Most new entrepreneurs have some idea as to how to build a brand for your business. There’s a lot of content, discussion, courses and groups around the concept of branding because it’s complicated. I mean, you know that a brand is more than just a logo right? It’s more than just the name you give yourself or the colors you choose. Let’s discuss what building a brand looks like and where you’ll need to start.
What Is a Brand?
If you know who I am or follow Sassy Lasses, I talk about branding a lot. You see, it’s so much more than outward appearance. If you really want to break it down to the simplest concept – your brand is the lasting impression left with your customers and the instant recognition developed over time. It’s what your customers remember about you.
Which is why a nice logo and a stack of flyers likely won’t get you far. It’s simply not enough these days. If you don’t take the time to establish your business brand online chances are you’ll be quickly overshadowed by your competitors or even worse never get noticed by consumers.
Ideally, you want to dive in and learn about your branding needs BEFORE you name your company or buy a URL, however this really can be done or adjusted at any point.
Who Needs a Brand?
Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, big, small, retail or B2B. When done right it will give you a major edge over your competitors and help you stand out in even the most competitive markets.
Your brand expresses to consumers what they can expect from your products and services and sets you apart from your competitors. It’s derived from who you are, what you want your business to be and what people perceive it to be. Think of it as a promise you’re making to your customer.
Which is why every business should put time and effort into meeting and exceeding those promises while staying forefront of your audiences’ mind. It’s not enough to make the promises, you need to be seen keeping them at all times.
Planning Your Brand
The goal is to differentiate your business from your competitors. This process should start as soon as you name your business and factors into every decision you make from your logo and tagline to your content and advertising. You need to come up with something memorable that explains your brand promise.
Here are a few questions designed to help you figure out how to build a brand for your business.
- What is your business’s mission?
- What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
- Who are your customers? Age, sex, personality type, etc.
- What qualities do you want them to associate with your business?
It’s also at the planning stage that I recommend you look up who the leaders are in your preferred verticals. Why? To see what they are doing; right, wrong or otherwise.
You need to know what you are going up against, as well as what’s been working, so that you can adapt your business to it. Once you’ve got your questions answered and some research done, we move on to the hardest part.
How To Build a Brand for Your Business
Decide where your brand will live and how it will reach your audience. Will you have a website? If not, where will they go? If you do have a website, how are you going to get traffic there? You need to know what pieces will go together so that you can create a holistic concept.
Create a list of where your brand will be seen and heard. Then, for each location, make a list of the things you’ll need to create in step three.
Pride Members – Download our Brand Visual Creation Checklist below.
Realize that what you like and what you want is only relevant if you’re in your target audience. (Sorry!) If you aren’t part of the group that you are selling too, what you like may not align with what your audience likes.
Choose colors, symbols and fonts that represent what you wish to project and those which will most attract your audience. There are some great infographics and charts out there, and I’ll list my favorites below.
Create your visual components such as your logo, business cards, branding board and social media image. Why do you create them at this stage? GREAT GRAPHIC design is more than pretty pictures–it helps to ELEVATE your brand and set you apart from the competition.
Again, the point of branding is to build instant recognition. (However, you can’t do it instantly!) If you want a brand that is instantly recognizable, consistency is paramount. Today it’s harder to capture and keep your audiences’ attention.
The second you present an inconsistent piece, you’re starting again. You run the risk of breaking that cycle of recognition. How do you keep the cycle flowing? By keeping your content consistent.
Finding your brand voice is almost as important as the visual content. Humans are visual creatures and will connect fastest with the visuals, however, having a consistent tone and message is important when it comes to building trust.
When was the last time you saw something randomly online and purchased it WITHOUT reading reviews or searching the company or already having a preconception in place? I’m betting it’s been a long while, if ever. Scammers, false advertising, MLMs and other such things have eroded consumer trust. That means it’s up to you to set the tone and show consistency in messaging to rebuild that trust.
Put it all together and look at your handiwork. Are visuals and messages consistent from your website to your social media and beyond? Do you feel it will resonate with your audience?
I encourage entrepreneurs to use social media to test your proof of concept. Find the groups your audience hangs out in, and throw out some polls, questions, and teasers. Please want to share their opinions, especially on social media, so use it to your advantage.
Once you have completed all five steps, you’re ready to start creating brand awareness
Need more? I’ll be continuing this series on a rotation with our other Pride Leaders. The next one will drop on July 24th.
We also welcome you to join our Pride where you will get access to loads more content and special learning events designed to teach you how to build a brand for your business.
Thanks for reading – talk soon!