“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” – Jeff Bezos
Sometimes, we know what needs to be done but don’t have the clearest vision of how to do it.
In these cases, we look for different methods which lead us to our goal, then select the one that suits us best.
In this article, you’ll discover why branding is so crucial, learn five different methods of branding and be shown software that could supercharge the process.
Before jumping into the methods that will boost our branding, let’s go over the basics of brand and branding.
What is a brand?
A brand is a distinguishing characteristic or feature that represents uniqueness among different organizations. It is how customers feel and react to a certain company. It is typically constructed using different elements like visuals, voice and taglines.
With that, let’s make sure you have a solid understanding of the process of branding.
What is branding?
Branding is a marketing procedure that aims to build up a brand through elements such as color schemes, logos and values that persuade customers in a positive fashion. Branding is how brands show themselves to be the superior option for audiences when considering their services.
Now, before we learn my five methods of branding, let’s take a moment to consider the importance of branding.
Why you need to optimize your branding
“Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.” – Walter Lando
Branding is the deciding factor when a customer decides between you and competitors. The more recognizable and positive you seem, the stronger your bond will be with customers.
How come branding is so important? Consider the following benefits:
Influences customer purchasing habits
The average person is often puzzled by customer insistence to purchase products from a higher-priced brand.
They even go as far to neglect how well a product fits their needs, so long as they get to buy from the brand they’re attached to. Approximately 70% of customers will even pay more based on branding alone.
Gives a company strong persona
The chances of creating an effective brand persona are slim without well-executed branding. Branding itself is a part of building a persona, though there’s more to it.
Also, if you’re not already aware, a persona creates stronger connections between brand and customer.
Overhauls marketing campaigns
Marketing campaigns are strongly influenced by and reliant on outside factors. Branding is one of the main factors that influence these campaigns.
It’s important to remember that, if the overall branding is strong (in all areas), marketing campaigns will get better as a result.
Encourages internal team members
It’s not always easy finding ways to truly motivate employees and get teams to work together. Fortunately, branding is a strong force behind successful team strength.
This is because if branding is elite, this will in turn bring quality applicants to the position and motivate internals to work together.
Now that you see the ways branding can benefit you greatly, let’s go over five different methods of branding.
1. Personalized branding method
“Personalization Is pointless without knowing the individual. Understand the dreams, hopes, and fears that motivate your customers, then hit them where it counts.” – Paul Gillin
Recently, personalized branding has been receiving a lot of praise as an exciting strategy. It’s often called custom branding, and is an effective way to gain access to insider marketing.
Personalized branding helps customers feel emotional about your brand and connect with it deeper than the usual business-customer relationship.
The key to successful personalized or custom branding is to be individualistic without overstepping or coming off as intrusive or as trying too hard.
An example of a successful personalized branding campaign was the Coca-Cola bottle customization project, also known as the ‘Share a Coke’ campaign.
With it, customers were able to enter a name on the Coke website and see how it would look on the front of the Coke bottle.
This was furthered by the selling of personalized bottles. This strategy shows the importance of brands to reach customers on an individual level, since certainly, your name is as personal as it gets.
2. Co-branding method
Co-branding is a method used to combine the marketing and branding power of two different companies to create a new product or service.
What are some ways that co-branding can be helpful?
- Opens up new markets for brands. It seems impossible to jump into certain markets, but co-branding makes it a reality. This is often because of geographical advantages the partner brand has.
- Reduces overall risk. It’s a lot easier to convince customers to buy a new product if they’re comforted by brand familiarity.
- Increases advertising depth. The idea of two different brands joining forces usually intrigues markets and promotes itself naturally.
- Hides brand weaknesses. If one brand in the partnership is weak at something, the other brand can pick up the slack.
Some negative aspects of co-branding to look out for:
- Potential success impediments. Just because one brand in the relationship doesn’t have issues succeeding, they can still suffer at the hands of the partner brand.
- Opposing cultures. A common result of two brands joining together, mismatching values are a serious issue to consider.
- Financial issues. This typically involves some type of disagreement between the two brands, resulting from a misunderstanding.
How to build up your co-branding
Use the following tips to make sure your co-branding is a success.
Don’t partner with identical brands
Some brands are basically the exact same as yours. When this is the case, joining together will likely result in failure. Think of how strange it would be to see Microsoft and Apple co-brand a product.
Instead, try to find a brand that does something similar that would give your product a boost. For example, Microsoft might consider partnering with Intel.
Make a transparent proposal beforehand
Often the most important issue to consider in a partnership is how clear both parties understand the many different details.
A transparent proposal ensures that each brand knows what they’re getting throughout the process and makes it easy to refer to a standard for future disagreements.
An illustrative co-branding example
Kanye West and Adidas
Kanye West has a lot of style, and he took that style to Adidas, who turned it into one of their most popular shoes, the Yeezy.
As we suggested earlier, co-branding encourages word-of-mouth promotion, and the Yeezy accomplished this and some. The shoe has become a craze, with high-prices and unique features.
Ultimately, the co-branding method has a lot of possibilities that should be considered if you’re lacking in certain areas.
3. Insider branding method
Insider branding displays your company as an expert source within different, important groups. There are many different ways to use insider branding, most of which result in access to important marketing channels.
So, why is it so valuable to become immersed into these key marketing channels? Basically, it allows your brand to be authenticated in these spaces, which promotes it naturally.
Engagement is key, so make sure to join relevant groups in digital and physical spaces. Also, follow different influencers on social media and engage within these groups.
Nearly 90% of marketers use social media to promote their campaigns and as a large part of their overall strategy.
Lastly, the more respectful you are within different groups, the more successful your branding will be. For example, it’s tough to get your brand to identify with a traditional topic simply by jamming visuals from this topic into your branding.
This will appear inauthentic and put space between your brand and the important, insider groups.
4. Identification branding method
Identification branding is where a brand’s customers take on the brand and make it their own. This means the customer will take it upon themselves to market for a brand, due to their newfound brand loyalty.
When using identification branding, remember that the result is typically stronger marketing campaigns. This is because a third party is more trusted by customers, and their promotion holds more weight.
In fact, 75% of customers believe word of mouth recommendations to be the biggest factor in their purchasing decisions.
Here are some ways to succeed with identification branding:
- Focus on community-building. Look for key ways to involve your brand within positive and relevant communities.
- Be active on different communicative platforms. The best way to engage with customers is to be involved with them on many different mediums, such as social media. Become part of the conversations when possible and stay active.
- Utilize user-generated content. Enticing users to build powerful content for you is ideal. One of the best ways to do this is by starting some type of brand-related contest.
5. Product branding method
Product branding is a way for a company to try new things and enter new markets without the potential risk typically involved.
Here are some of the benefits involved with product branding:
- Puts forth separation between brand and company. This makes things easier on the customer and avoids any confusion about the new product.
- Eases customer purchases. It’s easier for customers to find what they need when a product is successfully branded.
- Expands market reach. Sometimes a new product can reach markets that the company normally couldn’t.
- Prevents negative associations. If a product fails, the failure isn’t then tied to the parent company.
How to successfully use the product branding method
Use these processes in order to find success using product branding.
Determine a product’s market and characteristics
Essentially, you’ll need to figure out what type of market your product will thrive in. For example, a pair of athletic shorts will be aimed at the sporting goods market.
It will need a name that is informative and fits what the product does. Then, it needs a unique purpose, otherwise there’s no point in creating it.
Examine existing product markets
It wouldn’t be wise to create a product without already understanding the market you’ll be entering it into. Part of your research should include how the market is responding to similar products.
By doing this, you’ll be able to strategize key ways to make your new product beat the competition and win the market.
Build effective visuals
This is probably the most important part of the product branding process. By creating effective visuals, you give the new product its best chance to succeed.
Focus on making a memorable and on-topic logo, color scheme, font, packaging and layout. Then, make sure these are consistent across the board.
Now that you have five different branding methods, let’s make sure you’re using all the available tools to succeed.
Branding software to move the process along
Now that you have some branding methods to pull from, it’s important to use every tool available to boost the process. Therefore, it’s important to consider a branding software system.
Branding software ensures content stays relevant through each project by maintaining current logos and other branding elements. The right tools help guidelines stay consistent without the use of company-wide memos or emails.
Some other key ways branding software is important:
- Keeps content brand-relevant
- Boosts brand maintenance
- Gives better insight and control to administrators
Whichever branding strategies you end up using, it’s likely there will be large quantities of digital content accumulated.
Therefore, you’ll need a digital asset management system to store these digital files in a centralized location. This will keep brand assets easily accessible.
Some closing thoughts on methods of branding
The possibilities really do seem endless when it comes to branding. Don’t restrict yourself to a set group of strategies.
Focus on what might work for you and go for it. Chances are, it hasn’t been tried before, and it might just provide a huge boost. Good luck!
Want more branding advice? Check out this comprehensive branding guide.