What is branding?
Let's start by taking a step back. What do we really mean when we say branding?
In short, branding is what makes your business more than product specs. It enables you to differentiate yourself from your competitors, and is essential to build a loyal customer group. Your brand runs through pretty much everything that relates to your business. For example, a brand includes a name, logo, slogan, core words, phrases, a visual identity, all your continuous communication on various channels, and much more. All of which ensures that your company stands out from the crowd. In this way, branding ensures that customers remember your company as something special, and at best, creates a long-term relationship with you.
A strong brand inspires trust among your customers – it's a quality stamp that customers will recognize and return to again and again. Your brand thus helps to increase your sales. And as you launch new products or services in the future, customer’s confidence in you will make them more likely to try out what you're launching. Branding is not only an essential part of the company's identity now and here - branding is a future-proofing tool that contributes to your stability as well as your growth.
Create an effective brand strategy with COPUS
Branding works at different levels:
- Corporate branding
- Employer branding
- Personal branding
"Corporate branding" is probably what most people think of when they hear about branding. Corporate branding is the company's overall branding and - in short - the relationship between your vision, culture, and image. In other words, it is the relationship between who you want to be, how you actually are, and how others perceive you.
"Employer branding" is branding the company or organization as a workplace. It is branding for both current and future employees. This helps to profile your company as an attractive workplace and thus helps to attract, recruit and retain employees.
"Personal branding" is the branding of the person or persons behind the company. For example, it's important for influencers whose brand is based on them as a person. However, you don't have to be an influencer to benefit from a strong personal brand – for example, it can also be incredibly useful as a jobseeker or as a startup, where the brand can be very tied up with a founder.
At COPUS, we work with innovative and forward-looking companies and organizations. We help you build a strong brand that attracts and retains customers as well as employees. To do this, you need a brand strategy, and we will help you put it into place.
A brand strategy is a plan for building a brand that reflects the company and appeals to the right audience, both in terms of customers and employees.
The right brand strategy helps your company establish a strong position in the market – and continues to strengthen it on an ongoing basis. Branding is a strategic process that requires continuous focus and close contact with your market. Therefore, it is essential that your brand strategy is both ambitious, targeted and long-term.
How we develop an effective brand strategy together
When we work out a brand strategy together, there are many aspects to go through. Some of the most important aspects we will be working on are:
- The company's core narrative and core messages
- The company's tone of voice
- The customer's existing perception of the brand
Brand analysis with COPUS
When you work with COPUS to develop your brand strategy, we'll start with your company's current brand. Based on research and interviews among the company's target group, we show how your company is experienced and defined today, through an analysis of your brand's current identity, strengths, and weaknesses.
In practice, we conduct individual interviews or focus group interviews with current and/or potential users of the company's brand and products. This analysis can give us answers to many important questions about the brand. Some of these may include:
- What characteristics connect the market to your brand?
- What other brands does the market know?
- Which brands are your biggest current competitors?
- Are there gaps in the market that you can exploit?
By answering these (and many other) questions, the brand analysis gives us a tool we can use to make decisions about everything from your tone of voice to your target audience and core messages. This allows us to develop your brand – and your brand strategy.
Your brand strategy should advance your goals
The purpose of building a strong brand strategy is ultimately to advance your company's overall business goals. In this way, these business goals help to shape both the direction and content of the brand strategy. Therefore, it is important to be able to answer what you as a company strive for. What do you want to achieve?
As a company, the most obvious answer is that you want to ensure growth, typically in terms of revenue and profitability. But when it comes to branding, you need to dig a little deeper.
Your goals are linked to your core message and values. For example, when defining your goals, you can think about:
- What are you focusing on?
- What values do you cherish?
- What thoughts do you promote?
- How do you inspire the people you hang out with?
The strategy must prioritize the customer's needs - and tell a good story
When you build your own brand, there's no limit to what you can create. But a strong brand is nothing without loyal and trusting customers. When it comes to what customers demand, your brand can't shoot next to the target. Therefore, customers' needs must always be prioritized in the brand strategy.
However, it is not enough to meet the practical needs of customers only by providing a competitive product. An effective brand strategy also takes into account the emotional and human needs of customers.
Here, storytelling is a useful branding tool. "Storytelling" is basically branding that translates your commercial messages into narratives that entertain, engage and create value. Storytelling speaks to customers as people and creates a more authentic relationship between your brand and customers. In this way, your products meet far more than customers' practical needs.
So think about the following:
- What are your customers' needs?
- How are commercial needs linked to the emotional needs of customers?
- How can you translate your product into stories that create value for your customers?
Create an effective brand strategy with COPUS
Are you ready to create just the right brand for your business? We are ready to help you develop an effective brand strategy that gives your business a strong, trusting identity that attracts and retains customers as well as employees. Get in touch with COPUS and learn more about how we can help you develop a brand strategy for your specific needs.