Creating a brand is a challenging task, as it’s more than a logo, colors, or presentation of your office. The brand is just not how you see it but how it feels when you use the product or services and it takes years to develop the brand.
When you look at big brands like Amazon, coke, Nike, Mercedes, Tata, Reliance & others you know how well they connect with their audience & what separates them from the rest.
If you are just starting your journey of the brand building there are tonnes of articles that will tell you how to build a brand using various jargon which is difficult to understand, so here I will try to help you understand a brand by looking at the small signs that make a large impact with consumer.
1. Well Defined Audience
One of the most important that differentiates brands from others is how well it connects with their audience. Each brand has a different set of audience & the audience are not generic they are very specific & brands define their audience even before they think of the name or their logo.
For example, brands like Apple, Bose, or Parda don’t always appeal to the masses but they are targeting a very specific audience. Let’s look at a few examples of the target audiences of these brands.
• Apple: Easy to operate, Don’t need too much customization, good customer service, support for updates for older phones.
• Bose: HNI, audiophile (Audio enthusiastic), Musicians, Professional Music artist, etc
• Prada: HNI who loves luxury brands, exclusivity, love high-value brands
The audience is the first thing that needs to be kept in mind before you even think of branding & that is what it will separate you from the rest and it will also attract your right target customer.
Once your audience is defined the next important thing a good brand does is communicate well with its audience the communication can be in various formats like text, images, or videos, but communication needs to be in such a way that its easily understood by the audience & audience can connect to the brand through these communications.
Let’s look at some examples of how communication helps brands connect with the audience at the right level
• Garnier: If you have seen the ad of Garnier products you will see that they always have different communication for different products where for face cream they use young actors, for hair color they use older actor & the way of communication is also different for a different product that is how it connects with the audience.
• Washing Powder Ads: If we look at washing powder ads Ariel always targets consumer who is using washing machine whereas brands like Tide & Wheel target people who wash clothes on their own. With proper communication & audience targeting the message is conveyed to the right audience
After you have finalized the audience & figured out your commination then the next thing a strong brand does is it keeps everything consistent. The messaging, the audience & how they deliver their message to their audience.
One great example that comes to mind regarding the consistency of brand messaging & audience is
• Harpic: Harpic does a few things consistently & it has been doing this for years which are:
o Their ad content never changes they show the same ad communication year after year with a different set of actors but the same ad content
o The other thing they do more consistently is the timing of their ad on television, they keep showing their ads at the same time over & over again which is mostly during lunch hours.
Hence being consistent with messaging, communication & right audience targeting helps the brand achieve the impossible.
The process is the thing that separates a mediocre brand from a great brand. People usually don’t think of the process as an important factor it is one of the most important things a brand should consider building.
The process is nothing but how the customer is onboarded after they buy the product/services from you it can be as simple as experience opening of the product or how they feel when they walk inside your store for the first time or for the 50th time, they should always make the customer journey an experience they could never forget.
Let’s look at an example of a process that is completely virtual but hassle-free which include buying stuff online
• Amazon: If you bought online or bought something from Amazon you know the exact process you need to take before buying any product from their site, you know exactly when the product will be delivered, you know what is the written period, mode of communication & other various things which feel so confident to buy things without even looking physically. This is all been made possible by laying down the exact process a consumer will go through when they buy stuff online so that they can rest assured that they making a sound decision.
The process can be applied even in a small store right from how your security guard greets your customer in parking to how well the staff of the store behaves with the customer to how well the billing department shows their gratitude for their purchase. These are the small but important things a customer remembers about your brand.
Being unique is another factor that helps the brand stand out from the rest. Uniqueness is something that will set the brand apart from similar competitors in the space.
You will always need to stand out from the crowd & while defining your brand combining everything writing about & adding uniqueness to each one of the things that will help you set your brand apart & easily visible from the rest of the crowd.
One of the great examples is of a very saturated market of cold drink industries where if I ask you question how each brand is different from others you will easily tell me how brand set them apart.
• Mountain Dew: This brand has consistently targeted the audience via adventure sports type of ads & keeping the messaging of “Darr Ke Aage Jeet hai” constant throughout the years, also their packaging is unique where their drink & bottle color is different from traditional black a truly unique product in this crowded space.
Make sure when you think to make your brand unique don’t forget to other points, I talked about earlier so that everything is in sync with one another.
So, when you next time see an ad or interact with a brand you will come across these signs that help make a brand a strong brand in the market.
You can follow the same principles to make your business a brand, but do know that it takes years of perfection in getting there so start with your first step & keep moving ahead to create a brand of your dream.