Last updated on September 12th, 2020
Brands matter a lot when it comes to buying any product or service. Most people purchase products of thriving brands because, over the period, they have created a perception of durability, quality, and trust. In short, we prefer to purchase from them as they are brands. Many people mistakenly think that a company’s well-known name and logo is its brand. That is true only to an extent. Even products or services do not make a thriving brand. Similarly, advertisements and presentations also do not fall into the realm of a brand.
So, What Exactly Is A Brand?
The simple answer to this question is — a brand is all about how customers perceive it. Since a brand lives in people’s minds, their gut feeling about a company and its products makes a brand identity. We form a perception about our friends and others who come in our contact by observing their behavior. In the same way, we see logos, products, colors, fonts, names, reputations, etc. of a business and then make a perception about it. This brings us to the branding.
Branding is the exercise that a company takes up to project its products or services amongst its target audience to build an intended perception. Therefore, right from creating an impressive logo, having a slogan, to launching a marketing campaign all are an integral part of branding.
Brands Are Essential For Businesses
Those business owners who wish to be a force to reckon with in their niche markets must pay heed to turn their companies and products into brands. Once people have faith in what your company offers, they start buying without checking the quality, price, and other parameters. They have already built a perception of your company, which compels them to buy from you. This helps in the rapid growth of sales and business overall.
Once people have trust in your products or services, you can stand out in your target market. In this way, you can eliminate competition for decades. Often, when you have very little competition, you can then set your prices, which results in more profits.
Having a brand name is also a great advantage when the company launches a new product. Since such a company has already won people’s faith, they receive the latest product well.
However, building a successful or thriving brand is not an easy task, even for professional marketers. They have to thoroughly research a niche market, competition, target customers, and other aspects. Then, they target customers with visuals such as logos, brochures, business cards, websites, and plenty of different materials that have brand colors and other elements.
But consistency is the key to branding. This implies that an organization should be using the same brand colors and other elements every time it reaches the audience with promotional material. It should also follow its tagline that has a message for customers. Such consistency helps build trust amongst customers for a brand.
Designhill Conducted Webinar
Considering that new businesses find building a brand a bit tricky, Designhill, a leading creative marketplace, conducted a webinar to address this issue of designers considering building their own thriving brands. The webinar was held on October 03, 2019, with Jacob Cass as the guest speaker.
He is the founder of an award-winning brand agency “Just Creative’’. Also, he has spoken at TEDx and has been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, and several prestigious design books; including The Best of Logo Lounge Master Series. He has worked with clients such as Disney, Red Bull, Nike, & VitaminWater. While his skill set is vast, his top expertise lies in the art direction, visual design, brand strategy, UX, UI, interactive & print design.
Jacob – having experience of over 15 years in creating brand identities and strategies, shared his valuable tips with the attendees. He covered a range of issues, such as drawing the attention of top-tier clients, pricing your work, creating a brand strategy, and branding design process.
Check Out The Webinar Video
Some Crucial Tips That Jacob Shared With The Audience
01. Attract High-Value Clients
Thriving brands should have a steady stream of clients — Not just any clients, but high-value clients. High-value can be different for different people because what we consider high-value may not be the same for someone else. It’s directly associated with — what someone finds high-value, whether it’s related to project cost, loyalty, or something else.
Now, here comes the question — how to attract high-value clients?
Jacob was obvious about one thing when he discussed this pointer with us. According to him, being in a sub-contract is essential. Sometimes, you reach clients through some other mediums, channels, or persons.
An agency hired Jacob to work for them, who was working for one of his clients — San Francisco. There comes a time when you don’t work on a 1-to-1 basis. It’s through sub-relationships, and creating those relationships is essential. You can make these relationships through — marketing (website, social, or content).
02. Serve, Not Sell
Thriving brands do not focus on immediate sales. Brands indeed consider selling the most important aspect of their survival. But when you want to thrive in a competitive market, you need to shift your focus from selling to serving.
When Jacob started blogging, he didn’t know what will happen. He just kept on writing and providing value to his audience. He was sharing his resources on his blog, which garnered comments, likes, and all sorts of engagement. Through that process, he also attracted traffic to his site. Later on, he managed to attract clients as well. He wasn’t only sharing value but educating people about what he does. It wasn’t a direct marketing approach, but it had some hidden aspects of marketing in it.
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03. Embrace The Right Marketing Approach
As said earlier, the direct marketing may turn off your audience and impact your brand identity in a negative way. So, you should focus on providing your resources to people without thinking about the ‘selling’ part. Good content marketing is essential these days. With blogging going streamlined, content marketing is enormous.
You need to have a solid strategy. It includes, who you are going to target and what you’re trying to get out of your marketing etc. Jacob presumes that there are many logo designers out there. Let’s use it in that context. So, if you want to target businesses that just need a logo design, they can look for that one thing, but you could also up-sell them. But wherever or however those clients come to you, it’s all concludes to nurturing that relationship with them.
They may come to you that they want a logo design, but you should ask them — why do they need a logo design? What’s the purpose? What is it that they’re trying to achieve with that logo? And, you can assume that they need more than a logo — they are trying to build their business, they’re trying to make sales, and a lot more. The same applies to graphic design services.
If you keep that in your mind, you increase your business rather than just creating logos. Embrace the marketing approach that your customers would love.
04. Build A Solid Brand Strategy
Stop wasting your time trying to build your brand without a plan in place. You need to build your brand with a solid brand strategy. For that, you need to cut through the noises and deliver a clear and to-the-point message. Create your brand with a consistent visual style that is based on your short-term and long-term goals. Create designs that help your audience recognize and trust your brand.
For that —
i. Define, prioritize, and plan the goals of your brand to create a roadmap for success.
ii. Develop a brand strategy to make sure that the visuals, messaging, and user-experience will work in union.
iii. Watch your brand grow and expand with a clear message and visual consistency.
05. Pricing And Proposals
There are many talented graphic design services agencies and designers who fail to grab the attention of quality clients. There is only one reason for that, and that’s they overlook the importance of client proposals and pricing.
Most people’s proposals are either generic or bland. They either make the wrong impression or simply ignored by the clients. If you can’t market yourself in the first proposal, you lose them forever.
When you price your services, check up on your competitors. If you can’t slash your prices because it will hurt you financially, state why this pricing is good for the clients. Include a strong proposal that explains your services being the best and justifies your pricing point.
Once you have created a solid strategy around it, go ahead and bring it into reality.
Branding doesn’t take a full-fledged shape overnight. It needs both effort and time; no matter how perfect your products or services are. If you lack at strategizing and attracting audiences, you will fail as a brand. Consider the tips mentioned above to stay at the top of the game of thriving brands.