26 December 2018
I get this question quite a lot so I figured, this would be a good time to actually write an article about this. Just before 2019.
In today’s world where competition has become so intense, brand building is paramount for any business that wants to remain in existence, or at least stay relevant.
Customers across the world now want to be associated and buy products bearing a particular brand name. However, a lot of businesses and organizations still face some confusion when designing their brand and corporate identities. Regardless of the size of a business or organization, branding can influence the behaviour of customers or target audience.
WE ALL KNOW THIS BUT LET ME JUST SAY IT AGAIN…
Branding means more than just picking a name, symbol or design and using it for identity purposes. It extends to establishing a robust personality, selecting a voice and matching it with the right elements.
Here are ways how you can maintain your brand identity…
1. Uniqueness and recognizability
Brand distinctiveness is different from product functioning or related selling propositions. The elements of a brand make it recognizable and distinct. Customers tend to invest in culture more than a product.
It means an organization has to be innovative and give a great deal of thought to vision rather than a product.
A unique brand doesn’t always have to be too much revolutionary. Although one can make it tricky, something simple and unique that can be separated from the competition is enough.
Design a brand that expresses an organization’s interests, priorities, values and communication style. Introduce target audience and invite them to experience a unique world. A customer should be capable of recognizing it by just looking at the logo.
2. Consistency and loyalty
All brands need to maintain a consistent brand image throughout all the marketing channels. This allows a business to be both recognizable and memorable.
Consistency and loyalty imply all the elements of a brand should be uniform. It is not just about delivering high-quality products and services and being responsive.
Customers want a company with a consistent brand time and again. While a brand might resonate with the persona of an organization, if it is behind-the-scenes it can still lose its loyalty.
Regardless of the season and time, customers want to experience the same quality of products and services as they did previously. Inconsistency can make customers switch to competing brands.
3. Sustainability and trends
New technology and trends have influenced several things including brand reputation. The perceptions of a brand are now shaped by the way a company not only interacts with their customers but also keeps up with the changing trends, future expectations of customers and how connected customers are with what the company provides.
For a company to maintain a sustainable brand, it should integrate economic, environmental and social issues to its operations. It should go beyond just maintaining a green environment.
Brand creation ought not to rely on graphics, colours or logos. A good foundation is critical. A sustainable brand makes people remain connected with products and services of a company.
Additionally, a brand that keeps up with trends can retain customer loyalty through both good and challenging times. It means the needs of customers should always come ahead.
4. Adaptability and change
Current technological innovations and the emergence of various platforms require businesses to be adaptive and flexible in the brand identities they adopt. An adaptive brand identity should allow a brand to break free of all the styles and standards to make their visual elements interactive and fluid.
Some of the ways of making a brand identity more adaptive and open for change include:
• Platform identity systems; this is great for companies that carry a variety of products.
• Visual categorization: Using a base logo to leverage all the products. It is vital for platforms that value categories more than products.
• Content canvas: This is where unlimited content can be included in the logo. It is suitable for products, sites, and services with varied visual content.
• Reconfiguring elements of a brand to adapt to space.
5. Interconnection and coherence
Brand coherence results from aligning the offerings and truths behind a central value proposition. A brand should center all its elements on the element of consistency. It should clearly articulate all the significant points and facets of the organization ranging from production, distribution, marketing, finance, and operations.
Every single department should understand the value of the brand and align its culture to deliver a robust and coherent promise. It means a business should organize its strategies to ensure that all their products remain meaningful, relevant and differentiated.
Unlike consistency, brand coherence is all about making all the pieces come together, practical and intuitive to the target audience. Brand interconnectedness and coherence helps to improve trust and customer loyalty.
6. Universality and Niche
Niche and branding are two critical aspects that go hand in hand. Niche branding helps to create a lasting impression in the target market.
Everything is becoming global and businesses should adopt the trend by adopting universally adaptable brands. This is by building a brand that speaks to everyone in various cultures. A brand that goes globally stands a better chance of gaining a better competitive edge.
The success of every business lies in the quality of their branding. A distinct, easy to recognize brand identity is vital. A good brand should also match all the elements and voice of business.
Other principles that companies should keep in mind when maintaining their brand identities include sustainability, universality, adaptability, and consistency among others.