How to create an effective brand

Brand creation or re-creation – is it just the same process?

Is your company experiencing a major organisational change?

Have you targeted an upturn in sales ?

Are you planning to break into new markets?

Then, sooner or later, you may benefit from a re-brand.

It’s time to take the first steps and consider what you want to achieve. Let’s look at the alternatives.

Created Brands

Some brands are created from scratch. No baggage exists, no name, no reputation, no opinions or experiences – for or against. There is no before, no existing customers, or market share.

Brands like Orange Mobile Telecom, First Direct Bank and Lexus came to market with no previous history.

A branding project generates a huge and exciting opportunity for the branding professional. But it’s a huge challenge.

Getting it wrong can cost you dearly.

Re-created Brands

These fall into three main categories:

  • A refresh
  • A marriage (or merger)
  • A full rebrand

Each one can be driven by wildly different circumstances.

Rebranding for an established company may be delicate. It is not cosmetic surgery for your business. There must be a justifiable reason.

Never rebrand because you’re bored with the existing one, or to follow the latest trend. If a brand already exists, it has customer recognition and a long-standing reputation.

Other considerations exist: suppliers, employees and shareholders. Done well, a rebrand makes a difference to the company’s product and service delivery – not just papering over cracks.

It must have substance, communicate value and be ready to attract loyal and dedicated customers. It can help a business say something new, shift old perceptions or give itself a dynamic new gloss coat.

But it can also backfire, especially if the products and services are well known.

Customers have their own ideas about what a brand stands for. Changing this perception can be a complex undertaking.

10 reasons why a rebrand could be the best bet:

  1. To revitalise an existing, outdated brand
  2. A shift in leadership
  3. To expand into new markets
  4. To increase competitive edge
  5. To improve the image of your product and increase sales
  6. When you have lost touch with the audience you are trying to attract
  7. If your main competitors have a stronger, more relevant brand image
  8. To incorporate major changes to your product or service offering
  9. When the brand no longer reflects the business or marketing strategies
  10. If you’re embarrassed to hand out your business card.

Remember, you’re creating a unique experience. When a brand takes hold in customers’ minds it puts you ahead of your competitors.

Any self-respecting brand specialist will tell you it pays to be cautious.

  1. Rebranding should never be taken lightly. Your brand image is your company’s most important asset and should distinguish you in any crowded marketplace.
  2. Even when a company is relatively successful, its brand must be properly differentiated. Even more so, when rebranding.
  3. Don’t cling to the past, especially if your brand is no longer relevant to the way your company operates today.
  4. Plan properly. Avoid leaping straight into a re-design of your brand image. First, thoroughly assess and re-evaluate your company strategy against where you are today.
  5. Take great care not to alienate your existing loyal customer base with your newly developed brand image.
  6. Having established your new brand, don’t rest on your laurels thinking the job is done. It has only just begun and will be far more effective when used across all areas of your business: customer communications, internal documents and online.

As a start-up business, an off-the-shelf logo and a hastily assembled website do not mean you are ready to go. Talk to the specialists in design and brand storytelling – I recommend Alan Russ at Bias Manchester. Expertise and experience will enhance your chances of success.

As an established business, looking to achieve greater potential, start by analysing:

  • Where you are today
  • Where you want to be in all your tomorrows, and
  • How you can navigate the tricky waters to get there safely and affordably.

It’s no quick fix. But it will inspire you and your staff to get behind your revitalised brand and give your organisation something to feel excited about.

Alan’s work has helped many businesses to establish a stronger brand, create awareness and open new markets while inspiring both loyal and new customers alike.

Tell the story of your brand and create something to be proud of from the moment you launch.

To find out more about creating your brand story, please get in touch today on 07711 371532.

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