Do you want your business to stand out? Then you need to start looking for the best ways to build a brand for yourself. Through brand building, you can create a lasting positive impression in the market by generating awareness about your business.
But there are certain viewpoints that you have to consider first before you start to build a brand. What should it look like? How will the audience perceive it? Will it affect your target customers? All these may sound daunting, especially when it comes to budget. But if you strategize your branding with the right resources, it is not as burdensome or costly as you might think. This article covers some of the best ways to build a brand for your business so that you can create an impactful and a recognizable name for yourself in the market.
To build a brand should be an important aspect of your business. It’s the foundation of giving your business a visual identity and a brand value. It is what makes the awareness spread among the consumers. For example, when it comes to communicating your brand, your logo would be how people recognize your business. However, branding is not just about setting and forgetting. To build a brand is a process and establishing a consistency is only the first step.
So what does a good branding exactly entail? To dive into that, first we need to look at the preliminary concepts of branding.
Branding can be broken down into three phases:
- Brand Strategy
- Brand Identity
- Brand Marketing
This is the first step to build a brand from the ground up, regardless of whether you are a start-up or already established.
Brand strategy is a long term plan to help you to build a brand so that you can achieve specific goals of your business. It will convey your purpose, promises, and how you aim to achieve them, sort of like a blueprint. When executed correctly, it can positively affect your business in terms of consumer needs, their relationships with your business and even how you thrive amidst the competitive environment.
For example, it can potentially lead to a steady increase in sales, referrals and advocacy for your products or services. Or you can charge more for your brand than your unbranded counterparts due to the added value brought to your products or services through brand strategy means like advertising. Such strong brand equities usually come in the form of perceived quality or emotional attachment. Hence, how you deliver the core message of your brand is one of the major determinants to the success of your brand strategy.
An effective brand strategy to build a brand should include the following components:
- Brand discovery
- Competitor research
- Target audience
- Brand voice
- Brand message & story
In simple terms, branding constitutes the collective actions that are taken to build a certain image of your company. To build a brand is to define yourself and to set yourself apart from your competitors in unique ways. It determines how your consumer identifies and perceives you and also lets them expect a certain quality from your products and services. Therefore, it is necessary to build a brand that caters to your target customers in such a way that it leaves a specific impression on them that may facilitate them to buy your products again. This is where brand identity comes to play.
It helps you to convey your business’ core message to the audience with visuals and experiences. Your brand identity is essentially the personality of your business, while your brand strategy will dictate how you present that identity and align it with your purpose for the most impact.
It is also important to note that your elements of brand identity should be applied across all channels consistently. This includes logo, colors and fonts, website designs, contents, advertising, prints, packaging and more. In this way, your business can have a good chance of gaining recognition in the market.
As Jeff Bezos says, “Branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
After you are done with strategizing and identifying the objectives of your brand, you are now left with the marketing part on your agenda to build a brand.
Brand marketing is how you build awareness of your overall brand and its products in order to generate sales. Through this step, you can promote and highlight your products or services by connecting values and voice to the right audience through strategic communication. Since your brand is basically the bridge between your product and your customer, the goal of brand marketing is to link those identity, values, and personality with communications to your audience.
However, brand marketing is not just about putting your logo and name in as many places as possible and expecting them to generate sales. As it can take some time to fully take effect, the importance of brand marketing gets overlooked. In such cases, you may be tempted to focus your energy on short-term goals, rather than on long-term goals that impact the entire business, like building a brand. But if you want to nurture your business into full bloom, you need to take the required measures to build a brand.
Best Ways to Build a Brand
Now that we have covered the essentials, lets jump right into some of the best ways to build a brand.
1. Form a key point for your brand
To create a brand which is impactful enough in the market, you need to have a solid purpose behind it, something to define it and set it apart from its counterparts. This would give a personality to your brand. Why did you create it in the first place? What do you have to offer to the customers? How can it affect the lives of your consumers? How is it any different from the others in the market? Why should they give it a chance? The answers to these questions form the basis of your branding and these brand attributes should be instilled in every employee of your company.
Studies show that 50% of consumers worldwide say they now buy based on a company’s brand values and impact. Similarly, you can also distinguish your brand from others through various marketing means like slogans, stories, taglines, propositions, etc. For example, you can write a short and a memorable statement that captures the essence of your brand.
2. Learn about your target audience
In all of the ways to build a brand, a key step in the process is to determine those people to whom you are selling your product or service. You will want the right person to consume your content, to click on your ads, opt in to your email list, etc.
The foundation in branding of any kind lies in building your goals to cater to their needs. The more specific you are in your research about their lifestyles and behaviors, the more efficiently you can pinpoint their needs and build your business brand accordingly. If you have a solid picture of the needs of your consumers, then you can easily create a brand identity that they can understand and relate to.
And in case you want to have a competitive advantage, you can narrow down the focus even more on your target audience. This may seem like your market has gotten significantly smaller but your brand message comes across crystal clear to the intended recipient and thus, your products have more potential to be sold than before.
Content marketing is one of the most affordable ways to get your names across the market, especially when you are just starting up your business or when you are on a budget. If you establish yourself as the industry expert and cite your products as the go-to resource with the right contents, your audience will consider you for the first choice when it comes down to choosing a business.
It is also a great strategy to strengthen your branding. If you have a strong brand voice, you can reinforce your identity to your customers, which in turn increases their trust in your products or services. And when you carry that brand voice throughout your content, it can strengthen your relationship with them and drive your business to success.
But in order to create the right content, it is imperative that you do your research on what kinds of questions your customers are asking, so that you can create content that answers those questions. There may be a ton of information about your industry but if you can add value to those answers, you’ll build trust with those customers.
4. Look for partnership opportunities
It might get tricky when you are new to your business and your brand has yet to get established. There is no recognition nor any trust for your brand which would prompt any potential customers to do business with you. There may be ways to slowly build your way up but at the end they are all time consuming. In such situations, it’s a good idea to look for partnership opportunities with other brands your customers already work with.
It speeds up the process of trust building simply by proxy. If your customers are introduced to your brand by a brand they already know and trust, they’re much more likely to extend that trust to you and consequently, give your business a chance.
However, the key to strategies like these is to approach those companies that have your target audience but who also aren’t your direct competitors. This will make them much more willing to work with you. Basically, it is a win-win situation for both parties.
5. Research your competitors
You can use your business competitors in the industry as a measure of your progress. Keep track of the latest trends and how they are utilising them. Researching their brands may help you to gauge your own branding strategy and how you can improvise them to gain the upper hand. You need to convince your consumers of your superiority, the uniqueness of your brand and compel them into choosing your brand over them.
This is possible when you remain aware of their marketing strategies, so that you could learn from their mistakes and also their success. However, keep in mind that imitation of any kind in any aspect in your business is a big no-no. There is a big difference between learning and copying.
You can study the way they have gone about building a brand name. For a brand name to be effective, it needs to be easy for consumers to recognize and remember. You can also go about creating a brand competitor research spreadsheet for regular comparison. Such research is important for brand development.
Create a unique brand visual
Once you’ve covered all the steps above, it’s time to finally start designing your brand. This step may be the one which requires your creativity the most. For that, you need to consider a few things.
Before you start designing, it’s important to figure out the details of your design strategy, like your brand color palette, fonts and designs. A designer can develop brand guidelines, to ensure consistency for any future application of the logo and associated brand color palette or fonts for spaces like websites and business cards.
Your logo is the visual identity of your brand. Since it appears on everything related to your business, it is what your customers will associate with your business when they first encounter your brand. It will become your identity, calling card, and the visual recognition of your promise. To ensure that your brand stands out and gets a timeless mark, you can hire a professional designer or branding agency with logo and identity design experience.
When it comes to designing your brand visual, consistency is a key. If you’re not consistent, it may lead to confusion among your customers and you could potentially end up losing them to the competition.