Building Strong Branding:
Sustainable Customer Loyalty
A strong brand establishes authority and builds trust. Your design tells a unique story that conveys the essence of your deliverables at a single glance, which allows you to emotionally connect with your target market in a way that affects their purchase decisions.
It’s critical for businesses to consider branding carefully since it differentiates the business from its competitors. Just as importantly, effective branding greatly increases the odds of repeat business, and that is where long term success begins.
Here are some important elements of branding that businesses should consider.
Components of Successful Branding
The Brand’s Logo
Logos are symbols or graphic designs that represent a business or brand. A well designed logo should be simple, easy to remember, and visually appealing.
Nike “swoosh” is a great example of successful branding. It’s simple and recognizable, and even visually embodies the sense of motion Nike’s products help people achieve.
One of the reasons an ideal logo is simple in its design is that it needs to be printable, and something that can be embroidered on any branded apparel the company chooses to distribute. Overly complex logos can be difficult to reproduce accurately.
The Brand’s Positioning Statements
A positioning statement should clearly communicate what makes the brand different from its competitors, and why that uniqueness is valuable to that specific customer. This is also called the unique selling proposition.
For example, the positioning statement for Volvo is, “For life’s journeys.” This communicates the brand’s commitment to safety and reliability. For families, these are often the most important selling points in a car — more than the speed, high-performance, or flashy designs of other car companies.
It’s valuable to establish your positioning statement early on, since it informs the other branding efforts and keeps the messaging focused.
Read more about positioning statements here.
The Brand’s Tone and Personality
These are the emotions and values that the brand conveys through its messaging and visual identity. This includes the brand’s voice, style, and overall attitude.
Ideally, this is consistent throughout logos, taglines, and general copy throughout advertising and website materials.
For example, the brand tone for Coca-Cola is friendly, optimistic, and uplifting. This is reflected in the brand’s tagline, “Taste the Feeling” and in its marketing campaigns, which often feature happy people sharing Coca-Cola with friends and family.
Because this tone is consistent in all their marketing and commercials, customers draw a clear association between the product and a feeling. That’s helped make Coca-Cola a household name and a staple in their lives for many years.
The Experience At All Touch Points, Including Customer Service and Post-Purchase
These are important areas to keep consistent as well. A solid brand experience isn’t simply what a company is putting out there via marketing, but also how a customer is treated when they’re in the store, on a website, or talking with a service representative via phone.
If the service aspect of the business’ offering misses the mark and doesn’t create an experience that is in-line with the rest of the brand message, that disconnect will damage rapport and trust.
Those customers will feel like promises were made to them via the branding, and then the experience didn’t live up to that promise. With how many alternatives there are in most industries, once that trust is lost it’s all too easy for that customer to move on and find a connection elsewhere.
Examples of Unsuccessful Branding
Sears was founded in 1893, and grew into a major housewares and clothing retailer from 1925–2018, at which point they filed bankruptcy. Among Sears’ other challenges in its final years, the company also made several branding mistakes. Sears changed its logo and slogan frequently, which eventually led to confusion among customers. Without a strong customer connection and from its inability to compete with other retailers that’d embraced modern ecommerce and delivery options, Sears eventually filed for bankruptcy and closed many of its stores.
RadioShack was a popular electronics retailer in the 1980s and 1990s. Like Sears, they did not adapt quickly enough to ecommerce retail to compete with other tech businesses. When they did make changes while exploring new ways to be competitive, they abandoned aspects of their small hobby gadget shop vibe for mainstream gear like phones and computers.
This ultimately confused its branding, since it was unclear whether the company was a specialty destination for hobbyists or a small Best Buy, and in the latter case there wasn’t a compelling enough reason to choose them over larger retailers with a better selection.
In 2015, RadioShack filed for bankruptcy and closed most of its stores.
These serve as powerful examples that this can happen even to bigger brands, and a confused message can cripple any business.
What Great Branding Looks Like In Winston Salem
Cannon Wealth Management is a firm with over 70 years of experience. They had last updated their branding back in the 1980s, and their colors were badly outdated. The branding did not convey the modern professionalism the firm embodied, particularly to attract younger customers.
When their team decided it was time to refresh the branding, they had trouble agreeing on the direction it should take.
This is where Creative Force got involved.
After a comprehensive review, our first move was to create a unifying story about all the services Cannon Wealth Management provides — which they refer to as their six pillars of service.
Ultimately, we helped them revitalize their message with:
- New logo and a refreshed color palette
- New tagline (BUILD • DEFEND • PRESERVE)
- Presentation package, including saddle-stitched brochure
- Matching print materials: stationery, business cards
- New leader story
This messaging proved successful for them in addressing the 3 primary questions their customers are always asking themselves about their finances:
- Have I saved up enough for retirement?
- Am I protected?
- Is my estate preserved for when I’m gone?