Read this if you are a start-up, hopefully this brings light on what you can look out before starting your brand.
You are reading this because you have started something new and will be embarking on a long-ass journey. So why don’t you build your foundations right to save the hassle for your future?
Just to help you understand what corporate branding is about, I am going to show you some case studies.
Case Study 1: Airbnb
Founded in August 2008, Airbnb is known as a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodation around the world — online or from a mobile phone or tablet. Airbnb wishes to connect people to a unique travel experience by opening doors to new adventures all across the globe, in more than 65,000 cities and 191 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.
It all started out when Chesky and Gebbia moved to San Francisco and rented a small loft searching for opportunities. But shortly after, they were met with financial difficulty and unable to afford the rent. With 2 unemployed grown men, they needed money to survive and an opportunity struck onto them when they realise that all nearby hotels were occupied for a major Industrial Design Conference. Seeing that people need a place to stay and they needed the cash, they decided to turn their place into a designer’s bed and breakfast by offering young designers a place to stay during the 4-days design conference with the inclusion of Wi-Fi, small desk space, air mattresses and breakfast at just $80 per night. Even we would snag it up!
Case Study 2: Carousell
Founded by 3 geeks who wanted to help people solve their cluttering problem, thus the birth of Carousell, a mobile app that provides its users with a simple and intuitive platform to sell and buy. It was initially called SnapSell but then rebranded to Carousell, with the hope of giving an emotional and nostalgic appeal to the brand. With just a snap, a chat, sales transaction could be made easily. In 2014 and 2015, Carousell was ranked as the number 1 lifestyle app in Singapore App Store and have since been downloaded over one million times in 2016. Carousell takes advantage of the smartphone for ease in selling and buying where sellers could take photos of items on their mobile and create a free listing to sell their items, and buyers could text and ask about the items, all at one’s fingertips with a smartphone.
Carousell is all about focusing on the user experience instead of trying to monetize from the app. After finding out that their initial stage of active users were mainly females aged 18-25, they decided to change their marketing strategy and reposition the app to target females who wanted to declutter their bursting wardrobe. They even got down and personal by visiting flea markets and blogshops to understand their target market so that they can provide a better user experience. To ensure the retention of their existing users, they decided to set up a transactional email and push notification to direct users to revisit the app and have thus seen gradual growth.
Read more about how they started and the struggles they faced here.
Case Study 3: FedEx
FedEx is all about delivering a promise to our customers, showing people not only what they do, but how they do it. With their vibrant purple and orange logo that could be seen five blocks away. But do you know what their logo represents?
With the combination of 2 font types Univers and Futura Bold, the perfect FedEx logo was created that shows a subtle arrow between the E and x. The arrow means connote forward direction, speed and precision. With its simplified design, it also shows that working with FedEx will be a breeze.
By building a logo that is beyond memorable helps to increase the company’s branding and value. It also provides your employees with a purpose to serve and to lead them towards the right direction and be in line with your branding. Always remember that your company identity is visually expressed through your logo, to deliver a story, to tell the world something. Afterall, less is more.
With all the case studies above, have you spotted the similarities? In short, corporate branding is a language that allows you to communicate what your visions are to your audience.
So here is your step-by-step guide before you embark on your business.
Step 1: FAQ yourself
What is your product / service?
Always clearly describe the product and services that you are providing and leave out technical jargons on your website that the visitors might not understand. Use simple terms so that your readers can easily understand what you are able to provide to them. Depending on the nature of your business, your product/services content might vary. Product-oriented business would usually require more content description on the items, but if you plan to sell a commodity item that is readily available in a variety of outlets, the key to your business may not be the commodity itself but your ability to market in a more cost-effective way than your competition. But if you’re creating a new product (or service), make sure you thoroughly explain the nature of the product, its uses, and its value, etc.–otherwise your readers will not have enough information to evaluate your business.
What is your brand about?
Do not be a follower if you want to stand out amongst your competitors. Take Samsung for example, they recently emerge No.3 on 2016 U.S. RepTrak rankings. This is because Samsung have a better-integrated brand and corporate communication strategy. Always be true to what your branding stands for, you need to understand who you are and what makes the audience know your brand.
Why do I need corporate branding?
Corporate branding allows your company to differentiate itself from competitors in a unique way. A strong corporate branding and reputations have unique sets of assets and digital imprints which can impact brand promotion and customer retention and growth. This would also enable a corporate to exploit opportunities and mitigate competitor threats. It also helps to identify who you will bring into your company and it allows you the space to identify your purpose. Creating a valuable brand shapes what the company is going to be, what it is going to become.
What are my goals after creating this brand? Where do you position yourself in the market?
After figuring out what your company goals are, you will have to focus on positioning your brand in the market. Always use the brand positioning strategy and determine where/how you stand amongst your competitor.
What would my team expect to see?
Always make your employees your greatest brand advocates to spread word about your business product/services. But how can you do that? Firstly, always ensure that your employees know your brand extremely well so as to communicate the right information. Secondly, they should always be on the same page about the program goals. Thirdly, design an incentive system to intensify employees to let them feel valued. Lastly, provide them with the right tools using online and offline marketing tools. Attending training, conferences and networking session will help spread what your company can offer.
What is the purpose of my brand?
The purpose of your brand will help to relay a story to the targeted audience so that executive leadership, sales, marketing, product, support, operations, and corporate culture are all aligned and mature in a compelling manner that is meaningful to anyone who encounters the collection of people who make up a brand. A brand is the story of people headed in a direction, inviting you to journey with them.
Step 2: Do your research
Using the competitor analysis, determine who your competitors are, understand how your competitors are positioning their brand and leverage on their mistakes to your advantage. Figure out who are their target audience and how much market share are you looking to acquire from your competitors. Always focus on one or two unique points of your product/services to stand out from your competitors. Figure out what are the types of corporate branding strategy that you would like to implement for your business model and stick to it. Are you looking at product-based branding strategy where the emphasis is usually placed on one product? Or product-line branding strategy where you have multiple products under one single product line. Or perhaps product range branding or promotion of your business itself?
Step 3: Communicate this to all your audience
With good corporate branding, essentially you will be able to communicate your brand internally and externally effectively, and people will be able to relate you to your brand. After figuring out all the above mentioned and found your answer, you are ready to face the world! But how do you execute it?
First, you need to understand Here is a quick framework of what we would do to expedite this process:
1. Identify your vision & mission
Try to identify what does your business wish to achieve in the long run. What is the big picture that your company wish to achieve? How do you achieve the vision through your missions?
2. Identify your values
Once you have identified your mission and vision, how would you want your business to behave during the process? What are the core values that you are looking at?
3. Do up your quick elevated pitch
What is an elevated pitch you might ask? An elevated pitch is a 30-60 seconds well-crafted business pitch to tell someone who you are and why should they engage your services. Craft your speech by asking yourself the following questions. How are you going to introduce yourself? What do you do? What can you provide the audience if they engage your service? What’s your objectives and goals? What makes you the best at what you do? What is your hook to lure them in? What do you wish to achieve?
Last takeaway: Work on the brand internally first, then find channels to communicate them.
What we can offer:
We will run through a quick interview process to come up with a structure. It also includes:
– Identifying organization
– A Brand Framework
We also help with executional work
Visuals: Logo, Letter Heads, Website Design & Development