Building a brand the right way is a challenging task. A lot of businesses opt for developing a brand because they know it can give them a major advantage in the competitive and crowded market.
However, a lot of companies fail in this endeavor mainly because they’re unable to grasp the essence of branding. A business doesn’t become a brand overnight, and it doesn’t become a brand because you have a fancy logo prepared. As a matter of fact, there’s a lot more involved in branding than it meets the eye.
That said, you can build your own brand and elevate your business but only if you do it right. And, that means that you must have your target audience’s best interest in mind when doing so. With that in mind, here’s how to start your own brand from scratch in a few simple steps.
Conduct thorough market research
The essence of starting your own brand successfully is research. You have to understand your target audience well, in order to understand their needs, demands, expectations and preferences. The main reason is that a brand is designed in accordance with your audience’s preferences and not your own.
That way, a brand can have the desired impact. Aside from that, conducting a competitive analysis is also vital. You must understand how your main competitors operate so that you can find a way to outrun them.
A competitive advantage when it comes to competing brands can mean the difference between success and failure of your business. Therefore, the very foundation for a good brand is information; information that will allow you to create every brand element the right way.
Work on the visuals
Many companies believe that visuals are not as important as other branding efforts. Yes, other branding elements are more important but visuals are essential to those other elements. Visuals are the key to every brand aspect, which is why you must tend to them early on.
Some of the visual elements of a brand include a color scheme, fonts, layout for website, blog and other relevant pages, visual content, logo and so on. Again, you must have your audience’s preferences in mind when choosing visuals.
Once you’ve chosen the visuals, you must incorporate them across all channels and in every other branding effort, such as website launch checklist, brand persona, brand identity etc. The main reason is that visuals will help you maintain brand consistency, which is one of the most important branding factors.
Create a brand identity
A brand identify encapsulates how you want your audience to perceive your brand or how you present it to them. The core elements of a brand identity are your company’s mission, core values, brand promise and brand persona.
A brand persona or personality encompasses your behavior as if your brand was an actual human being communicating with customers. The main aspects of brand personality are content, tone of voice and specifically-tailored messages.
A brand persona helps you form a community with your audience that fosters trust, engagement and loyalty. In other words, it helps you establish a more personal and meaningful relationship with your customers.
The final component of brand identity that brings everything together is, of course, a logo and your brand’s name. A logo makes your brand recognizable in the market and helps the consumers associate your brand with your brand’s core values and a brand promise you provide to them.
Make it unique
Uniqueness is what makes any brand truly shine. A brand can differentiate your company from other businesses, as well as other brands but only if it’s truly unique in some way. Otherwise, you’re just another business desperately fighting for consumer attention.
That’s why it’s vital for any brand to have a unique selling proposition. A unique selling proposition can be anything that will be of value to your customers, as well as anything that other brands don’t have, so get creative about it. This will put your brand out there and give you the necessary competitive advantage required to survive a highly competitive environment.
Grow and evolve
Nothing is set in stone. However, when it comes to brands, you can’t afford to be inconsistent. Consumers tend to take brand inconsistency quite personally and it angers them deeply. That doesn’t mean you can’t grow or evolve over time.
The key is in communicating with your customers. Any changes or alterations, perhaps even the entire rebranding strategy needs to be discussed with your customers, beforehand. This allows you to maintain the good relationship you’ve established with them while allowing your brand to embrace new trends and new approaches.
Building a brand from scratch requires time, effort and a lot of dedication. You have to do it right. Otherwise, your branding efforts will be in vain. A brand focuses on maximizing the value to consumers so that it can maximize the value for your company. If you approach branding in any other way, you’ll just end up wasting both time and resources.