In the first article in this series, the printing experts at United Label went over some basic tenets of branding, and discussed why it is so important to increasing sales and improving your overall business. In this article, we’re going to get much more practical, and look at specific strategies to actually build you brand.
Types of Branding Strategies
A well-received product launch to your intended target audience can change your business. However, with the rise of the internet, consumers have become much savvier when picking and choosing the products and brands they use; thus, companies need to be more strategic when branding to ensure that their products are able to generate a high demand.
There is no standardized way when applying branding strategies. The trick is for your marketing team to brand your products so that your business resonates with your clients while at the same time supports and presents your company values. The following are types of business strategies that companies in many different categories use when developing their branding:
- Private-label. This is strategy used by retailers to compete with more prominent brands. For example, a supermarket chain can produce cost-effective options for particular food items that are still just as high-quality as the competition. Some stores have created a strong affinity for their brands, even, such as AmazonBasics or Target’s Archer Farms. These used to be called “generic,” but now consumers sometimes prefer them to even the higher-cost competition.
- Company name. Recognized brands use the popularity of their company names to advance brand recognition. Nike. Starbucks. FedEx. American Express. Consumers usually recognize colors, packaging, or logos that they associate with the business, and are more likely to buy from them no matter what.
- Individual-product branding. On the other hand, some companies have several products that are well-known individually. A company may opt for individual branding strategies by allocating each product a brand name. General Mills, for example, has built enormous brands for each of their products: Cheerios, Lucky Charms, or Yoplait, but people don’t necessarily go to the supermarket in search of General Mills itself.
- Brand extension. In some cases, a company will use its strong existing brand to push a new venture’s success by using a brand extension strategy. For example, this tactic is used by many clothing companies to launch new products such as accessories, fragrances, or shoes. Another great example, though, is Disney: from cartoons to films to theme parks, the Disney brand is synonymous with fun and positivity. Although the products are various, brand identity remains the same.
- Brand tone and attitude. Occasionally, a company relies on an overall tone or attitude in the marketplace to reflect its business and products. This type of strategy injects life into the business through marketing a larger overall feeling of a brand, developing an emotional connection between consumers and the company. Think of Nike’s “Just Do It,” or Gatorade. These sport-focused brands use attitude to promote a healthy and aspirational attitude that supports their slogans.
Steps to Creating a Successful Brand
Now that we’ve seen some various strategies for branding, let’s look at a few specific things you can do to develop your brand.
- Think about how you want potential consumers and clients to perceive your business, product, or service.How do you want your customers to describe their experience after using your product or service? You should perceive your brand as a promise to your clients, which should, in some way, be different from that promised by your competitors. For more on brainstorming these questions, read our post
- Organize your business and brand with that promise in mind. When you’ve figured out what that promise is going to be, and how it distinguishes you from your competitors, you need to build everything around that promise. For example, if a restaurant wants to be known for its unbeatable prices, it can maximize the number of customers they serve per table in one evening by ensuring their prices are, in fact, lower than the competition—but that the food is still tasty and high quality. If a product is promised as high quality, but price is not an issue, then all of the packaging, labels, and raw materials need to be of the highest quality, and the company cannot cut corners—otherwise, they will be breaking their promise to the consumers and their brand (and reputation) will suffer.
- Communicate the Promise. Every marketing material you use, such as your website, logo, and color scheme, should be created with your promise in mind. Every message communicated on social media sites must align with this message, as well as the decor of your premises. This is the stage where your brand takes a central position in your advertising campaigns. Furthermore, your ads will be more effective because of the clarity of your brand, and you won’t be wasting valuable marketing space, money, or attention on confusing mixed messages.
- Be Reliable. After establishing how you want your clients to perceive your brand, then arranging the business to meet this perception, you have to be reliable. For example, a company that produces innovative and elegant phones cannot risk launching an unattractive new phone or a device that is lagging in tech. If you go to a fancy, expensive restaurant and the food is lousy and the service is poor – but the prices are still high – you probably will never go there again, and you will not recommend the place to your friends.
In summary, the idea to take home is that you have to develop and maintain client trust, especially when you are building a brand and brand promise. You must make your brand promise a reality for your customers.
This may mean more expenses at first, or more difficult work to remain consistent, but the rewards will be worth it. Over time, a well-managed brand ceases to be just a company promise and gradually develops into a client expectation, and takes on a life of its own. In some cases, a brand becomes so ubiquitous, that the brand becomes a word in itself—for example, “googling” something on the internet means to search, or a “kleenex” is a standard word for tissue. Likewise, “xeroxing” meant to make a photocopy, though that isn’t so common these days. You may also not be aware, but “band-aid,” “q-tip,” and “zipper” are all brand names.
Nurturing Your Brand
The good thing about branding is that it is not limited to what happens before purchasing a product or service. It has to do with what your clients experience with your product or service at various stages of the journey, from initial awareness, to consideration, and even more so, after the transaction. This means you must ensure your customers have a pleasant experience with your product or service, which will make them come back or refer others to your products.
Therefore, take time to nurture your brand identity — for example, by checking out the fourth article in this series, which looks at some amazing examples of branding and will offer you some great inspiration. And another way you can do this is to invest in high-quality product labels, and the experts at United Label are here to help. When your brand is established and you’re ready to go to market, call us today at (973) 589-6500 for all your label printing needs.