A brand is the visual, emotional, rational, and even cultural image that people associate with a product or with a company. Brands are more important at this period in time than any time in the past century. Brands bring together psychology and science to create a sort of promise mark rather than just a trademark. The fact is that brands outlive products because products typically have certain life cycles. It is the brand and not the product that is utilized to convey a uniform quality, credibility, and experience. It is the brand that has value; so much so that a great number of companies will put the value of their brand on the balance sheet. Branding is basic and fundamental; the essential element of building value for companies and corporations.
This makes creative brand building the most important aspect of a business in the world today.
There are a number of reasons why branding is so important, with the online world of ecommerce being at the top. Many new markets have opened up since the world came online and since there became a growing middle class in countries like China, Brazil, India, South Africa, Russia, Indonesia, and Nigeria. These new consumers are looking to buy the best, premium brands. This means branding of the best sort is based on a strong idea. The best branding is remarkably creative when advertising. It takes creativity to bust through the wall of indifference that people have in order to create the hype surrounding a brand that will lead to a demand for the brand's product.
As mentioned, it takes a strong idea to build a brand and there are several important components to brand building. It is important to focus on a single brand when starting any business. No matter how much money there is to create a startup, resources will always feel to be at a premium. Therefore, resources and branding energy should be focused on a single brand, which will be the name of the company.
The key here is to avoid creating separate brand identities for the business and then for each of its products. Customers will be confused by the introduction of multiple brands and the energy and resources put into the efforts of branding will ultimately be diffused; they will not have the impact they would if the focus is a single brand. Whether a B2B business or a consumer, or a single brand; focus is always more effective than a multiple brand introduction. A great example of a single brand focus is Polo. There is no wasted energy or resources on sub-branding; the Polo shirts, shoes, dresses, home decor, bed and bath, and so on are all Polo.
The next component of building a brand is coming up with the URL or domain name for the website. This should be a part of the overall consideration of alternative names for the brand. Use a registration engine like Register.com or GoDaddy.com to see if the name of the brand is available as a URL. The name of the brand should be as simple as possible; something short and memorable. The name should be easy to pronounce, and even more important, easy to spell. A good brand will be easy for people to find in a search engine and easy to spread by word of mouth to friends and family.
The name of the brand should take one of three possible paths; that of being either whimsical, evocative, or descriptive. The first type is one that is a unique, nonsensical word that is also memorable like Tapjoy or Hulu for example. An evocative brand name may not say anything about the brand itself, but remains evocative. The final path is one of description; it will literally tell people what it is the brand, or company, does.
Choosing a brand name may involve seeking the opinions or ideas of others, but it is important to avoid choosing a brand name by focus group or by committee. The problem with this method of choice is the brand will often end up being a bland and uninspired name. Once the brand name is chosen it is imperative the brand is consistently used and applied. The language of the brand, the look of the brand, and the feel of the brand should all be consistent.
Lastly, the creation of a killer brand requires protection under the law. The company name, tagline, and logo should all be trademarked.
Building highly successful brands in today's world requires the use of a cultural movement strategy. The brand building strategy that was just discussed is still necessary, but the process now must take a step further. A cultural movement is a must in the multi-media environment and using the power of technology and social media can maximize the exposure of the brand. There are a number of creative methods for this type of branding that include utilizing Facebook, Twitter, email, Pinterest, Instagram, and online TV shows. Here are some successful examples of creative brand promotion by some of these strategies, beginning with online TV shows:
Recently started is an online poker TV show called Shark Cage, which promotes the brand of PokerStars.
The show features both poker professionals and qualifiers alike, giving qualifiers the opportunity to win one million dollars. The even brings together poker legends and Team PokerStars Pros from around the world to compete in televised heats. Each season the TV show includes six heats that include five top professionals and one online qualifier. The participants in each of the six heats are playing for a seat in the final where they play for a share in a prize pool of one million dollars. The three final heats take place at the European Poker Tour, which means three of the online qualifiers will not only get a seat, but also an all expense paid trip.
The TV show is great promotion for the brand, having a full-line of poker superstars, the usual entertaining trash talk, and as always, exciting poker action. The innovative format of the games adds to the interest, with each playing only getting thirty seconds to act on each street (each betting opportunity), as well as players who successfully get bluffed are sent to the Shark Cage for an orbit (round), while the successful bluffer gets a cash bonus. If a player bluffing fails by getting the bluff called, that player must go to the Shark Cage for an orbit.
Online TV streaming is becoming quite popular and is a great way for creatively promoting a brand, but as mentioned earlier there are many other branding strategies for stimulating traffic to a website.
Social media marketing of all sorts attracts users to a brand, but it seems that when it comes to self-promotion, Twitter is one that allows for the greatest creativity, but with the shortest format. The key to using Twitter is creating a response with only 140 characters, along with a video or a picture. Here are a few examples of creative branding on Twitter by some well-known companies.
The customers of this brand want more than just tweets that discuss sales, and the fashion brand knows this. As a consequence, the juggernaut H&M covers more than sales in their tweets; they boast photos of upcoming collections from backstage, interviews with models and designers, and much more. This brand is very good at including pictures with almost every tweet, which is vital to selling products of any brand. They take their creative use of Twitter a step further by offering sneak peeks, discounts to loyal followers, and offering other giveaways.
Those who travel often they know the possible pitfalls of lost luggage, flight delays, and other travel related issues. These experiences can be quit taxing or stressful; therefore, Delta has several people who monitor their Twitter account that are dedicated to solving these types of issues immediately. All a passenger has to do is send a tweet about what is happening to expect assistance. This is what has helped Delta to keep customer services reviews from tumbling. The quick responses and dedication to satisfying customers allows Delta to manage hurt feelings at a crucial moment in the customer’s experience. This does happen to impress people, promoting the brand in a positive light.
The Twitter account of this brand is quite playful. The tweets of the little snack cookie that could include highlights of new products, collaborations, and responses to comments of users. They also include pickup lines, one-liners, and puns into their feed. To get people talking, Oreo uses Vine videos and pictures. The brand has developed following from customers, celebrities, and other companies thanks to their interaction with fans and their notion of never taking themselves too seriously. The brand even stays relevant by talking about things that are well known in the public eye and commenting on the news.
Social media marketing is becoming an essential tool for creating a cultural brand strategy, reaching out to users and customers all over the world. Brands can garner millions of followers by utilizing social media, developing a brand personality along the way. This is likely the most accessible and personable way of connecting to others in order to create a brand that will skyrocket.