Increasing uncertainty in global markets and the rise of social media marketing have created challenging times for brands looking to establish or refine their brand identities. In this article we explore the key things you need to consider to create a strong and distinct brand voice that’s fit for the 21st century.

  1. Start with the basics.

If you’re just starting out or are redefining your brand, then the perfect place to begin is with some simple questions that go to the heart of what you’re all about:

  • What are your most important products and services?
  • What is unique about your offering?
  • How would your customers describe you?
  • And finally who is your target market? And what needs are you addressing in that market?

Brainstorm these issues with your staff, stakeholders and customers to get a full picture. It will also help you to identify the fundamental thing that is the essence of your brand. For instance, the essence of Disney is ‘magical’ while the essence of Volvo is ‘safe’. You will need to identify what your essence is so you can build your brand around it.

  1. It’s the brand not the product that you’re selling.

The rise of social media as a marketing tool means that you’ve only got about 20 seconds to make an impression. Yes, that’s right, 20 seconds before your potential customer clicks on to something else. It’s not long enough to go into detail about how wonderful your product is, but it is long enough to give an impression of what you’re about. And if you’re not interesting or exciting enough, customers will simply move on.

  1. Be consistent.

So many businesses these days are dissipating their brand due to the uncoordinated marketing efforts of different products on social media. Your brand should be the distinctive voice and style of your company. It should reflect your company culture, personality – the very essence of your business. And above all it should be consistent.

However, increasingly businesses are struggling with the free-for-all marketing that has come about in response to the multiplicity of communications platforms in today’s marketplace. And so, whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or direct email marketing, the same coherent message should be delivered to customers even if the actual products involved are different.

  1. Be visual.

Now that you have a clear view of what your company is all about and what it has to offer customers, it’s time to move on to the visual aspects of your brand. Think of colours, fonts and logos. The most successful brands manage to encapsulate their brand image in a great logo or company image. You only have to look at the Google logo to get a sense of how powerful a logo can be. Google’s logo is bright, colourful, almost playful and uses a modern sans-serif typeface that looks great on mobile devices.

Don’t make the mistake though of thinking that the logo is the main part of your brand identity. The truth is that your branding is made up of a number of different elements.  Use these steps to define what yours is and establish a brand that’s fit for the 21st century.