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Does your brand portray the image you want?


Branding is vitally important to get right. It needs to be appealing to your target audience, stand out from the competition and portray the image that you want your brand to stand for. Bottom line, it should advertise what the brand is about and entice your target market to buy.


Branding should not be static; it needs to be constantly reviewed to ensure it evolves with the times or that of market dynamics. For example, last week Mars Food decided to scrap the name ‘Uncle Ben’s’ rice to ‘Ben’s Original’ following social media backlash and being criticised for perpetuating racial stereotypes. (Titles such as uncle and aunt were used in southern US states to refer to black people, instead of the more formal and respectful “Miss” or “Mister”). Mars Food have said they will also remove the image of the smiling, grey-haired black man from its packaging in 2021. Earlier this year, Pepsi also said it would overhaul the marketing for its popular Aunt Jemima line of syrups and foods, acknowledging the brand was based on a racial stereotype.

Get the external view…

So how can you ensure your branding portrays the image you want it to. Here are some things to consider:

  1. Get feedback! – This doesn’t need to cost a lot either. The large branded organisations like to run consumer focus groups to get feedback of consumers in a room to give their views on branding and other possible design options or marketing campaigns. This works well, but if you are on a limited budget, get out into trade and just ask people shopping in your aisle or retailers’ outlets. (Make sure you ask the retailers permission first) Asking shoppers in situ is far more valuable than in an enclosed room. Ask them what they are shopping for, which brands stand out, why they choose to buy the brands they do, are they driven by price or name etc. Likewise, don’t forget to ask your buyers view too. They will give a buyer’s perspective as to what they like or don’t like about the brand and your competitors.
  2. Check out the competition – Whilst out in trade, walk the aisles and look at what the competition is doing. Don’t restrict yourself to just your category either. You can learn a lot from other brands and other sectors. Review other brands imagery, colours, positioning, and messaging on a label. Also check out their promotions and price points to consider if their pricing is reflected in their branding – i.e. if it is a premium price, is it a premium design?

…and the internal view

3. Evaluate your brand – Following your trade visit and conversations with shoppers and retailers/buyers review your brand against your findings. Did shoppers and retailers like it, what did they think of it? Did your brand stand out on shelf? Do this with the perspective of how you want to be perceived and how you are actually viewed. If the perspectives are different, you might need to make some changes.

4. Choose the right agency – If you need to redesign your brand and logo, chose an experienced agency that has a range of examples of other work they have done in your sector. The agency you chose should know your industry inside out and should understand how best to attract your target audience.

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Know how to build your brand identity

There are a few marketing tools to aid you in these thought processes. We share some on our marketing programmes. So, if you would like to know more about how to build a brand identity, please get in touch at Our book onto one of our programmes