At the foundation of every successful business, you will find great branding. When you’re creating a brand you have to ensure your marketing efforts remain consistent, whether your customers or in-person or online. What if you are a new business or you’ve never developed a brand for your existing one? You need to start from scratch.
The first step to creating your brand is identifying your target audience, this information is the foundation on which to build your marketing efforts. Who is your target market? Every decision you make after this should be aimed at targeting that specific audience. This audience might be location-based, a specific demographic or psychographic (values, spending habits or hobbies), the audience your competitors target, and pain points your product or service solves. If you target too broad an audience it may be more difficult to translate your marketing efforts into sales.
It would be wise to do some research into your competition as well. Not just to identify their target audience, but to see how the market and how they have built their brand. You can use the internet to research, as well as in-person visits where possible. This will help you reach the same audience, while also establishing yourself as a unique brand in the market. Look at their brand assets and consider why their logo, colour scheme, and font work. Look at their tone of voice, are they personable or do they aim for funny or business-like?
If you are in a crowded marketplace, it’s even more important to be unique in your branding efforts. Offering something different will help make you memorable. Part of that is defining the focus of your brand. You can’t solve every problem or cater to every customer, you need to focus on what you can do.
Guidelines to Align Strategy
Creating a mission statement that touches on your product or service, target market, what makes you unique, and how you solve a problem is an excellent way to create a clear vision and focus. From there, you can define the brand personality, which includes a brand name, logo, brand fonts and colours, and create a slogan. You don’t have to, but Just Do it and I’m Lovin’ It has worked very well. When you work on your logo, make sure it’s unique and it has to be scalable. Think about all of the different places it will appear from favicons to website pages, social media, business cards, and print ads. It has to look good in every size. Your logo can be an emblem or icon, a letter mark, a word mark, a mascot, an abstract, or even a combination.
And finally, use social media to establish your brand. In today’s world, you simply cannot build one without social media. Create high-quality content consistently, post often, embrace influencer marketing, and be prepared to evolve your marketing plan and brand with time. Even McDonald’s evolved their brand with time, choosing to embrace a new colour scheme for restaurants and embracing a simple M to highlight its golden arches.
Ultimately, there is more than one way to build a brand, but if you follow the tips provided above you will be well on your way.