Brand creation sounds simple in principle, but proves more complex than many care to give it credit. Life science companies especially may have a hard time separating the concept of a brand from that of a product. A product is an item you sell, but a brand is about selling so much more: an idea, an experience, your company, AND your product. Not every company understands the importance of having a strong brand. In order to help you avoid similar pitfalls, we have identified these six steps as valuable guidelines toward building a successful brand.
1 Brand Strategy Internal Discovery
Brand creation is a lot like building a house. Laying the brickwork takes time, should be approached with thoughtfulness and care, and certainly will never stand without clay to hold the structure together. In this first step, identify within your organization what defined your brand strategy in the past and what defines it now. As you undertake these considerations, consider four key areas for a thorough assessment: differentiation, focus, trends, and communication.
2 Brand Positioning Frame of Reference
After a careful analysis of what your brand strategy has been, you must decide how to proceed moving forward. Will you utilize the former strategy or adopt a new one? In either case, you will want to reposition your brand based on a frame of reference. Aspects of this step include targeting a market, singling out the nature of your competition, finding your brand’s points of parity and points of difference, and identifying what associations your brand sparks in the minds of others.
3 Brand Mantras Development
A strong mantra allows you to project consistent images of your brand not only to your employees, but to your vendors as well. Compile the feedback that you gathered in “Step 2”, and using the brand associations that were collected, formulate a clear mantra or business statement about your brand. Approach the crafting of it from different dimensions in order to ensure that you are defining everything – what your brand means, what it promises to achieve, and what it represents – in understandable, concise terminology.
4 Brand Strategy Development
This is not a “do or die” step, but one that you should consider nonetheless. In preparation of rolling out your campaign, assess where and with what products you intend to plaster your newly formed brand elements. Like the mantra, labeling certain products with particular brand elements helps foster a consistent image for your business both internally and externally.
5 Brand Naming
Naming your brand will undoubtedly be the most difficult aspect of your brand creation process, followed closely only by “Step 6” below. Using every piece of information you have accumulated up to this point, look for a name that best compasses your brand’s intended strategy. Make a short list of options, ensuring that each one captures a key aspect of your brand. Try to select a name that is meaningful, transferable, memorable, and likable. Most will stop here, but you need to take the selection process one step further. Perform market research with each of the names on your short list in order to make sure that it actually fits those four qualifications for successful brand names.
6 Brand Identity Design
Join the analytical pieces of information with the creative ones to find the right images to strengthen your brand. You need to consider everything from the logotype’s colors and layout to avatars for your social media presence. Spend just as much time on this step as you would on finding the right name because the look is the first and last thing anyone will ever remember about your brand. Hooking them within that split-second is essential.
If you follow these steps to the letter, with the layers of clay dried and the dust finally settled, you will have earned the right to gaze in satisfaction upon the fine piece of craftsmanship that now houses your brand.