Branding: What is it and how do you manage a brand?

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Branding: what it is and how to do
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Branding It's all the work of marketing carried out with the purpose of increasing the performance and value of a brand. It ranges from research and strategic planning, to the adaptation of routine activities to brand objectives.

See in this article:
What is a brand and what are its components?
What is branding?
Branding - how to do?
Why bother with branding?

What is a brand and what are its components?

A brand is the embodiment of a product, a service, or a company. Just like a person, a brand has behaviors, attitudes, values ​​and reputation. We judge people by what they have done in the past and we may like them, dislike or even love. The same goes for brands.
Many people confuse the concept of a brand merely with the company logo. The logo is just one component of the company's visual identity, which, along with several other factors, shapes the brand.

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branding is more than visual identity

The work of defining and propagating these components is known as branding. But before talking about this concept and how to apply it, let's understand some components of the brand.

Brand Strategy

A strategy must be aligned with the organizational identity of the company, as defined in strategic planning. O purpose of the company is also an attribute that must be passed by the brand. THE vision and os values also need to be aligned with the attributes that the brand wants to add. Therefore, purpose and vision must be defined in a more social concept. What does the company intend to contribute and give back to society? Companies that follow this path are usually the ones that are most successful in branding. The strategy also composes the positioning, that is, how the brand behaves in the market where it is.

Brand Promise

Good brands do not just sell products or services. They sell intangible aspects which can be linked to dreams, lifestyle, culture, identification with the public. Have one promise well-defined brand allows the brand to be much more easily struc- marketing as a whole. LUZ, for example, does not only sell spreadsheets, but greater peace of mind and productivity in overcoming management challenges. Nowadays it is very common to see companies focusing their advertising much more on the brand promise than on the products and services themselves.

branding coca cola

Naming or Brand Name

It is the brand name and its variations. You can add a tagline or not. Tagline is the accompaniment of the name, a small descriptive. For example, along with LUZ, which is the name of our brand, you will usually see "Business Sheets".

brand name

Visual Identity

A visual identity is the set of graphic attributes used to expose the strategic components of the brand (platform, promise and personality). It is not just the logo, but also the printers used colors and the application of all these elements in corporate environments and materials. Office, site, points of sale, advertisements, in short, anything that will be communicating something of the company.

visual identity

Brand Voice

A brand voice is the company's verbally exposed communication, or in written form. It must be connected to purpose, adding personality. It can be more authoritarian, aspirational, funny, humble, etc. In addition to language - which can be formal, informal, serious, light, slang, terms in other languages, etc. - and the voice tone - personal, insurance, direct, etc.

What is branding?

This is the time when you tell me:
"OK. I've read everything you've written about branding, I can even put together a beautiful document from my company about it, but I have no idea how to implement it in practice. "
This is where the branding.
Branding is the set of strategies and activities that are touched with the objective of developing and propagate the brand. It begins with defining the strategic components, through much internal and external research. It goes through the management of the visual identity, its applications. And it goes on to implement brand strategy across all company activities with subsequent monitoring.
In other words, branding can be defined as the art of value to products and services, through actions and feelings.

pocket branding

In order not to be in the field of ideas, let's move on to the practical part. I will explain in the next chapter how to implement a branding project.

Branding - how to do?

1. Strategic Research

Every branding project is composed mostly of research

If branding consists of giving unique value to your product or service, adding value to your brand, the best way to get started is by understanding what the current perception is. When we speak of research, it is common to already think about elaboration and application of questionnaires. This is just one way to do it. And, in the case of branding, it is one of the least effective.
A strategic research in a branding project consists of 3 strands:

a) Immersion

Immersion is to look at the company itself. Understand the perception of the employees and the management team about the product and the service. Another aspect of immersion is to use the product or service, or ask others to use and collect feedback.
Branding is a process that starts from the inside out. It's no use trying to pass on an image of your company that does not reflect on what the people who build it in day-to-day life believe.
A common mistake for managers in this type of project is to ignore the insights captured in the service.

b) Market

The market research consists mainly of the practice of benchmarking. This is the study of competitor practices or the exchange of information with other companies that can be an inspiration.
Again here, we are not talking about questionnaires that try to measure a comparison of yours with competitors. We are talking about qualitative research. Go in other companies and use your products and services. Look for ideas of differentiation. What the public-bowel Do you value that no one is supplying?

c) Public

The most important type of research in the branding project is the research with the public-bowel. Applying questionnaires may help in this case. Nothing is more important here than talking directly to customers and potential customers and understanding their usage experience in detail.
One tool that usually helps me in this process is the empathy map. He tries to measure the pains and goals that a person possesses in a certain way. Leaving the objective aspect for a more intangible aspect of what your product could offer.

empathy map

The purpose of this phase is to map which are the main personas within your audience and what similarities to brand perception.

buyer person

2. Strategic plan

No brand strategic plan, it is defined what the company believes, where it wants to go and how it stands. It is a way of communicating the corporative culture, or internally for employees, or for the world. It seems a very abstract theme, but when the team has a deep knowledge of its personas, this step of branding becomes easier.
A company can have goals, goals and projects, but why does it exist? What it does that sets it apart from all other companies in the world. O purpose of a company is their greatest belief in it. It is the mission that unites and motivates employees to develop their functions. It is directly linked to value offer, but is not necessarily linked to a product.
A company linked to fashion, for example, may have as its purpose the empowerment of Brazilian women. A pet food company may have as its purpose the fight against abandoning them. The most important thing is that it is reflected in the actions of the company and in its communication.
Besides the purpose, in the strategic plan are defined:
Vision - the long-term goal of the company, a dream
Values - the attitudes that the team needs to develop that reflect the purpose
Essence - feelings that the brand intends to arouse
Promise - the greatest intangible benefit the brand can offer
Posicionamento - blue ocean how it stands before the market. When a company has a position similar to its competitors, it does not differentiate. A good brand seeks a unique positioning, known as.

3. Documentation

After strategic planning, the company must document what has been discovered and defined so far. Some examples of documents that can be created in this branding project follow below.
Brand Platform - is the document that records the definitions of the strategic plan. In addition to defining what the brand is, it is equally important to define what it is not and does not believe.
Brand Manual - document recording the visual identity from the company. Logo, applications, main colors, fonts, etc.
Communication Manual - registration of the company's communication rules. Use of words, tone of voice, personality of communication, etc.

4. Activation

A very important step in a branding project is to activate it in the day-to-day business. Many companies stop at documentation and create fake, publicity-only brands. But they do not awaken the values ​​and beliefs they preach in their own employees. And, if it does not start with employees, how do you pass this on to customers?
A well-designed activation evaluates all company processes and relationships for alignment with branded manuals. Not only the processes related to customers, but also internal processes. Another key point of activation is to attribute brand values ​​and essence to the user experience. To do this, the company must map the experience and make the changes it deems necessary. One tool that helps in this process is Blueprint UX.

branding blueprint ux

5. Monitoring

Branding projects have no end. They are in constant evaluation and review, so that the company seeks more and more fidelity in relation to their beliefs. The monitoring of a brand can be done through internal and external searches. What are the perceptions of customers and employees regarding the brand? Does it match what has been defined in the strategic plan?

Why bother with Branding?

A brand of your company it is not what you speak of it, but what others speak of it. So if you do not make at least a small branding work, your brand will become known for what others say. It might be good if you are the bar with the cheapest bottle beer in the neighborhood. It can be bad, if you are the restaurant with the worst service in the area.
It is more difficult to change a value that has already been added to your brand than to get a job from scratch. Below I've listed some returns you get from worrying about the brand.

Branding is what made Google the Googlar verb

Brand Equity

The translation of equity, which refers to the capital of the partners in the balance sheet of the companies, is equity. That is, the brand equity would be when the brand adds equity to a company. It is directly connected to how much a company has of result by having a strong brand. That is, the difference between Apple's market value for being Apple and the value it would have if it were a mere manufacturer of computers and gadgets, is brand equity.
The goal of branding is to generate brand equity for a brand. And, make no mistake about it. This is not only true for large companies. For small companies it is also very relevant. If you are a bakery known for cherishing family gatherings, or for helping homeless people, or for having the best environment, or for being the fastest, you can be sure that you will have a higher return on the bread sellers in the area. But this will depend on you. focus on the right audience and hit the positioning.

Pricing

Related to brand equity, branding ultimately influences company pricing. It's no secret that companies with strong brand name can charge more than their competitors. Companies that are very similar to their competitors, are trapped by market prices. It does not have to be a great company to create a strong brand. You can start in your neighborhood with a deeper knowledge of the people who are happiest with your company. Develop your relationship with them.

Buyer's Journey

Every decision to purchase a user goes through steps, more or less similar to the image below.

buyer's day

A potential customer begins to realize that they have a problem. He considers options to heal him and ultimately he makes the decision to buy. At each stage he considers many factors. A company that has a recognized brand reduces the friction between stages. Often, it does not even need to do the marketing of consciousness, because its possible clients already go straight to the decision stage.
Awareness users would say, "I think my computer is a bit slow." Until it decides which computer to buy and carry out the transaction, it requires a lot of sales effort. Branding causes the user to say "I want the new Macbook Air when my computer is slow". He will not even look at competitors.

Loyalty

Strong brand loyalty, for providing a differentiated user experience and meaningful communication. Loyal customers attract new customers because they speak of the remarkable experiences they have experienced. The cost of making a new sale to an active customer is much lower than converting a new customer.
I believe you now know the importance of having a strong brand. I hope I have helped you think about how to develop a brand. If you have already had some legal experience in this regard, I'll enjoy reading the comments!

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Hi, Very well and detailed article. I have a quick question. Do you believe companies need to change their brand image as time goes by?
    Thanks
    Camila Quinn

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