Many companies strive to achieve a status whereby they are the first name that a consumer thinks of when they seek products or services that the company provides. This enviable brand status is not something that is achieved by accident however, but a position achieved through completely understanding your products/services and understanding what your customers want, and then creating a branding strategy from this information to achieve the desired brand recognition. So how do you get to that brand recognition status?
The first thing to understand is that it takes time and planning. It is not necessarily important that you be the cheapest, but, that you position yourself properly to convey your messages to your intended customers. Remember, you sell overnight, but you brand over time!
There is a common misconception about what constitutes a brand. A brand isn’t just about the mark or logo, nor is it just about your brochure or website or social media or advertising. It is more than these individual components in isolation. It is the cohesive ‘strategy’ that connects myriad multi-media to convey appropriate messages to your consumers, espousing the qualities and key attributes that you believe set you apart from your competitors. It is this strategy that gets you to the pole position in the minds of consumers, whereby your company becomes synonymous with the products/services that you supply. Take the ‘Hoover’ company for example.
The ‘Hoover’ Company started out as an American floor care manufacturer based in Ohio, USA, and had a major base in the United Kingdom. In the early and mid-20th century, it dominated the electric vacuum cleaner industry, to the extent that the ‘Hoover’ brand became synonymous with vacuum cleaners and vacuuming in the United Kingdom and Ireland. In addition to floor care products Hoover was also an iconic domestic appliance brand in Europe particularly well known for its washing machines and tumble-dryers in the UK and Ireland and, also had significant sales in many parts of Europe. Today, the Hoover Europe brand, as part of the portfolio of brands owned by Candy Group, remains a major player in the European white goods and floor care sectors in a number of countries.
So, now that you have identified the qualities of your product offering, the onus is on you is to build the brand by communicating these across all the communication touch points from social media and online, to print, radio and television (depending on your budget!). Ultimately, understanding your brand values, consumer profiles and available media, enables you to target consumers by getting their attention, creating an interest, creating a desire, and then action. Brand strength is when this converts to loyalty. Knowing your customer is key to your success and understanding what motivates them should never be underestimated. Key also is consistency of messaging. Decide on the key product/service attributes that you want to push and make sure you communicate them across all chosen media, frequently and consistently. Don’t get distracted with peripheral messages as these will detract from your objective.
Remember too, that you are trying to influence perceptions about your brand in the minds of consumers, so focus on what’s important when defining the messages that you want to convey. Obviously you will need to periodically check how your strategy is progressing, so you will need to carry out some customer research to establish this.
I hope that this article gives you a flavour for the process in building brand recognition. At drawinginc, we understand brands marketing, design and media. We regularly develop brand, marketing, and design strategies for our clients to ensure that their brand values are communicated clearly to their customers. If you would like to know more about how we do this, please feel free to contact me.
Creative Director – drawinginc