Creating a strong brand isn’t easy. It’s more than communicating what your product does. A strong brand identity makes an emotional connection, and creating one requires thought and a deep understanding of what your product is and how it benefits people.
Below are three tips for entrepreneurs to keep in mind when creating and building a brand.
Define your brand essence
At the heart of any successful brand is an essence, something that is emotionally-charged and appeals to your customers, as well as to your employees. A brand essence should be authentic to the company, fairly unique and not just a general statement about what your product is or does. Although functional and valuable, pragmatic differentiators for a brand often lack feeling, and therefore, essence.
Successful brands everywhere incorporate essence into their messaging. For example, Endy (an online e-commerce mattress company) identifies the essence of its brand with the slogan “Love at First Night.”
There is a lot packed into this one simple message, but, emotionally speaking, people are passionate about things they love (and personally, I don’t know anyone who does not love a good night’s sleep).
The essence here is the fact that Endy’s product is an experience that does not require getting used to, and it doesn’t have any inconsistency. It implies that the experience you receive with this product is quite simple and predictable, and Endy is confident that from the first night, customers will love it.
This is powerful, since we often connote love to longer-term feelings, and the things we can’t quite explain but feel good about. The feeling of getting a good night’s sleep is a brand feeling, or an essence, that many people can connect with.
Make it relatable
Brand essence needs to be broad enough so that most customers can relate to it, and feel a connection to it, without alienating another customer base. It should also be functional enough as an idea that it can be used in any type of company communications when necessary.
Take StickerYou for example: “Make What Matters Stick” is not only a solid slogan, it also captures the essence of what we do and why we do it. For us, “Make What Matters Stick” influences everything we do, from production standards to hiring processes. Each touchpoint in the company needs to personify that message, and it means that everything we do matters. When your brand essence is relatable, this essence will trickle down throughout your entire organization.
Today’s world is a busy one, and customers are subjected to thousands of media messages and ads throughout the course of a day. Reinforcement of your brand essence not only helps potential and existing customers understand and and emotionally connect with your startup and what you can offer them, it also helps them to remember who you are. You don’t need to use your brand essence in every single customer communication, but it is important to find natural and effective ways to reinforce it when possible.
A strong brand is a cornerstone of any successful business, and it’s worth the time and investment to create one that encapsulates not only your product, but the essence of your company.