How do you build brand loyalty with a unique Brand Identity?
Our markets are flooded with products that are identical in specifications. But, their sales numbers are different; some are instant success in the market, while many fail. What distinguishes them? It is the brand identity that makes the difference. Buyers perceive products by attaching the brand identity to the product. This reveals that brand value weighs more than the product itself. This urge from the customers to buy a product from a brand is brand loyalty. Many factors are involved in the brand identity that helps build brand loyalty.
A symbol that represents a company or a product in a unique manner is called a logo. Designing a good logo is one of the many essential steps to establishing a strong brand identity in the market. Thus, it helps in building brand loyalty. A business needs to grow over time to become a good brand and be established and identified amongst competitors.
The word 'brand' has come from the marks that ranchers put on their cattle to identify them and not let them get mixed up with animals from the other herds. With time, "brand" grew up to be an even bigger idea growing beyond the notion of just a name, a tag or just a symbol.
Growing a brand becomes crucial when setting out to start and establish a company or a business. Establishing a name as a brand is a much more difficult task than starting a business. Acquiring the status of a brand requires time and years of presence and the zeal to keep fighting in the game.
A brand is a term or a name representing a service or a product unique in the market. Even though elements like a logo and identity are essential, a brand consists of much more. The brand is an entity that grows in the customers' minds more than the physical manifestations of the business or the company. For instance, a brand like Coca-Cola has a certain image in people's minds. The brand identity Coco-Cola has a sum of everything that has happened in the brand since its beginning. Thus, the brand grows an individuality in the minds of its customers over time. Over time this develops brand loyalty in the minds of customers.
Building brand loyalty
A customer associates certain ideas and emotions with a company, reflected in and through the brand. A brand is a life-long relationship that a customer and a company have. Also, a brand has an identity that resonates with its customers. A brand can become the foundation for a marketing strategy. A company that grows into a brand has a certain trust that it grows and builds up over time in the minds of its customers. This trust urges the customer to choose that particular product or service over the others in the future, too, no matter the circumstances. Everything the company does from the website, blogs, corporate identity, photographs, and videos are potential tools to reach the masses and grow a unique and strong brand. This is how brand uniqueness establishes brand loyalty.
A brand identity comprises and communicates certain aspects of the brand to the customers. This includes the brand's voice, the brand's values, and the products. A brand further talks about the feeling or sensation a business wants to communicate with the people. Thus, a brand becomes the individuality and the identity of a business. It is a promise and a bond that a business grows with its clients or customers. A product leaves a long-lasting impression on the customers even after the sale. Creating a unique brand is also a tool to establish brand loyalty.
The importance of an identity
A brand, being an entity that grows in the mind of the customers, its role is significant in growing the business. There are many companies around us and many of them, even though they are quite popular, are not as prominent as the others regarding the brand value associated with them.
Companies like Microsoft and Coca-Cola are easily recognisable as brands rather than just companies. They have built brand loyalty over years of experience, experiments and making its presence felt in the business. Microsoft is a familiar name to almost all personal computer users and operates most of the world's PCs.
Features of a well-developed brand identity
A logo becomes the face of a business. It should look cool and still be more than just that. The logo of a company like Amazon, McDonald's, or Coca-Cola is familiar to the public. It is almost iconic and gives a clear idea to the customers of what it offers. Moreover, it also brings the company's name into the customers' minds. This, in turn, helps them in building brand loyalty.
A brand identity goes far beyond just making a memorable entity in the customers' minds. An identity helps a brand grow trust and credibility among the customers and establish brand loyalty. This increases with the brand and its identity over time. Thus, a good brand commands authority in the desired market, among competitors --and has a distinct identity.
A brand's identity is a part of advertisements, and the advertisements carry the identity forever. Advertisements could appear on any media like the newspaper, a magazine, the radio, or the TV. The brand's identity is reflected in its advertisement; thus, it creates and leaves behind an image.
Further, an identity extends to a mission. Mission implies the core purpose of the company. We could gather an idea about a brand's mission from the image it tries to generate and project through the products, the advertisements, and other mentions in the mainstream media and social media circles.
Growing to a point where there is an easily identifiable recognition, and a mission is a significant milestone in a brand's long journey. This qualifies and helps the brand attract people who share interests similar to those of the brand. Once a group of people find the ideals and the product of the brand interesting and worthy of approval, they start identifying and appreciating the brand.
Challenges faced in building brand loyalty and the efficient approach
Some situations are indispensable in carving out an identity. All the brands face these challenges in one form or the other. Adopting a strategy with answers for this crisis would be ideal while facing the challenge.
Research and analysis of the market or the field where the product or company falls significantly play a brand's identity growth. The necessity of research doesn't only arise in this case. Still, it is an element that contributes to the overall betterment, as one can take necessary steps based on the results brought forth by the research. It is difficult to progress beyond a certain point without conducting research. Research has to be carried out at various levels and in multiple domains.
The first area of research is the audience. When a brand sells a product to youngsters, it will mold the approach in a certain fashion, and this need not necessarily be the same strategy that they will use when their target customers are adults or middle-aged. Adopting the right strategy requires good research of the audience and the potential customer base.
Research the competition
When the business and brand grow further, research must go beyond the target or the customers. Understanding the other names in the game and their strategies helps grow the brand. Competition is always a healthy trait in a business. A well-documented knowledge of the competitors' strategy is an excellent preparation method for a better chance of winning the competition. Knowing the techniques used by the competitors helps a brand grow unique and more efficient techniques in this context.
A brand or business's mission is crucial as it tries to enter the game and build brand loyalty. A mission is a unique characteristic, and it makes a brand distinct since the values they carry are visible in its goals and purpose. The mission is an essential element of identity since an aim or a destination has a crucial role in defining the business's path in the coming years.
The personality is another vital pursuit that a brand has to get clear cut out for them. It is easier for human beings to understand something with a personality. The way a brand appears and presents itself says much about its personality. The colours chosen, the word choice, the images, video clips used, the design of the advertisements, and the website's appearance are all effective tools to help a brand build a personality of its own.
Understanding your strengths gives you confidence and an edge over your competitors. POP Fit would be a good example of a clear understanding of the concept of strengths. POP Fit is a clothing brand that advocates body positivity through its designs. They design various sizes from XXS to 4XL and use their unique signature fabric that can stretch four ways. The colour choices and designs on the fabric are also made after a significant amount of deliberation, leading to the final choice made by POP Fit. The advertisements feature wheelchair users and people of various body types and tones. This helps them give a message that they advocate inclusivity. POP Fit's strength gives them a clear upper hand and makes the brand a healthy yet very able competitor in the game.
Weakness is the counterpart of strength; thus, it is near impossible to separate and preserve the strengths alone. But understanding the weakness is helpful; eventually, the brand could start working out its weak spots. Rectifying the weakness takes time and effort, but it is vital for the brand's overall development.
Updating by regularly observing the trends and scope of the market would help choose the best steps to take and take actions at exactly the right time. This helps in getting an edge over the other players. For even a little duration, lagging could become the starting point of a great fall.
A threat could be an element that could hurt the company or harm the environment. Knowing a danger in time could help resolve the problem at the earliest and be prepared for it when it strikes.
A clear idea of the business leads us to the next step: designing a logo and the templates. Design is said to be a brand's silent ambassador.
The logo of a brand appears everywhere. It is a minor thing, similar to a hyperlink in its function. The logo could, however, mean and stand for the entire brand. A logo, advertisements, business cards, and almost everything associated with the brand appear on the website. Therefore, the logo must work well with the places it appears.
The golden arches are associated with McDonald's, identified worldwide. It was present on nearly everything associated with McDonald's. Visual representation of the brand is key in keeping the identity alive and consistent in the customers' minds. Humans are more suggestive of patterns, and the mind can associate images with data without much effort. The packaging of products and how they relate to the brand, the colours on the packaging box, and the shape of the box are all significant elements even though they might appear silly or relatively minuscule from a broader point of view.
The typing font is a trigger that could imply a brand. Consistent use of type font is essential, and this helps to attain cohesion across websites or documents. The choice of colours and type font has to be made after a straightforward and elaborate thought process since the reader experience is affected by the font and the colour.
Nike uses a consistent font for its advertisements and website; thus, it has become associated with the brand. Defining templates for the handouts, emails, and letters is effective as it is related to creating an identity. With the help of templates and maintaining uniformity across certain elements, a brand could portray a professional and reliable image in the minds of the customers and the viewers.
All the elements like templates, designs, and the type font bring the best result when used consistently. The look of an email, the website, the newsletter, the handout, and relatedness bring a sense of harmony to the identity generated through various elements and mediums.
Being consistent does not mean that everything remains the same without any changes. Bringing changes over time keeps the image flexible, a valuable tool since the customer gets bored of the old design and easily types the font. For a brand to maintain consistency even when they change its appearance partly, specific measures could help. Bringing small changes slowly in the overall appearance could prove to be efficient. A change in design made in the website will be a more established change is shown on the emails and the letters first. Updating the look, the advertising campaigns, and the taglines are other helpful methods to maintain consistency while bringing about changes and keeping the audience interested.
Detailed documentation of a brand or product guidelines could be helpful when a brand's identity comes into question. Skype is an excellent example of a brand with decent documentation of the dos and don'ts. There is an agreement where the guidelines rule out the values and opinions of the brand to which the customers should agree. This agreement was very helpful in developing brand loyalty.
Ways to build brand loyalty
Integrating a brand with a community has to happen when established and has gone a long way into developing it. Providing good content is essential when a community and a network are present. The content provided by the brand defines the presence of a brand online. It speaks out for the brand, and one could use it in various manners. The content reflects the brand and its ideas, and if well put, content could prove to be a catalyst for developing a brand identity. If the content is excellent, it becomes a great tool to build brand loyalty; if it is bad, it could reflect how unorganised and boring a brand is.
Use of Language
A language can reflect the personality of a brand. Therefore, depending on the desired image, one could choose a professional or conversational language. Language could decide the approach of the brand to the people. The language becomes the tone of a brand's approach; hence, it is important to choose words with much care and due diligence.
A brand's relationship with the customers could gradually build brand loyalty. This emotional bond could be a good foundation for building a long-lasting relationship.
An advertisement is a gateway between the brand and the public or the potential customers and the best way to build brand loyalty. The way the brand draws a self-portrait could generate a long-lasting impression, necessitating the brand to advertise to have a good image and establish brand loyalty.
21st-century brands are blessed with free and compelling plots online where brands can advertise and create content through which they can build brand loyalty. Social media is free and could be the best friend for brands, as they could learn a lot about the target and their interests through social media. Unlike other platforms, social media needs a very meagre and, sometimes, no expense from the brand. A brand could grow its individuality and spread its vision for free through the internet on a social media platform. Using a theme or a message on social media and updating it regularly without losing the brand's mission would make for a grand advertisement scheme. Social media can also help when a company tries to communicate regularly and connect with the audience. Posting content and media regularly and being present online could help.
One could also achieve efficient customer communication and build brand loyalty through social media. Thus, the brand could ensure that the message signalling they are concerned about the customers and that they are ready to talk is seen and felt. How the brand responds to its clients is significant as it gets associated with its image.
Companies often face certain challenges even when the preparations are complete, and the brand has a reputation, value, and brand loyalty. Challenges are healthy traits as they throw light on the weak spots. Following specific measures can help prevent many issues from arising in the future.
Being clear with the messages and ideas is essential in communication. The brand has to be efficient in communicating its desired note with the customers or on the website and social media. An ambiguous response could bring in much trouble, and preventing such a situation from arising is ideal.
It is easy to lose track of a positive movement when you are short of a view from a different perspective. Monitoring comes in handy as a tool to suggest if the current track is getting us the desired results. Analysing the comments on social media, using Google analytics, conducting surveys, and using social media for discussions and feedback are useful tools to help monitor. These steps help in analysing and improving on the weaknesses.
A brand grows beyond a logo when it becomes a symbol of trust. And when it implies and invokes an identity and a sense of belongingness. A brand identity demands more from a company since it transcends the status of a company and establishes brand loyalty. To clarify, a brand is a promise made to the customers.
Every brand is a result of the countless hours of hard work of a bunch of individuals, but not all of them get the same level of recognition. People don't buy products from certain brands despite the value they offer; on the contrary, people wait for the product of some brands knowing that there are better options available in the market. This is because of brand loyalty; every successful business in the world has managed to build brand loyalty. If you are new in business, you must start building brand identity and brand loyalty.
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