Have you ever wondered why some people are willing to pay multiples for a pair of white sneakers with a certain logo while they can buy an alternative at a way cheaper price? Or have you asked yourself why people are willing to pay more for an iPhone though they might find the same features in other devices? This is the power of branding. The reason why we love more brands than others has more to do with our psychology than the product itself. You can say that most of the time, our purchasing decisions are based more on how we feel towards a certain object and how others see us in terms of status.

I came across this very interesting definition of branding by Shopify, it sums it all up and truly captures the meaning: “Your brand is how people perceive you wherever they interact with your business—both the impressions you can control and the ones you can’t.”

Now, let’s dig deeper. Your brand is a bridge between your business and customers; it is a way of building a connection. Branding is creating and shaping a meaning/reason for your customer to engage with your business. and of course, it plays a vital role in building loyalty and protecting your business from newcomers.

Besides the quality of the product, branding is a deciding factor in our purchasing decisions. It all boils down to consumers’ psychology and marketing. Branding triggers our urge to own a certain object of desire or use a certain product. Think of it that way, iPhone though the most expensive among other brands, people are still willing to pay more to own one, or think how you view Porsche owners versus other brands. 

As such, we can say that branding builds perception and creates certain attributes that we automatically associate with that product every time we think of it. For instance, the toothpaste brand, Close up, what is the first thing that comes to your mind when hearing their name? What about Dove? The first thing that comes to your mind is what we call brand equity, it is usually the messages which brands keep repeating over and over in their communication that gets incepted in our mind.  And therefore, you automatically think of fresh breath every time you hear Close Up or feel more confident in your skin every time you come across a product from Dove.

By now, you understand how a brand is more than just creating a catchy logo and I see lots of companies hiring awesome creative people to create a logo and to them, it is a brand. But that’s not it. So, to get all the elements of successful branding.

Let's keep the following in consideration when deciding on creating a new brand:

  • Research your target audience and your competitors 

Learn more about what they are doing, the choice of their colour and the reason behind it, and how people perceive this brand. At this point, don’t be shy to ask your friends or Linkedin connections about what they think about your competitors. This of course besides setting the segment you are selling the product or service to and how you want to position your brand.

  • Create your persona

brand persona

If you were asked to describe your brand in simple words, what would they be? Fun, extreme, chill, crazy, posh, etc. Decide on what you want people to think about you or how you want them to remember you when they hear your brand name. For instance, when we mention Coca-Cola, we automatically think of it as a fun brand, while for Burger King, it is crazy and humorous. You also need to bear in mind that defining your brand is a long-term process and builds over time. So don’t expect people to build an image of your brand in a week or month. It is constant work in progress and all your marketing tools have to be aligned. 

  • Choosing the right name for your brand

Usually, most of the founders or brand owners start with the business name before anything else. But think about, it how can you test that name if you don’t know your audience or haven’t done enough research to know if this name already exists in the market. Also, you need to consider if the brand name is in line with the identity. For instance, if you are establishing a fun brand, the name can’t be serious or sophisticated. Accordingly, the name should be decided after you’ve created an identity for your brand that reflects who you are and what you do. Remember, no rule fits all and if you are in love with a name and you want to build everything around it, then go for it but make sure everything is consistent. 

  • Come up with a slogan

A slogan will help people understand your brand better, so I would say keep it relevant to your mission or purpose and of course keep it simple and catchy. Use it as much as you can; consistency is key in everything we do.

  • Decide on the look and feel of your brand

Now, as you know what you are. it is time to design a logo that represents that identity selecting the right colour and font for your brand. By this stage, you will already be able to create a detailed, proper brand guideline with what your team can and can’t do when talking to your stakeholders.

Now that you’ve learned how to create a brand, how to build brand loyalty?

Brand loyalty is how you think of a certain brand vs. others. It is how you perceive the brand in terms of strong durability like Nike shoe or best camera like iPhone and the fact that many other products can deliver the same attributes, yet you still prefer them as your first choice. To sum it up, brand loyalty is the reason why people would pay a premium for it.

Achieving it usually happens through a simple process

  • Humanities the brand – people trust people and follow people.
  • Understand your 1% and what they are looking for.
  • Focus on the solution rather than just the product or service – in other words, add value.
  • Talk about the one thing you want them to believe you do best.
  • Be consistent through the whole Product Life Cycle and Consumer Life Cycle

As we have gone through the main points, it is easier now to understand how and why branding is crucial for business success and plays a vital role in business survival against competition, especially now that consumers’ expectations keep getting higher, expecting a lot in return of what they pay. And always remember this, branding is not only about the quality of your product or service, but rather about how your brand makes them feel and the emotional value it adds to it.