How to brand a business A Step by Step Guide
A brand is an image you want your company to project to the public. Your brand is based on what you offer, whom you target, and the way you deliver your products or services. What your brand becomes is how the public perceives your business.
How to brand a business is not a simple task. It requires dedication, commitment, and hard working. Every business should have a good marketing plan, and a significant aspect of the marketing plan involves the promotion of your brand.
That is the very reason, why your brand should be cohesive, consistent, and reflect the things your customers values the most. Branding is not just a slogan, logo or a design. It is the identity of your business.
Why is Brand Association Important?
Brand associations to your business carry a lot of weight in customers’ purchasing decisions. Therefore, when your brand is on-point, it builds positive emotions, memories, and associations in your customers’ minds.
The stronger your brand identity is, the more it is that you will gain customers’ loyalty. Which, in return will enable your business to profit and grow.
In addition, a successful brand must be consistent in communication and experience across the following different applications:
– The Storefront of office (the environment)
– The Packaging
– Online ads and website
– Sales and after-sales services
– Customer Service
Image from AZ Quotes
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, stated, “A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things”
To summarize, your brand equals your reputation.
Brand building in a nutshell, is to create awareness about your business. It is done by using marketing strategies and campaigns. When a business starts brand building, the goal in mind is to create a unique and everlasting positive image in the market.
Thanks to modern technology, various digital marketing strategies can amplify your brand image.
Here are some ways you can use to market your brand:
– The user experience offered by your website.
– Optimizing your content to be SEO (Search Engine Optimized).
– Marketing on Social Media using their marketing campaigns.
– Marketing your brand via e-mail marketing campaigns
– Using the Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns.
Brand Building Step-by-Step
Building a Brand involve the following steps:
Determine your audience
Tell your brand mission
Research your competitors
List the benefits your business has to offer
Create a Logo and Tagline for your business
Create a Brand message for your business
Let your Brand and business shine
Integrate your Business Brand
Protect your business brand
1) Determine your Audience
This step acts as the foundation for your brand building. It is necessary to determine the target audience that you will brand your business to.
When launching your marketing campaign, you have to tailor your mission and messages to meet your targeted audience’s needs.
Knowing your customers is the first stone in creating a strong brand. That way you can create a brand, they can understand and relate to.
To make sure that you are targeting your ideal pool of customers when setting up your campaign you have to document the following:
– Your targeted customer’s age
– Their gender (which helps when you sell products that are used by one gender more than the others are)
– Their location (especially for goods and services that requires delivery services)
– Your customer’s Income (to make sure that you brand to people who can afford your services)
– Their education level
I think by now you can see how important it is for your brand to narrow your audience focus. That way you can make sure that your brand message is delivered to the intended recipients that will appreciate it and want to engage with it.
Identifying your target audience is extremely important in terms of spending money. As a business, you want the right person to click on your ads; you want the person that will buy your goods. Finally, you do not want someone that sees your ads and not clicking on them (especially if you pay for ads by impressions, not by click).
2) Tell your Brand Mission
What is your brand mission? What is the reason you have the strength to get up every day for?
To build a good brand you will have to construct a clear expression of what your company is passionate about. You need to know what value your business provides before targeting any group of audience. This is essential to gain your customer’s trust.
The brand mission statement should define the purpose of your business and why it exists. Not only that, but it will inform every other aspect of your brand building strategies, solidifying more of your brand in the market.
Everything should reflect your brand mission. Your logo, tagline, messages, business personality, even the general atmosphere of your business should be a reflection of that mission.
Finally, the best way to market your brand mission is the word of mouth. That is why when people ask you “What you do?” You answer with your brand mission statement. When your employees are asked where they work or what they do, they answer with your brand mission statement too.
3) Research your competitors
The golden rule in branding; you never imitate what the big brands are doing in your niche or industry. And know well, that there is a difference between imitation and inspiration.
However, you should always know what other companies do. What they do well, and where lies their weakness. That way you can make sure to stay in the game and grow.
When you research your competitors, the goal is to differentiate and distinguish yourself from them. By knowing what they did or do, you can work to convince your customers to choose you instead of them.
By offering more advantages, better quality, better customer services, that way you can compete in the market. When building a business, you want your brand name to stand out in the crowd.
By studying your main competitors or benchmark brands, knowing how well they have gone about building a brand name for themselves, you can make that happen. And always remember; that for a brand name to stand out, it needs to be easy for customers to recognize and remember.
4) List the benefits your business offers
When you start up a brand, you have to know exactly what you offer. For a brand to be distinguished in the market, it must offer customers something that no other brands are offering. When marketing your brand, focus on the qualities and benefits you offer.
The qualities and benefits that make your company’s brand unique and memorable. Since you already know who your target audience is (see step number one), you can give them good reasons why they should choose your brand over the competitors.
When creating the list for what your brand offers, you have to make sure that your brand really offers these things. Moreover, the things you offer must affect directly your customers in a positive way.
For example, here is a list of somethings you can list:
– Providing your customers with a more authentic and transparent customer service
– Your brand provides a better way to support productivity
– Your brand can reduce costs with more affordable options than other brands
– Your brand can save time on daily tasks.
5) Create a Logo and Tagline for your brand
When it comes to marketing visuals are the number one asset. That is why when you think about building a brand, visuals like Logos are the first things that come to mind. Here you may need professional help, which is very understandable for a business that is starting.
The most important piece when building your brand is the creation of a brand logo and tagline. Why the logo is important you ask? The answer is simple; this logo will appear on every single thing that has anything to do with your business.
The logo will become your business’s identity, calling card, and even the visual recognition of your business. Having a great and memorable logo will make sure that your brand is recognized everywhere while gaining the same trust it gained in your first business location.
So, do not be afraid to invest time and money in this step. If you do not know how to design a logo or tagline, it is recommended to hire a professional designer who can help you. It is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact, it is very beneficial.
A Professional will make sure that you get a unique and memorable logo and tagline for your business. With their experience, the know well what the niche of your business wants and what goes perfectly with it.
A professional designer can also help you in developing brand guidelines. That way you brand can have consistency regarding any future application of the logo and the associated color palette or fonts of your brand.
6) Create a brand message for your business
When you build a business, you have to tell your customers who you are. Your message should be associated with your brand. It should be delivered in one to two sentences. At this stage of brand creation, you have things that go beyond the logo and tagline.
You are at the stage that defines the key aspects of who really you are, what your business represents, what makes you so unique? A brand message should show customers what are you offering, and why should they care about your brand in the first place.
The brand message is a great opportunity to communicate with your customers directly. Human to human contact. By making a direct emotional connection with the customers.
That means the brand message should be delivered in a language understood immediately by your customers while striking an emotional chord with them.
It should be simple and clear. Moreover, when creating a brand message do not tell what your product can do in it, rather what it can do for your customers.
7) Let your brand and business shine
In this age and day, customers are not looking for another company that offers the same things everyone else does. They are looking for fresh ideas and new experiences. In fact, they are looking for an experience tailored specifically for their needs.
Want your business to shine? Embed your personality into your brand. Make it stand out in every aspect of your business and brand. After that, be consistent with that personality across all points of contact.
This can be achieved simply; here are some of the samples to help you understand:
– By using a conversational voice while communicating with customers.
– Sharing some behind the scenes content for your business (just remember to not reveal too much)
– Telling stories about real experiences with your product or service.
– Try to describe your product or services in a quirky or even geeky manner. (depending on your targeted audience)
8) Integrate your business and brand
If a client walks into your office or store, your business brand should be the first thing that catches their eyes. Your brand logo should be on display in the environment of your business and even on your employees.
Anything regarding your business, advertisements, business cards, packaging of products, products themselves must have the stamp of your business logo. On all digital platforms, you have to make sure that your business appears the same everywhere.
The same color palette, same logo, everything appears the same everywhere. This is an aspect where you could hire professional help. Consistency with visuals is the key to a good brand and good business.
In this age, the internet is the most important platform there is. Thus, your website is the most important tool for marketing your brand. Upon designing your website, incorporate your brand message, personality, and themes into the content.
Profile pages and groups on social media must have the same consistency as your web site. That way customers will identify your brand immediately once they see your visuals like logo or tagline.
9) Protect your business brand
Your business name, logo and tagline are your own property. It goes without saying that you have to protect them just as you protect your own house. Just like, you have an ID and your name is protected, nobody can use it but you.
Similarly, that should be the way with your business name and logo. You do not want to hear that someone shady is using your brand name and tarnishing it.
If you are, a citizen of the U.S. filing an application for trademarking your business takes under 90 minutes online. Registering on the U.S Patent and Trademark Office’s website is the easiest way to do so.
This way, you can ensure that your company’s name is protected, and nobody but yourself can use that name to do anything that can harm your brand reputation.
Many businesses go to great measures and significant expenses to promote and brand themselves. However, the most important thing you need to remember is that customers’ loyalty does not come from promotion or ads campaigns.
This comes from offering them excellent products and services. Moreover, it also comes from responding to their needs and concerns. In doing so, these things are more effective than any ads campaign money can ever buy.