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Who to Brand. You? Your Biz? Your Product?

That happens quite often. Once the Business starts working, the owner decides to establish the brand. It’s a big responsibility; that means the stronger your business, the better experience you can deliver to your clients. And, here are three branding ways to choose.

The first way is to Transform You into a Brand.

Name your site with your name and promote your photos on every banner or poster you share. That works well for artists, dancers, Stylists, and Photographers or any other creative entrepreneur whose product depends on the creator’s personality.
There are pros and cons. If you are not comfortable with the publicity, it may be a bad idea. If you want to sell this business sooner or later, it might be difficult, but not impossible. A bright side – you don’t need to create much, the ready-made persona is already here. With some polishing and adjustments towards Leadership and Personal Branding – all is done.
Examples: Marina Abramovich, Picasso, Karl Lagerfeld

Second is to brand your company.

Creating a Brand for your business means to create a promise to your customers. The Product Quality, Presentation, Promotion Material all follow the particular rules to deliver a consistent and recognisable result. Once the buyer experiences the product, it also gets a set of information which goes with it and creates a connection between clients’ emotions and the brand.
There are pros and cons as well. It’s a tough job to create a very complex system which promotes your business even when you’re asleep. The brand has its value, it adds to the cost of the company if you want to sell it. You can delegate the work to other people as the enterprise isn’t associated with a particular person.
Examples: Disney, Lego, Samsung

The third way is to brand your Product

If your company has many products, you may like to brand products. Just like Unilever has Dove, Knorr, Lipton, Surf and many others. Their products, even compete sometimes, but it benefits the main company nevertheless. So if you have a broad range of goods, you may like to choose this method of branding.

After all, it’s all about the three “How”s. How are you going to present yourself, How you are going to attract clients, How you are going to make them buy your products or services?

5 Reasons to have a better brand for successful business. The reason No 2

Brand doesn’t only make you different than competitors. It also allows you to share you values and ideas and become much more than just a regular product or service.

Our example here will be more than obvious – Apple. Personally, I met many people who can’t imagine their life without Apple products. They speak about Android devices in rather a petty manner. As if they have all world and you, the little android holder has only a handle from the door to this world. Well, it may sound pathetic, but these people give a huge advantage to some smart marketers.

Check it out. iPhones and Macs share typical aesthetic which defines a minimalistic style in design for a few generations. Guess what these people buy? Yes, my friend, I believe you guess right. They buy other stuff in same minimalistic style. Means you can target them if your product or service share similar values like Apple.

You can define other groups of people that love other brands dearly. And you will find that they share similar values like the brands they like.

Usually, it makes the promotional planning a lot easier. If your target group prefers Mercedes, check their campaign. If they love Karl Lagerfeld, see what values Karl Lagerfeld promotes.

Eventually, you will create your values which your tribe will follow, but just for a start, follow the leaders and their tribe and get fast results from research they have already done.

So the reason No 2.

The brand is in sharing the values and attracting like-minded people to your products and services.

Check all 5 reasons to have a better brand:

No. 1 “Branding helps you create a unique impression and gives you a chance to be memorable.”
No. 2 “The brand is in sharing the values and attracting like-minded people to your products and services.”
No. 3 “Good brand motivates your team and customers”
No. 4 “Branding helps you advertise effectively &creates a connection between the product and the customer.”
No. 5 “Brand adds value to your business”

All you need to know about your Target Audience.

Target Audience is a core theme of any promotion, advertising campaign and of course, business strategy. It’s a particular group of people within the specific target market which is going to buy your product and listen to your advertising messages.

To sell successfully, we need to find these people. And surely we will start with an idea and imagination. Imagine your ideal customer who is this person and why is he or she going to purchase your products or services?

Not all consumers are the same. Some people will prefer to buy your goods and others will not. Some will love to buy from you but will not be able to afford it. So your main criteria, as always, is the capability and zeal to spend some money for your stuff.

Business needs to recognise what problem their product or service solves, or what demands it meets, to set the “target audience” .

And now let’s create our ideal customer.

The First level of understanding is Demographics.

  • What is the age of your TA?
  • What is TA gender (he, she, other)?
  • What ethnic/cultural/religious group your TA belongs to?
  • What is their income level?
  • Are they single or married or divorced?
  • Do they have children or do they support elders in the family?
  • What are they doing for a living?
  • What type of education they got?

Geographic Sub Level

  • Where are your customers located?

The answers will allow you to understand who is your target audience on a very basic level.

The Second level is Psychographics
This level is a bit deeper and requires some field work. Some marketers recommend following your customer to understand what they do during the day. (I think you can start with a few questions before you become a detective) –

  • What values your TA shares?
  • What interest and hobbies it has?
  • What type of lifestyle it has? (this is important to understand that we are dealing with real lifestyle and not the social media one. A lifestyle is defined in three main sections – activities, interests, and opinions).
  • What books or magazines they read?
  • Which sites they visit?
  • Whom do they vote for during election?

The third level is Behavioral. Dig deeper.

  • What makes them buy?
  • Who influences them?
  • What type of purchase do they love – online or offline?
  • Also, where do they read and how do they consume information?
  • How do they spend the day? (For example, people who drive the car to work will not be able to read a newspaper during this time, but will be able to get some audio information. On the other hand, the person who reaches the work by metro has plenty of time for reading, but may prefer listening to something on headphones instead).

A deep analysis of this level will help you get how to reach your customers.

Moving Forward

The moment you create a portrait of your ideal customer and research on it in real life, start asking them questions. Analyse the market. Do they like to buy your products if no why, if yes when? You may find out that your imaginary target audience has nothing to do with your product and you could make more money with a better targeting.

Once upon a time, we were working with the bra company which primarily sold one type of bra to teenagers for over twenty years. The product was very old-fashioned and we doubted that teenagers would buy anything like this. So we did a research and found out that product is doing pretty well. Except we were right, for the last 20 years, very few teenagers got it as a gift. The main buyers were ladies over the age of sixty. They did love cotton fabric, great range of sizes and super affordable prize. Could the client make better if he advertised to this group?

Want more? Read how to find your target audience.

What is brand and branding? The meaning and definition.

To find out what is branding, let’s first remember the definition of a brand.

The brand is the image created in a customers’ mind. It forms when the customer experiences product or service related to a particular company and consumes its messages through the various information channels.

Accordingly, the branding is a process which involves a lot of things. Some of them are — Name Creation, Identity creation (Logo, corporate style, site, etc.), Defining Target audience, creating Brand personality, the Voice and Visual Communication rules. Once all this is established and a positioning statement is set, the most interesting part takes place. Following the brand guidelines, advertising agency creates an image of the brand in the customer’s mind via messages, images, actions and more.

Once you understand the brand process, everything looks clear. However, you can sell with advertisement only once. All next sales will be based on the quality of the product and service. Customers may not remember the promotion which forced him or her to buy the product, but he or she will always remember the experience.

How design and photography work for your brand

I’ve been working in the advertising industry for many years. Once upon a time, I was a designer and it was a tough job. But life changed, and if you need to create a design for your online communication today, you can make pretty good artwork on your own. Here are some ideas how.

Part 1. Less is bliss.

The better design — the lesser the unnecessary elements it has. Remove all redundant components and keep only indispensable ones to achieve perfection.

  • Less means — readable fonts, it is better to use professional fonts (check some here)
  • Less means — enough of breathing space around the elements of your design, also, it makes the design look more expensive. (Check Apple Ads)
  • If you are not trained to design professionally, NEVER use this: gold decorations, free unreadable fancy fonts, and acid-bright gradients (unless you sell golden toilets to Russian oligarchs)

Part 2. To Know or not know the software.

Some people think that the software knowledge miraculously transforms them into designers. Wrong! If you just know Corel Draw or Photoshop you are not a designer yet, you are a person who knows Corel Draw or Photoshop.

The software is a tool. You have to know it without a doubt. But artistic taste, composition, understanding of colour, broad knowledge of typography, drawing skills, and many other artistries are more important then new devices and programmes.

Hint: Think with a pencil in the hand!

Part 3. Photography and design.

If you add a logo to the photo, it’s already a design attempt and it brings more information to the customer than a just photo or a logo itself.

  • If your message is more important than the photo, check out the balance between both. Buyer’s attention has to be on the headline, message or call to action.
  • If you plan the photo shoot, check out if you leave enough of space for the text in you photographs. Plan it in advance. (Check how to plan photoshoot)
  • Click some backgrounds on location to add text over them later. Let them not be too cluttered. You can click interiors, landscape, textures and many other things to use them as backgrounds in the future projects. Try to keep in mind what type of business you advertise; it may give an idea which textures you may need, or what backgrounds will correspond with your concept more.
  • Always remember the difference between commercial and editorial photography. While one product on a white base with little text may sell the phone, it won’t show the story behind. If you need a story, the creatives have to tell it.

Social media platforms and print media may be suitable for different type of design and photography. Do your research to find out which pictures will engage your audience better and on which platform to place them.

Part 4. Design as it is.

Many times you may like to use the design without any photography. And when you start to create your brand, it’s great to know how it will work via pure design; how it will work via pure photography; or how it will manifest itself via a combination of design + photography.

  • The pure design aesthetic requires a clearer font solutions, careful colour choices and supporting elements such as icons.
  • Even if we add an elaborate illustration or infographic to it, the brand message and style still have to be delivered to a consumer.

Part 5. Easy templates.

With easy technology in hands nowadays, more people can create good looking compositions. Use canva.com or fotor.com both of these online designing and editing sites will help the beginners via sets of fantastic templates and predesigned elements. Both sites have some advantages and disadvantages, so try them and choose one which you appreciate more.

  • If you want to create decent creatives, follow the template to a T. If you see four letters in the template word — use a four-letter word. If they use some font, do not change it. If they use those colours, it’s probably on purpose.
  • Eventually, you will be able to create similar designs on your own. But it will require some time, learning and practice.
  • Both sites are amazing platforms to hone your creative skills and give a real push to your Social media.

In conclusion

Design and photography are the versatile elements of visual communication. They can work independently or in combination. The illustrations, icons, fonts and other components have to be used in moderation to crave the ideal brand message for people who are going to buy your product.

P.S. Read more about design and photography in my new book “Good photo = good brand”. Cheers 🙂