As a startup, how you brand your business should be major in your planning processes. It’s something you plan from the beginning on how you intend to build your business brand. If you missed this out when you started, it’s still not late. You can start now using this guide to grow your business brand equity from scratch.
The concept of branding your business is a marketing practice of creating a name, symbol or design that identifies and differentiates your company products or services from others. It’s represent the symbol of your unique brand voice, from your mission to message and brand personality.
Entrepreneur explains that for a brand strategy to be effective, it must have a major edge in an increasingly competitive market. This edge is what makes your brand stand out from the competition.
Why You Should Brand Your Business
Branding is a promise your business makes to its customers. It’s the why of your business. And the reason customers should come to you, as an answer to their problems.
When you Brand your business, you give customers reason to trust you, see what you are offering in confidence, and entrust them with the will to use your product or service as promised.
Your brand need to speak the language customers understand that will make them believe in the promise of your product or service. And it’s your guarantee to that promise that it will not fail them.
Benefits Of Branding Your Business
- You stand out in a saturated market.
- It gives you credibility.
- It can charge what you’re worth.
- It leads to customer loyalty.
- It leads to returning customers & referrals.
- It leads to Consistency.
- It helps to attract your ideal clients.
- It saves you money and time in the long run.
- It promotes you confidence level
- It gives you a clear strategy
Step #1: Determine Your Target Audience
Your branding strategy starts with your target audience. They are the reason you want to brand your business. They represent the real brand focus; who they are, what they want, how they want it defines your brand building process.
The Identify of the target audience for your service or product is an exercise that will affect and benefit all areas of your brand building process, particularly market efforts. Who forms part of this target, where they live or spend time, there purchasing value and many more will be what drives this search.
Also, you want the right audience consuming your content, clicking through your ads, and opting into your email list. Focusing on the wrong audience or not knowing who your target audience are will effect negatively on how you brand your business.
Tips On Targeting The Right Audience
- Compile data on your current customers, if any.
- Use Facebook lookalike to identify similar customers
- Use website and social media analytic
- Check out the competition
- Be clear about the value of your product or service
- Create a target market statement.
- Test social ads on your target market
Step #2: Establish A Brand Mission
Your brand must have what it stands for. If customers are going to trust you or patronize your business, they need to understand your brand mission. Who you are, what you do and how you do them, are important in brand building.
This is your why: the reason you get up everyday. And before you can build a brand that your target audience trust, you need to know what value your business provides. What exactly will your customers be exchanging their money for?
This mission statement basically defines the purpose for existing. It will inform every other aspect of your brand building strategies. And promotes your value to potential customers or clients.
Tips to Write A Mission Statement
- Make it short and concise.
- It’s not an essay
- Think long-term
- Don’t make it too limiting
- Don’t be afraid to change it.
Step #3: Research Brands Within Your Industry Niche
If you are always thinking about how to make a brand stand out, don’t skip this step in brand building process. To brand your business, find out how other brands did it before. Start with identifying other brands within your industry niche.
Research your main competition or better benchmark their brands. How your competitors are building their brand may give a clue to how to brand your business in your niche. Especially if you are building your brand yourself and know little about branding.
For instance, study how they have gone about building their brand name and who they are targeting. Those information hold the key to how you can brand your business better.
Step #4: Outline Key Qualities & Benefits Your Brand Offers
You should give customers the reason to choose your brand over another competing brand. And that’s what your brand key qualities gives you advantage to do. Your brand benefits speaks to the target audience about what they would gain from interacting with your brand.
It’s important to note that this is not just a shopping list of features your product or services offer to the customer or client. It should be the questions that customers want answered about their needs.
Think about how you provide value that improves consumers lives – in the outcomes or results that are experienced. It should point customers to a better life, solved problems and the kind of fulfillment they desire.
What are the best expectations of your target market that your brand provides? That’s what your best qualities and benefits should offer.
Step #5: Create A Brand Logo & Tagline
What probably comes to mind when you think about how to build a brand visuals? The logo is like what brand is and remains to most people. Once they have a logo they feel branding is complete. That’s partially true, even though logo is an integral part of overall branding process.
The logo is the key part of how you brand your business. That’s the visual representation of your brand. It’s what most people use to identify your business. For most part in branding, nothing is branded without a logo.
This step may be the one where you need help with execution. You will need help designing a professional logo for your branding. Although, the are several platforms online where you can get a great logo. But having a professional logo may require help from an experience brand expert.
This logo will appear on everything that relates to your business. It should be done by a professional who should also understand your brand strategy, target audience, brand message, voice and personality.
Your logo will become your identity, calling card, and the visual recognition of your promise. And that’s why it’s a lot like the most necessary thing to do to brand you business. The logo maker I recommend is Logogenie.
Tips for Brand Logo Design
DesignHill gave a 9 point tips on how to effectively create a logo design. Even if you are not a graphic designer, this tips will guide you on what’s should form your logo design concept.
- Know the brand.
- Reflects on the Nature of your business.
- Impression Matters.
- Use colors in a planned way.
- Pick fonts carefully
- Chose the type of Logo
- Keep it simple and impressive
- Make it scalable.
- It should also look well impressive In any colorless version or shape
Step #6: Form Your Brand Voice
The main reason you should brand your business is to give it a brand voice. Your brand voice is dependent on your company mission, audience and industry. It’s how you communicate with your customers and how they respond to you.
It’s actually what would help you maintain a brand consistency across all platforms and formats
A brand voice could be professionally friendly, service-oriented, authoritarian, technical, promotional, conversational or informative. Find what’s your brand voice and stick with it in all your brand process. The consistency of your brands voice is what sets you apart from the crowd.
Tips to Define Your Brand’s Voice:
- Create unique and impressive words to your brand voice
- Create consistency in every bit of content and copy
- Increase your brand’s voice through proper channels
- Walk your talk.
- Consciously grow and adapt
Step #7: Build A Brand Message & Elevator Pitch
A Brand message is an opportunity to communicate on a human level. What this means is that the language you use should be understood immediately while striking an emotional chord. Make your brand message simple and clear.
If your target audience cannot understand your brand easily, then your message isn’t helping your brand. The focus of your brand message should be to convey to your target audience their need for you.
If they can’t find how your brand would benefit them, your message is not communicating to them.
Tips to Build a Brand Message:
- Define your brand values
- Differentiate your brand from the crowd
- Make it appeal to your target audience
- Build an impressive message
- Make it resonate throughout your communication
And if you are building a brand to also attract investors, you will need to create an elevator pitch. The investors would need to understand your brand message and conviction to deliver its promise. But the pitch would resonate more with investors if its backed by a strong brand focus and not just on your promise.
Tips to write an elevator pitch:
- Start by introducing yourself.
- Provide a good summary of your promise
- Explain what you want from the investors
- Finish the pitch with a call to action.
Other things you need to know about elevator pitch includes:
- Take your time. Don’t rush an elevator pitch
- Make it conversational, and provide them with an alluring sense of agreement
- Pitch common and general ideas. Avoid niche words and phrases.
- Express brand confidence. Pitch your success on a strong brand equity.
Step #8: Let Your Brand Personality Shine
If you are wondering how to brand your business in a unique way, make your personality stand out in every aspect of your brand building process. Let this uniqueness shine through out your brand points.
To brand your business you need to infuse that your own unique brand personality. What’s that unique advantage you have that characteristically make you stand out? The role of your brand personality is to give it a uniqueness that no other brand can easily copy.
And you should also be consistent with this brand personality across all points of contact.
Types Of Brand Personality:
Investopedia gave us five main types of brand personalities with common traits. And they include:
- Excitement: carefree, spirited, and youthful.
- Sincerity: kindness, thoughtfulness, and an orientation toward family values.
- Ruggedness: rough, tough, outdoorsy, and athletic.
- Competence: successful, accomplished and influential, highlighted by leadership.
- Sophistication: elegant, prestigious, and sometimes even pretentious
Step #9: Integrate Your Brand Into Every Aspect Of Your Business
The brand building process never stops. That’s one thing about branding. You keep branding your business for as long as the business exist. It’s not a one-off thing to brand your business. You keep building your brand, and as the business expands your brand strategy expands with it.
Your brand should also be visible and reflects in everything that your customers can see, read and hear. The louder your brand coverage goes, the more customers it attracts with it.
For instance, if a client walks into your store, your brand image should on display both in the environment and with personal interactions. Your brand should breath on everything you do, as far as your business is concerned.
Step #10: Stay True To Your Brand Building
Consistency is key in branding your business. But if you choose to change how you brand your business, let it be only into something that’s more effective. And it should be based on a measured consumer response.
Once you have chosen a brand voice, use it for every piece of content you create. Your brand content should be consistent, and should reflect in all formats of your branding process.
Document all the brand guidelines you create and distribute internally for reference. This will help to align everyone who’s ever going to be responsible for your brand to follow same strategy, design and formats for your brand.
Tips On Brand Consistency Building:
- How do people see you?
- Build your online platform.
- Weave your brand into everything you do.
- Be consistent.
- Don’t try to please everyone.
- Create value.
- Align yourself with strong brands only
- Follow strong brand-building awareness.
A brand identity is your marketing foothold in your niche market. Branding your business is the best form of marketing. But branding is not just marketing. You brand your business to give it a voice that defines your marketing plan.
And to not brand your business is a grave mistake that you shouldn’t let happen. Unless your business is meant to serve for just a season, branding preserves your business efforts for years to come.
Branding is more than just designing a business logo. Although a logo plays an important role in all branding process, but it’s not all about what branding represents. You need a great logo that will stand you out to make all your branding efforts worth the investment.