You’ve honed your ideas and research and developed a great product or service. You feel like the hard work is done, but really, it’s just starting! Branding can be the most challenging part of a business. Previously, a brand identity was primarily its logo. The digital age has given companies new opportunities to craft a brand image and identity. Proper branding can be the difference between a great idea and a successful business.
What is Branding?
Branding is demonstrating your organization’s personality and identity. Powerful brands have created such a clear identity that customers can know who they are from a single image or slogan. Ultimately, after all your internal work, your brand is defined by your customer’s perceptions.
What Makes up Your Brand Identity?
Everything your company posts or writes, or creates is part of your brand identity, including:
- Colours and fonts
- Patterns and icons
- Website design
- Content and messaging
- Print or packaging
Step 1: Define Who You Are
Every successful brand has a clear and powerful purpose behind it. The pet market has shown itself to be recession-proof and continues to have significant growth potential. However, some big players dominate a lot of the market, and new players join the scene every day. How can your brand stand out in this competitive market? What is your brand’s purpose?
What do you do that is different from everyone else?
What is unique about your selling proposition?
What can you offer that others don’t or can’t?
The most effective way to stand out is to make a genuine connection with your audience. Make things personal. Your customers should read your material and feel like it was written to them directly. You most likely have competitors offering the same services or products with similar claims. How you communicate with potential customers is what will help set you apart.
The first step to crafting authentic materials to connect with customers is defining who you are and what you offer. Have an internal brainstorming session that involves people from throughout the organization. Make a list of all the services you provide or products you make and ones you don’t. Include WHY you chose to focus on what you do. List your strengths and weaknesses and collaborate about where you can improve and where you are already leading the industry.
This brainstorm session will be the foundation of your message and branding. You can’t tell customers what is unique about your organization until you really understand it yourself. A brand means living up to your values in everything you do. (2) Once your values are clearly defined, everything campaign, message, slogan, etc., needs to reflect them.
Step 2: Define Your Target Audience
Put the time into sketching out your ideal customer. What is their age group? What is important to them? What drives their buying decisions? Perhaps most importantly, what are their unmet needs?
Once you have defined your audience, how will you connect with them? Are they on Facebook? Will you find them on Instagram? Will they respond best to targeted email campaigns?
Step 3: Let Your Brand’s Personality Shine!
Customers relate to people, not brands. Your organization is your brand/your brand is your organization. Show your brand’s personality through authentic, genuine communication. You can balance professionalism with authenticity and end up with a voice that lets customers know who your brand is, what you value, what you stand for, and what makes you unique.
Step 4: Make it Professional
You have put the time and effort in to create an authentic, genuine brand. You have your internal team aligned and on board. Now you need to make the materials that will represent your brand identity. Don’t be afraid to get expert help. Now that you have a clearly defined identity, the right team can help you bring it to life.
Many tools will help you craft graphics, but they aren’t a replacement for a designer. The right designer can bring your brand identity to life, and this is worth the investment!
Even if you have some internal talent who can create content, you may still need some extra assistance. You want to be posting top-quality content regularly. It can be challenging for your internal team to crank out great material while also attending to the rest of their duties. Experts in content creation can get you material with the right tone, voice, and timely content to properly represent your pet brand.
Step 5: Consistency and Loyalty
For your customers to be loyal to your brand, your brand must be loyal to your identity. Doing an about-face on an issue will disillusion your audience and lose followers. Your content and messages need to be true to your core beliefs and values.
The Value of a Brand Identity
Building your brand identity is one of the most important steps to the success of your company. The team at StreetDog can help you hone your brand and build the content that will reflect your values, define your identity, and help your pet brand stand out.