Author Topic: 11 simple steps for a successful brand  (Read 1288 times)

Akhi

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11 simple steps for a successful brand
« on: June 19, 2019, 02:42:07 PM »
What is a brand?
Simply put, your brand is defined by a customer’s overall perception of your business.

A successful brand has to be consistent in communication and experience, across many applications:

Environment (storefront or office)
Print, signage, packaging
Website & online advertising
Content marketing & social media
Sales & customer service
Now, brand building being simple? The truth is: it doesn’t happen overnight…or even in a few months.

What is brand building?
The definition of brand building is to generate awareness about your business using marketing strategies and campaigns with the goal of creating a unique and lasting image in the marketplace.

In 2019, the amplification of your brand image can be done effectively through various digital marketing activities:

User Experience (i.e. your website)
SEO & Content Marketing
Social Media Marketing
Email Marketing
Paid Advertising (PPC)
Together, these channels are fundamental to gaining brand awareness and growth. We’ll dive into each of these elements in detail, later!

I simplified the path for a brand building process below, to help your business or personal brand gain a more loyal following.

Building a brand is definitely a process. However, the ongoing effort will result in establishing long-term relationships with your customers.

This can lead to a steady increase in sales, more projects, word-of-mouth referrals, and advocacy for your products or services.

How to Build a Brand

1. Determine your brand’s target audience.
The foundation for building your brand is to determine the target audience that you’ll be focusing on.

You can’t be everything to everyone, right?

When brand building, keep in mind who exactly you are trying to reach. You’ll tailor your mission and message to meet their exact needs.

The key is to get specific. Figure out detailed behaviors and lifestyle of your consumers.

I’ll explain with a few brief examples:

Single moms who work from home
Tech-savvy early adopters
College students studying abroad
Executive recruiting professionals.
Brand creation relies on truly understanding the buyer persona. Here are a few of the things to document when describing your ideal customer:

Age
Gender
Location
Income
Education Level
To get even more definition for your persona, dive into these details:

Motivations
Goals
Pain points
Influencer
Brand affinities
You may come to realize that the competitive advantage when branding your business is to narrow your audience focus. This can help ensure that your brand message comes across crystal clear to the intended recipient.

Identifying the target audience for your services or products is an exercise that will affect and benefit all areas of your brand building process, particularly marketing efforts. You want the right person consuming your content, clicking on your ads, opting into your email list, etc.

As a result, determining the ideal audience for your business will support your overall digital brand building strategies. It’s definitely an important first step!

2. Establish a brand mission statement.
Have you thought about your brand mission? In essence, you’ll have to craft a clear expression of what your company is most passionate about.

This is your why; the reason you get up every day.

Before you can build a brand that your target audience trusts, you need to know what value your business provides.

The mission statement basically defines a purpose for existing. It will inform every other aspect of your brand building strategies.

Everything from your logo to your tagline, voice, message, and personality should reflect that mission.

When people ask you what you do: answer them with your brand mission statement.

3. Research brands within your industry niche.
You should never imitate exactly what the big brands are doing in your industry.

But, you should be aware of what they do well (or where they fail).

The goal is to differentiate from the competition. Convince a customer to purchase from you over them!

We’re always thinking about how to make a brand stand out. Don’t skip this step in the brand building process.

Research your main competitors or benchmark brands. For instance, study how well they have gone about building a brand name.

4. Outline the key qualities & benefits your brand offers.
There will always be brands with bigger budgets and more resources to command their industry.

Your products, services, and benefits belong solely to you.

Starting a brand that is memorable means you dig deep to figure out what you offer, and no one else is offering.

Focus on the qualities and benefits that make your company branding unique.

Assuming you know exactly who your target audience is (see Step 1), give them a reason to choose your brand over another.

It’s important to note that this is not just a laundry list of the features your product or services offer to the customer or client. Think about how you provide value that improves consumers’ lives (outcomes or results that are experienced).

Here are a few examples:

More authentic and transparent customer service
A better way to support productivity
Reducing costs with a more affordable option
Saving time on daily tasks

5. Create a brand logo & tagline.
When you think about how to build a brand, visuals probably come to mind first. This step may be the one where you need help with execution.

The most exciting (and arguably the most important piece) of the brand building process, is to create a brand logo and tagline for your company.

This logo will appear on everything that relates to your business. It will become your identity, calling card, and the visual recognition of your promise.

So be willing to invest the time and money by creating something exceptional to reinforce the visual identity for your business.

Need help branding your business? Hire a professional designer or brand agency with logo and identity design experience, to help make your brand stand out. Their expertise will ensure that you get a unique and timeless mark for your business.

Their expertise will ensure that you get a unique and timeless mark for your business.

A designer can also develop brand guidelines, to ensure consistency for any future application of the logo and associated brand color palette or fonts.

A strong brand style guide will include the following things:

Logo size and placement
Color palette
Typography and fonts
Iconography
Photography/image style
Web elements

6. Form your brand voice.
Your voice is dependent on your company mission, audience, and industry.

It’s how you communicate with your customers, and how they respond to you.

A brand voice could be:

Professional
Friendly
Service-oriented
Authoritative
Technical
Promotional
Conversational
Informative
There are endless adjectives and possibilities that can build a brand voice behind your messaging.

Ultimately, you want to choose a brand voice that makes sense and resonates with your target customers. (Again, going back to Step 1!)

You’ll see that if you find and use the correct brand voice, you have the strongest chance of connecting with consumers.

8. Let your brand personality shine.
Customers aren’t looking for another cookie-cutter company who offers the same thing as everyone else.

They are looking for an experience tailored to their needs, backed by genuine personal interaction.

Let your brand personality shine | 11 Simple Steps for a Successful Brand Building Process
Source: Straight Marketing

Wondering how to brand your business in a unique way? Make your personality stand out in every aspect of your brand building process.

9. Integrate your brand into every aspect of your business.
The brand building process never stops.

Your brand should be visible and reflected in everything that your customer can see, read, and hear.

Let me explain.

If a client walks into your office, or a customer walks into your store—your brand image should be on display both in the environment and with personal interactions.

Anything tangible–from business cards to advertisements, to packaging and product–needs the stamp of your logo.

On any digital platform, ensure that your brand looks the same everywhere. Use your brand style guide to create consistency with visuals such as color and logo use, fonts, photography, etc.

Your website is the most important tool for marketing your brand. When you design your website: incorporate your voice, message, and personality into the content.

Profile pages for social media networks should be branded visually, and with your chosen voice for engagement.

Be consistent with this brand personality across all points of contact.

It can be as simple as:

A conversational voice in communication (using “I”, and “you”)
Sharing behind-the-scenes content
Telling stories about real experiences
Describing your products/services in a quirky manner

10. Stay true to your brand building.
Unless you decide to change your brand into something that is more effective based on measured consumer response, consistency is key.

Once you’ve chosen a brand voice, use it for every piece of content you create. (See above, Step 6 in the brand building process.)

Document all the brand guidelines you create and distribute internally for reference.

What is brand building worth, if it is not consistent? Don’t constantly change your branding. The inconsistency will confuse your customers, and make long-term brand building more difficult.

11. Be your brand’s biggest advocate.
Once you build a brand that works for your small business, you (and your employees) are the best advocates to market your brand.

No one knows your brand better than you, so it’s up to you to spread the word.

When hiring employees, ensure that they are a culture fit–aligning with the mission, vision, and values of your brand.

Encourage employees to establish a personal brand that aligns with your company branding process, further strengthening reach.