A Quick Roadmap to Branding Your Business
I visited the World of Coca Cola in Atlanta with my family a couple of summers ago. While my daughters were most impressed with getting to taste dozens of brands produced by Coca Cola around the world, as a marketer I was most impressed with the story the museum shared of how the Coca Cola brand developed over time to become one of the world’s most loved brands. There is little more rewarding in business than building a brand that people become emotionally connected to and passionate about. As business owners, how do we pull this off as we build our own brands?
Here is a quick roadmap for branding your business based on many of the approaches Coca Cola and your favorite brands depend upon:
First, know the audience you want to reach and adapt your brand to fit its needs and lifestyle. Coca Cola does this on a worldwide scale by introducing drink brands specific to different countries and cultures such as Vegitabeta in Japan or Coca Cola Citra available in New Zealand. Coca Cola studies a culture and its tastes, and then adapts its products to best fit the tastebuds of each culture. What different audiences does your brand serve? Great branding starts by understanding your various customer groups and what each is looking for.
The next step to building a great brand is to understand what your customers truly want and how your brand can meet this need better than your competitors. The more you can meet your customers where they are, provide exactly what they are looking for, while differentiating from your competitors, the more your brand will be embraced and celebrated. Katie talks about the importance of marketing the experience, end result, or enhanced lifestyle in her blog, Marketing that Matters. Coca Cola knew from the very early days that the focus of messaging did not need to be selling quality colas, but rather that Coca Cola is present whenever and wherever people connect and share happy moments. Coca Cola is selling a lifestyle, not a drink. How does your brand truly meet the needs of your customers?
Your logo and advertising materials should reflect your brand personality while resonating with your target market. Above all, your brand should be visually consistent across every medium. With over 100 years of company history and marketing, with advertising changes over time, the Coca Cola brand is recognizable at a glance wherever it appears throughout time.
Deliver your message to each target audience using a few great approaches to get your story out. The more you understand how to reach your customers where they are going about their lives and business, and the more you stand out where they can see you, the more visible your brand will be. Do you remember the Coca Cola Caravan that accompanied the Olympic Torch Relay during the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City? I remember the energy and music coming off the caravan, the excitement of seeing the Olympic Torch in my city, Decatur, Alabama, and of course the free bottle of Coke I was handed as I watched the torch go by. A classic example of a brand finding where people are experiencing extreme happiness and becoming seamlessly intertwined into the entire experience. Being creative in how you are presenting your brand to your customers pays major dividends.
This is the most powerful approach of all. Understand that your brand is not your logo or your marketing, but the experience and personality you deliver consistently to every customer no matter where you come in contact with them. This is where the passionate brand ambassadors are built. Heather talked about her passion for a local tea brand in a recent post and that her passion for the brand developed because it is genuine, feels true, and is very relatable. Ultimately, it is the personal connection a company builds with its customers that makes a great brand. When people’s emotions are engaged, when they feel connected, the brand passion follows.
If you do these five things well, your brand will be memorable, stand out, create loyalty, build trust, generate referrals, and ultimately build equity in your business.
A gift for you!
Print or share this infographic that reviews the roadmap for branding your business and take your brand to the next level!