Branding is about standing out from the crowd, and it has become more important than ever as the barriers to entry in today’s marketplace have evaporated. It’s becoming easier and easier to create a brand and to market products online, and in many cases, companies can drop ship their offerings and avoid ever touching a product themselves.
That said, thousands of brands emerge and then disappear without ever attracting enough notice to survive. According to a Havas study, 77% of the world’s brands could cease to exist and customers wouldn’t mind. Even brands that manage to ditch their anonymity and differentiate themselves won’t necessarily make it in the long run. Success requires staying power, and a brand needs a combination of many factors to establish itself as a powerhouse in its industry.
Good branding cultivates desire in people because they realize how your product could improve their lives. It validates not just their needs, but also the picture they have of themselves. Athletes, or people who think of themselves as athletes, buy Nike for the brand’s empowering, can-do image. Don’t think about it: “Just do it.” Consumers who think of themselves as fashion-forward buy from Sephora because of the brand’s innovative approach to beauty and cosmetics.
No matter what you want your brand to be known for, it needs to be known for something. Your branding is what will convey and support that image, and it’s made up of many smaller details. There are far too many to name here, but the following ingredients are some of the most important if you want your branding to make the right impression:
- Noteworthy Name
Some names resonate, and others don’t. While your brand’s success doesn’t necessarily hinge on the name you choose, I believe it certainly plays a role. Don’t pick a random word just because the domain name happens to be available. The name should convey some meaning or insight into a facet of your product, like Chewy. The clever name helps keep the company top of mind for consumers who need pet food and related products.
- Appealing Aesthetics
Beautiful branding is also memorable. A study from the University of Loyola backs up this claim with the finding that color can boost brand recognition by as much as 80%. Use complementary colors and create a clean, uncluttered theme. Don’t overthink it; opt for simplicity over complexity. Case in point: The Brandless logo, which is basic black text on a white background, successfully conveys a simple message.
- Meaningful Messaging
No matter what medium you use to convey your messaging, it needs to resonate with your audience. With all the advertising channels available today, there has never been more advertising. The old rule held that people should understand your message in three seconds; today, I believe we need to be aiming for sub-second recognition without sacrificing the content and quality of the message.
- Consistent Communication
All communications with the customer should be consistent with the overall branding. Are you a serious luxury brand for the 1%? Or are you a witty, irreverent brand for Millennials and Gen Zers? Whatever your overall brand strategy might be, you need to ensure that every customer interaction represents it. That includes the ordering process, order confirmations, shipping notifications, customer service interactions, and more. Create style guidelines and a rigorous quality-control process to ensure success in this area.
- Polished Packaging
Everyone recognizes Amazon’s boring brown box and the underwhelming unboxing experience that accompanies it. Make your own packaging memorable from the moment the box lands on a customer’s doorstep. Beautiful, well-thought-out packaging conveys a sense of quality, and details ranging from how the package opens to the addition of a piece of tissue paper can make all the difference.
- Proper Products
Needless to say, it’s critical that branding translates well into the brand’s products, and vice versa. Colors, textures, flavors, and more contribute vastly to the way customers perceive a brand. So does pricing: Higher-priced items convey higher quality. That’s not to say that a high price will always make a brand attractive, but it’s something to consider if you’re going after a luxury crowd. Either way, ensure your product reflects your brand story and your brand story relates to your product.
If you want a shot at subscription success, branding is an essential part of the equation. In fact, 77% of marketers say your future growth depends on it, and a consistent brand presentation has the capacity to increase your revenue by an average of 23%. Branding might not make up for a shoddy product or a nonexistent market, but if the offerings in your vertical are difficult to tell apart, the company with the best branding will quickly rise to the top.