From promoting your services to building a customer base, branding is an essential part of running any business. Although the term “branding” shows up all the time in marketing and sales, it can be confusing when you have to actually apply it to your business procedures. What is branding, exactly? Branding and Advertising? Is it a complicated endeavor that requires spending gobs of cash before even seeing the tiniest results? Are there cheaper ways to brand a business?
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In short: your brand is the promise you make to your customers. It indicates the kinds of services, products, and merchandise you offer, and how those offerings are different from those of your competition. Although your brand comes from your own personality and interests, it’s truly defined by your customer’s perception of your business. How people see you are more important than the ways you may see yourself. What’s important, too, is that your brand remains consistent, across many aspects.
- Social Media Presence
- Content marketing and online advertising
- Physical environment (office or store)
- Customer service
Tricks On Building A Brand For Your Business
While creating and maintaining an effective brand doesn’t happen overnight, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get started as soon as possible. In fact, it can take years to build a quality brand, so starting today should be a priority. Luckily, if you’re not sure what to do, you’re in the right place. In this article, you can find nine effective tricks for building and bolstering a brand for your business.
1. Designate Your Target Audience
The first step is to identify the people who need you, your target audience. Let these individuals be your lodestar, your guiding light in the darkness. Spending lots of time and energy on finding out exactly who these people are is essential for building a brand, as you want to form your message around what they need. They have a problem, and you are the solution. How do you determine this target audience, though? By getting specific.
Narrowing down your audience to a specific niche can go a long way. This means you want to figure out the detailed lifestyles, behaviors, and demographics of your audience. Ask certain questions of your audience: what product or service is your best seller? Why does your audience buy from you? How does your product fit into their lifestyle? Answering these questions will tell you whom you need to be selling to.
2. Create a Mission Statement
Building your niche audience is important, but before you can start that process, you need to know intimately what types of services your business provides. This is where the mission statement comes in. Starting small by focusing on a niche audience is essential to crafting a successful brand mission statement, which defines the reason your business exists. Think of the factors that make your company unique and think of how they might speak to your audience. Brainstorm these concepts and work out a definition of what your brand does, and the sorts of ideals you stand for.
3. Research Competing Brands in Your Industry
Part of being competitive means you know what services you provide that no other company can. By differentiating yourself from other competing brands, you isolate a specific service or way of being that no one else can capitalize on. Customers see these branding decisions and are often persuaded by them.To figure out your competition, it can be helpful to create a spreadsheet. List different competitors, the quality of their services, whether their message is consistent, the quality of their reviews, ways they market themselves, the kind of social media engagement they have, and how good their content is. If you can determine these aspects of your competition, you have a better chance of placing your brand in context and offering unique products that other companies can’t.
4. Determine the Key Benefits Your Brand Provides
Once you have the spreadsheet, you can see at a glance what specific things the other brands provide. Then, it’s simply observing what you offer that no one else can do. These key benefits are what make your branding unique and separate you from the crowd. Key benefits especially make a difference online, where the constant noise of hundreds of thousands of brands competing at once can be deafening. But don’t think of what you offer as a list of good things about your brand. Rather, think about the value you are giving customers to improve their lives or solve a problem they have. What are you doing for them? Why do they need your service, and why do they need it now?
5. Make a Logo and Tagline
Visual aspects of a brand are some of the most essential parts of running a business. How often can a few words bring to mind a specific business? You can see a pair of golden arches anywhere in the world and know what you might get. The same goes for a green mermaid coffee logo or a classic red soda. Investing time in a unique logo like these businesses allows you to have something timeless that separates you from the rest of the pack. A logo is that visual representation of the promise you make your customer.
That being said, you probably don’t want to design the logo yourself. Hiring a professional designer with experience in branding and identity design can make or break your brand. Of course, while you understand what your brand might be, your specific expertise is likely not with graphic design or Photoshop or color theory or any of the artistic part of the logo, anyway. You know how to run your business and supply customers with the services and products they need.
6. Establish Your Brand’s Voice
Your voice is the way you communicate with your customers and how they respond to you in turn. To realize your voice, you must first look at your company’s mission, industry and again, your niche audience. The ideal voice connects with your audience on an emotional level. There are a number of different potential voices a company can have.
Here are a few of them:
- Overly Helpful
Any of these voices can work for your company, as long as it resonates with your niche audience. The list of voices may be endless, and it’s up to you to decide what works best for your business to tell the stories you want to tell and gather the customers you need.
7. Devise Your Elevator Pitch
Being able to shortly and succinctly tell customers why your business is going to help them is the entire idea behind the elevator pitch. Here you can use the business voice you picked in the last step in order to tell your audience who you are and make a direct connection with them emotionally. The pitch needs to be short, sweet, and concise.
8. Build Your Online Platform
In today’s digital age, an online platform may be the most common way your customers interact with your brand. The idea behind an online presence is to first build a solid landing page, like a website or blog for your business (You may want to check Best 21 Website Analytics Tools). These locations allow you to create content that your customers may value, such as FAQs or helpful blog posts. You can then amplify this content on different social media networks, like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
The social media networks you use will depend on two things: which ones resonate with you and which ones your target audience uses. If the majority of your target audience uses LinkedIn and Facebook, promoting on Instagram may not make much sense. At the same time, if your audience mostly uses Twitter but you find the format doesn’t gel with your brand, it may be time to think of some creative ways to get your audience’s attention.
9. Associate With Strong Brands
Your brand can be weakened or strengthened, depending on the other brands it associates with. This means that if you can find other stronger brands to connect to your own, it can make your brand look all the better. You can elevate your brand just by aligning it with potentially more established brands, as your customers may see this as an endorsement or a sign that you’re a credible business.
Spending time developing and nurturing your brand may seem extraneous to your business at first glance, but it often becomes the most important aspect of getting your goods and services sold.
By utilizing these nine neat tricks for building your brand, you’re not only helping your business, but you’re also helping customers at the same time. Moving your brand to a customer-oriented service may be the most important thing you can do: in every decision you make, think of how you are solving a customer’s problem.
Again, if your branding is the promise you’re making to your customer, ensure that everything you do is somehow extending or cashing in on that promise. Only by looking outward, towards your niche audience, can you begin to see profits migrating inward towards your bank.
So there. 9 steps for building a brand you can easily follow and apply. Happy branding!