Branding Strategies to Break Through the Clutter

by | Nov 26, 2019 | Digital Marketing

14 Min Read. |

Incorporating the adept Branding Strategies is that intangible part of your business which has some real effects on sales and wields power over the minds of customers.

If suddenly you have realized that your business has no defined brand and you want one, then you have come to the right place.

In this article, we are going to tell you all about branding strategies. As you start getting the hang of it, we are also going to delve on some effective branding strategies for new businesses.

An awesome brand personality will work its wonder on your target audience and will keep your business running for long.

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What are Branding Strategies in Marketing?

Branding strategies in marketing can be defined as a long term plan to create a brand that can lead to the attainment of specific business goals.

A good branding strategy encompasses the needs and emotions of its customers and has an influence on every part of the business.

A brand is not your product and it is not your logo, website, and other stuff either. It is something completely intangible. A brand is something like an emotion or a personality that is reflected in your product, logo, website, and employees.

While talking about branding, Geoffrey Zakarian, an American chef, restaurateur, television personality and author says- 

Image result for geoffrey zakarianDetermine who you are and what your brand is, and what you’re not. The rest of it is just a lot of noise.


Types of Branding Strategies

What are branding strategies? As we have already discussed, Branding strategies are actions taken by a company to market their products or services. They use branding strategies to differentiate their product portfolio from their competitors.

Let us have a look at the different branding strategies in marketing that a company can employ to gain sturdy growth-

1) Name Brand Recognition

This type of branding strategy can be used by large businesses, i.e. those which are well-established. Here the organization makes use of its own name in order to promote their products. You must have noticed that you can recognize a well-established company just through its logo, colors, or slogan as well. An example of companies which can use this type of branding strategy is Starbucks. Some others include Apple, Coca-Cola, and Mercedes-Benz. These companies feature multiple other products and subsidiaries under their own company name.

2) Individual Branding

Individual branding is one of the branding strategies commonly used by subsidiaries or child companies. A child company or a subsidiary, as the name suggests, is a sub-part of a larger or a parent company. This strategy helps the child company establish their own identity which can thus, be easily recognized. For instance, the company General Mills offers and distributes Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Chex, Cheerios, Kix, Trix, and Total, among many others. These brands mentioned before just belong to the cereal division.General Mills is also involved in the distribution of other key brands which belong to almost every food group.

3) Attitude Branding

Sometimes, marketing can go well beyond the product or the service. This is properly reflected in the case of the attitude branding strategy. Companies employing this branding strategy attempt to bring life to their products or services by giving them a personality as well as a customized experience. Examples of companies who make use of this branding strategy include Nike, NCAA, and the New York Yankees. These companies have even made it in the Forbes list of “The World’s Most Valuable Sports Brands 2015”. They are automatically associated by most with a certain and specific style. Some other brands, such as Ed Hardy as well as Apple reflect the customer’s expression.

4) “No-brand” Branding

This type of branding strategy makes use of the approach of minimalism. Many companies believe that a minimalist approach can go a long way. This stands true as well. A product which is marketed through a no-brand marketing (branding) strategy is often generic as well as simple in terms of design. A famous example of a company employing this strategy is Muji. It is a Japanese company. Its name literally translates to “no label”.

5) Crowdsourcing

Companies opting for this method of branding strategy let the public participate during the creation of the brand. This means that their brands are outsourced to the public. This, in turn, allows the public or the customers to have the chance of being actively involved in the naming process of the brand. It, thus, creates significant interest in the brand. This is one of the branding strategies for startups which can be highly beneficial.

Now, after being aware of what are branding strategies, let’s discuss the components of branding strategies that are necessary for it to be effective-

Components of Branding Strategies in Marketing

1. Have a Purpose

Just like you wake up every morning and go to the office.

Similarly, your business should also have a purpose. Yes, making money or profits is definitely one of the purposes, but to create a brand you need to have a purpose that goes beyond just making profits.

Take the case of IKEA for instance. It is a big European company that sells affordable furniture, home accessories, and kitchen appliances.

Marketing Example

Marketing Example Source – IKEA

However, for people, it is just not another brand that sells furniture. It is a brand that not just aims for profitability for also cares about people. IKEA has positioned itself as a brand that strives for making every day living better for people at affordable prices.

2. Remain Consistent

Having a brand is about being consistent. If you are an extrovert you suddenly can’t change into an introvert, can you?

Similarly brand is like having a definite personality and your branding strategies should be consistent with that.

If you are frequently changing your style and tone of communication to present your brand you will confuse your potential customers. Even worse is the fact that your audience will feel that your brand doesn’t stand for anything.

Don’t commit this mistake!

3. Consider Emotions

You need to take this into account that the majority of the purchases are driven by emotions and not rational thinking. Therefore, invoking emotions and leveraging them is a vital aspect in the creation of branding strategies.

While talking about the emotional intelligence in business and marketing, Robert K. Cooper says-

Emotional intelligence is the ability to sense, understand, and effectively apply the power and acumen of emotions as a source of human energy, information, connection, and influence.

Take the bike brand Harley Davidson for example.

Marketing Strategy

Marketing Strategy Example – Harley Davidson

People spend thousands of dollars for it whereas they can just get as much of a good bike as a Harley if they buy from other cheaper brands. Why do they go for a Harley then? That’s because of emotional reasons.

Harley Davidson’s branding strategies work in the lines of creating a community of Harley bikers. Many people buy a Harley bike not just because of the quality but because they want to be a part of the community of owning a Harley bike. So, the brand carries a powerful emotional connect with bike enthusiast that is for sure one of the most powerful and result driven branding strategies.

4. Be Flexible

You might be wondering how to be consistent in brand strategies and also be flexible. Aren’t they contradictory?  The answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’.

You see, you do need to be consistent in your brand image and strategies, but you also need to leave room for some flexibility to bring freshness to your branding strategies in marketing.

In simpler terms, you need to maintain a sweet balance between consistency and flexibility.

5. Employees

Yes following a style guide to maintain consistency is important. However, it doesn’t end there; your employees also have to reflect that style when they deal with customers.

Zappos is a good example of this.

Zappos Example

Zappos Example Source – Zappos

The brand not only has a friendly and warm presence on Twitter, but they also maintain the same tone when someone calls their customer service.

6. Reward for Loyalty

When people are choosing you over your competitors, you should appreciate that. You can appreciate them by giving a ‘Thank you’ note. You can even give them a discount on their next buy.

The point is, never take the loyalty of your customers for granted. Show them you appreciate their love and acknowledge their love for your products.

Many YouTubers give a shoutout to their fans. You can take a cue from YouTubers and feature your best customers prominently on your website.

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7. Take Competition as a Challenge

Monitor the activities of your competitors. Try out some of their brand strategies by doing them better. See if they work for you.

Being aware of what your competitors are doing will not only help you decide your next move, but it will also prove helpful in averting some disasters.

After understanding branding strategies in marketing, let us now have a look upon branding strategies for startups-

Why Branding Strategies for Startups are Important?

Branding strategies in marketing are important for any business but it is more so for a startup.


This is because branding gives a definite identity to a business which is very much needed in case of startups.

Coca Cola and Virgin group aren’t popular just because of their products.

They are big enterprises today because they have carved out for themselves a relatable and unique brand that makes them memorable to their audience. The same goal should be strived for by startups.

Again, branding strategies for startups are not just for your audience, it’s for your staff as well. When they know what they stand for it becomes easier to conduct themselves and serve the customers.

Top 10 Branding Strategies for Startups

Branding Strategies for Startups

Branding Strategies for Startups

The top 10 branding strategies for startups are:

1. Understand your Uniqueness

We can’t stress it enough how important it is to be unique in today’s world. It is your uniqueness and USP that is going to set you apart from the competition. Therefore, you have to maintain that.

This doesn’t mean being aloof from what the competition is doing. On the contrary, it is imperative that you monitor their activities especially their internet marketing strategies.

2. Research about the market you are entering

It is very important to have a thorough understanding of the industry (market) you are planning to enter. Extensive research on your potential partners as well as competitors is essential. You should find ways through which you can improve the current market offerings. It is also important to understand which strategies will work well in different environments.

Moreover, by understanding the needs, you can accordingly develop your branding strategies for your products and use them to your advantage. Market research includes the use of surveys and questionnaires as well as telephonic and face to face conversations. A successful entrepreneur does her/his fair share of research in order to understand market dynamics. These understandings will help you market your brand image well.

3. Get Answers to a Few Questions

There are some vital questions that you must know the answer to if you are planning to build a solid brand. These questions are:

(i) What is the geographical location you want to target?

(ii) Demographics of people you want to cater to?

(iii) What are the touchpoints for your business?

(iv) Which social networking site is popular among your target market?

(v) How people prefer to search for the products that you are selling?

When you obtain the answers to the above questions building a brand and having a brand strategy in place will be a cakewalk for you.

4. Get Recognition with Awards

Nothing will give you more recognition and credibility than winning awards. Award ceremonies are a great way to get your name out there and build beneficial networks.

When you win an award, like for a unique innovation you can feature that on your company website. People will start seeing you as a brand that is credible, respectable, and delivers quality.

5. Build a Relationship with Customers

Happy customers are the main ingredient for business success. Therefore, it’s vital that they are happy with you. To make your customers happy you need to deliver top-notch service and products.

Whenever they point out a gap in your service, fix that! Take their opinions and experience with you seriously. Also, have a good reward system in place for their loyalty.

Take a cue from ‘Lush’. The company gives a free product for anyone who brings 5 used empty containers.

6. Test your offering and receive feedback

Introduce your product or service to a small section of the market to test the waters. This will help you gauge the rate of acceptance of your offering. This will help you in modifying your long term as well as short term goals and plans. Moreover, based on the marketing and branding strategies your employ, the reach of your product can also be gauged.

As you are deploying your offering on a small scale, you can use this opportunity to ask for consumer feedback. This feedback will further help you in bettering your offerings. You will be able to improve in the areas where you might not have known where you lacked previously.By building on your drawbacks and improving them, you will be on the path of becoming successful.

7. Memorable Designs

The most important aspect of having a brand is being recognizable and being memorable. Your brand logo, website, and social media profiles should aim for these goals.

While choosing a logo, have your target audience and your brand personality in mind. Select a color and design that defines you. The design should be easy to recall and have features that can be traced back to you.

8. Be Open to Feedback

Do not be afraid of feedbacks. These will enable you to identify where you are lacking. On the other hand, this can also allow you to see what excellent work you are doing.

The point is if you do not ask for feedback and reviews you may never know how you measure up. Further, when you take customer’s views and opinions into account you gain their respect. This shows that you are committed to delivering excellence.

9. The Image on the Net

Your online presence should not be limited to just owning a website and some social profiles. Your online presence should add to your brand and position you as a reliable, trustworthy, and expert brand.

How you can achieve that? This can be achieved through blogging. Provide helpful tips to the challenges faced by your target audience. Most importantly practice social listening to see what people are saying about your brand on the internet.

10. Gain Exposure

Exposure should be a priority in creating branding strategies for startups. To get maximum exposure, identify where your target audience hangouts the most.

Share important milestones of your business in online forums. Additionally, publish website content (blogs) on social media sites. Do not just stop there. Run impactful PPC campaigns to attract the audience to your website.

11. Stand by your Vision

This is a deep one. When you started your startup, you must have had a vision for its future. Revisit that vision. Note that your vision shouldn’t be just limited to profit-making. It should have a higher purpose.

Take MAC cosmetics for instance. The brand receives respect for its take on cultural diversity. The brand is aimed at women belonging to different ethnicity.

12. Keep Evolving

Do not be rigid with your branding strategies. The rigidity can render you obsolete in the future. Take the case of old spice. The brand was earlier aimed at older men in society.

However, with time they changed their branding strategy and revamped everything –Website, social profiles, etc. This enabled them to have a newer target group that included men belonging to every age group.

13. Manufacturer and location

Another useful tip is making sure that you find the correct manufacturer for your products. If you are not a specialist, you will require to hire a specialist. Moreover, if you need to have your business’s products manufactured in mass, you will need a manufacturer as well. You will have to look for the right pricing strategies while maintaining quality standards. You should not compromise on the quality of your product as it will highly impact your brand image.

Also, select a location for your company. This will depend on your priorities, as well as your business’ approach. The location is affected by several factors, such as demographics, accessibility, operating style, competition, and expenses, among others. The location of your company can also be used as a branding strategy.

14. Scaling of the business

There are numerous strategies at your dispense when you need to scale up your business. Some of the popular ones include expanding your product portfolio, targeting a new market altogether, or acquiring new business. To carry out such steps, you will need a proper development and growth plan in place. This needs to be well thought off and also require good branding strategies in place.

The scaling of your business largely depends on your effective use of marketing campaigns, strategies for branding, social media, audience targeting and retention, among other factors. Establishing and maintaining fruitful relationships with your customers is the utmost priority of any successful entrepreneur. It is also a crucial component for the successful growth of any business.


Building a brand is not easy. It is going to take some time to come up with the perfect brand strategy.

However, studies have pointed out that a brand is a great way of connecting with your customers. If you are facing difficulties with your branding you can outsource it to creative agencies.

Download Detailed Curriculum and Get Complimentary access to Orientation Session

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On the concluding note, we hope all your doubts about what are branding strategies for startups and other types of businesses are cleared now.

Still in quest of the right branding strategies for your business? Then join our Digital Marketing Course, as this will not only help you learn what are branding strategies but also guide you about the right ways to implement these strategies.

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