Independent brand development is a complex process, subordinated to a range of economic, social, cultural and political factors. Today, managers of large enterprises do not risk doing it themselves, transferring the task of creating a brand image with the help of professionals. It requires considerable expenses, not all junior businessmen can afford hiring branding specialists. Therefore, any competent manager must understand at least in general terms, how the brand is going, and how to avoid the biggest mistakes in the very beginning of the path.
What is a brand?
This is a very important issue because there is no such legal concept as a “brand” – it is rather a set of characteristics in the minds of the consumer. In the legal field, there is a notion of “a trademark.” This is the company’s name and logo that combines numbers, letters, decorative elements, color combinations, and the location of all these components in a particular composition. It may include the names of individual products, the design of the label, the packaging form, and the corporate slogan.
A brand is not only a trademark but also all components of the image of the company, its reputation, and the attitude of buyers. The brand includes both what you can “touch with hands,” and something invisible, that is expressed in the many-sided word “image”.
How to design an independent brand: the stages of a brand development
1. Research and analysis
The development of a new brand begins with the study of customer needs and market demands. It seems to everyone that it is enough to offer goods of the highest quality, which is enough – but in the modern world there is a huge number of manufacturers, and a lot of them sell awesome goods. Why some of them popular and others are not?
To understand it, you need to know what the future target audience needs. Business people prefer convenience and simplicity – they have little time. So, they need a “smart” technique, which will do everything for them, older people generally prefer conservative products and children like something bright and unusual. And so, the company has to offer a buyer what he wants, even if he does not know it himself.
2. Determine the target audience
Each product group has its own audience. To keep it, you need to understand what exactly a certain product is loved for, what qualities need to be strengthened, and which experiments are put aside. It will help a business to become a brand.
The target audience is determined by gender, age, social status, financial position, and location of potential clients. If you understand who will need your product here and now and who wants to buy it at what price, it will be easier to plan an advertising campaign and promote your product on the market.
Real buyers may not always be relevant to the target audience that the brand claimed. Not only children are happy to eat Kinder; Johnson’s Baby products have become a favorite brand of many women and people with a sensitive skin – they are willing to buy delicate baby lotions and shampoos for themselves.
3. Creating an idea and mission
When buying things, appliances, and products, people prefer to receive certain emotions. That’s good when the emotional component is already included in the image of the independent brand: there is a legend, a set of sensations that are created with little noticeable details – odors, music, flowers, lines. The consumer needs not only a product but a hero, identified with him.
What kind of yogurt will a buyer choose – the ordinary one or the one on which the stars fall? What kind of powder will be washed – nobody’s known or those used by the most sophisticated housewives? What kind of tea will you drink – just a tea or a taste of the New Year? The answer is obvious.
The main idea of each brand is its allocation among its competitors. In this case, developers should answer the question: “How is this product different from others?” Many business owners make a mistake trying to paint all the numerous merits of their product. As practice shows, the emphasis should be on the most important – all other positive features consumers will understand on their own.
The name of the company and the product is a real art. There are separate naming firms that earn good money in designing names. One recognizable name can cost thousands of dollars, selecting one word, from up to 100,000 variants.
The name should reflect the essence of the independent brand, its message to a consumer. And you need to put it in one or two words. For example, the name of Google comes from the number of Googol – it’s ten to the same degree. If it is written on paper, then a unit with a hundred zeros will turn out. This huge number reflects the essence of the seeker – he really can find a giant number of responses to his request.
5. Advertising campaign
So, everything is ready, and it’s time to bring your brand to the world. Run videos on television, prepare affiliate content for sites, print leaflets for distribution, promote groups in popular social networks, develop a brand book, announce an engaging promotion, or organize a business reception. Advertising has lots of means.
The main thing is not to overdo it. A bad example of an excessive advertising campaign is what happened to some films – noisy advertising for the whole world, but the audience somehow leaves the room disappointed. In connection with it, we can recall the latest failings of the movies – “Land of the Future” and “Transformers: The Age of Destruction.” The creators of these movies suffered tremendous losses, and a huge advertising campaign did not save them.
The product is released, the advertising campaign has started, the development of the brand of the company seems to be completed. A brand is a living, developing organism, it needs to be educated and directed, corrected and maintained. And then it can fulfill its main goal – to strengthen the company’s position and protect the product. After all, the love and attention of customers would be the main guarantee of any business’ existence.
Mariia Hepalova is a content writer on DesignContest.com. She has written for various online publications and blogs. With an equal passion for both design and marketing, she strives to produce content that is informative yet easy to understand.