Whether you’re an established organization or a soon-to-launch start up, building a brand is a necessity. It is your symbolic representation to the world and your stakeholders.
Regardless of whether you intentionally craft it or not, your brand will take life as your business continues to mature.
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For the Established Organization:
For the established organization, you might’ve let your brand go over the last decade, or in some cases, you never quite finished putting the puzzle together.
Although you might be experiencing success, you’re at a disadvantage to any close-running competitors that might’ve put time into carefully cultivating their brand with consistency and effort. Yes, you might continue to retain loyal customers, but your competitors will win new prospects over with their recognition and the impact that comes with a powerful brand.
For the Startup:
In the startup stage of a business, building a brand will be fundamental to telling the story of your service/product and helping you to stand out in a crowded market place. A well-researched strategy will allow you to find ways to reach your ideal customers.
At this critical period, the public is in the process of understanding who you are and what you do. By properly building a brand, you’ll help them to appropriately do so.
Thinking of Building a Brand?
Whether an established business or a startup, building a brand will require the same tools.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1.) A Process
Before starting, you’ll need an organized process to structure your efforts or else you’ll be wandering off into a wilderness of questions, considerations and thoughts. A lack of process results in board room squabbles and general organizational confusion that often can kill branding talks before they follow through.
When approaching the brand building adventure, we bring a particular process to the table. This method is proven and time tested:
- Narrative Discovery & Solidification
- Naming and Brand Copywriting
- Visual Identity Design
- Develop of Marketing Tools, Assets and Brand Ambassadors
2.) Time and Patience
Building a brand doesn’t happen over night.
You may be able to ferociously brainstorm the details in a caffeinated afternoon, but it will still take time for your brand to mature.
- Also consider reading this: How Long Should the Branding Process Take?
For most organizations, you should expect it to take time and effort to brand properly and effectively. It won’t happen 100-percent in the first or even the second board meeting. In fact, it might take ten or more.
It’s important to take time to:
- Understand your audience
- Understand your organization, what it stand for and what it does
- Find a way to quickly relate who you are and what you do to your audience and the public
3.) A Professional Copywriting Team
50-percent of all branding is writing.
Every business requires a savvy writer’s eye to properly develop the copy in a way that is appealing to both your audience and the public at large.
A lot of organizations underestimate the amount of writing actually require to build a brand. Within the corporate identity package alone are a variety of elements needing effective copywriting including:
- Business history, profile and other descriptive text
- Website page copy
- Marketing material development
4.) A Talented Design Team
The other 50-percent is the design to bring your logo, colors and corporate identity pieces to life. If the designer isn’t already on your team, don’t be afraid to invest in finding one. It will be worth it.
The distance between poor and talented design in the professional space is the equivalent of the distance between Earth and Pluto.
In addition to understanding where your business fits into the current conversation related to your audience and the public, you have to be able to think forward.
Where will your business fit into the future? What do you hope to change in your market? How will these answers affect your image, story and overall brand identity?
6.) A Storyteller’s Tongue
The most effective brands tell a story.
Every business starts somewhere and has a story. It’s all a matter of finding the best way to tell it and continue telling it through your platforms.
Dodge recently launched a campaign dubbed the “Dodge Brothers” that provides an excellent example of the power of telling a story. This campaign highlights the history of the brand, where it started and what it stands for with a true storyteller’s tongue and is an excellent source of inspiration for anyone refining their own storytelling methods.
7.) A Scientists Mentality
The last item you’ll need is a scientist’s mentality.
After you’ve launched your brand, it’s going to be important to watch how it performs. Be willing to measure its effectiveness and performance. Is it reaching your ideal customers? Is it being properly promoted by your current customer base? Does the public understand who you are and what you do?