March 15 2015

Branding: Where All Business Marketing Begins

Do you know why Acme Corporation’s anvils, jet-propelled unicycles and DIY tornado kits never caught on beyond Looney Tunes? Lack of branding. No one ever knew what the company stood for. We only saw a black-lettered box of mishmashed products that led to disastrous results. That’s not a good strategy.

So before you start promoting your company to misguided coyotes, you must establish your brand – the name, symbol and design that identifies and differentiates your company and your products from competitors. Branding is a promise to customers, and it’s the method by which you portray your distinguishing characteristics in a crowded marketplace.

Why should customers care about you? Why should they buy your products? Branding answers these questions and tells the story of what you are today, what you aspire to be, and how customers view you.

Branding 101: Here’s How To Do It Effectively

But you can’t just slap some lettering on a wooden crate and call it a day. Extensive market research must be conducted to understand the needs of the marketplace, internal stakeholders and your consumers. The most effective way to deduce this information is through focus groups and customer surveys. The brand name results from intensive brainstorming and copywriting various options that are vetted and researched for availability. Once the brand name is reached, logo design commences with illustration and graphic design, being mindful of color and application. A clever and descriptive tagline often complements the new brand logo, setting the stage for mission, positioning and value statements.

After you finalize your new logo and tagline, you must preserve the integrity of your brand through a style guide. This details proper usage of your logo and copy in print and online, including rules for colors, fonts, messaging, photography, placement, tone and voice.  The style guide affects everything down to your letterhead and envelope design.

The Importance of Brand Honesty and Specificity

Proper branding succeeds in communicating who you are and what you stand for in the marketplace. Your brand needs to make the case for why a consumer should choose your company, service or product over the competition.

Your brand strategy activates your brand, delivering your unique messaging through marketing tactics across multiple communication channels in print and online. Your brand will be distributed via traditional marketing, print advertising, online marketing, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, inbound marketing, and more. Therefore, you must be mindful of what you say, how you say it and to whom you are saying it. Our cohesive team of strategists, designers, writers and marketers will hone your brand strategy for best results.

Over time, your brand strategy will earn brand equity by consistently and strategically communicating your message to target audiences through an integrated marketing plan. This brand equity will make you more memorable to consumers, allowing you to drive demand for your company, product or service. Equity, in turn, builds brand loyalty. By connecting on an emotional level with the consumer, brand loyalty creates years of continuous business opportunities for your company. To reach your business goals, it is important to implement a plan to activate and cultivate your brand messaging consistently and effectively throughout the years.

Otherwise, the whole thing can blow up in your face and leave you stranded in the desert. Also, if you’re developing earthquake pills to be sold in bottles, reconsider the idea now.

For more information about branding, please contact ZAG Interactive.

  • Branding

ZAG Interactive is a full-service digital agency in Glastonbury, CT, offering website design, development, marketing and digital strategy to clients nationwide. See current job openings.