Where to begin, when creating a strong brand name?
A strong brand is a vital contribution to the success of any business, even if your business is very small. Daiva Grikšienė, Director of Marketing and Communication Department at Šiaulių Bankas, shares tips on how to start building a strong brand.
- Strategy. Brand building should start with a strategy. The strategy is like a foundation for the unique value of the brand, where the segments of the targeted customers are purified, the benefits they bring are clear. The positioning (seeking image in the subconscious mind of the client), the brand's mission, vision and key messages.
- Analysis. When developing the strategy, a relevant analysis is that it is worthwhile for companies to invest in quantitative and qualitative research which shows how the target audience evaluates the products of the company and its competitors, the value of the expected benefits of the trademark.
- Engagement. It is also worth to include company employees in the process of creating a brand - they can provide useful and unexpected insights. In addition, the involvement of employees and motivation increases as employees become involved in the development of the brand.
- Creative Concept. After clearing the strategy, it is important to develop a creative idea that emphasizes not only functional, but also emotional value, to create acceptable associations for the client. The creative concept includes a tone of communication, a slogan, basic messages, a logo, a visual identity, and other symbols
- Adaptation and Brandbook Creation. The creative concept should not be just "creativity for the sake of creativity" - it must be reasonable, rely on the brand strategy, understandable and acceptable to the targeted audience.
Communication plan. Only when strategy and creative expressions are clear it is worth to think about the brand communication plan. In the communication plan, the spectrum of measures is wide - both the ideas of advertising campaigns and the exploitation of own communication channels (company web site, social networking accounts, mobile gadgets) and media strategy (advertising, content marketing, public relations). The choice of means in communication for the delivery of a brand depends on the company's activities, target audiences, marketing budget opportunities.
The experience of Šiaulių Bankas in changing the trademark
The Bank's trademark was renewed in 2014 as it grew rapidly: we took over part of Ūkio bankas assets and liabilities; little bit later we acquired Finasta Bank and Finasta financial brokerage firm. During the relatively short time the organization has grown significantly, new employees have came into contact with it, and we ourselves needed a new starting point - to realize our identity, to disassemble our values, and finally to present the renewed brand philosophy to clients, business partners and the public, to "infect" our employees.
We started the brand strategy from analysis. To achieve better understanding about the bank's uniqueness, we conducted a number of opinion polls, monitoring, focus groups, we received insights from our clients, we draw their profiles, analyzed their services. Particularly useful was the inclusion of employees - every day, as part of the organization, they had strong thoughts and valuable advice.
The core idea and long-term value creation for clients was reflected in the refined strategic positioning: "We are a bank seeking to strengthen the potential of the state, business and people". We strive for our brand to be a common platform for connecting the bank and its employees, our customers, communities, business and social partners.
After clearing the brand strategy, it was possible to create a creative concept that would define the direction of the image and help to achieve strategic positioning, and then look for a creative expression - an association or symbol that could justify that strategy. At that time, the creative concept of "roots" was born, the main words of which was "growth", "strength", "stability", "foundation", "origin", "and local community". We realized that these features are close to ourselves and our customers. The brand strategy also gave direction to the new visual style and bank logo renewal. The new logo has become more modern and clearly reflected the image of the bank, communicating security, responsibility and commonality.
We introduced the updated trademark after almost a year, we did not hurry to do everything in one night - we had it firmly entrusted it into us. The introduction of the brand involved various measures - from the "Values Forum", in which the employees, together with their customers, purified the bank's values and are still using the values in the bank itself for large-scale advertising campaigns.