In this article we talk about what Branding is (brand personality, brand logo, brand recognition), how important it is to your business, and The Zero Moment of Truth.
Why is Brand So Important?
Why Is Your Brand So Important?
There are many terms used to all-encompass what Branding is all about. We’re only going to touch on a few of the major components so you can understand why your Brand, and evolution of your Brand, is so important to your business.
Name, trademark, communications, and visual appearance make up brand identity. As the owner of your own business, brand identity is determined by what you want to say to your potential consumers, and how you want to say it. It should be authentic – your business MUST deliver what the brand promises and therefore what consumers will expect.
Having a brand book to set guidelines about your brand identity is helpful as your business grows and there are more people in your organization. Your brand identity will likely evolve over time as the marketplace and consumer attitudes change.
How your customer actually thinks of your brand. Brand Identity and Brand Image should “jive”. It should be positive, easily remembered and stand out from your competitors.
Back in the day, you might have experienced brand personality by watching commercials. Now, it’s not only TV commercials; but, also movie previews and YouTube videos. There may also be product placement in the movies themselves. TV Commercials are carefully targetted alongside programs that reach the same demographic.
One of our favourite brand personalities is Stella Artois. Not only do they present vignettes with a quirky sense of humour but they always infuse a nostalgic and european flair that sets them apart from the rest. They are proud of their heritage and have fun expressing it. The hero in the commercials will always do anything, no matter what the cost, to drink a fresh glass of Stella Artois beer.
Brand Personality has to speak to your target audience. In the case of Dodge Ram, their target audience is clearly men — who want to be rugged and adventurous. So the Dodge brand personality needs to reflect that lifestyle AND sends the message that “real men drive Dodge Pickup Trucks”. Of course, Dodge carefully places these commercials during Superbowl, or other TV programs watched primarily by a male audience.
Social Media and Brand Personality
Now, with the advent of social media, it provides yet another avenue for your brand to share it’s personality with the masses. With Twitter, you have exactly 140 characters to get across how luxurious your product is, or share funny anecdotes about your products/services. The caveat: put some thought into your brand messaging — once it’s out there — it’s done — you can’t take it back. Get it right. Mean it. Be consistent.
Are you taking advantage of FREE Social Media opportunities? Do you have an action plan regarding brand messaging and personality? Who is managing your social media for you? Are they doing a good job getting your personality across to your customers? Is your message consistent?
Why is Brand So Important?Consistent Brand Messaging and Brand Personality
The Nike Ad to the right shares a tough, no holds barred, victory is mine brand personality that is consistent no matter which marketing vehicle Nike is using to deliver the message — whether it be a print ad, TV commercial, or Tweet.
If you follow Nike on Twitter you’ll see Tweets like “Force Fate”, “Miles. Eat them for breakfast”, and “Leave Everything But the Trophy”. On their Facebook profile you’ll see similar messages, “A power packed performance. A strong lead in sight. Win Each Day.”
Have you given any thought to what your brand personality is? Do you have consistent messaging across all of your marketing platforms? Is it resonating with your target audience? Are they engaging with you online?
Brand experience is when people feel, visualize, use and generally “experience” your brand. It’s what they believe to be true about your brand. Initially, they may be drawn to your brand by the logo, because the font, colour and symbolic elements used give them a perception of what your brand products or services will be like. They will have certain expectations. If the experience with your product or service does not meet those expectations — they will have a poor brand experience.
When your business thinks about itself as a brand, you need to consider what you want people to know about you — what is special and unique, and how can you best communicate that message AND deliver the expected experience so consumers are NOT disappointed.
The art of creating and maintaining a brand is called brand management. It is important for your business that all of your website, social media profiles, videos, print ads, commercials and other marketing collateral deliver the same brand message and the same brand experience. Larger brands spend a lot of money measuring opinions in the marketplace – they want to know if they are hitting the mark and their brand is being translated by consumers the way they intended across all media platforms.
Other areas of brand management: where and how to advertise, and where your brand should be available; for example, luxury brands wouldn’t appear on Walmart shelves.
If your brand is successful enough to become widely known it means you have acquired brand recognition. Brand recognition is most successful when people can identify your brand without even seeing the company’s name. In the previous issue of our newsletter we used Nike’s slogan “Just Do It” as an example of Nike’s brand recognition. Everyone knows who they are and what they sell.
Brands that deliver social status, high quality or have a good reputation, generally command higher prices. That means, that when a consumer is presented with two similar products, they will choose whichever one is most recognizable to them and that they trust.
Brand Awareness is when a customer recalls and recognizes your brand immediately just by seeing the logo or hearing a jingle. Without seeing any other information, they already know which products and services you sell.
An example of brands that have successfully achieved mass brand awareness would be Heinz or Q-tips.
When someone is asked to name a cotton swab, they almost always say “Q-tips”. If asked to name a ketchup, they will say “Heinz”. It’s the first thing that comes to their mind.
Why is Brand So Important?
The Zero Moment of Truth
Ahhh yes — the decision making moment along the path to a consumer purchase. When faced with that purchase decision does the consumer buy YOUR product, or do they buy the competitor’s? That IS the Zero Moment Of Truth (ZMOT).
How important is Brand to your business? At the Zero Moment of Truth, how will a consumer decide which product or service to buy?
- Your product/services needs to be available wherever your target audience shops.
- Your brand needs to be quickly recognized – so brand recognition.
- Your brand must be authentic and say the right things.
- Your post purchase “brand experience” must deliver and meet the consumer’s expectations.
You determine the success of your brand at the Zero Moment Of Truth. Did the consumer pick your product off the shelf over all others?
If your business is important to you and you want it to be successful, take the time and put aside the budget to develop the various elements that make up your Brand:
- Company and/or Product Name;
- Logo (the visual trademark that identifies your brand);
- Tagline(s) (“Always Fresh” is the tagline associated with Tim Horton’s. Ours is “Fresh Strategy Meets Digital Design”);
- Colors (Royal Bank — royal blue. From a colour psychology perspective, blue is trustworthy, honest, loyal, sincere, reliable, responsible and confident. Certainly communicating the right brand identity for a bank).
If this article was helpful you may be interested in our sister article about logo design. We can help you discover your brand….. then we can translate it into logo design, web design, video, social media, drip marketing and print.
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