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A YUMYUM BRANDING GUIDE

The YUMYUM guide to building a brilliant Brand

It goes without saying that a company’s brand can be a hugely valuable asset, if it’s done properly. Branding drives customer loyalty and long-term growth, and ensures a business is more than a sum of its parts. But branding can be one of the most misunderstood aspects of marketing, and one of the most challenging to get right.

In this guide, we’ll dissect what branding really means, and take you through a step-by-step process to creating a powerful brand that will inspire a loyal army of followers for your company.

BRANDING STATSISTICS

77%

Critical to growth

77 percent of B2B marketing leaders say branding is critical to growth – Circle Research

23%

Increase in revenue

According to a report published by Lucid Press, consistent branding across all marketing platforms increases revenue by an average of 23%.

80%

Increase in recognition

A signature color can boost brand recognition by 80 percent – Color Matters

INTRODUCTION

What is branding?

Let’s start at the beginning: what is a brand?

Lots of people think of branding as a company’s logo, or stamp. But in marketing terms, branding means something more. Just like a car is more than just 4 wheels, a brand is much more than just a logo.

Your brand is an expression of your identity as a company. You can go as far as saying it’s your company’s personality. It’s how people think and feel when they engage with your company.

Is your company’s personality serious, wise and dependable, or fun, spontaneous and extroverted?

Both personalities are positive, but the latter wouldn’t suit a firm of lawyers and the former wouldn’t suit a Club 18–30 holiday resort.

When we talk about a brand personality, it boils down to a promise to your customers. It says: “When you do business with us, this is what you’ll get.” This is known as your brand promise.

As such, your brand needs to be carefully thought through and consistent across all customer touchpoints. Just like a person, if your personality is inconsistent, then you won’t inspire trust or connection.

THE FIVE PILLARS

What makes a successful brand?

Every successful brand shares these 5 pillars:

01 | Authenticity

Your brand should represent your values as a company. If it doesn’t, it will come across as inauthentic and you’ll do more harm than good.

 

02 | Relevance

Your brand personality should represent traits that are important to your customers, and the brand promise that you’re committing to provide must be something that they actually want. A firm of lawyers with a brand that promises spontaneity and excitement might be authentic, but they wouldn’t be aligned with what a typical customer is looking for in legal advice.

 

03 | Consistency

Building an affinity between your brand and your customers boils down to trust. Your customers need to believe in what you represent.

If your brand is inconsistent, customers won’t be able to trust in it and it’ll lose its power. If your online adverts are lively and fun, but your sales staff are sombre and serious, any feeling of excitement generated by the adverts will be lost and your efforts will have been wasted.

 

04 | Commitment

Your whole team should be committed to delivering your brand personality, from senior management to customer-facing staff. It should shine through at every customer touchpoint and be factored into strategic decision-making processes.

 

05 | Uniqueness

Your brand should be sufficiently different from your competitors, otherwise you’ll be interchangeable in the minds of your target customers.

If you work in a sector with lots of competitors, it might be hard to come up with a completely unique brand personality, but you can work on drawing out specific elements. Perhaps you want to be the one in your sector known for exceptional customer service, being traditional and family-run or providing a superior quality of product or service.

BRANDING STATSISTICS

45%

Would unfollow

45 percent of people surveyed by BuzzStream said they would unfollow a brand on social media if their platform is dominated by “too much” self-promotion

5-7

Impressions

Although consumers form a first impression of a brand’s logo within 10 seconds, it takes 5-7 impressions for consumers to remember the logo – Action Card

94%

Like transparency

A 2016 survey found that 94 percent of all consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand when it commits to full transparency – LabelInsight

A STRONG BRAND

The benefits of great branding

A strong brand can drive business growth. But how? Let’s look a little deeper into the benefits of branding.

Take a moment to think of a well-known brand and consider how powerful it is. Technology produced by Apple has an instant appeal (among their target audience), even before it’s launched. Why is that? It’s because Apple’s brand has consistently and effectively expressed high-quality, cutting-edge design and aspiration.

A strong brand will:

Create customer loyalty and faith in you and your business.

Increase your company’s value.

Enable you to charge more. People pay more for branded products because they perceive higher quality, even if the products are similar, or even identical.

Increase your market share. More people will buy from a company with a strong brand, so you’ll win custom from your competition.

Reduce your sales costs. If it’s done well, your brand will do a lot of the sales legwork for you; it will build trust and communicate the quality a customer can expect.

Make it easier to launch new product lines. Once you have a strong brand, you can use it as a springboard to launch new products and services, and they’ll instantly benefit from the existing brand equity. The products don’t even have to be related — look at Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin empire.

Boost staff morale and lower employee turnover. If staff understand and believe in your values and the long-term vision you have, they’ll be happier and more likely to stick around.

Help you recruit better people. The esteem that a strong brand carries will be appealing to potential new hires.

IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?

Is branding right for every business?

That’s a strong list of benefits, but there are some situations where putting resources into branding might not be right.

If you’re an innovator and you’ve created a completely new product category, then you should normally focus on raising awareness of your product rather than your brand. People need to understand the product before buying into the brand.

If you operate in an industry with hundreds of competitors, such as selling mobile phone accessories on Amazon and Ebay, you might struggle to communicate a brand identity. You’d be better off competing on price or product features, as consumers in these kinds of markets aren’t likely to be driven by brand loyalty.

But for any business that depends on creating loyal and repeat customers — and let’s be honest, that’s most of us — then branding is a fantastic long-term growth strategy.

A STRONG BRAND

Creating your brand

Branding can feel like an intangible concept. We all know a powerful brand when we see it — Nike, Apple, Coca Cola — but how do you go about creating it for your business?

We’ve broken it down into 4 steps. The first covers the strategic development of your brand and steps 2–4 cover the execution of your strategy.

01 | Define your brand

What personality should your business have?

Your brand is a promise to your customers that conveys, on an emotional level, what they can expect from you. The first question to ask yourself is: what is that promise? How do you want customers to feel when they interact with your business?

-      Looked after and cared for?

-      Aspirational?

-      Excited and inspired?

-      Reassured?

Your brand’s personality should link directly to your overall business strategy. If you want to grow in a particular market or with a particular customer segment, then your brand should align with those plans.

 

02 | Express your brand

Once you’ve worked out what your brand will look like, you need to express it in terms that other people will understand.

It can help to imagine your brand as a person, hence why we talk about brand personality. A brand needs to communicate a feeling.

You express your brand using a list of brand drivers. Brand drivers are the bridges between your brand personality and how your customers feel about you. We’ll cover what they are and how to use them in the next section.

03 | Build awareness and communicate the brand

Once you’ve worked out how to express your brand, it’s time to shout about it. It’s important that you communicate your brand effectively and consistently both internally and externally.

Your employees need to understand the brand, as they’ll play a key role in upholding it. The message needs to be consistent and authentic for it to carry weight, and be delivered from every corner of your business.

 

04 | Measure the impact your brand is having

As with any marketing activity, you need to measure how your brand is performing for you, in order to understand the return on investment you’re getting and whether you need to change anything.

THE YUMYUM BRANDING GUIDE

Brand drivers

Brand drivers are a key component of your brand strategy. They’re created once you’ve defined your brand’s personality.

Brand drivers are essentially adjectives that you use to express your brand. They help your customers connect with your brand promise. Some examples of well-known brand drivers are:

Efficient, reliable and convenient (DHL)

Modern, aspirational, well-engineered (Audi)

Heritage, homely, one of life's simple pleasures (PG Tips)

Brand drivers link directly with your brand promise. For example, if you promise to help your customers feel looked after in a time of need, your brand drivers might be:

Caring 

Dependable

Respectful

Trustworthy

Sincere

Thoughtful

COMMUNICATING YOUR BRAND

Your brand tools

You’ve created a brand personality. Now you need to create the tools you’ll use to communicate it to the people you hope it will resonate with, your target customers.

These tools include:

  • Your name
  • Your visual identity
  • Your tone of voice

Choosing a name

You might already have a brand name, but even if you do, that doesn’t mean you can’t brand a particular product or service.

A name should be simple, unique and memorable, and you can choose one that reflects your brand drivers (EasyJet) or one that is unrelated (Apple).

It’s more work to build up a brand identity around an unrelated brand name, but it can be very powerful if you manage it, as the word (or words) you choose will become synonymous with your business and its values.

 

The tone of voice

The pen is mightier than the sword and your choice of language is an extremely powerful driver of your brand. From headlines to press releases, your tone of voice should be consistent if you want to build trust.

Would your brand persona speak in a formal or conversational tone? Would it use technical or laypersons’ language? Would it use short, snappy sentences or more thoughtful, descriptive prose?

 All of these brand elements — name, visual identity and tone of voice —  should work in harmony to create an impactful identity.

It should, of course, be developed with your brand personality at the forefront of your mind.

All of these brand elements — name, visual identity and tone of voice —  should work in harmony to create an impactful identity.

Creating the visual identity

The visual identity of your brand should make it instantly recognisable, and is particularly important online and in advertising where people typically skim-read.

It should, of course, be developed with your brand personality at the forefront of your mind.

A visual identity includes:

A logo

Your logo can be an object (Apple’s apple), abstract (Nike’s tick) or a wordmark (Google). You should employ a professional to design your logo, and make sure that they are well-versed in your brand strategy before they begin.

Make sure you get versions that will work in different settings, such as social media accounts, banner ads, and print.

 

 

A colour palette

A defined colour palette to use throughout your marketing materials and packaging ensures a visual tie-in across all of your marketing assets.

 

Typefaces

Similarly, consistent use of typefaces will ensure a strong brand identity and mean customers are more likely to believe in your brand.

COMMUNICATION

Communicating your brand

When, how and to whom should you communicate your brand?

Customer touchpoints

You should reinforce your brand identity every time your customers interact with your company. Inconsistencies will mean people lose trust in the personality you’re trying to project.

The different touchpoints your customers have with you can be broken down into the following stages:

Recognising the need for your product or service

  • Research
  • Reviewing competitors
  • Purchase, the shopping experience
  • Post-purchase

For each of these stages, list the brand drivers you feel are most important to communicate. Then work them into your communications strategy, so that your customers are developing a tight connection with your brand at every step of the way.

Training

Train every employee, new and existing, in your brand strategy. Make sure they understand the brand personality and the brand drivers, and how they manifest in your products, your marketing strategies and your communications.

Constantly reinforce your brand

Have your brand on show all the time. Paint your office using your brand’s colour palette, adorn your lobby with your logo and add your tagline to company email signatures.

Lead by example

If you don’t uphold your company’s brand identity yourself, your staff are unlikely to show commitment to it either.

Internal communication

Delivering and expressing your brand is all about people. Your customer-facing staff members will be the ones communicating your brand to your customers.

If they don’t understand or believe in your brand, then they won’t be able to communicate it. They need to live and breathe it.

Brand guidelines

Create brand guidelines for all employees and contractors to follow. These guidelines establish rules around how the brand is expressed and are crucial to ensure consistency and quality. Put the guidelines together in an engaging document that demonstrates all of the rules regarding colours, logos and tone of voice.

Your brand guidelines should include:

  • Brand personality and drivers
  • Logo specifications, including minimum size, exclusion zone and colours
  • Colour palette
  • Fonts, including usage and minimum sizes
  • Image guidelines
  • Tone of voice, including examples and stock text for employees to use when describing the company, its value proposition and its products and services.

COMMUNICATION

Communicating your brand to your customers

With your team fully on board, all of your marketing and communications looking, feeling and sounding consistent and your products and services perfectly synced with your brand, you now need to build the connection with your customers.

Communicating your brand to your customers is a case of running marketing campaigns. With all the work you’ve done to ensure every aspect of your company is on-brand, the brand personality should come through loud and clear.

Here are some pointers to bear in mind.

COMMUNICATION CHANNELS

Channels

Choose communication channels that resonate with the essence of your brand. As with any campaign, consider what you want to communicate (which brand drivers), why you want to communicate it (brand awareness, lead generation or conversions?), to whom (which customer segments) and when.

Working the brand drivers into your campaigns and carefully matching it to the right audiences and using the appropriate channels will reinforce your brand identity and build that trust and loyalty in the minds of your customers.

COMMUNICATING YOUR BRAND

Social media

Social media is a space to be creative. You can post interesting images and videos that wouldn’t make it onto more permanent channels such as your website. Make sure everything you post, as well as your account profiles, is consistent with your brand guidelines.

Establish rules around who can post to ensure that your brand authenticity isn’t compromised and your tone of voice is expressed properly.

Specify the role of each social media channel so that you understand the benefits you’re getting from engaging with it. What brand driver does it fulfil?

COMMUNICATING YOUR BRAND

PACKAGING

If you sell a physical product, the packaging it comes in is an incredibly important customer touchpoint. In many cases, it will be the first time your customer engages physically with your company.

It’s therefore really important that your packaging is part of your brand personality, otherwise the connection you’ve built up will be compromised. It might be the difference between a new customer raving about you to a friend, or not.

Conclusion

Creating a strong brand is something that the most successful businesses are adept at. Think of any major, successful business and you’ll be able to describe their brand personality in a few words.

A strong brand aligns with its target customers’ beliefs and needs, and promises to fulfil them. It connects with customers on an emotional level and forges a trust that runs deeper than a simple sales transaction.

Businesses with strong brands enjoy a loyal following and perform better. Make sure your business sits in this camp, with a brand personality that is true to your values, aligned with what your customers want and is expressed throughout everything your company does.

About us

We offer a range of design and marketing packages to support you every step of the way including:

- Brand design
- Copywriting
- Website design and build
- Digital marketing
- Packaging
- Illustration
- Video & Animations

We're here to help you over the long term. We’re transparent and we’ll work with you at every step to make sure you get just what you need.

But most of all, we take immense pride in a job well done.