Brand positioning is your chance to stand out from your competitors. Instead of being one of many products, effective branding can elevate your product or service showing that it is more desirable than anyone else’s. It can create emotional resonance in the minds of consumers who choose products using both emotional and pragmatic judgements.
So if you’re thinking about how to rebrand your business, its products or services, or you want to assess where your brand stands at present, there are a few key aspects to consider.
- The big idea, what lies at the heart of your company?
- Vision, where are you going?
- Values, what do you believe in?
- Personality, how do you want to come across?
If you can start to answer these questions with clarity and consistency then you have the basis for developing a strong brand.
There are four key elements in a successful branding and brand positioning project:
The big idea
The initial starting point for any branding and brand positioning project is the big idea which summarises the personality of your business or product and encapsulates what it is that makes your product different. The big idea will determine what you are offering, why you are offering it and how you will present it. You need to ask yourself:
- What are we offering?
- What makes us different?
- How can our business stand out?
- What do our consumers want or need?
- Where is there a gap in the market?
An objective outside perspective can be invaluable during this process, perhaps from a management consultant, business development consultant or design consultant.
Your company vision is an understanding of where your business is going or where you want it to go so that you can plan your journey. Your vision may be large scale, such as switching the emphasis of your business from one core area to another, or simple, such as offering an existing product in a completely new way.
An example of vision on a large scale comes from Levi’s who knew where they wanted to be. They started with the vision that ‘Everyone should own a pair of Levi’s’ The vision lies in seeing where the market is going and asking where you want to be, in this case, promoting Levi’s jeans as the oringal jeans.
The strength of the ‘Red Tab’ device has allowed Levi’s to branch out from jeans into other areas of the fashion industry and beyond.
Values summarise what your business stands for, what makes it special. They set out your core principles and standards and are therefore an important part of how people see your business. Business plans may vary, but core values remain the same. For example, some business’ priority may be to create environmentally sustainable products, while another will place innovation at the forefront but whatever yours are, it can be tricky to communicate values.
Darke Studio can help communicate values and has extensive experience of communicating brand values effectively through the use of language, advertising, graphic design, staff training or the materials used in product manufacture. It is essential that the values portrayed are genuine and reflect how your business operates.
Down to Earth
Down to Earth, a unique set of biodegradable paintbrushes and rollers, makes a big play of being environmentally friendly and minimising waste. So, all of the packaging is made from recycled or biodegradable materials with a share of the profits going to the Forestry commision.
In this way the company has laid out the values of the product and followed it through with the way it runs its production and supply chain.
“Darke Studio played a massive role in the expansion of our online presence with the use of social networking and the growth of community participation. Their attention to detail and design initiatives are excellent.” Suzanne Mallaby, Marketing Manager
The way that you communicate your brand also expresses the personality of your business. The style of language, tone and design you choose reflect who you are and how you want your business or product to come across. For example, are you chatty and informal like Innocent products, or are you calming and reassuring like BUPA? It is vital that the personality you communicate compliments your product or service.
Your business’ personality can be communicated through:
- Graphic design and your visual identity
- The tone of voice and the language you use
- Your dialogue with customers and how they can contribute ideas and get involved
- Customer service and how staff are trained to communicate with customers
Kingdom Interiors, a leading supplier of designer fabrics and wallpapers, brand is built entirely out of personality: in this case the brand uses and reflects direct elements of the products that they sell. This straight forward approach combined with the strength of the ‘K’ is carried through all the company’s communications with customers.
“Darke Studio’s combination of creativity and professionalism was exactly what we needed. Our team of professionals had strong opinions on the project.Darke Studio were able to take on board their ideas and steer us towards an outcome that we are proud of.” Anne Fulford, Managing Director