How to create brand clarity?
Surely your company makes an excellent product and offers a great service, however, what good does this do if your potential clients do not see it? What good is it if your company is not able to communicate how unique your project is? How do your potential clients know that they should choose your company over the competition? Being clear about what you want to communicate is extremely important for the success of your business.
Clarity is achieved by creating an effective brand.
What is a brand?
A brand is much more than a logo, it is a system of elements that must be aligned with what you want to communicate to your audience. The goal is to control, as much as possible, how you want people to think about your brand, meaning, its reputation.
By having defined the different forms of expression, how it looks, how it speaks, how it responds, you achieve a consistent brand that can be positioned and presented as you intended.
How do you know what to communicate?
The first thing you have to do when creating a brand is to define its personality, this is important because it is the basis from which the rest of the elements will be based on. It determines how you want the brand to be understood by the public.
This is an abstract concept that many times is difficult to give shape to, however, there are several tools that can help mold your ideas and turn them into a brand identity that transmits the essence of your business.
Here are 3 ways to find out what your brand should communicate:
1 - Answer a questionnaire:
To better understand your brand, it is advisable to ask yourself questions that make you reflect on the path you want the brand to take or how you want to the business to be perceived. Taking a questionnaire is a good tool because it allows you to analyze from different angles what you need to communicate.
Ask yourself the following questions about your brand:
A. What problem does your product or service solve? How do you differentiate yourself? What is your value proposition?
Defining the value proposition consists of choosing what will be the unique combination of product, service, price, and other elements that make up your business model. This will help you understand what makes your business special, better, or different from the competition.
· What problem are you solving for your customers?
· How does your company offer a solution to their problem?
· How does it meet your clients needs?
· What benefits can the customer expect?
· Why should they choose you over the competition?
For more guidance, you can consult the following attributes wheel and think about which items you can focus on.
Knowing your value proposition allows you to have a better idea on how your business can be valuable to your customers.
Some examples of value propositions are:
NETFLIX: Watch movies and series whenever and wherever you want.
Waze: Get the best route, every day, and have real-time help from other drivers.
B. What is your company's reason for being? Your "why"
People are moved more by the emotional than by the rational, people connect more with brands that have a human side. Being clear about your "why" and communicating it, allows you to connect with that emotional side and get chosen over the competition.
C. Who are your competitors?
Being aware of what actions your competitors are taking, what visual style they present, how they communicate and on what platforms; allows you to study them and decide what you can use as inspiration and how you can differentiate your business.
D. Who are your potential clients?
A potential client is any person who can become a buyer of your product or service at any given time. Knowing who you are going to direct your communication efforts helps you:
· Analyze in depth what are their desires
· Learn what experiences they want to have
· Know how they want to experience them
· Recognize what their pain points are
Pain points are specific problems that your current or prospective customers are experiencing.
E. What feelings do you want your brand to generate?
(Tenderness, inspiration, motivation, etc.)
Depending on the product or service you offer, who your customers are, and how you want to relate to them, you must choose which feeling(s) you want to generate in them.
You should reflect on questions like:
· What do you want to transmit?
· How do you want the person to feel about your business?
· What kind of personality should your brand have?
Here is a list of feelings you can use, select those you want your brand to be related with: joy, confidence, security, inspiration, motivation, peace, amazement, pleasure, compassion, curiosity, optimism, hope, desire, tenderness, relief, solidarity, euphoria, courage, surprise, serenity, love, passion, tranquility, among others.
Choosing feelings, gives you a clearer idea on what you should focus on, both for brand identity and knowing what to communicate. For example, the feeling that Harley Davidson wants to project is rebellion, which is the opposite of what Bank of America wants to project which is security, or a brand like Pampers that focuses on tenderness.
F. Where will your audience have contact with your brand? (Platforms, communication channels, etc.)
A business cannot endure if it does not have an audience, so an important step is to know where your clients are to know where your brand must be. By knowing this, you will be able to adjust your brand image and communication strategy.
For example, if your brand is a daycare, you must have a physical space, but you also know that you can find teachers in LinkedIn, have a web page where people can contact you and get information, and use Social Media to cultivate a community.
Knowing your audience is very important, but knowing where your brand should be will help you:
· Understand your relationship with each client
· Build a community
· Know what language to use
· Know what language to avoid
· Decide on a tone that helps your brand develop good relationships
2- Describe your costumer avatar
Most people start developing their brand based on their own tastes or wanting to reach everyone, and many times they fail to reach their target market, or ideal customer. By describing your Ideal Costumer Avatar (ICA), you will be able to separate yourself from what you like and put yourself in the shoes of the person who is really going to buy your product or service.
· Their characteristics
· Their features
· What they enjoy doing
· Their habits
· Their values
· Where they work
· What media they use
· Their roles
· Their challenges
· Their dreams
· Their pain points
This will serve you as a guide to know whom your brand should be directed to and give you insights when developing your ICA. You can even help yourself by looking at someone’s picture to get some inspiration when coming up with a description.
3 - Create a mood board
A mood board is a collage of all the things you investigated to shape your brand.
It consists of researching and selecting geometric shapes, photographs, colors, fonts, textures and patterns to create a composition that represents what you want to convey with your brand identity, and in this way, choose how you want to structure your brand.
An effective brand is a valuable brand
Having clarity when building a brand is important when you want to know how it should look, how it should communicate, remain relevant and attractive to your customers. If you do not define and clearly communicate your brand message, customers will not be interested in your business.
If the value of the brand is not understood or clearly communicated, your customers will not understand the value you offer either. For a brand to be successful it must have a clear, consistent, focused, and unique message, and it must be expressed consistently across all the brand elements and channels.
This means that the logo, fonts, color palette, photographs, advertising, customer service, Social Media, copywriting, mail-ins, stationery, and any other component, must be aligned with the purpose of the brand and what you want to convey.
In the end, the most important thing is to be clear that the main objective of having an effective brand is to create a unique essence that allows you to transmit the true attributes of your business, differentiate your business from the competition, make it easy to recognize and grab the attention of your future clients.