When we speak of a top-notch brand, certain names come to our minds. These names are often linked with other names of the same niche, albeit each evokes a different emotion in us. For instance, when one thinks of Nike, at the back of our mind, we subconsciously think of other brands from the same niche, such as Adidas and Puma.
However, thinking about each of these brands could evoke different feelings. One might remind you of a joyful hiking experience. In contrast, another might evoke some other emotion. In short, a brand is what sets apart one company from another. How it's built is a question worth a million dollars, and while there is no sure-shot way of gaining success in creating a Top-Notch Brand, marketers can build a solid foundation for their brand if they analyze their market and consistently work on building a strong brand strategy that effectively formulates and communicates a reputable brand identity.
Essential Elements to Build a Top-Notch Brand
The successful implementation of the aforementioned marketing tactics determines the longevity of brands, for it has served as a linchpin in the establishment of some of the most successful brands in the world. What follows is a detailed study of how marketers can use these marketing tactics to work toward building a Top-Notch Brand.
1. Market Analysis – Insights About the Playing Field
Before one begins to lay the first building blocks of their company, it’s essential to learn more about the competition, the market gaps, the business demographics, and several other things. It’s often seen that startups that make the blunder of taking this step lightly catalyze their failure.
Although, it is easily preventable if they thoroughly do their homework before they begin working on the more apparent matters of a startup, i.e., working on the visuals.
So, how is market research conducted? There are two ways to do it, called primary and secondary. Primary market research refers to all the first-hand research done by the company or a hired outsourcer, whereas secondary stands for the study of documented data already prepared by third parties. While conducting the market research, one of the most pertinent questions is the type of industry one intends to target. The target industry is, then, what determines several other aspects of the business, such as the target audience, the trends of the industry, growth opportunities, brand strategy, and marketing tactics. How effectively your product or service fills a market gap is definitely on the top of the list.
2. Brand Strategy: The What, Why, and How of your Business
A brand strategy is an action plan from point A to B. Point A is the brand, and point B is the client. So, in other words, brand strategy can be considered as a matchmaking process between the brand and the clients, which surfaces unique insight about both the parties.
Of course, before devising an approach toward attracting clients, a business must decide on its target audience. It needs to have a mission statement and a clear vision, for a brand without a mission and a vision is purposeless and destined to failure.
Moreover, it’s essential to know that the bigger the market gap is, the bigger the brand strategy. So the complexity of approaching it depends on how large of a gap the brand attempts to fill. Therefore, working on a brand’s solution to fulfill its customer needs should be the utmost priority. Giving a unique selling point or unique value proposition to your customers can give your brand an edge over your competitors. Simply standing out in terms of the visual deliverables does not guarantee success. At least, not in the long run, attracting clients with a unique brand identity does not ensure long-lasting relationships with your clients. On the other hand, it’s just as necessary if approached in the correct sequence.
3. Brand Identity – A Visual Embodiment of Your Brand:
So, considering you've mapped out your brand strategy and are all set to achieve great success in the market. The next step is to build a brand identity that can represent your brand's values and encapsulate them through tangible means. Thus, it's important to solidify and symbolize these abstract concepts through visual representation with logos, banners, or characters such as Ronald the McDonald.
Speaking of McDonald's, consider how the clown's character has succeeded in representing the brand as a fun place for families to dine, with gift-wrapped happy meals and a play area for kids. I remember wanting to visit McDonald's more for the toys than the food. Of course, the food has to be good, but by attracting a younger audience, they could convert them into a loyal fan base from a very early stage in our lives. Now, visiting McDonald's is more about the food I've learned to love since childhood.
4. Brand Marketing – Communication and Content:
Communication and content are the fourth element of our recipe for building a top-notch brand. It’s vital to leverage each and every means of connecting and communicating with your clients and customers to ensure that a strong bond develops between the brand and its target audience. The aim of a business shouldn’t only be to make the most sales; instead, it should be to maintain those sales and maintain their client/customer base, for which after-sales service is essential.
Brands these days communicate with their fans via social media to create a more humanistic relationship with their audience. Similarly, the content you share with your fans matters a lot as it provides you with an opportunity to drive conversations about your products and services actively.
5. Consistent, Yet Flexible
After laying the foundation for a strong brand, a business must remain consistent with what they promise to offer. The brand must stay focused on its mission and true to its values. Yes, in a fast-paced technological era, it's also crucial to adapt and improve your brand according to changing trends; however, in essence, your brand should be the same.
Today, companies constantly need to come up with new creative campaigns and strategies to keep the audiences engaged and attracted to their brand. It also means that tactics that did not work previously need to be amended. Moreover, besides the conceptual, the business's tangible assets can also benefit from improvements.
For instance, take the example of brands refreshing their brand identity to make it look more modernized. We've seen numerous rebranding cases in different industries, such as MLB logos in sports, and Windows and Apple logos in the tech industry. They have successfully refreshed their look, but have stayed true to their mission.
Final Thoughts on How To Build a Top-Notch Brand
Time and time again, irrespective of the industry, these 5 main elements prove to be the most essential building blocks for creating a top-notch brand. As these give companies a direction and a collective goal to strive towards as a team, it’s important that everyone in the company, right from the CEO to the associates, is on the same page in terms of having a solid understanding of the ‘what, why, and how’ of the company.