Branding: the basics

Brand management techniques

Once you have established what your brand identity will be, you have to decide how to get your message across. You can do this through advertising, events and staff training. However, the following techniques are also worth considering:

  • Storytelling - telling your business' story through corporate identity, packaging, stationery, marketing materials etc.
  • Credibility - your brand's claims must be credible and appropriate to your values.
  • Differentiation - presenting a point of differentiation from your competitors.
  • Engaging with customers - if you stand out from the crowd for positive reasons and your tone of voice and communications are credible, customers will look at what you have to offer.
  • Focusing your product portfolio - shifting your focus onto a smaller number of key products or services may make your offer easier for your consumers to understand.
  • Multiple brands and brand 'stretch' - if your company operates in more than one sector you need to consider how you present the business in each area. You could apply a single brand identity to other products or services for the areas you operate in - this is called 'brand stretch'. However, sometimes it may be more effective to develop a completely distinct brand to meet new markets.
  • Endorsed brands - you can create a new brand in its own right but use the 'parent' brand of your main company to endorse the new brand. An example would be Playstation, a powerful brand in its own right but endorsed as Sony Playstation to build on the established reputation of Sony.
  • Reinvigorating your brand - keeping your communications fresh is essential, and you don't necessarily have to start from the very beginning or reconsider your big idea, vision or personality.
  • Naming - brand names are important in setting the tone and personality of your brand, and a key element in marketing activity. Your brand name should reflect your overall brand strategy. Ensure you check that names aren't already in use and protected by law. Read more about choosing a logo and brand name.
  • Consistency - you should build the same attributes and characteristics into all areas of your business' operations, all stemming from your 'big idea' - read more about branding - the key ingredients
  • Hire a designer - you can hire a designer to look at the current state of your company and explore possibilities for developing it. Read more on how to choose and work with a designer.