Top tips for developing a strong brand

Marketing lecturer Jane Gosney shares tips on how to create a brand destined for success, the common mistakes that branding teams can make and an insight into some of her favourite brand campaigns.

Branding is the process of developing a clear identity for a product that consumers will recognise, understand and are willing to pay a premium forA strong brand needs a purpose – a reason for existing.  A strong purpose combined with a clear brand image, and market positioning will appeal to your target market and create value.  

Logos and knowing your audience 

Strong brands give consumers trust and reliability in the product. When working up a logo for your brand, I suggest something simple, clear, and linked to the product in some way. Don’t overcomplicate the logo with lots of colours or details – the logo needs to work across many different formats, from packaging to posters and digital media. 

Understanding your target market as deeply as possible is extremely importantby doing this, you can develop branding that appeals to them specifically.  

You should research the market to understand the market size and trends.  Analyse the competitors to find out what is currently on the market. By researching the target market, you can understand where the opportunities are and understand what your target market wants. 

By considering what your target market is looking for in a potential product, you can develop a brand that fills a market opportunity and has a unique selling proposition.  

Be sure to create a clear brand identity built on strong brand purpose and personality. Ensure the branding is simple and memorable and can stand out on a shelf and online versus the competition. Ensure you have consistency in the design and tone of voice of the brand across all the brand touchpoints.  

Having a mix of skills is vital in a branding team.  Skills such as creativity, the ability to project manage and having a strong financial understanding are important. Possessing analytical skills to create meaning from data – not all these skills will come from one person – is key too. Identify the skills within your team to work efficiently. 

Branding errors and what good branding looks like 

Some mistakes that can occur when developing brand ideas are not having a clear Unique Selling Proposition (USP) that differentiates the brand from its competitors. 

Other pitfalls can be having a lack of consistency in brand presentation, trying to appeal to too many market segments and changing the brand too often.  

I love the ‘Beanz Meanz More’ advert from Heinz – an updated take on traditional brand values. Using characters in your branding can be good for toddler and older children’s brands too. For something like baby food though, it’s about appealing to parents and therefore using characters could be less relevant. 

Prior to becoming a Lecturer, Jane spent 15 years in Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) marketing, working on brands such as Terry’s Chocolate Orange, Toblerone and Rachel’s Organic.  Jane has worked in category management, branding, advertising, sales promotions, point of sale, project management and field sales management. Jane has also worked with major retailers developing product ranges for Tesco and Sainsbury’s. 

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