How to Make Preparations for Building a Successful Brand

Updated on December 30, 2017
heidithorne profile image

Heidi Thorne is an author and business speaker with over 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, advertising, and public relations.

Source

What makes a brand a success? Quite simply, almost everything a business does! It goes beyond a beautiful logo, a memorable brand name and an advertising campaign that reaches all the right people. Discussed below are the primary elements and preparations that go into building a successful brand.

After an organization has been in business for some time, it may find that the initial decisions it made about its branding strategy no longer work for either the market, the organization or its customers. A review and restructuring of the primary branding elements will be required in order to rebuild the brand.

Whether building or rebuilding, the following apply to both.

Mission, Values and Customers

What is the organization's mission and values? Who are the organization's customers? What does your brand "promise"? These questions must be answered prior to developing any branding strategy. Why?

Let's review an example organization to illustrate. The company is a large discount retailer of grocery, health and home products. Their mission is to serve communities of middle class to low income families with reasonably priced, but quality, brand name products. The families want to save money, but want to be assured that they are doing the best for their families and budget. Quick, efficient checkout lines help these families get on with their busy schedules.

For a customer base such as this, promotions that are quite specific with advertised prices and sale offers would be required. Abstract, image conscious advertising, without pricing, such as that seen for luxury car brands, is likely to be ignored. Concierge-type customer service that may be typical in upscale retail settings cannot be afforded... nor is it expected.

Elements of a Successful Brand

Knowing the organization's mission and customers will help make decisions about the following elements that build a brand:

Logo Design

In general, an organization's logo must convey its basic mission and appeal to the target audience of customers. That is a tall order best left to graphic design professionals!

Many small businesses try to cobble a logo together using clip art. Not only is that illegal or prohibited by most clip art sites, it doesn't make the business look unique.

A logo is an investment. If an organization does not have funds to hire a designer at the beginning, they are best advised to use the brand name in text only until they can afford a logo design.

Graphic designers can help businesses choose appropriate colors for branding. To maintain consistent color matching, Pantone (also called PMS for "Pantone Matching System") color numbers are used for reference.
Graphic designers can help businesses choose appropriate colors for branding. To maintain consistent color matching, Pantone (also called PMS for "Pantone Matching System") color numbers are used for reference. | Source

Colors

Usually when an organization's logo is designed, colors are usually integrated into the design that can be established as the official colors. If a logo design cannot be funded at the beginning and text is just being used for the brand name, the organization can start using colors that can be carried over into a logo later.

In general, bright, clear colors often appeal to more budget conscious audiences. Muted and blended colors are usually appropriate for more upscale crowds. However, both rules are often broken successfully.

As with the logo design itself, graphic designers can provide valuable insight into what colors would work for various audiences.

Packaging

As with logo design, packaging design is an area where professional, experienced consultants can be of valuable assistance. Not only will they provide advice on an artistically appealing package, they will usually be able to advise on practical aspects such as product protection, shipping and safety issues. This can be a major branding investment.

It is recommended that a packaging designer work with the logo designer to provide a consistent look throughout the organization and its offerings. Some design firms provide both logo and packaging consulting.

Customer Service

Customer service levels vary by type of customer and offerings. A hungry customer going through a fast food restaurant drive-thru window will not expect fine china and silverware with the meal. On the flip side, upscale diners at a city's finest eateries would be appalled being served anything in a paper wrapper.

Choosing an appropriate level and type of service for type of customers sought is just as important as any logo or store design.

Staffing

Staffing is an often overlooked aspect of branding. If an organization values being friendly, but only hires workers who have no patience for customers, the brand will suffer immensely. This requires coordination with the organization's ownership or human resources unit to make sure that staff members hired can properly represent the brand.

Physical or Virtual (Website) Location

Starbucks. McDonald's. Target. Wal-Mart. Walk into any location of these corporate giants and observe the surroundings. Now go into another one of their locations and observe. You know you're in the same company's store! Each one has a very distinct retail look, feel and even smell.

Creating a unique environment in which to do business is often referred to as trade dress. Interestingly, trade dress can be protected under the law.

In the virtual realm, websites are the online "locations" where companies do business. Like their physical counterparts, websites also have a unique trade dress. However, with so many template-based websites, many sites tend to look alike. This is not all bad since it helps users more easily navigate a site. Using custom photos, videos and graphics can help convey the brand and make it stand out from the rest.

Pricing

A price is part of a brand? Yes!

As discussed in Understanding Brand Loyalty in Marketing, many generic products are manufactured by brand name companies. Yet the brand name counterparts can command higher prices... and they need to get higher prices to cover the costs of advertising and marketing the brand. As well, authentic brand name products will appeal to some audiences and their generic cousins will appeal to a more budget conscious public. So the same product can be packaged, priced and marketed to create completely different brands.

Advertisement Methods and Placements

As discussed in Choosing a Method of Advertisement for a Business, the concept of "where" determines the best place to reach a target audience. Plus, where the ad is placed says a lot about the organization, its customers and its brand.

For example, Wal-Mart's $1.97 sale price on a canned good would not be useful for readers of the Wall Street Journal... even though business leader readers of WSJ are interested in saving money.

Ad placements chosen are a reflection of who the organization wants to serve and who they believe themselves to be.

Disclaimer: Any examples used are for illustrative purposes only and do not suggest affiliation or endorsement. The author/publisher has used best efforts in preparation of this article. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered or allowed and all parties disclaim any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for your particular purpose. The advice, strategies and recommendations presented herein may not be suitable for you, your situation or business. Consult with a professional adviser where and when appropriate. The author/publisher shall not be liable for any loss of profit or any other damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. So by reading and using this information, you accept this risk.

Questions & Answers

    © 2013 Heidi Thorne

    Comments

    Submit a Comment

    • heidithorne profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Thorne 

      5 years ago from Chicago Area

      Hi AliciaC! You're not alone in not thinking about it before. Most businesses don't! We're creating our brands either by design or default. Glad you found it helpful. Cheers!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is very interesting, Heidi. What you say makes a lot of sense, yet most of it I haven't thought about before! Thanks for the useful information.

    • heidithorne profile imageAUTHOR

      Heidi Thorne 

      5 years ago from Chicago Area

      I hope they will listen, too, billybuc! I think they have visions of the Glengarry Glenross "Always Be Closing" sales scenario and it scares them. Selling is communication. Ironic that writers, who are communicators, have such issues with it. One day, one day...

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      This needs to be read by every writer, Heidi! I swear, based on comments I get, people don't understand that they need to sell themselves. They think if they just write something that people will flock to their site and buy everything. This business....any business....just doesn't work that way.

      Keep singing your song my friend. Hopefully some writers will listen soon.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://toughnickel.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)