The Ultimate Guide To Branding Models: Know What Works
A brand is a name, sign, logo, or any other feature that identifies a particular service. Or at least that’s the simplest explanation you’ll find when searching up the term online.
The definition itself isn’t entirely wrong; it just doesn’t tell the whole story. In truth, a brand is much more than just a sign or a slogan. It’s a chain of decisions that demonstrate what you stand for and what you have to offer. A strong brand equals a good reputation, which is why you should focus on choosing the best branding strategy.
Table of contents
- How to Choose the Best Brand Strategy
- The Three Types Of Branding
- Best Strategies to Build a Successful Brand
- The Four Brand Growth Strategies
- Brand Identity And Reputation
How to Choose the Best Brand Strategy
Developing a branding strategy is the perfect recipe for a successful brand. A branding strategy is an understanding of your brand; it’s a long-term plan that explains how your brand should work, why it is important, and who’s your target market. It should identify your brand’s value proposition and determine a marketing plan.
There are a lot of different branding strategies. You should keep in mind that companies usually prefer to stick with the one that best suits the brand identity. Yet, it doesn’t mean a brand shouldn’t benefit from the aspects of other branding strategies as well.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best branding strategies. All of these strategies are praised in the modern corporate world – it’s all about finding out what works best for you.
The Three Types Of Branding
Before we get started with brand models, let’s have a look at the different types of branding.
The popularity of companies like Coca-Cola, Netflix, and Volkswagen is never an accident. It’s always a result of their branding efforts. These companies create strong brands. Those brands aim for establishing a relationship with their target customers and try to attract the attention of as many people as possible.
A product can have its own brand (separately from the company brand). The iPhone is a good example of product branding: although Apple has a brand, the iPhone still has its own reputation. There may be a segment of Apple customers who don’t like the iPhone or a segment who loves the iPhone and dislikes Apple’s other products.
Simply put, personal branding is how you promote yourself. In a company, there may be many individuals interested in developing their personal brand. The company brand and the personal brand can have separate supporters.
A good example would be Lionel Messi and his partnership with Adidas. Within the Adidas brand, Messi has his own line of shoes people can buy.
With all that being said, let’s move on to the main topic and discuss everything you need to know about branding strategies.
Best Strategies to Build a Successful Brand
Whenever a customer considers buying a hybrid car, chances are high that Toyota Prius will be the first name that comes to mind. It has to do with Toyota Prius having greater mindshare compared to the other brands. Mindshare basically is a measure of customers’ awareness of your brand.
That’s one of the primary reasons mind-share branding is considered the best strategy by many. It often makes the brand’s name synonymous with the service or the products.
However, you should keep realistic expectations. Don’t expect to get the complete mindshare without working hard to increase your brand visibility. That’s why mind-share branding has strong ties with search marketing.
Search marketing has become a crucial tactic. In the modern world, millions of people search for various services through the internet. Search marketing is a marketing strategy useful to gain traffic. Having sufficient traffic on your site is one of the key elements of building brand visibility.
Another way to gain online presence is to get lots of backlinks from other sites. When a credible source links to your website, it sends a signal to Google informing that your content is relevant. Sooner or later, Google will promote your site to page one, allowing your brand to get mindshare.
But how can a brand achieve such recognition? First and foremost, create amazing content! Your content needs to be original and authoritative to attract the eyes of a customer. You get brand visibility by creating and offering value to the customers. Yet, simply creating lots of content is not enough. You’ll need search engine optimization (SEO) tools. SEO includes a variety of tools and practices to help a website or a piece of content perform better in search results.
Keep a watchful eye on focus keywords. Ideally, you want to put your keyword almost everywhere: In the title, in the URL, in the headings. However, if you want to increase your website’s performance, then the usage of the respective keyword should always feel natural. SEO will help your website become a reliable source for Google search engines; This equals to your brand increasing its mindshare.
Another great strategy for a brand to stand out is emotional branding. I’ve already mentioned there are many models you can choose from, but none of them can create such a strong, friendly bond between a brand and its customers.
Emotional brands aim to establish a personal connection with every individual.
Emotional branding is appealing to all ages and all segments of customers. Emotional brands often express their personality using a fictional character, with Mickey Mouse being the perfect example.
Emotional branding is the practice of creating a brand that’s relevant to a customer’s emotions and desires. Most people prefer a friendly approach instead of a neutral one. That’s why it’s one of the best models to reach out to your customers.
Get your tissues out to watch this amazing example of emotional branding by Dove.
Douglas Holt introduced the term “cultural branding” in his 2004 book “How Brands Become Icons”. The book title sounds logical as the whole purpose of this marketing strategy is for a brand to become a cultural icon.
The strategy includes a brand using cultural icons to create a brand myth that customers can identify. In this model, a brand pays more attention to the relationship between the cultural icon and the brand myth rather than the service itself.
Cultural branding works well for fashion brands, foods and beverages companies, automobiles, and many more different fields of the market. The likes of Coca-Cola and Harley-Davidson choose cultural branding as their main model to stand out from their competitors. Some of the most successful brand myths proved to be influential on people around the world.
The Four Brand Growth Strategies
There are several widely recognized marketing models that focus on brand growth. These models include line extension, brand extension, flanker brand, and new brand strategy. Let’s have a look at each of them.
Line Extension Brand Growth
Oftentimes brands create additional products to appeal to the consumers’ needs. That’s what the line extension brand growth model means. The line extension strategy gives a wider variety to a customer who might have considered competitor brands.
Brand Extension Strategy
The brand extension strategy involves introducing a new brand, mostly in a related product category. The mighty Google can serve as an example here. As you know, Google started as a search engine and later extended to email service. The brand extension strategy allows brands to grow and attract more consumers.
Flanker Brand Strategy
The flanker brand strategy is an addition of another sub-brand to provide a wider variety. Xiaomi did exactly that by introducing the three sub-brands: Mi, Redmi, and Poco.
The plan was to be able to reach additional segments of customers in different parts of the world, as these sub-brands are presented at different prices. The Mi smartphones are usually more affordable while the Poco products are high-end.
Introducing a new brand is the hardest among the four mentioned marketing models. It’s a model in which a company creates a new brand to explore another product category. This is one of the most promising marketing models, but it’s the most expensive as well.
Brand Identity And Reputation
Choosing the right branding strategy is crucial as it helps you define your brand’s identity. Finding which model works best for you is the first step of building a successful brand.