Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small. Branding is the art of aligning what customers think about a company with what the company wants them to think. For example, if Nike is mentioned, the first thing that comes to most people’s mind is Michael Jordan. Nike has made an effort to align itself with professional, star athletes so that customers will buy their brand because of the emotional association with the athlete.
A brand is not tangible; it is how a person thinks or feels about that particular company or product. A brand represents the collection of visual images, experiences, and emotional responses that define a person’s opinion of that company or product.
An effective branding strategy gives companies a major edge in increasingly competitive markets. To grow a business, the brand presence must be created, grown and managed to gain competitive differentiation. There are several steps necessary to achieve an effective branding strategy.
The first step taken by a company needs to be creating a vision that answers the question: What do I want to be known for? A vision gives the company leadership and communications team a clear picture of what they hope to achieve and what their ultimate non-monetary goals are for their company. A carefully defined vision is imperative because it provides direction to the company’s decisions, gives purpose to all actions, and influences the company’s practices.
After the vision is clearly defined, then the company needs a mission statement. The mission statement of a company is the description of why the company ultimately exists and supports the goals outlined in the brand’s vision. The mission statement must be actionable, allowing a company to define what exactly the company will accomplish. This will lead to the development of a brand platform.
A brand platform sets the pattern in which a company communicates with customers, prospective customers, employees, partners and the general public. Frozen Fire has developed a high-speed, low-cost methodology for building out a brand. A company needs a brand strategy in order to effectively communicate and differentiate in all forms of digital media, website design and digital marketing plans.
A company’s brand is its promise to the customer. The brand informs audiences internally and externally on what can be expected from the company regarding its products and services. The brand is what differentiates a company from its competition. Consistent, strategic branding leads to a company’s ability to separate itself from its competitors and create a strong brand identity.