Nowadays, having a strong brand is key to the success of any company. Creating a brand from scratch and doing so correctly is not an easy task, especially when you must position the brand from both the business and consumer's perspectives.
Thankfully, Brand Marketing is here to help guide companies in creating and managing their brands. Let's dive in!
What is Brand Marketing?
Brand Marketing (also called branding or brand positioning) consists of promoting both the knowledge and reputation of your company. Although there are many people who think that branding consists simply of coming up with a logo and a name, it actually goes much further; the brand has to be able to generate feelings.
When you are going to start with your branding strategy, our advice is to divide the process into 5 steps:
1. Corporate Identity
This first step is the generation of a corporate identity manual, often called a brand book. This book will guide the design elements, values of the company, target audience, etc. In short, this manual will be the visual, verbal and cultural representation of all the attributes that make up your brand.
The name is one of the most important parts of the brand, since it will be the way in which your leads and future buyers get to know your company. The name must be appropriate and be in tune with the values of your company. Currently, considering the importance of SEO, you should look for a name that is easy to position online.
If we show you the image of a bitten apple right now, who doesn't relate it to the Apple brand? If you are able to create a distinctive and memorable image, people will have your brand at the top of their minds.
For the creation of the logo, you must choose: colors, background, typography, logo positioning on your website and print materials, etc. It is important that you ask yourself these questions before starting anything in order to avoid going back and making significant changes.
4. Color Code
Although it may seem less important, the colors you choose for your branding are essential. In fact, color psychology and color meanings should be taken into consideration for your business. You must decide on the main colors that you'll use; Our advice is to choose one primary color that is directly related to your brand and then some secondary colors to use in company creatives.
It's tough deciding between fonts...there are so many! But it's important to make a good selection because this will communicate your global vision and feeling of the brands to customers.
We can use mbudo as a clear example of all of the above. Our logo is a funnel and this makes sense since it is related to the Inbound Marketing funnel, which is our area of expertise. The lettering we use is always the same, with variations in white and black for different materials and backgrounds. Finally, the main color we selected is orange and if you take a look at any of our channels, you will see that, although we use other secondary colors, orange is always dominant.
Additional Factors in the Brand Development Process
Now that we know about brand development and the first five steps, don't forget to take a couple of additional factors into consideration:
- Always be consistent with your branding: It is important that, over time, the message, tone, and aesthetics of your brand are consistent. This is vital in building trust and loyalty with your followers. In the digital age, your brand must have an online presence, including a website, blog, and social media channels. With HubSpot, it's easier than ever to generate all your content with the same branding and formatting, staying present in the eyes of your audience.
- Apply branding strategy to your entire company: At first glance, you may have the best brand in terms of design and content, but this doesn't help if the quality of your products or services are not what you have led your customers to believe. This can be decisive in the perception of your brand and negatively affect it. Furthermore, this should be applied to areas such as sales, customer service, social networks, etc.
Brand Marketing Strategies
Branding offers several different strategies that you should consider. Depending on the competitiveness of your sector and the creative resources at your disposal, follow these strategies to make your brand a success:
- Unique value proposition: Create a unique value proposition (UVP) to highlight all the aspects that make your brand unique. It should state the benefits you offer, what problems/needs you solve, and how you're different from the rest.
- Storytelling: As we mentioned earlier, branding must evoke feelings and storytelling can help with that. You must ask yourself what you want to transmit as a brand and it should be noted that your storytelling must be consistent across all channels.
- Choose the right communication channels: Brands shouldn't be everywhere. To determine the right channels, you must have previously carried out a study of your Buyer Personas to know who they are and where they're active.
Don't forget that you must be continuously measuring the results achieved through your actions, so that you can continue along the same path if you see positive results or switch gears if they turn out negative.
As your company grows, you are likely to start developing new products or services. Depending on their characteristics, there are different alternatives to strengthen your Brand Marketing. This is where brand architecture comes in; it refers to the set of strategies that companies use to organize and build the portfolio of their brands.
If you manage to generate a successful brand architecture, your customers will be able to form both opinions and preferences about your company's products and services. The three most common models for brand architecture are:
- Monolithic architecture: This consists of having a corporate level and a single brand for all the company's products. Although monolithic branding brings numerous advantages such as maximizing investments to a single brand, if it gains a bad reputation, it can be extended to the rest of the company's products.
- Multi-brand architecture: This model will allow greater creative freedom when defining the communications, since there is a main brand and then other segments that have their own independent identity.
- Mixed architecture: This usually takes place as a result of mergers, sales, or acquisitions that a company undergoes. In this case, although there is a main brand, the rest are never related to it and it is can be a chaotic style of architecture.
Inbound Marketing and Branding: better together
When you start building your brand or rebranding, Inbound Marketing should be a core component of your strategy. By uniting these two branches of Marketing, you will be able to generate valuable content that will awaken the interest of your prospects and customers, leading them little by little through the Marketing funnel until the final sale. The first thing you must do to unite these methodologies is to define your branding strategy. Once you have it, you can apply branding to each of the stages of the Inbound Marketing funnel:
- Attraction Stage: You must quickly provide your leads with information so that they understand what your brand personality is. To do this, you must incorporate your brand into your website and all the content you generate.
- Conversion Stage: Focus your efforts on the CTAs, landing pages, and downloadable content like ebooks and white papers. Your brand personality must shine though in both aesthetics (using corporate colors and typography) and in messaging (tone, storytelling, etc.)
- Decision Stage: At this stage, content is used depending on the likelihood of the leads to buy your products or services. Branding should be more personal in tone and design in all communications and materials: email, sales pitches, webinars, more.
- Delight Stage: It is important that you continue to apply branding after you turn leads into customers. Offer promotions, relevant information, exclusive opportunities, and more to turn normal customers into loyal brand ambassadors.
As you can see, Brand Marketing together with Inbound Marketing can help you achieve excellent results. At mbudo we can help you combine branding and inbound, so please don't hesitate to contact us anytime!