Branding Agency Paris specialized in creation of brand territory

A branding agency!

Searchbooster is a digital communication agency that provides branding services for its clients upstream or downstream of the definition of an efficient and robust digital strategy.

What is branding?

Image Branding pic

Branding is the substance and form of a company’s identity and it is a strategic and long-lasting investment in the short, medium, and long term.

A successful branding allows the company to have an intangible asset of great value and that conditions the consumers’ perception of the company and thus the emotional connection that potentially creates attachment to the brand.

It is this connection that potentially leads the consumer to prefer your company based on sometimes unconscious and subjective criteria beyond the rational elements of evaluating the ability of your offers to meet their needs.

Creating a company, we all know how it works: it starts with an idea and then formalizes it in several steps until launching its activity.

Taking over a company is a bet on the future and on our ability to at least maintain it as it is, but often especially to develop or awaken a sleeping beauty.

But to go from the beginning of the creation or takeover project to its success, there is a fundamental step not to be missed: its branding strategy.

It is an essential element too often neglected, particularly in SMEs that are rightly focused on short-term operational issues and sometimes forget the emotional charge associated with branding and the fact that successful branding can be a strong operational facilitator.

The term "branding" defines a global marketing strategy that brings together all actions aimed at building a brand

Did you know that the word originally referred in English to the action of marking livestock with a distinctive sign using a hot iron to identify the owner?

Branding is therefore first and foremost a question of identity. It is about making the company and its brand known and recognizable to the public, especially for its distinctive differences that align with the expectations of consumers/clients.

On a market that is often highly competitive, offering quality products or services is not enough; you also need to know how to communicate about yourself, and not just any way.

Branding is the art of showing who you are, what you offer, and reaching potential customers by leaving a mark on them, while differentiating yourself from the competition.

This involves developing a real brand strategy that tells a story, showcases a visual identity, including a graphic identity, and expresses values.

The goal is to create an impact, including an emotional one, on the public and to forge a unique and easily recognizable image.

The tools of a branding strategy are numerous and varied: logo, slogan, communication language, website, packaging, advertising campaigns, etc. But before talking about tools, it is important to understand the field of branding and the role of a branding agency.

The mission of an agency?

An agency specialized in branding such as SearchBooster offers its expertise to companies to help them build their brand and thus their reputation in the long term.

The approach of a branding agency goes through several successive phases in which the client is strongly involved.

Audit of the existing system

Any serious Branding agency must proceed with the study of the company’s communication media (brochures, logos, websites, statements, social networks), and this involves a phase of interviews with the company’s leaders, which allows to understand and transcribe:

  • The company’s history, its successes and failures,
  • Its strategy and objectives, (market, products, organization, people, and KPIs),
  • Its perception of its value proposition and differentiation factors,
  • Its competitive environment as it perceives it,
  • Its perceived branding difficulties and issues,
  • Its statements, language elements, tone, and communication posture,
  • The communication tools implemented (graphic identity, print and web media),
  • The consistency of all the above elements with the company’s ambitions.

Competitive research and Benchmark

In a second step, the branding agency must conduct a competitive analysis to understand the market and define the brand’s position in relation to the competition:

  • Who are the target customers? What do they want? What do they like? What don’t they like? About the brand and its competitors?
  • Who are the competitors? How do they communicate? What is their branding strategy?
  • What does the brand offer that is new/different from what its competitors are not doing/doing less well and that meets customer expectations?

The semantic audit

Next, a semantic audit is important to understand:

  • What is the semantic field of the company (the keywords that make up the research field related to its activities and those of its competitors)?
  • How do customers search for services or offers in this sector of activity?
  • What words and queries are used in search engines such as Google?
  • What are the relevant semantic clusters?
  • What are the volumes and seasonality of searches on these keywords?
  • What is the web traffic of competitors and their % of positions on the first page of Google?
  • What are the natural audience overlaps between websites, allowing us to understand the natural alternatives perceived by customers?

Then, the branding agency conducts an analysis to confront the brand identity of the company and its competitors, with the perception and expectations of customers.
In some cases, it may be good to break away from customer expectations, especially if offering an innovative approach that does not yet exist and meets unexpressed customer needs. However, in this case, it is pertinent to think about the problems that the company solves for customers and prospects.

The brand platform

To create a coherent communication, the branding agency establishes a brand platform bringing together all the elements that will give its identity to the brand, which must include:

  • The brand’s purpose: What motivates the brand’s existence
  • The vision: What justifies the brand’s existence
  • The mission: What the brand brings to the market in response to its vision
  • The values: The values that the brand believes in and that guide its actions
  • The personality: What best describes the brand’s character and behavior
  • The reasons to believe: The evidence supporting the vision
  • The benefits: The promise made to customers that meets their expectations
  • The essence: The phrase that encapsulates the essence of the brand.

At this stage, the branding agency will propose one or more brand signatures if it believes it is necessary to anchor a differentiating element of the brand’s branding, and also write a Manifesto (brand manifesto) which is the written proclamation of the commitment and values, notably the brand’s value proposition in a few lines.
It is important to validate the originality of the brand signature, to ensure that it does not infringe on the rights of another company using it already, with the INPI database.

It is also at this stage that the brand’s storytelling is defined and enriches and completes the brand platform.

In the case of the existence of a parent brand and subsidiary brands, it is also in this phase that the brand architecture is validated and the strategic choices in this regard are made.

The identity of a brand

Then, a graphic charter is important to define all the elements that allow for the emotional expression of your brand platform in your graphic territory, including at a minimum:

  • The logo (typographic, iconic, or mixed)
  • The usable fonts
  • The color palettes
  • The variations according to the media
  • The graphic charter

The editorial charter

Then the Editorial Guidelines are defined to ensure the consistency of language elements with the defined brand platform, and especially to ensure that all communications are consistent with the image that the brand wants to convey, including:

  • The tone of voice
  • Syntactic construction
  • The semantic field to be emphasized
  • Key points
  • The use of the brand signature
  • Do’s and Don’ts
  • The authorized persons to speak and their eventual communication territory.

The communication platform

Once the brand platform is defined, the final graphic identity is established and the editorial guidelines are endorsed, the agency will propose a communication platform that should include:

  • The company website in line with the brand identity and also taking into account the search methods used by Internet users (always make sure to block all relevant domain names with or without hyphens) to avoid any cannibalization by an unscrupulous competitor.
  • Optimized social media profiles (company pages as well as employee profiles) on all relevant B2B, B2C, or B2B2C social networks as appropriate.
  • A blog post format, press release format, and newsletter format.
  • Adapted print media (business cards, letterhead, quotes, invoices, documentation, brochures, stands, POP, shelf talkers, product packaging…)
  • TV and radio copies

The editorial strategy

Possibly, it is at this moment that the agency will propose an editorial strategy, based on the results of the semantic audit, in order to preempt the field of content presenting a strong interest for consumers (search volume) and on which the brand wants to communicate its added value and key differentiation factors. Generally, the editorial strategy includes a schedule of topics covered with:

  • The title of future contributions (blog articles, press releases, social media posts)
  • The planned publication date
  • The length of the contribution
  • The keywords it includes
  • The included imagery
  • The supports used (white paper, motion design, web sites, print, etc.)

In the end, the role of a branding agency is essential: its mission is to create a brand territory, that is to say, a real universe around the brand: its history, its values, the unique character of its identity and its commercial offer.
All of this communication work will ensure the legitimacy and notoriety of a brand in the long term and, if the branding approach is well executed, will strongly accelerate its development by making a lasting impression on consumers and creating brand attachment and preference.
Being accompanied by a global communication agency such as Searchbooster is the guarantee of having a coherent and structured approach on all the key items that contribute to the success of your branding approach.