Building a brand is the first stop of a company’s roadmap from the foundation phase. Building a brand strategies underlie the successful rising of the product or service to be offered. For this reason, brand building activities take the first place in marketing efforts.
Nowadays most basic step to becoming a successful company goes through to create a brand. Just putting a product or service on the market is not enough to gain a loyal customer base, no matter how high quality it is. The company, product or service must have a strong identity, character of its own. Thus, the target audience can put this product or company they encounter somewhere in their minds and make an evaluation.
The first point to consider to create a brand is the opinion of the consumers. The customer’s opinion of the brand is the main element that defines the brand in general.
A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.
The presentation of the brand to the target audience forms the basis of the audience’s thoughts about the brand. The customer codes the brand in the same way as the brand is presented to the customer. A brand is perceived as strong if it is touted as strong; natural if it is touted as natural. The important part at this point is which feature of the brand it will highlight.
The first step in building a brand is planning, and develop a strategy with this plan.
The overall goal of the strategy is to ensure that the consumer is informed about the brand. By taking the customer to the focal point, it should be ensured that everything the customer needs to know about the brand is delivered to them. This process also includes brand recognition or brand awareness studies.
Whether a product, service or a company becomes a brand is all about its place in the mind of the target audience. It should be planned that the created brand will meet with the consumer as much as possible.
Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.
When the brand creation process is successful, the company accomplishes its own miracle in advertising and promotion. The brand, which now has a place in the mind of its target audience, continues to exist with its own identity.
In very large markets where almost every product or service has hundreds or even thousands of manufacturers, it is very difficult to produce a new product or find a service that has never been tried. Therefore, the condition to stand out is hidden in the details. Being noticed by standing out among a hundred companies that sell the same product or selling in markets where there are very large brands and creating loyal customer bases, means creating a brand.
Creating a brand in today’s competitive markets and creating brand loyalty (customer loyalty) can be achieved by making the brand stand out from its competitors. The purpose of the brand creation effort is to increase the number of existing demands by having a different position than the competitors.
If people believe they share values with a company they will stay loyal to the brand.
What is a Brand?
In general, a brand is the recognition of a product, service or company as having a unique identity and gaining a place in the minds of the targeted audience. What is meant as identity is not just an abstract perception, but a comprehensive whole that includes everything about the brand, such as the brand’s logo, colors, fonts, slogan, values, vision, and the reason for its existence in the market.
Brands today; in stores, advertisements, streets, internet etc. In short, it can be encountered anywhere. Successfully created brands have a natural appeal to the consumer. The bond between a brand and a consumer can sometimes be too strong to be expressed in commercial descriptions.
Not every company or product is a brand. In order to become a brand, it must be recognized and approved by a wide audience. However, not every brand should have a large company infrastructure.
Brands with successful strategies get ahead of the product they represent and ensure that the product family is named with their own names. For example, “Kleenex” or “Chapstick” are very successful examples of this situation. This situation sometimes does not create a miracle increase in the sales graph of the brands, but it is very important in terms of the reputation and awareness of the brands and its affiliated company.
Brand is just a perception, and perception will match reality over time.
Most of the time, brands have the power to meet demand with their own assets by getting ahead of companies. Most people do not know that the producer company of the “Kleenex” brand is Kimberly-Clark. However, “Kleenex” is a strong brand that can break the definitions in English and go down in the history of the language. Although it does not pose any problems in this example, in some cases, the company does not find it right for the brand it has created for a product to overr ide the whole company or other products.
Such situations may overshadow the product that the company actually wants to focus on. As an example, the sugar-free product produced by Coca Cola under the brand “Zero” took precedence over Coca Cola, which was the main brand, in a very short time and the product was now called “Zero”. Therefore, keeping the main brand in the background may cause a greater loss than the advantage of the side brand to be ahead. As a result of the general situation moving away from the targeted purpose, Coca Cola Zero advertisements are stopped and the brand is withdrawn.
A brand changes the public’s view of the product or service and may advertise its own product or service. The mold “from the producer of the movie A” used in the cinema industry exemplifies this situation. The first conclusion to be drawn from this example is that motion pictures can be a brand. Cinema films meet all the requirements of being a brand. The second result is that successful films create good brands. And it can be used in the promotion of products that emerged after good brands.
A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.
In the branding process, many examples can be encountered with very different results. In line with these examples, it turns out that it is very important for the company that wants to create a brand to determine its priorities and goals correctly.
What Does the Brand Include?
Corporate identity works, which include all printed and visual materials of the company, also play a determining role in the company’s brand. The stance or message of the brand is directly related to the corporate identity elements.
The brand is a reflection of the general perspective that the company has formed in all areas. All corporate behaviors such as all decisions taken inside and outside the company, employees, company managers, and approaches to agreements affects the brand. Company culture represents the norms, rules and behavioral models that define the company.
Employees of a company are often the first representatives to be in direct contact with the customer. Therefore, the behaviors, speeches and appearances of the employees are a mirror that reflects the general picture of the brand. For this reason, the necessary training should be given to the employees and the brand spirit should be clear in the minds of the employees.
Today, communication is one of the most important issues for brands. Brand communication covers all areas of interaction from the corporate identity of the brand to advertising activities, social media and other platform usages, customer service and reputation management.
The biggest sales and success factors of companies depend on the degree of reputation and trust they build. Reputation management has an important place among marketing items.
The reputation of brands increases as a result of the realization of what they promise to the consumer and the consumer generally positive thoughts. Especially for well-established brands, reputation management is more important than the sales chart.
Product or Service
Product or service positioning is a very important element for a brand’s overall image. A strong product presentation and correct product positioning play a decisive role in the brand’s reputation. If the promised features of the product or service are not real and do not match the general appearance of the brand, a failed strategy occurs and the future of the brand is in jeopardy.
The opinions represented by a brand in every field affect the identity of the brand. Posture, behavior and communication characteristics created in a social sense will affect both the reputation of the brand and the promotional activities. Strategic planning should be made in order to gain the appreciation of the customer and emphasize that the brand has a correct perspective.
Building a Brand Strategies
Branding strategies; It includes long-term planning such as cost accounts, legal responsibilities, brand positioning, and brand value creation. Brand strategies are created by being supported by other marketing strategies.
Brands move strategically according to market variables from the production and name stage. The purpose of all stages is to improve the customer’s experience with the brand. Even if you have very powerful equipment on the production side, there is no branding process for products or companies that are not properly promoted.
Branding is also based on the principles of being known and preferred. When the quality of the products of a company that produces quality products is known only by the company, it means that the brand creation procedure has not been established. What matters is that the consumer sees that company or product as a brand, not that the company identifies itself as a brand.
The purpose of branding strategies is a process related to conveying the brand value and the features of the produced product to the target audience. Therefore, the first thing that needs to be researched and learned are the main characteristics of the target audience. For example, when targeting “housewives over the age of 35”, a single cluster can be created for differences such as gender, age, business line, education level. In this way, after the target is determined, determinations such as which feature of the produced product will attract the attention of the target audience or will be useful are determined. Thus, the targeted consumer audience and the product are brought together on a common ground.
There is a similar practice in classical marketing processes, but the focus in the branding process is the value in the eyes of customers rather than sales. The customer is not only expected to buy but also to be a brand representative.
At this stage, it is important for brand strategy developers to accurately convey all the elements and brand to the target audience.
The basic element of brand strategy presented to the target audience must be unique, attractive and useful. This element, around which an entire strategy will be built, should be perceived not only outside the company but also in the internal organization of the company, and should be repeated and turned into a common driving force.
While creating branding strategies, a detailed competitor analysis is required as in marketing strategies. A comprehensive SWOT analysis including market dynamics, company strengths and weaknesses, sectoral developments, general trends, and stances of competitors should be conducted. This analysis should be used to define the habits and values of the target market. Thus, an emotional connection can be established by detecting the patterns in the shopping behavior of the targeted market.
Analysis and research constitute an important part of the strategy development process in the branding process. At the end of this process, the company decides what it wants to express in the market as a brand and makes promises to communicate with its target audience. Promises, which are an important part of the brand experience, are absolute must-be kept for the company’s reputation. Failure to keep promises directly affects not only the branding process but the entire company formation.
Branding is the process of connecting good strategy with good creativity.
Every work in the field of marketing is basically done to introduce the brand to consumers. Increasing the awareness of the brand and establishing a close relationship with the consumer is the key to the success of the brand.
With the same purpose, brand positioning is the promotion of the brand within the framework of some prominent features in order to distinguish the brand from other brands in the market and to attract the attention of the consumer. For a brand to have a successful positioning, strategic planning must be made from the moment the brand is created, taking into account the current dynamics in the market.
As an example of brand positioning; It is clear that when a car brand is created, it will compete against many competitors in the industry. By making a general market assessment, it is determined with which features competitors usually highlight their brands. As a result of this determination, if the competitors generally emphasize the “speed” feature, the features other than this should be preferred to highlight.
The brand A car created can be argued to be “safe” or to be “wide” or “durable”. At this point, the important thing is that the promised feature is real. Different promises can be made on every issue, but if the consumer realizes that the promises are not true, the reputation of the brand will be significantly affected.