Picture this: You’re buying a television. How many brand names immediately come to mind? Most people can only mention the top two or three brands in the television market. It’s the same with soft drinks, cars, chocolates—and even people.
This is testimony to the fact that irrespective of market competition—and how many products a customer uses—there’s only space for a few brands in a customer’s mind when it comes to spontaneous brand recall. This idea holds across diverse products and consumer groups.
Marketing executives of all young companies need to keep that in mind when coming up with a branding strategy. It’s crucial to understand what goes behind building a great brand before going all out and splurging money on brand campaigns. There are a few simple but critical points to consider.
Identify Your Business Archetype
What is an archetype? The surge of adrenaline that you associate with Red Bull, the design innovation that Apple inspires, the sense of challenge you feel when you are lacing up your Nike shoes, the satisfaction upon polishing off a Cadbury bar—these emotions that you connect with a brand are based on the archetype of that company.
Creating an archetype that embodies and emulates all you stand for should lead your priority list. Defining your archetype and the emotion associated with your brand helps nail down the direction and messaging of your branding campaigns. This is what your consumers, and even your stakeholders, are tuned in to.
Branding campaigns and events are designed to meet an overarching goal for your product and company. They attract the right kind of attention, make noise at the right time, stamp an impression on your target audience, generate leads and result in a healthy ROI.
Of course, quite a few variables are involved, such as the purpose behind your branding activities, the size of your company, the resources available at your disposal and the larger overall vision of the company. Analyzing these variables will initiate the theme and purpose of all of your branding efforts.
Think of long-term branding, even if it is a short-term campaign. Your campaign can change based on fluid requirements, but your brand archetype remains the same.
What’s the Bigger Story?
Most important, though, is that these aspects are in sync and come together to tell a larger story about your brand, the company and its purpose. People don’t always remember facts and data, but if you tell them a good story, it sticks.
You should be able to narrate a story, draw the customer in, tap into the emotion and gently emphasize the message about your brand. Having a great product, a memorable tagline and an aesthetically pleasing logo won’t do your brand any good if you don’t spin a good story.
The story should also be told at the right time. Startups should not hurry to go into the world and talk about themselves—but they should initiate the storytelling before the industry they are in begins forming opinions about them. Entrepreneurs should find the opportune time to launch their branding campaign, start telling the story and carry this message along as they scale. By doing this, they will also be able to take the customer along with them in their journey.
It cannot be repeated enough: When it comes to the branding game, there is room for only a few brands. Make sure you know what your archetype is, what your vision is, what you want to be known as—and stitch them together with an emotional and heartfelt story.
At the end, the effort will be worth it. When you can really talk to your customer’s heart, you’ll start a beautiful journey together.
After all, we do think with our hearts.