Defining and establishing a brand identity can be one of the most valuable marketing tools for both SMEs and large corporations due its powerful ability to engage customers and broaden reach. Nielsen’s Global New Product Innovation Survey shows that 59 percent of consumers prefer to buy products from a brand that they are familiar with, with more than a fifth admitting that they feel comfortable purchasing new products and services from a brand they trust.
Building a brand is not an overnight process, but it is worth investing in marketing efforts that push and reinforce your brand image.
Your brand identity, well-defined
Brand identity basically covers everything that can be seen or heard by prospective customers, from social media interactions, to packaging, to customer services.
Defining your brand image is important as you will need to be consistent with visual aspects such as logos, colors, and designs, and the products and services you deliver to the marketplace. Marketing software company HubSpot states that “great brands are easy to recognize, their mission is clear, and it fosters that coveted customer loyalty all businesses crave.”
Understanding what your customers want and need is key to defining your brand and using it as a marketing tool.
Your brand, your promise
Once you begin to nurture your brand, it will become more like a promise rather than a tool as it will provide customers with certain expectations about the quality of your products and services. Trust is central to this and is an aspect that can directly impact on your revenues.
Polling giant Gallup recently conducted a survey that showed that customers invested in a brand are likely to spend twice as much money on their products compared to a brand that they don’t align with. The importance of engaging in a wide variety of campaigns that deliver a consistent portrayal of your corporate personality, priorities, and values cannot be understated in an increasingly competitive digital landscape.
According to Nielsen Innovation Managing Director and Vice President Rob Wengel, brands can also inspire confidence and be a stamp of approval for a particular product. He states: “For a consumer with limited disposable income, the potential loss from an underperforming product is magnified. As a result, they’re often hesitant to take a risk on a product that might not live up to expectations, and are sometimes even willing to pay more for brands they trust. For new products launched without the benefit of a strong brand name, extra care must be taken to provide strong assurance that the product will be perceived as a good value for the money.”
A case study
Tommie Copper built its TC brand through a coherent marketing strategy that uses the copper color as a visual motif on webpages and the logo. Tommie Copper provides compression wear, such as compression socks for women, and each of the products are infused with copper to relieve painful ailments such as inflammation and arthritis.
The name Tommie Copper and the use of copper color in branding makes it easily identifiable as a compression apparel provider. It echoes similar branding efforts by Coca-Cola, which uses the physique of the flagship curved glass bottle and hugely recognizable logo as a central part of its allure. These aspects tie into brand personality and how the product speaks to consumers.
A living brand
Brand identity is always evolving, and you must be aware of shifts in demand and how it can impact on your product. Unfortunately, controversy, issues in the public eye, and product failures can have an adverse impact on image and branded products, and can lead to certain outlets taking them off the shelves. In order to combat this, try to remain responsive to the needs of your customers by ensuring that line extensions are clearly linked with the core product and provide consistency, relevancy, and uniqueness within your market sector.
In addition, always aim to nurture credibility by enabling customers to create their own content on any of your webpages and social media pages in comments sections. Maintaining trust in an untrusting world is always an ongoing process, and brand image is central to this aim.
Understanding the power of a brand name, identifying and building your own brand presence and maintaining it is a difficult but incredibly rewarding process for marketing and other aspects of your business. Gallup concludes: “Consumers want to walk into a store, go online, or contact a customer care center and have the experience they were promised. They want companies to back up their taglines and follow through on their guarantees. When companies do this, consumers will align themselves with those brands – and ultimately, will trust them.”