3 Essential Elements of the Know-Like-Trust Factor and What They Mean for Your Brand (+ a free brand roadmap pdf)
Developing a brand for your food idea or business is more than just whipping together a logo, adding a few eye-catching colors, and having a catchy name.
No, no. There's much more to it than that.
If you've read last week's blog post, then you know that the first step in successful branding is understanding the various types of branding and choosing the best type for your brand. You can read more about it (part 1 of this series) here.
Once you've done that, it's appropriate to begin outlining how you want your brand to be perceived. Or, if your brand is already in the market, figure out how your brand is already viewed by consumers.
These two elements play hand-in-hand and work simultaneously to help you determine the value of your brand and how you should be positioning it in the marketplace.
Brand identity encompasses much more than it seems. All the visual design pieces that each of us correlate with a brand are aspects of the brand's identity.
These design elements are brand collateral specifically designed to create a personality for the brand. Copywriting and taglines associated with brands? Elements that are specifically curated to create a voice for the brand.
Together, each piece of a brand design creates a brand identity - or how the brand is intended to be perceived.
What if Starbucks hadn't chosen their signature green color, or Nike's tagline wasn't 'Just Do It'?
A brand identity is a necessary piece of groundwork for your brand to determine a starting point for your branding strategies. (Make sure you check back in next week - we'll be talking more about the depths of brand strategies and how to create one for your brand!)
Without brand identity, you or your marketing team will not have a baseline to build from when creating sales collateral or marketing content.
To help you stay on track in your branding process, we've put together 6 key checkpoints in our Food Business + Product Branding Roadmap. If you want to make sure you’re headed in the right direction when it comes to branding your food business, download your free copy now
Isn't that the same thing as identity?
Well, yes... and no. They seem very similar but are actually worlds apart when it comes to your brand.
Let's circle back to Brand Identity for a minute, and say we've developed a brand identity that feels like this:
Story: alternative-snack manufacturer dedicated to creating snacks that are good for customers as well as the Earth
Ideal Customer: Millennial females, typically vegan or flexitarian, active lifestyle
Personality: Lively, fun, fresh, and witty
Voice: Inspiring, relatable, young and trendy
But, let's say this brand chose not to document their intended brand identity and began to create content (on Instagram, let's say).
The content on Instagram gave off an unenthusiastic message, non-consistent, and used bland colors to accent their posts.
What kind of perception do you think their audience has of their brand strictly based on their IG content?
Probably not in-line with their intended identity, huh? This is where brand image and brand identity venture very far from each other.
Brand image is how a brand is actually perceived within the marketplace. Multiple pieces (mostly outside the brand's control) feed into a brand image - like online reviews, atmosphere, employees, word of mouth, etc.
If you're just starting out, your brand image hasn't yet been developed which may work in your favor. Now is the time to get your brand out there, and curate a message that will remain consistent throughout the marketplace.
If you have an existing brand, take some time to check in on the general perception of your brand from an outside perspective. You'll be surprised at what you may find.
Now that we have a pretty clear idea of the difference between brand identity and brand image, and how they have the potential to work symbiotically within your brand - let's discuss brand equity.
Essentially, Brand Equity is the perceived value of your brand.
Does your brand use artisan ingredients? Sustainable packaging? Are your offerings only available to a select audience?
All of these types of things play into your brand equity and how your ideal customer values your brand - whether positively or negatively.
Before you can fully gauge your brand's equity, though, you have to first determine how your brand is (or should be) positioned in the marketplace.
What do you offer that your competitors do not?
What makes your product/service the most appealing or beneficial for your ideal customer?
The intent of positioning is to broadcast your brand message with clarity and to the right audience. Based on your answers, determine whether or not your brand positioning is selling your competitive advantage appropriately. If it's not, modify your positioning strategies accordingly.
The know-like-trust factor
Each of these elements mentioned above are a direct correlation to the KLT (or know-like-trust) factor.
What is the Know-Like-Trust factor you ask?
Don't worry, I'll explain.
The KLT factor is the way in which your ideal customer goes from noticing your brand to choosing to financially support your brand and purchase your offerings.
First, they have to know or recognize your product/service. This is where brand identity comes in - the visual and conceptual elements that give personality and voice to your brand.
Then, you have to get them to like your product/service. This is done by speaking to your shared values and beliefs or addressing a problem or struggle they may be facing. Your brand's perception in the marketplace (or image) should help to break down any walls of hesitation the consumer may have at first inclination.
Lastly, your brand has to persuade them to trust that you will deliver on the promise that your advertising to them so that they purchase your product/service over and over again. Your brand equity - how the brand is positioned and the value associated with your product/service - is a vital piece in persuading the consumer to devote patronage to your brand.
It's nearly impossible to get the consumer through the pipeline to the manifestation of sales stage without the KLT factor. You'll want to constantly review your branding strategies, making sure they adhere to the 3 essential elements of your brand - clarity and consistency of your identity, image, and equity within the marketplace. Doing this will create a know-like-trust factor and depth within your brand.
In this post, we discussed checkpoints 2-4 in the Food Biz + Product Branding Roadmap. Don’t forget to sign up for your free copy so that you can stay on track with your branding strategy, then keep checking back this month as we continue to go through all 6 checkpoints.
If you're interested in going more in-depth on creating a brand that your ideal customer can't resist, I strongly recommend signing up for our Brand Assessment Challenge. It's a 7-day email challenge where we'll walk you through clarifying your brand story, identifying your target market, building a brand identity, and more! If that sounds like something you need help with, I invite you to learn more, sign up, and get your workbook here!
Have you heard of brand identity, image, or equity before?
How do you refine these elements within your brand? Let me know in the comments section below.