement?
Nike’s mission is: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world“.
You can see the Nike mission everywhere. They focus on all types of athletes using Nike products to be their best selves.
Nike goes even further with its brand mission, by adding a footnote to the statement: “If you have a body, you are an athlete“. Think about how wide their target audience becomes with a disclaimer like that!
The company has built up such a reputation and brand following, that it’s able to increase the target to accommodate every “body”.
When branding your business, start small and remember to focus on your target niche audience first.
With time, your brand loyalty may grow enough to expand your reach.
Let’s take a step back for a minute. Before crafting your brand mission statement, gut check on whether you really committed to Step 3 of determining who your exact consumer is. It’s one of the most important branding process steps of them all.
5. Outline the key qualities & benefits your brand offers.
There will always be brands with bigger budgets and more resources to command their industry.
Your products, services, and benefits belong solely to you.
Starting a brand that is memorable means you dig deep to figure out what you offer, and no one else is offering.
Focus on the qualities and benefits that make your company branding unique.
Assuming you know exactly who your target audience is (see Step 3), give them a reason to choose your brand over another.
It’s important to note that this is not just a laundry list of the features your product or services offer to the customer or client. Think about how you provide value that improves consumers’ lives (outcomes or results that are experienced).
Here are a few examples:
- More authentic and transparent customer service
- A better way to support productivity
- Reducing costs with a more affordable option
- Saving time on daily tasks
Brand Building Example: Apple
Apple is obviously not just another computer company. One of their key qualities is a clean design, and a key benefit is ease of use.
From unique packaging to their announcement events, Apple always reminds customers that its products can be used right out of the box.
Do you remember Apple’s slogan back in 1997-2002? It was “Think Different“. This notion continues to exist, today.
6. Form your unique brand voice.
Your voice is dependent on your company’s mission, audience, and industry.
It’s how you communicate with your customers, and how they respond to you.
A brand voice could be:
There are endless adjectives and possibilities that can build a brand voice behind your messaging.
Ultimately, you want to choose a brand voice that makes sense and resonates with your target customers. (Again, going back to Step 3!)
You’ll see that if you find and use the correct brand voice, you have the strongest chance of connecting with consumers.
This is particularly important when publishing blog articles or social media posts. Maintaining a consistent voice will help your brand image become recognized on multiple channels in the same way. A community of followers, readers or subscribers will come to expect a certain brand voice and brand personality when they consume your content (see the next step).
7. Let your brand personality shine.
Customers aren’t looking for another cookie-cutter company that offers the same thing as everyone else.
They are looking for an experience tailored to their needs, backed by genuine personal interaction.
Source: Straight Marketing
Wondering how to brand your business in a unique way? Make your personality stand out in every aspect of your brand building process.
Be consistent with this brand personality across all points of contact.
It can be as simple as:
- A conversational voice in communication (using “I”, and “you”)
- Sharing behind-the-scenes content
- Telling stories about real experiences
- Describing your products/services in a quirky manner
8. Build a brand story and messaging.
When building a brand, tell customers succinctly who you are.
Use the business voice you have chosen for your brand.
Your messaging should be intricately associated with your brand and conveyed consistently.
This part of the brand development process goes beyond your logo and tagline to define the key aspects of:
- Who you are
- What you offer
- Why people should care
A brand story is an opportunity to communicate on a human level, making a direct emotional connection with your consumers.
What this means, is that the language you use should be understood immediately while striking an emotional chord.
Make it simple and clear.
Most importantly: when creating a brand story, address not what your product can do…but why it is important to your customer.
9. Stay true to your brand building.
Unless you decide to change your brand into something that is more effective based on measured consumer response, consistency is key.
Once you establish a brand voice, use it for every piece of content you create.
Document all the brand guidelines you create and distribute internally for reference.
What is a brand identity building worth, if it is not consistent? Don’t constantly change your branding. The inconsistency will confuse your customers, and make a long-term brand building more difficult.
Brand Building Example: Starbucks
Starbucks is the world’s leading specialty coffee retailer, and their brand has always promised to bring people together.
The Starbucks mission?
“To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
That’s why at every store you’ll find free Wi-Fi, large tables, and soothing music to make chatting with others easy. They always write your name on your coffee for an extra personal touch.