Building a brand from the ground up that stands out is no easy task. Branding is much more than just a cool logo or a well-placed advertisement. You have to do more. Building a brand is definitely a process. The truth is: it doesn’t happen overnight or even in a few months.
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, Website & Online Advertising, Content Marketing & Social Media Sales & Customer Service. We’ve simplified the path for a brand building process below, to help your company or personal brand gain a more loyal following. Use the steps below as guidelines for how to build a brand.
Establish a brand mission statement.
Have you thought about your mission? In essence, you’ll have to craft a clear expression of what your company is most passionate about. 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.
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. You have to delve down deep and figure out what you offer, that 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, 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).
Write a Brand Slogan.
A catchy slogan is a nice-to-have asset—something brief and descriptive that you can put in your Twitter bio, website headline, business card, and anywhere else where you’ve got very few words to make a big impact. Keep in mind that you can always change your slogan as you find new angles for marketing—Pepsi has gone through over 30 slogans in the past few decades. A good slogan is short, catchy, and makes a strong impression.
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. 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.
Evolve Your Brand as You Grow.
Building a brand doesn’t stop with creating a logo or slogan. Your brand needs to exist and remain consistent wherever your customers interact with you, from the theme you choose for your website to the marketing you do to customer service to the way you package and ship your products. You’ll continue to shape and evolve your brand as you expose more customers to it and learn more about who they are and how to speak to them. It’s important to appreciate that you will never have 100% control over how people perceive your brand. You can tug customers in the right direction, make a great first impression, and manage your reputation, but you can’t control the individual perceptions that exist in each person’s mind (say, if they had a bad customer service experience).