A Look at Branding and Rebranding Strategies

Whether raising a business from the ground up or a corporation at the top of its game, branding is one of the most important aspects that’ll affect it.

While it’s not the first thing you’ll be focusing on, it helps retain consumers in the long run.

A brand is more than an aesthetic; it’s a complete identity that breathes life into your business.

It brings consumers to your doorstep and keeps them returning for more.

When choosing a branding strategy, you need to focus on several aspects and create a perfect balance that gives a positive message and encourages people to invest their money in your business.

Brand Identity

A brand identity is more than your official colours, logo or font. It’s the core values the company was built on and what makes it unique from the inside out.

So identity means what the company is.

Like a person, a company is an entity with several aspects.

When you present your business in the marketplace, you have a target audience and a particular image.

A brand identity is based on your core values and how you want to be perceived by consumers.

What sort of feelings does your brand need to invoke?

To establish a brand identity, you first need a cohesive theme.

Are you going for pale aesthetics with simple fonts or loud splashes with bubble letters?

To simplify the process, you can first decide on three keywords that will define your brand and stick to them.

They don’t have to be wholly related, but they shouldn’t be so dissimilar that you have difficulty finding a common aspect.

What is your mission?

Are you leading a sustainable Coffee brand or a tech company hoping to shape the future?

Decide what difference you want to make and what impact your brand should have.

If it makes things easier, envision a character.

What would your brand appear as if you could give life to it? Then, once you’ve established a solid brand identity, you can decide on the perfect strategy to ensure that as many possible buyers are aware of it.

What is Your Vision?

Once you have a mission, decide what your goal is.

It doesn’t have to be only one, but a particular message should be associated with your brand. And that message and purpose work together to create a vision.

A vision is necessary because a brand strategy shouldn’t just encompass a brand’s present but what it hopes to be in the future.

An excellent example of a brand strategy is Nike. The sportswear company’s message lies in believing that anyone can be an athlete, and their slogan, ‘Just do it,’ enforces it simply and effectively.

It helps if you also keep the purpose of the business at the forefront.

Making money is a premier goal, but achieving something more meaningful is just as important.

The Swedish furniture brand IKEA promotes trying to create a better daily life with affordable, well-designed and comfortable products.

Everything about your brand strategy comes from your message and vision because that forms the base of your business.

You can’t sell something that doesn’t exist.

Keep your target audience in mind, and consider how you can make life better for them or how your products would factor into their life. 84% of marketers will tell you how vital brand awareness is, and you can only work on awareness if there’s something solid to work with.

 Creating Emotional Connection

 People run on emotions, and you can’t create a successful business without figuring out how to make meaningful connections with your customers.

Although corporations can’t have a deep emotional connection, they can create a sense of belonging and community through forums.

It’s easy to create discussion pages around your brand values.

Why do people want an Apple phone? Or why is the Apple/Samsung and Coke/Pepsi rivalry so famous? It gets people talking and taking sides.

They want to be part of the ‘cool’ crowd. As a result, owning Apple products has become a status symbol, resulting from solid branding.

Or brands can make their vision feel like a movement, especially if they donate to charities or focus on sustainability.

Even if we take Nike, their message creates a feeling of inclusivity.

We see athletes do seemingly impossible feats every day, but promoting health and focusing on encouraging everyone gives them an inspiring brand strategy which fits their company.

A message that connects and lets people relate to them is important, but what comes after is just as necessary.

If you’re aiming for a funky, non-conformist image, then make sure your products embody that feeling rather than feeling like an empty vessel.

Shared values bring your consumers together because brand loyalty only exists if the company has high-quality products, but these values will make them stay longer.

Even your customer service should be approachable enough to fit your brand. For example, if you have an image of smiling employees, but tired or stern voices answer the phones, it creates a jarring dissonance which might discourage customers from reaching out.

 Choosing Colours and Staying Consistent Across Platforms

 Consider this: it only takes around 7 seconds for the average consumer to form an impression of your brand, and usually, the first thing they’ll register is the colours.

So it’s extremely important to be careful when picking out what’ll be associated with the brand for years to come.

Just the right colours can improve brand recognition by 80%. But, again, they say the first impression is the last.

It’ll control how interested a prospective customer is in exploring your brand, so the colours should be geared towards a particular audience.

One comparison is that most skincare brands lean towards nude or pale colour palettes to give a ‘clean’ feel, while makeup brands often use gold and bronze to give a luxurious feel.

Similarly, you’ll notice many printing presses or media companies with blue, which is known to encourage trust and fast food chains with red and yellow (think McDonald’s and KFC) because one generates hunger.

 At the same time, the latter is associated with comfort.

This part is where psychology plays a role, and large corporations have psychologists and market analysts hired solely to observe consumer behaviour and how marketing and branding decisions affect it.

There’s also no need to overcomplicate it; there are only one or two colours in 95% of the top 100 brands in the world.

Apart from that, once you start associating a colour with a brand, you’ll need to maintain consistency. For example, apple’s famous logo is one of the world’s well-known symbols; just that image is enough.

Similarly, every Coke ad and picture has its trademark red aesthetic, whether it’s their Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram. So once you decide on your colours, stick with them.

Keeping up With the Strategy

 Finally, remember to observe. Pay attention to strategies and what works and doesn’t work so you can learn and be agile.

Don’t drag your feet; evolve when needed and develop new strategies.

Considering A Rebranding?

 Identify Your Purpose

Usually, there are three reasons behind a rebranding; refreshing your message, a merger which calls for blending identities, or a complete redo after bankruptcy or a crisis.

There’s a lot you can do here; if you’re going for a revamped look, then there can be some tweaks to the logo here and there to give a cleaner look.

Other times, a partial rebranding can occur where you change the logo but retain the colours or other aspects.

At times, brands change the packaging while the product remains the same.

Or you want to take elements from two brands and mesh them together after a merger.

Whatever the reason, you’ll need a clear purpose and message.

Unless you want it to backfire, your reasoning needs to be solid, and the rebranding needs to resonate.

Customers don’t care about a brand; they care about what they get from it and their emotions towards it.

Consider What’s in the Balance

Again, remember that the rebrand needs to make sense, or it’ll confuse consumers.

You need to be confident and prepared before you start.

Just like branding for the first time, you’ll need a game plan.

Observe the market; if you want to promote differently, you need to know what your present customers think.

Remember to rebuild your online presence so that brand awareness increases because occasional buyers might fail to recognize brands that have changed drastically, and you’ll lose customers.

Whether you’re drawing up a branding or rebranding plan, always keep the average target consumer in mind. You should create a common link between people and ensure your brand’s imprinted in their minds.

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