In a competitive world, only the best manage to remain top of mind for consumers. That’s why it is essential to focus on how your brand is perceived by shoppers. Considering that retail is an industry with many direct and indirect competitors, brands need to find their voice and learn how to share it with their customers.
In this article, we are going to focus on the elements that create a powerful brand. Also, we’ll offer tips on how to use these elements to create a brand strategy that helps your customers remember your brand.
What is a brand strategy?
A brand strategy is a holistic approach that outlines how a company is going to present itself in front of the target audience. The goal of branding is to help the company be memorable in the eyes of the shoppers. Also, a great brand strategy can improve brand loyalty, customer satisfaction, and sales. However, the main goal of brand strategy is to create a great impression and a connection between the brand and the consumers.
Why is it important to develop a branding strategy?
“You can have the best product in the world, but if nobody knows about it, what good is it?” Phil Knight, chairman of Nike Inc.
Before the product comes the brand, and without a strong branding strategy, nobody is going to remember your brand or your products. A brand strategy helps you connect with the right customers and create strong relationships. When customers envision your brand as a person, you’ve done it right.
Statistics also show the importance of implementing a powerful brand strategy. 59% of shoppers prefer to buy from the brands they trust, and 21% say they purchased a new product because it was from a brand they like.
A brand is much more than a simple logo or name. While these elements are important and are the ones that customers remember first, there are a few elements that any brand strategy needs to focus on.
The elements of a winning brand strategy
Before you start creating your brand strategy is important to understand and put these elements together.
As its name states, the brand core is the most important part of any brand strategy. The core of the brand is composed of the brand’s core beliefs, purpose, values, and, most importantly, the brand story. To know a brand’s core, you should be able to answer the following questions:
- Why does this brand exist?
- What matters most to this brand?
- What does this brand stand for?
- How does this brand differentiate itself?
This is the element that sparks a connection with the customer. More and more shoppers expect brands to be built on strong values and take action to make the world a better place. Customers are willing to “repay” brands for this. 89% of shoppers stay loyal to brands that share their values.
The brand story is the narrative used by a brand to share its core values, principles, and purpose. This is when storytelling comes out to play and engages your shoppers.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, customers want to create a connection with a brand, and without a brand story, this is not possible.
One of the best brand stories is the one from P&G. They have been marketing their brand as a “Proud sponsor of Moms.” Most of their commercials and campaigns contained this tagline which managed to spark an emotion. After all, who doesn’t love a brand that supports mothers?
Here lies the essence of a brand, its brand voice, and its personality. The brand voice is composed of the messages and the tone used by the brand on all marketing channels to communicate a message.
Depending on the types of products you sell, your target audience, and the brand core, you can find a brand voice that suits you. There are several brands that are recognized by their voice because they managed to find one that sparks an emotion.
The “personality” of the brand is the emotion your brand sparks in people. How do customers perceive your brand? Is your brand the funny, reliable, old friend or the eco-friendly, bio-seeking girl? Of course, every shopper will have a different perception of your brand because it depends on their personal experiences and emotions.
The brand personality combines all of the elements presented above. That’s why it is important to discover all of them and find a way to share them with the shoppers.
Other important elements that are part of the brand message include value proposition, the tone of voice, and the messaging pillars.
Brand visual identity
Visual identity is crucial for a brand, especially for an FMCG one. The visual identity of the brand can be seen even in the smallest details, like the font used on a bottle of soda sold by that brand.
Brand color selection
There are a few elements and colors that are used by most brands because of the symbolism behind them. For instance, red stands for passion or anger. However, when used on labels or packaging, this color manages to attract attention instantly. Think about how many brands use red or incorporated this color into their visual identity. Coca-Cola, Red-Bull, and Nescafe are just a few FMGC products that included this color in their logo and design.
Another common color used in the retail industry is yellow. Apart from being the symbol of optimism and happiness, yellow (and orange) is a color that can increase hunger. This is why yellow is used by many fast-food brands such as Mcdonald’s and Subway.
Since green retailing and sustainability have been hot topics, many brands have started to incorporate the color green in their packaging. Green is used by brands that want to market their products as bio, eco-friendly or healthy choices. Shoppers who are looking for healthier or diet options will seek products with green labels or packaging.
Let customers know your brand
Allow your shoppers to discover the “core” of your brand. You need to find a brand voice that matches your values and share a brand story that can incorporate your visual identity. By combining all of these elements, your brand will be top of mind for shoppers.
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Featured Image Credit: Eva Bronzini; Pexels; Thank you!