We all know good branding when we see it. Companies like Apple, Target, Google, Coca Cola, Disney, and Nike are all recognizable because of the strategic ways they go about developing and communicating their brands to the marketplace. But what exactly makes a good brand? In other words, what goes into it?
4 Characteristics Of Great Brands
Every brand is, by definition, unique. But the formula for creating a successful brand isn’t nearly as proprietary. If you study what the best brands do, you’ll discover that they all possess the following:
1. Clear Identity
Don’t just think of your brand as a branch of your marketing. If you do this, you’ll cheapen your approach and treat like another box to check. It’s better to think of branding as the way in which the world perceives your company. In other words, it’s the impression you give to customers (and even non-customers). And you can’t give off a good impression if you don’t have a clear identity.
“The goal is not just to be recognizable, but to be so closely identified with your company’s defining characteristic that you become known for it,” Tailor Brands mentions. “More importantly, your objective in crafting an identity is to define what sets you apart from competitors.”
This starts with knowing who you are at a core level. What are the three to five characteristics that make your brand unique and special? Why do you care about these things? What do you want people to know about you?
2. Relatable Story
“Brands are designed with values that people can relate to,” Active Web Group explains. “The idea is to manufacture a personality that appears more human. When a brand’s personality resonates with a consumer, they feel an emotional connection that can inspire trust. Trust lowers the consumers’ guard, which comforts them.”
Stories turn businesses into brands. They take the cold, clinical inner-workings of a company and communicate a cohesive message that people resonate with. But not just any story will do. The story needs to be relatable to your target audience.
A car company can tell a story about how they make the best cars in the world, but that’s not very relatable to the average consumer. Instead, the company should tell a story about why making the best cars matters.
For example, the car keeps your family safe and provides peace of mind. Or perhaps the story is that the vehicle is reliable, which allows you to create unique experiences for years to come. Storytelling shapes branding and brings business to life.
Your brand’s identity is your brand’s identity, but you can’t create it in a bubble. For a brand to connect with people, it has to be refined with the audience in mind. The challenge of branding is to find out what your audience likes/wants and to shape your story around those desires without compromising your integrity or underlying identity. In other words, there needs to be some alignment, to begin with, but you can further push people toward your brand by telling your story in a way you know will resonate with them.
4. Consistent Voice
Finally, successful brands have a strong voice that they never deviate from – no matter what. And it’s in this consistency that you’ll cultivate loyal brand followers. To understand consistency, you need to recognize the difference between voice and tone.
“Voice is your brand’s personality described in an adjective. For example, a brand can be confident, professional, witty, or outspoken. Your voice stays consistent and does not change,” brand strategist Chelsea Alves writes. “Contrary to voice, the tone can change. Your tone is reflected in the way you deliver your message. Your brand’s tone will change depending on who you are speaking to or the message you are trying to convey. For example, you may use a humorous tone when writing an email to a coworker. Still, you would use a professional tone when writing a donation ask email to a group of high-level supporters.”
Consistency of voice is challenging to maintain across multiple platforms and mediums, but it’s an absolute must. Study how other brands do this and work hard to achieve consistent uniformity in your own efforts.
Putting It All Together
Great brands don’t materialize out of thin air. While the right products and services will undoubtedly take a company a long way, it’s ultimately the strategic branding that positions the business for long-term success. As you launch a brand – or reshape an existing one – take note of the characteristics listed above. Proficiency in these areas will always yield positive results.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.