Daily Archives: February 4, 2012

2012 Tips to build a brand

If the past five years have taught us anything, it is that branding is more than just a web presence. A brand is a relationship between customers and a business.

1- The Name

When it comes to creating a great brand, it all starts with the name. Businesses with killer names typically achieve one of these five elements:

  • Solution-oriented – A great name will clue you into what the product can do for you.
  • Keywords – Like the above, a great name also ties in keywords to help brand name recall.
  • Timelessness – This is a hard one. Basically, you need to try and create a name that isn’t going to go out of fashion but be relevant 5, 10 or even 20 years from now.
  • Easy to understand – Create a name that is easy to understand and pronounce. And avoid translation problems.
  • Symbolic – If you think about a name like Apple, it seems pretty simple at first blush. But behind it is the mythic story of Adam and Eve eating the apple from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Steve Jobs seemed to be saying knowledge is a good thing.

2- Texture

From a physical product like a box of chocolates to software app like DropBox or business cards to websites,  when it comes to design you have to consider so many variables like size or resolution.

3- Fixture Your Brand Color

Choosing the right color for your brand is critical. It can impact things like reader time on a webpage to productivity levels of workers in a room. It can even impact customer loyalty.

For the brick-and-mortar companies this is especially important since they are trying to raise sales online. To boost sales companies need to create ecommerce experiences that are similar to what they would find in the store. This is where color can be very helpful.

4- Presence

This is perhaps the toughest one for a small business to manage since it is so expensive to maintain market presence.

5- Awareness

Tied into your presence is top-of-mind awareness. Do your customers know what you sell and where to get it? The higher your brand’s awareness, the better your sales results will be.

There are five stages to brand awareness.

  • Most Aware – Customers know you, your brand and your product.Including the features and benefits. It’s because of their color, texture, typography, reputation and presence are all consistent.
  • Product-Aware  – Your customers have a passing sense of what products you offer. This is your neutral Apple fan.Someone who is not convinced your products are a fit for him.
  • Solution-Aware – Customers understand that they have a problem.But do not know that your particular company provides a product to solve that problem.
  • Problem-Aware – In this case your target customer knows that he has a problem and needs to solve it.But doesn’t know if there is a product out there that can do it.
  • Completely Unaware – At this stage your customer doesn’t know he has a problem or that there is a solution to it.

6- Positioning

One of the most important…if not the most important…component to building a brand that can increase sales and lock in customer loyalty is the issue of position. Your brand must differentiate clearly between you and your competitors. Here’s how you establish that

  • Consumer Expectations – What does the customer think he will get from your brand? This is harder for startups who’ve not established any expectations. And it’s best you manage your reputation early and often. Never let consumer expectations get out of your control.
  • Competitor attributes – The way your brand is positioned is also influenced by the features and benefits your competitors offer their customers. This is why competitor intelligence is so important.

7- The Price

The final piece to the brand puzzle is pricing. This is such an element of value because most people will think a product that is priced high is of better quality than a product that is priced low. That’s calledprice sensitivity…and it impacts people in different situations.

For example, if you want to buy a new car and decide that you only want to spend $22,000 to $25,000, any price in that range will not bother you. The moment the price goes above that range, however, and you will flinch. The secret is to figuring out a price that will make you money without scaring your customers away.