Having a recognizable and loved brand is one of the most valuable assets a company owns. The majority of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands they are familiar with, according to a Nielson survey.
You may be competing against big brands as a small business, with customers who are devoted to those brands and marketing budgets that are unlimited. You need to create a strong brand identity to make yourself stand out from the competition.
I believe that the most important thing for any entrepreneur is to focus on building a brand, rather than just a business. This is what will give you massive growth and devoted fans.
Your brand is what customers overall think of your business. Jeff Bezos says that your brand is what people say about you when you’re not around.
Your brand is your reputation!
In today’s market, a successful brand has to be consistent in communication and experience, across many applications:
- Environment (storefront or office)
- Print collateral, signage, packaging
- Website & online advertising
- Content publishing
- Sales & customer service
- site Internal (with employees)
Now, brand building being simple? Branding does not occur instantly or even within a few months. Constructing a brand name is definitely a process and necessitates a strategy.
The effort you are putting in will help you to establish strong, long-lasting relationships with your customers. This could result in a gradual increase in sales and leads, referrals from friends, and people promoting your products or services.
The goal of brand building is to create a unique and lasting image of your business in the marketplace. This is done by generating awareness about your business using strategies and campaigns.
Positive image + standing out = brand success.
Branding can be broken down into three high-level phases:
- Brand Strategy
- Brand Identity
- Brand Marketing
How you differ from your competition, how you are seen as trustworthy, what makes you memorable, and why you are liked by your ideal customer are all part of your brand strategy. This text explains the importance of having a clear purpose, promises, and how you solve problems for people.
This is the first step you need to take when creating a brand from the ground up. Would you build a house without looking at a blueprint or design first?
It’s the same with your brand.
The brand strategy is the plan for how you want people to perceive your business.
An effective and comprehensive brand strategy should include the following components as part of the process:
- Brand purpose development
- Audience development
- Competitor research
- Brand voice & personality
- Brand message & story
A brand’s strategy is a key factor in its overall success. Jump right into design and marketing without first taking time to assess their business goals is an area most businesses overlook.
Build a Brand People Love
1. Discover the Purpose Behind Your Brand
Every successful brand has a powerful purpose behind it.
And so should you.
It’s what gets you excited to start your day, something you love doing that benefits other people and the world through the product or service you provide.
There are four questions you should ask yourself when defining a brand purpose:
- Why do you exist?
- What differentiates you?
- What problem do you solve?
- Why should people care?
The ideas in the text will help you create a brand identity through things like a tagline, slogans, value propositions, voice, messaging, and stories.
Research indicates that 50% of customers around the world make purchasing decisions based on a company’s brand values and its impact. Look for things that make your brand different from others and use them to your advantage.
2. Research Competitor Brands in Your Industry
The goal is to differentiate from the competition. Convince a customer to purchase from you over them!
What sets a brand apart is always on our minds. Don’t skip this step in the brand building process. Research your main competitors or benchmark brands. For example, research how effectively they have built a brand name.
For a brand name to be effective, it needs to be recognizable and memorable for consumers.
Creating a Brand Competitor Research Spreadsheet
Understanding what your competitors are doing can help you to make your own brand more successful. Start by creating a brand competitor spreadsheet for comparison. You can use a spreadsheet program like Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel, or you can use a simple notebook.
3. Determine Your Brand’s Target Audience
To build your brand, you need to focus on a target audience. The key is to get specific. Figure out detailed behaviors and lifestyle of your consumers.
It’s important to have a clear idea of your target consumers before you start trying to create a brand identity for your business. Once you know who your consumers are, you can learn how to create a brand identity that they can understand and relate to.
Your Brand Buyer Persona
Brand creation relies on truly understanding the buyer persona. Here are a few of the things to document when describing your ideal customer:
- Education Level
To get even more definition for your brand’s buyer persona, dive into these details:
- Pain points
- Brand affinities
4. Establish a Brand Mission and Vision
Do you have a clear understanding of your brand mission and brand vision? You will have to make a clear statement about what your company is most passionate about.
This is what motivates you to get up every day.
Before you can build a brand that your target audience trusts, you need to understand what value your business provides. The brand vision is an future-oriented statement that aspires to what the brand will achieve.
Envision a projection of where your brand aspires to go, what it aspires to be, and what impact it will have on the environment you are in—think 10 years out.
5. Outline the Key Qualities & Benefits Your Brand Offers
There will always be brands that have more money to spend and more resources to control their industry.
Your products, services, and benefits belong solely to you.
You need to find out what makes your brand unique and then make sure that is communicated well to your customers. When thinking about your company’s branding, focus on what makes it unique and what benefits it provides.
Tell your target audience why your brand is the best choice for them. It is essential to remember that this is not a mere list of the features your product or service offers to the customer or client.
6. Form Your Unique Brand Voice
The way you speak reflects your company’s goals, the people you are addressing, and the business sector you are in. The way you communicate with your customers affects how they respond to you. A brand voice could be:
There are an endless number of adjectives and possibilities that can be used to build a brand voice behind your messaging.
7. Build a Brand Story and Messaging
When creating a brand, tell customers who you are in a clear and concise way. Use the business voice you have chosen for your brand. Go for a messaging that is in line with your brand and is communicated consistently.
This part of the brand development process goes beyond your logo and tagline to define the key aspects of:
- Who you are
- What you offer
- Why people should care
A brand story is a chance to connect with your consumers on a human level and create an emotional connection.
8. Stay True to Your Brand Building
If you want to maintain a consistent brand, stick to what you know works and don’t make any changes.
It is important to keep a record of all the brand guidelines you create and share with your team so that everyone is on the same page. What is brand building worth, if it’s not consistent? Don’t constantly change your branding. If you have inconsistency in your branding, it will be more difficult to build a strong, lasting relationship with your customers.
Building and Maintaining Brand Integrity
1. Choose the Right Products
One small mistake can create a long-lasting negative impression for a brand. IHOP drove home the message that they were adding burgers to their menu when they changed their name and logo to IHOB.
People who both buy products from and criticize the company say that it has moved away from the products it is known for. IHOP announced that it would be returning to its old name and logo, claiming that the move was only temporary and part of a promotional stunt.
The brand still endured negative publicity, even if that was true.
The main point is to use products that will help keep your brand’s message the same. Requesting something “off the menu” could confuse customers, employees, vendors, and other parties.
Your products should always give off the same feeling as your overall brand identity. That consistency lays the foundation for brand trust.
2. Make Customers Your Top Priority
Customer engagement forms the backbone of any successful business. Offering high quality products and services to customers on a consistent basis is how your company becomes stronger. Building trust with customers is essential for success.
Dropping the ball can be a disaster. Your company’s reputation is at stake whenever you make a mistake. Customers will take notice if you produce inferior products or offer poor customer service.
When you make a mistake that disappoints your customers, it can make them want to leave, which can damage your brand and cost you money. It is beneficial for your company to prioritize your customers’ needs and wants in order to uphold the standards that your brand has set. Start by
Identifying their needs.
Create solutions tailored to meet their needs.
Hire a customer support team and be active on social media to keep communication open.
An approachable business is one that customers can trust to provide solutions to their problems.
3. Be Honest
If you see an infomercial on TV, you will probably change the channel. Why is that such a common reaction? The simple answer is that people don’t like feeling manipulated.
Infomercials have a bad reputation mostly because the products they feature often make a lot of promises but don’t actually do what they say they will. The following products are often too good to be true: cookware that is guaranteed to never wear out, and miracle cures for a host of ailments.
Customers don’t like when they feel misled, and the brands that are associated with “As Seen on TV” products often have to deal with negative attitudes because of it.
You should be careful that your business does not make the same mistake. It is important to always be truthful when communicating with customers and respect their intelligence. Tell the truth about your products and services, and take advantage of their strengths.
Fostering integrity with your brand starts with honesty. If customers cannot trust your brand messaging, why would they trust your business?
4. Employ Realistic Marketing Strategies
Reckless marketing campaigns can make your brand look bad to customers and employees. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new product or service and start making grandiose claims about it.
But bigger isn’t always better. If you make promises in your marketing that your business can’t keep, it will be difficult to restore your brand’s reputation.
When a product works as advertised, it can give you a sense of satisfaction. You may feel like you made a good purchase, and it can motivate you to make more thoughtful decisions in the future.
It’s amazing! You will have more success if your customers and employees feel appreciated. Make sure you’re still following the rules while still giving them a reason to be excited.
It is more important to focus on the benefits and results of your products than to come up with claims that are not achievable.
5. Maintain a Consistent Moral Code
Doing what is right for the sake of being right is not an outdated virtue. If a business is using unethical methods to succeed, potential customers will view the company negatively.
Understanding which values your customers cherish is essential. Make sure to take the time to learn about the values of your target market while you are conducting research. After that, promote those values through your brand.
If your brand has core values that define your company’s culture, those should be the values that guide your company. Doing so fosters an authentic and favorable brand image. If you go against the values that you have set for your brand, it will do more damage to the reputation of your brand than almost anything else.
If you don’t want your customers and employees to go to your competitors, you need to give them a reason to stay with you.
Maintaining a good reputation for your brand is a long-term goal that will pay off in the end.
If you want to build a long-lasting brand, you need to choose the right products, put customers first, make promises your brand can keep, and stick to your company’s values.