How to create a new and strong brand in a few steps?
A brand is not created because we have added a name and a logo to a product.
If that were the case, branding would be the job of polonists and graphic designers. In reality it is different: a brand is only created when a particular offer is perceived by the buyer as so unique that in the buying process (and later when using the product) he is guided not only by the price and the convenience of the purchase, but also by the brand.
In other words: we speak of a brand when a customer buys a product precisely because it is this particular product and not another, for example, the cheapest.
The fact that we judge a brand to be unique may be the result of how (effectively) the product affects us or what sensory experience it gives us. The unique name and logo are intended to reinforce and attribute these impressions to the brand. In other words: the consumer should feel that they have bought something unique and, by using the brand, feel that it provides them with greater benefits and pleasure than analogous products without a name.
The brand as seen through the eyes of the buyer
A brand cannot therefore be viewed only through the prism of identifiers (which have to be invented anyway), but more broadly, holistically, as the whole of a company's offering. In other words, the brand must be seen exactly as the buyer sees it.
After all, a brand is the result of:
1 - how our offering is presented (what it looks like): what its name, logo, symbols, packaging, etc. comprise.
2 - how the product/service it covers works - what benefits it brings to the users
3 - what impression the user has of the offering - this is, in fact, a key component, derived in part from the appearance of the brand (sometimes a suggestive name or attractive packaging can give the impression that the product works "better") and from the attributes of the product/service itself, modified/improved by the brand's marketing communication (highlighting its selected qualities).
A holistic brand
Do you want your brand to evoke a positive and unique response from potential buyers? Ensure consistency and synergy between your brand identifiers (which correspond to the buyer's needs and reflect what the product really offers) and your brand communication (which highlights its qualities, consistent with the product's identifiers and attributes). But how to do this?
The most important thing is to act from the design process of a new brand. Avoid a clear division of roles between engineers ("who design the product itself"), graphic designers ("who invent the logo and packaging") and communication specialists ("who prepare the launch campaign"). It is not, of course, a matter of communication specialists creating the brand design, graphic designers intervening in production details or coming up with advertising slogans, and engineers taking care of graphic design or packaging design. It's about taking a holistic view of the entire offering and the process involved in creating a brand. This parallel thinking about what a brand looks like, how it works and the impressions it should make is the basis of successful brand design.
The brand is the answer to key questions
Successful branding must be preceded by a key question: Why? More specifically: why is a brand created and why should customers prioritize it over others? The question of why a brand exists is a question about its mission. How will the brand change the lives of customers and the world at large for the better? What new value will it bring to the world of the buyer? Of course, customers will also want to know what and how the brand does for them, but it is the "why" question (why it exists, but also "why should I believe it" and "why should I buy it") that is key.
When we ask ourselves the above questions, two important issues arise:
1 - we have to differentiate ourselves from the competition with something (e.g., offer something different, look different, communicate differently with customers).
2 - price is neither the only nor the most important selection factor (if it were, brands would not be necessary at all and there would be room in the market for the cheapest single offer; today's "because it's cheaper" buyers are often unprofitable and/or single-transaction customers).
A brand responds to concrete and real needs
Let us return to the question "why? To answer it, it is first necessary to know in depth the needs, desires, preferences and whims of buyers. Contrary to popular belief, it is not enough to conduct surveys: they alone will not allow us to properly understand buyers. It is much more effective to use not one, but several methods of buyer observation (we write about the types and effects of market research here and here), various forms of questioning or market experiments (still very rare in our market). The more data of different types, the better for our conclusions.
Once we have answered the question of "why" the brand exists, it is easier to have consistency between what the brand looks like and how it acts and communicates. Of course, a major marketing effort is still required to ensure that the brand is available in the distribution channels that our buyer prefers. It will also be important to test the effectiveness of our actions and assess whether, in the buying process, the brand's offer is so attractive and unique that buyers are guided by more than price and convenience.
A brand on solid foundations
In short: brand building must have a solid foundation. All aspects of it must be taken care of: appearance, performance and the impression it should make on the potential customer.
Only then can we consciously design not only the brand, but also its success.