A person that opens a successful new business may not realize that what they are really doing is building a successful brand. A brand is much bigger than your product or service; it can be best described as what the public perception is of your business.
If you’ve never given much thought to your brand, or you are interested in building a brand but don’t know how, here are some important steps:
Know What Makes You Different or Special
Long before you design your logo or choose your color scheme, you have to know what makes your business unique. Aside from the product or service you sell, what is the reason behind it? What are your company values or distinctives?
Think about the specific pain points that your company is able to relieve for your customers. Does your product solve a specific problem or provide a luxury that people want or need?
Part of this step is deciding what you want to be known for. When people talk about your business, what words do you hope come to mind?
Check Out Your Competitors
You’d be sorry if you decided to execute a full branding strategy, only to find on the first day of launch that you’ve chosen the same look for your communications and logo as a competitor. You want to be sure you’re embarking on a unique branding strategy that is distinct from your competitors.
Identify Your Target Audience
When you create a branding strategy, you want to be as specific as possible about who you are trying to appeal to with your efforts. A strategy designed to be attractive to the broad public won’t be especially attractive to any one person. But if you are able to drill down your target market to moms between the ages of 40 and 50 that tend to be in book clubs, exercise regularly and have ample funds available for discretionary spending, you would be much more likely to develop communications that sound like you’re talking directly to them.
Decide What Your Voice Is
If your brand was a person, what would they sound like? Would they be reassuring and dependable, or would they be fun and spontaneous? Whatever you decide the personality is of your brand, be prepared to be consistently that voice across everything you do. It should inform every aspect of your branding strategy, from the logo to the feel of your images on your website.
Now it’s time, using all of this information, to begin developing the color scheme, logo, signage and content that begins to communicate your branding. Developing your brand is not a quick process; it often takes months and a significant amount of energy and investment, but when you reach your coordinated launch date you’ll be at the beginning of building a powerful brand presence.
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