Branding matters now more than ever in the world of Marketing and Design. Branding is the discipline that is responsible for the creation, management and activation of brands. But what exactly does "brand" mean for your business?
"Your brand is what they say about you when you're not in the room" - Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.
Therefore, your brand is not what you have, but what you leave; it is the sum of everything you do and also what customers think about you. Successful branding occurs when what you want to be and what people think about you, coincide. Branding is not about your business, it is about the people who are using your brand.
Your brand is the experience that surrounds your company. So, the primary goal of branding is to build a strong relationship with people, generate engagement, and to create a successful branding strategy that turns users into promoters of your brand.
Below, discover three key trends for brand positioning:
1. Top of Mind
Being at the "top of mind" of your users is to be the first brand that comes to people's minds when thinking about a specific product category. If I tell you to quickly think of a brand of cars, soft drinks or fast food, automatically your head associates each one with a specific brand.
For cars, maybe you think of Porsche or Ford. For soft drinks, it's probably Coca Cola. And for fast food, McDonald's. Of course, this is different for every individual person and product. Remember, "top of mind" does not have to be the brand someone normally uses, it is based more on a person's aspirational nature and what they would like to identify with.
2. Brand Community
Speaking of identification, another supreme goal desired by any brand is to create a community; this is achieved when people feel represented with the personality of your brand and follow it...not on social networks, but in real life. Imagine die-hard sports fans, but they're die-hard supporters of your brand.
One of the most representative examples is Harley Davidson. This brand has managed to transmit its culture in such a way that it has become a lifestyle. When we think of the Harley Davidson brand, what quickly comes to mind? An image of the typical, tough motorcycle rider with his big, impressive motorcycle and leather jacket.
This feeling of belonging is reinforced through brand loyalty. Instead of having customers, this renowned motorcycle brand has ambassadors. In addition, and best of all, this community was created and is managed by the users themselves, so all the brand has to do is keep on-message in their brand positioning. And above all, not let their community down.
3. Brand Ambassadors
One of the trends that gotten popular in recent years and will continue to be present in 2020 is branded apparel. In the past, brands gave you a shirt with their logo on it and we kept it for pajamas; nowadays, people go to the store and pay to buy a shirt featuring the logo of a popular brand.
This is incredible, it is truly the power of branding! These brands are so good at positioning that they make people want to be represented by them. Not only that, people pay to wear their logo and the brand, in turn, gets free advertising.
For any brand, this should be one of your main objectives: to be a reference for your customers, for them to feel represented by your company, and for them to take pride in being associated with your brand.
Now that you know the top three trends for branding, how do you become "top of mind" in your category, create a brand community, and foment brand ambassadors? It can be easy or tough depending on your business's circumstances. The power of branding is based on the fact that it must be what your users want, it must represent them as individuals, and not only offer a product or service that interests them but a lifestyle they can follow. For example, mbudo are proud brand ambassadors of HubSpot; we live and breathe HubSpot every single day!
Branding is something that begins in your company's internal culture. Everything you want to show externally must first be offered to your employees, as they first promoters of your brand, and they too must believe in your brand. Thus, they key to branding isn't necessarily a logo (although this is important)...the key to branding is the relationship between your brand and people.