Branding is the key ingredient to every company’s success. It makes it recognizable, memorable and builds awareness. With visibility, you can become an international success and a market leader. All you need is a great first impression (that’s what branding is for) and then high-quality products and customer service. Also, with a consistent image, you can build authority and reputation within the chosen industry, which is also beneficial. Do you want people to recommend your business to their family and friends? Make sure they will never forget your logo, slogan, colors and other visual elements that make your brand stand out from the crowd.
You probably think that designing a proper, unique branding strategy takes a lot of time, but also requires a lot of effort and knowledge. That is partially true, but with this article, it will get much easier. Why? Because we provide crucial questions that you should ask yourself when creating a long-term plan for your brand’s success and recognition. With explanations to support you when you answer them.
We recommend collaborating with an experienced IT partner that offers branding services (like itCraft), too. This way, you will get access to skilled professionals that will prepare a strategy for your business to conquer your niche. They will help you answer all the questions below and ask more if something is not clear. Let’s go!
10 branding strategy questions you need to consider
Remember that every company is different, so the answers will vary as well. These are just examples of questions that will boost your creativity and fire up your motivation to analyze your business, target clients, industry, products and services. Think about your daily operations, processes and other essential activities. Everything matters in your branding strategy because it is responsible for customers’ perception of your company.
What industry do you operate in?
You might think we are starting easy. For example, as a telemedicine company, you will say you operate in the healthcare industry. But is it always so simple? Your product can be jewelry, but if it has a specific style, it will also be a part of a niche that will most likely buy your earrings or necklaces – like goth or hippie. Many food items have the same situation. They are snacks but can also be a part of breakfast, which is a broader category.
Think about your offer. You can have a mobile app that is a part of the online industry. But it’s also not a product for everyone. It has a very particular target group. That is another niche you can call your own. For instance, a workout app falls into the fitness area of digital products and is used by people that want to get into better physical shape. This more accurate industry is definitely more important than the wider, more general one. It will determine your branding strategy because this is the audience you want to speak to.
Who are your customers?
One of the most critical points, not only when forming a branding strategy, but for running a business in general. You need to know precisely who you are selling your product to. That will determine all your marketing communication. Creating a persona is the best tool for this purpose.
You define your ideal customer’s name, gender, location, occupation, material and marital status, likes, dislikes and other useful details. This way, you will get to know them better and will be able to prepare a branding that will speak to them. Your solution has to inform these people from first sight that it’s dedicated for them.
Who are your competitors?
And all of them. We really mean that. Let’s say you have a mobile app that is a part of the social networks niche. For example, a video streaming service. It will not only compete with other video platforms but also with photo-sharing apps, various social media websites and even mobile games because they also provide entertainment for your customers that have a bit of free time.
When you have a list of competitors, analyze their communication with strong points and weak points. What could they do better? Is there any area that you can be better than these companies? That can be your key to success.
What is unique about your business?
It actually interconnects with the previous question, but you should also think about your unique selling points, no matter who your competitor is. That’s because your branding should showcase and underline all the special traits your product or service will have.
You have to provide actual value to your customers. The best way to do it is to fix their problem or give them something they want. Adding something more than other businesses from your sector will only raise your position on the market.
What is your companies purpose?
In other words: your why. What motivated you to build a business in the first place? Are there any particular achievements you have in mind when growing it? If it’s only profit, that’s not the best mindset, to begin with. You make money by giving your customers a solution they expect. That’s why you should always put them first.
If you have a clear vision in mind, what is it? Do you want to motivate, entertain, inform or inspire people? Does your product or service solve a certain problem that was never solved before? Or maybe it was, but your company does it better than others? Your branding strategy should communicate this purpose, so think about the ways you can change and improve today’s world. More and more clients pay attention to brands that want to do something more than just sell stuff.
What is your business story?
Nowadays, authenticity is quite important when building strong brands. There is no better way to get closer to your customers than telling your company’s story. If it’s interesting (but also true!), it can become an integral part of your branding and inspiration for your whole communication strategy.
Tell people why your company decided to pursue the purpose you determined in the previous question. Show them your employees or the production process to showcase that you actually believe in the values you talk about. Tell them about your wins and also about fails. Don’t be scared to share thoughts and discuss important or difficult issues openly. It’s a great way to build strong relationships with customers.
What personality should your brand have?
This question determines so many things. The language you use, the words you put in your messages, the overall vibe – you name it. Some companies want to be more sophisticated, and there are ones that want to appear cool. Luxury brands usually go for a more glamorous image, and responsible businesses want to be ethical above anything else.
Of course, the personality you pick will always depend on the customers you want to connect with. Professional and serious brands are more relatable for the B2B sector. More laid-back ones are often appreciated by young people, like teenagers and students, but not exclusively. The traditional approach will provide great results if your clientele is mostly seniors.
What style should your brand have?
This could be treated as the second part of the previous question. With personality, there comes a certain visual representation. What colors do you want to use? Should your identification be based on straight lines and geometric shapes, or swirls and curves? It’s a vital part because you want people to recognize your company immediately when they see it.
Whether it’s a physical product or something digital, your customers should immediately associate specific colors and symbols with your brand. That’s why branding is so important, and having a professional team of designers to prepare it is the best decision. When you have all that figured out, you can use these elements as a part of your strategy – to make your business unforgettable.
What emotions should your business be associated with?
This one also connects with personality and style questions, as these things strongly influence the emotional reaction your customers will have when they stumble upon your brand. You as a company should give them an experience, not just a product or service. And they should feel a particular way when they come in contact with your offer. What should it be? Happiness, sentiment, motivation, empowerment? Or maybe something else?
We know that colors can have certain effects on people. That’s why brands pick concrete shades when designing their visual identification. Other elements also can influence your customers’ reactions. That’s why this question is so important. You need to know how your brand should make your audience feel and use this knowledge to create a successful branding strategy.
Are there any companies that inspire you?
We are not encouraging you to be a copycat. However, there’s nothing wrong with inspiration, and probably you know a brand or two that you really like and appreciate. They might be from the same niche as you, but they don’t have to be. Even in that case, you will find plenty of clues on presenting your company, approaching clients, and making your products or services stand out.
Think about their ways of running a business. Can you somehow use similar strategies? Or maybe at least parts of them? Maybe there’s one particular thing that makes a change and could be helpful on your journey to success. Remember to adjust all conclusions to your reality, as every enterprise is different. Also, you don’t want to build your empire by copying someone else. Draw inspiration from others but be original in the process, too.
First of all, be honest – did you answer those questions thoroughly? If for each number you only have one sentence or a few, it’s definitely not enough. You have to research certain things, really give them a thought and analyze everything you stumble upon. Of course, it is impossible to predict every challenge you will have to face, but if you work hard enough, you will be ready for most of them. The questions we provide in this article are supposed to help you with that.
The conclusions you will get by answering them will be extremely supportive when you create your business, develop products and expand your entrepreneurship further. Branding is a crucial part of building successful companies, and your strategy will play an essential role in promoting your offer among target audiences.
You probably think that it’s a lot of information to process and data to collect. That’s why you might need an experienced team to guide you. At itCraft, your designers do not only create exquisite branding for our clients, but they also offer their services in terms of product discovery. No matter if you have a specific idea for your company’s visual identification or you only have a product in mind and need everything to be done from scratch, they can prepare recommendations and proposals that will elevate your strategy.
So your next step is to collect answers to the above questions that are as detailed as possible. If you have a problem with that, you can find a trusted IT business partner and ask for help. We can help you with analysis, market research, persona design and other required activities that are vital to preparing a consistent, remarkable branding. Let us know what you need, and we will address all your goals with our knowledge, skills and expertise.
Don’t hesitate to contact us, no matter if you just need design or you require all types of services related to digital products. We develop, test and maintain software, too. Together, we can achieve spectacular results.