What is consumer branding? An introduction to consumer branding
The question, “what is consumer branding?” might appear among your team members when you’re trying to decide which direction to go in with your business. After all, there are many ways to create a compelling brand identity in today’s evolving marketplace.
Branding is the art and science of organizing your company’s image, reputation, and voice into something capable of connecting with the right audience. However, there are different kinds of brands to consider, each with its own specific goals.
A corporate brand aims to emphasize the value of a company for investors and stakeholders. An employer brand attracts potential talent to a team.
Consumer branding is another potential focus area for modern companies, and one of the most common kinds of branding you’re likely to consider if you’re using a B2C or DTC model.
Let’s explore the definition of consumer branding.
Consumer branding definition
Let’s define consumer branding
Branding in any form is a strategy intended to transform a series of products and services into a household name among a specific group.
Through a series of carefully-chosen guidelines for your brand identity, you can establish familiarity with a group, boost awareness, and strengthen your chances of loyalty among the people you attract.
Consumer branding, or consumer brand marketing, is a strategic approach designed to place the “consumer” at the heart of your branding choices. A consumer brand is one of the most common forms of branding, committed to creating a strong relationship with an audience.
With a consumer brand, you dive deep into your audience’s identity, and use what you learn to develop a sense of affinity. The goal isn’t just to sell a product, but to demonstrate your understanding of a customer, their pain points, and needs.
Using consumer branding, business leaders adapt everything from their marketing and messaging strategies to their product descriptions and labels to suit a specific audience.
How are consumer branding examples different?
If you’re asking the question “what is consumer branding?” you may also be wondering how it’s different to other forms of branding. Simply put, consumer branding is unique because of its focus.
While you might assume every brand strategy consistently puts the “consumer” first, this isn’t always the case. As mentioned above, there are different ways to build a brand.
When you’re designing an employer brand, your number one goal is to highlight the benefits of working for your company to possible candidates.
The concepts you draw attention to, such as company culture or salary, will be very different to the image you portray when you’re trying to attract customers or investors.
Corporate branding looks at highlighting the overall benefits of your business to investors, shareholders, and stakeholders. Once again, you’re looking at the value of your company as an entity, rather than the benefits it delivers to a specific set of people.
Consumer branding is the only form of branding which puts the consumer first. When you’re branding for a consumer, you focus heavily on the use of buyer personas and journey mapping.
You’ll consider what kind of language will appeal most to your audience, which colors will attract their attention, and so on.
Notably, a “consumer” brand doesn’t have to be an alternative to an employer or corporate brands. Many companies have a range of different types of brand strategies to suit different audiences.
Tips for building a consumer brand
So, how do you design a consumer brand? There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy to ensuring a consumer branding strategy works. However, the number one focus will be getting to know your target audience, and catering your marketing to suit their needs.
Your standard supermarket is filled with examples of consumer branding. Sports drinks list ingredients focusing on the benefits for focus and energy. Bright packaging on candies and sweet foods aim to attract the attention of younger buyers.
To create an effective consumer brand, you’ll need to:
1. Know your customer
Consumer branding is all about building an identity and product which speaks to a specific audience.
With this in mind, you’ll need a relatively good idea of who your audience is, and what they need from you. Remember, around 84% of consumers are more loyal to a brand capable of aligning with their values and expectations.
Before you can begin building a consumer brand, you’ll need to develop a clear understanding of what your customers want from you. Create buyer personas highlighting the demographics of your target audience, their pain points, and their preferences.
Use these guidelines to determine which features and factors you need to highlight with your brand.
2. Create a unique visual identity
Your brand needs to be instantly recognizable to your consumers. A visual identity is often more important for consumer branding than any other form of branding. This is because consumers are overwhelmed with different options on a daily basis.
Your packaging, logos, web design, and even the colors you choose for your products will help to influence what people think and feel about your company. In a fast-paced world, many customers will make snap judgements about a brand based entirely on their first impressions of its appearance.
Try to convey values, your story, and even the benefits you have to offer with your visual identity. A brand expert can help with this.
3. Address consumer pain points
Once you know your customer, you can get to work on addressing their specific needs. When you’re building an employer brand, your focus is on letting your potential candidates know why they want to work with you.
When you’re developing a consumer brand, you need to highlight why your consumers should trust you over your competitors.
Think about the common issues most consumers have when dealing in your industry. For instance, Casper is a popular consumer brand because it makes it easier to purchase mattresses online without having to worry about complex and time-consuming deliveries.
One great way to make your consumer brand more appealing is to focus heavily on customer service. Try to deliver the best possible experience with every purchase.
4. Build a community
Consumer brands are often highly community-driven. Many of the world’s most successful consumer brands thrive because they know how to connect with their community. For instance, All Birds is a popular consumer brand because it appeals to its customer’s needs for comfort and sustainability.
Part of designing a strong consumer community is having a great presence on social media. It’s worth staying active on the channels where your customers are most engaged. You can also look into creating loyalty and referral programs to expand your tribe.
Incentives are an excellent way to get your community involved in helping to grow your brand. You can offer rewards whenever someone sends a new customer your way.
Examples of consumer branding
There is no shortage of great consumer brands on the market today. Wherever you look, you’ll find companies with identities built specifically around the desire to attract a specific set of customers.
Let’s take a quick look at some great examples of customer branding…
1. Dollar Shave Club
With a strong focus on speaking the language of its target audience, Dollar Shave Club has built a powerful brand identity over the years. The company is best-known for its humorous and candid approach to marketing, which involves using viral videos, and strong social campaigns.
Dollar Shave Club immediately addresses the common issues its customers have, and it’s not afraid to get a little racy with its language to connect with a younger audience. The company’s strong focus on visuals is excellent for attracting consumers too.
One of the world’s best-known craft beer companies, Brewdog stands out as a reputable consumer brand because of its unique message. The organization has clearly taken the time to get to know the values of its audience, from sustainability to simplicity.
Brewdog’s rebellious attitude appeals to the kind of young audience it wants to attract. At the same time, its focus on creating carbon-negative products makes it highly appealing to consumers who want to give something back to the environment.
Bathing and beauty company Lush is one of the strongest consumer branding examples on the market. It builds its entire identity around a clear value for its customers – sustainability, and the fight against animal testing.
By drawing direct attention to its alignment with its consumers’ goals, Lush has created a huge community of advocates.
The company is also active on social media, regularly getting behind social justice movements to help connect with its target audience.
Mastering consumer branding
Now you know the answer to “what is a consumer brand?” you can begin to determine whether you need to build one for yourself. Notably, great consumer branding doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to create an identity capable of really connecting with your target audience.
However, if you take the time to get to know your audience, their preferences, and their values, you should be able to define a company capable of speaking to the right people.
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