7 Types of Branding Strategies To Establish Your Business Online
Published Sept 15, 2020
One of the nightmares I have is one day waking up and looking at the brand I established and realizing it’s the farthest thing from what I imagined it to be. It’s seeing your brainchild misrepresenting who you really are and what you do.
I don’t know about you, but I would very much like to avoid that scenario. And so comes the importance of branding. Your brand is more than just a collection of slogans, tag lines, and logos. It’s even more than the product or services you offer. In fact, it’s a collection of all these things, forming one consolidated experience.
No matter how big or small your company is, you’ll need to employ different branding strategies to compete in the industry. If you’re unfamiliar with what branding strategies are and how they could help you, don’t worry. You’ve come to the right place.
What is a branding strategy?
A branding strategy helps you establish your reputation with your returning and potential customers. As we know, several factors come into play when customers ultimately purchase a product. Certainly, brand familiarity or identity is one example; statistics show that 59% of shoppers buy new products simply because a brand is familiar to them. Branding strategy allows you to establish a foothold in your industry and establish long-term relationships with your customers.
While promotions may drive sales up for a short duration, your brand identity is what customers return to in the long run. Branding strategy involves numerous plans and processes to increase your brand’s ranking among your target consumers. Its primary goal is longevity by establishing a sustainable competitive advantage in a particular industry.
When selecting any brand strategy, you should consider the following details to create a consistent and purposeful brand identity:
- What product or service are you offering?
- Who is your target audience?
- What is your value proposition? Or what makes your company attractive to customers?
- Who are your competitors?
- What do I want my brand to look aesthetically?
- What are your company’s core mission and values?
- How do I want my brand to be perceived?
- What platforms will you be using to build your brand?
7 Types of Branding Strategies
This is probably the most popular branding strategy. Product branding involves focusing your efforts on making a product that is distinct and recognizable. Everything about your product is included here, from the logo to color to its shape, everything.
Product branding involves a lot of research on your target market. Your product will have to be attractive and effective enough to relieve a customer’s pain points.
A terrific example of this type is Coca-Cola. From the logo to the shape of the soda bottles, Coca-Cola has established itself as the leading soda brand worldwide.
- Improves identifiability
- Establishes brand preference if done correctly
- Can be expensive
- Typically tough to change
Personal branding refers to an investment in yourself as an individual. This type establishes your image, character, and personality as the brand. For personal branding to be effective, you should be able to showcase a unique skill set and personality that is relatable to your audience.
An incredibly popular and trending example of personal branding is the rapidly growing collection of influencers online. With the rise of social media, visibility is no longer a concern. You can quite easily put out content that highlights your value as a personality.
- People want to do business with people they like and relate to
- Easy to convey personality and views to the target audience
- Your reputation is much more fragile than a company’s
- Negative press can spill over into your personal life
Corporate branding is the set of core values a company holds in high regard and shares with the rest of the world and its employees.
Successful application of corporate branding requires a top-to-bottom adherence to the company’s values and mission. This means that with every customer engagement or interaction, they can see your brand’s image.
One example of corporate branding is Tesla. Tesla’s brand represents innovation and renewable energy, as seen in their electric cars.
- Competitive edge
- Customer loyalty
- Enhanced credibility
- High costs
- Risk of negative publicity
Since the dawn of the internet, we’ve seen this transition from traditional practices to digital. With that, access to customers has never been more convenient.
Online branding involves establishing your brand’s image and reputation through online means, such as social media and website creation. Through various content and social media posts, you can more effectively educate people about your company and show them your brand’s personality.
You’ve probably seen examples of these on Twitter, where companies regularly interact with their customers and fans.
- Fairy low costs
- Easier to start
- Targets customers where they spend their time
- Highly competitive space
Co-branding involves a strategic alliance between two or more established companies. This strategy combines the market strength and brand reputation of multiple companies to compel each brand’s customers to pay a heftier premium for the collaboration. In almost all cases, this strategy is mutually beneficial for all parties involved.
An excellent example of a co-branding involves Nike and Apple to come up with Nike+. This innovation made the activity tracking technology compatible with Apple products like the iPhone and Apple watch.
- Companies share the risk
- Higher revenues
- Product image enhancement
- May have adverse effects on partner brands
- Negative publicity from one side will likely affect the other, decreasing overall brand equity
Service branding leverages the needs of the customer. Companies that practice service branding guarantee extraordinary services than those of their competitors. They use excellent customer service to meet and surpass expectations in every encounter.
- Increased brand equity
- Excellent service will likely induce customer loyalty quicker
- Variability since each interaction is unique
- Negative press can be more devastating
Activist branding is when companies involve themselves in social, economic, political, or cultural issues. A popular example of this is Nike’s commercial starring Colin Kaepernick, former quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick became infamous back in 2016 for kneeling during the American national anthem in protest of racial injustices he witnessed firsthand. The commercial displayed the quote, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” alluding to Kaepernick essentially losing his job, remaining a free agent since 2017.
Activist branding should only be done if the cause aligns with your company’s values, and your practices reflect that. It can also effectively associate your brand with a particular cause. However, it may also be subject to other considerations, such as public reception and marketing concerns. You should be wary when using activist branding because it could easily ruin the brand identity you took years to establish.
- Sternly expresses a company’s values
- Shows a company’s empathy
- Great platform to express company views
- Extremely divisive
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About The Author
Terrence Tan Ting is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.