Branding 101 – Guidelines for Your Brand
Last time, we talked about what is a brand and how it relates your customers to your business. In this post, we will discuss some general guidelines on building your brand.
1) Own One Word
What do you think when you hear Volvo? Safety. How about Toyota? Reliable. How about Mercedes-Benz? Prestige. Even though all three companies build safe cars, use reliable engines, and have more prestigious expensive models, one word stands out for each of them. For your brand, you will want to own one word that sticks in the mind of your customers. If you try to get too many words to stick, then chances are none of them will stick and the identity of your brand will get diluted. Focus is the key.
2) Be Authentic
How many of you came across an internet company claiming their internet service is fast, but the actual speed is slow as snail? How about a car dealership claiming they have the lowest price, but you find another one that gives an even lower price? Whatever the branding image or ideas you are going for, you have to make sure it’s authentic, reflecting what you can deliver. Volvo never claims they make the fastest cars in the world, and Toyota will never try to sell you on the prestigious side of their cars.
3) Own One Color
What color do you think of when you hear about Coca-cola? Red. How about Pepsi? Blue. How about Mountain Dew? Green. Owning one color allows your customers to associate the color with your brand, and differentiate you from your competitors. Pick one that closely relates to what your brand offers, and that it separates you from your competitors.
4) Be Consistent
A brand is never built overnight. If you want your customers to remember your brand, you will need to consistently apply the same theme over and over again for a long time. You need to apply it on everything your customers see, which includes your website, your brochure, your product packaging, your retail store design, and so on. Repeated exposure to the same theme is the key to getting your brand to stick in the minds of your customers.
If you want to learn more on what makes a good branding strategy, read this book.