What is Branding?
Branding can be described as a way of communicating the truth behind what your company stands for. Unlike marketing, which pushes a certain item or service that you may be selling, branding is what pulls customers in to the “big picture” of your business.
To put it into perspective, think of how you feel when you walk into an Apple store. There are pictures of simple yet appealing Apple logos on all of the products, which are neatly distributed throughout the store. Their neutral colour palette is consistent throughout their logos, products and social media platforms. This sleek and organized branding strategy is what distinguishes Apple from the competition and helps customers feel connected to the company.
The Importance of Creating a Brand
According to the 2011 Customer Experience Impact Report, 86% of consumers would pay more for a positive experience. A successful brand integrates trust and leaves consumers feeling emotionally connected to your business. If your clients trust you and feel like they are a part of what you stand for, they will keep coming back and choose you over your competitor when a new product is on the market.
A clear brand also works as the first building block to how you’re going to market your products. Once you’ve set the tone for your business, you can continue to expand on it through various marketing strategies. For example, Nike brands themselves as a stylish and sporty clothing company for athletes (they also state that anyone who has a body is an athlete). Their commercials and social media posts all play off of this, and feature athletes performing their best while looking “fashionable”.
Things to Consider while Creating your Brand:
- Know your “why”.
What does your company stand for? Which values differentiate you from your competitors? Build your brand off of these values, and continue to revisit them throughout the process.
- Choose an attractive and relevant logo.
Select a simple logo that aligns well with your “why”. Allow your logo to be a reflection of what you would like your business’ personality to be, and choose colours that represent this as well.
- Consistency on all platforms.
Re-vamp your social media platforms, website and other areas of communication and advertising so that they are a representation of the brand that you’ve selected. Create a strategy on how your posts will remain consistent and align with your brand, to ensure that there is a purpose behind everything that you’re sharing with your viewers.
- Who is your market?
Having a catchy tagline and logo is great, but are the right people seeing it? If you haven’t already selected a niche, sit down and decide who your main buyers are (or who you would like them to be). Align your brand with this market, and research how you can best appeal to your main audience through your branding and marketing strategies.
- Select your strengths, and stick to them.
What are you going to be best at, as a brand? For example, Apple prides themselves on delivering exceptional customer service. Find what your strengths are, and drive this home to your target market.
As far as social media goes, what are you going to master? With so many platforms of communication, start by selecting a couple that you would like to excel at (ex: Instagram and Facebook) and focus on establishing your brand there first. Once you have successfully delivered your message through these platforms, you can branch off and start applying the same concept into other areas (Ex: Twitter and LinkedIn).
There are some companies that have mastered the art of branding. To sum up all that we touched on above, we wanted to give you a few examples of fitness and health related businesses that are doing a really great job.
- “Just Do It” is a well-recognized representation of the Nike brand that can be found all over their campaigns and apparel, which targets the inner athlete inside all of us.
- Their brand is targeted at athletes, but they also outline that everyone with a body is an athlete. This reaches out not only to the extremely fit population, but anyone who is physically active and looking to perform their best.
- Their advertisements are consistent when it comes to building relationships with a broad spectrum of consumers who are trying to find their inner “hero”, in a sports related sense.
The Fitness Lab Ottawa:
Local Spotlight! If you’re looking for somewhere in Ottawa that does branding just right, check out The Fitness Lab in Manotick (5536 Ann Street). Not only have they mastered their personal branding with our supplements, but they also have their own clothing from Unsung Hero. This has gotten them noticed in the community, and helps their clients feel connected to the brand even when they are outside of the gym.
Looking to get started on building your brand?
If you’re a gym, fitness studio, yoga center, spa, or any other business who’s looking to expand and get started on your own brand, here’s a couple of great places in Ottawa to reach out to.
Unsung Hero is an apparel store located in Stittsville, Ontario. They make stylish and great quality clothing for your team or business, which is a great way to get started on building your brand and get noticed in the community.
We are also local, and our lab is located at 80 Aberdeen Street in Ottawa. We manufacture a variety of high quality products, including rice and whey protein, fish oils, skin supplements, joint health supplements, and much more. Not only do we make these products, but we put your label on them (like in the Fitness Lab’s photo above). This is a great way to supply your clients with quality health-boosting products while spreading awareness of your business.