Branding. What is it and why does your business need it? Branding goes beyond, fonts, colors, logos, and slogans. Branding is what your business needs to set it apart from the competition. It evokes emotion and allows your customers to align with your products or services.
The big question here is:
Have you made a strategic plan to implement branding in your business?
If you’re just starting out, are in need of a rebrand, or don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered. Even if you’ve established your branding, it’s important to revisit what you’ve outlined often. Do a check-in on what you’re doing and where you want to go, analyzing if it aligns with your branding and goals.
These next 7 steps will help you establish your brand by tuning into what your expectations are but also your customer’s.
Steps to Success
1 . Begin on Day One
Branding will be the basis of everything you do and say within your business. And the good thing is, you probably know what your branding is without realizing it. You know how you want to make people feel when they interact with your business. What will your business be recognized for? Start this thinking from the start.
2. Find Inspiration
Inspiration is everywhere. What brands or businesses do you connect with? Do you like what they’re saying? Use that as inspiration for your business. But remember what makes you different. Your competitors can be a big source of inspiration. They’re either succeeding at what you’re doing or they have a community that’s super loyal. After being observant and taking in all you can, pour it out on paper or create a vision board.
3. Establish the Look, Emotion & Feel
This is when you get to be creative, or hire someone else to be creative! Create your logo, choose your colors, fonts, and more. The colors you choose are more important than you may think. Colors elicit emotions and can mean different things across cultures or industries. For example, red and yellow, McDonald’s iconic colors are said to evoke hunger. So red and yellow may not be the best colors to place in a gym or fitness center. But again, it’s important to focus on how you want your customers to perceive your brand.
4. Determine Your Target Audience
The target audience is who you’re trying to reach and sell to. But how do you find out who they are? Research. Research. Research. Go out and see how people are interacting with your product in real life or who’s talking about a similar product on social media. This can give you great insight into who you should be reaching out to. You can start at a high level and break it down to where someone likes to vacation. It’s okay to be specific and as you learn more about your ideal customer add other personas. There won’t always be one perfect person which is why it’s common to create three avatars and even a secondary target audience. Some tools that are great for finding your target audience are Google Analytics, Reddit, Social Media, Surveys, and Nielsen.
5. Find Your Voice
Your brand voice will set the stage for your business and how your customers perceive you. Brand voice is how you talk to your customers and the style in which you will communicate. How do you find your voice? Keep your target audience at the forefront of your mind. You want this voice to feel true to your brand values and persona. Keep in mind what you outlined in step 3. How do you want people to feel when they hear from your brand? Are you talking to them like a friend or a leader? This will all help to determine whether your voice will be playful or serious. Your voice is truly dependent on the nature of your business and how customers will interact with your brand on a daily basis.
6. Be Different
Now that you’ve established the necessities of branding, it’s time to determine how you’re different. What sets you apart from your competitors? Is it a unique twist on your product or service? Or how your brand speaks to them through email and social media? It’s up to you to decide. If you need some more insight on this, take a look at your target audience again. Is there something that they like or are drawn to? Do you have a different way of reaching them where your competitors aren’t? The best part about this step is that you can test it. Spend a few weeks trying one thing and pivot if needed!
7. Connect It To Everything
It’s time to put your ideas into action. When we say connect it to everything, we mean everything. Your website, emails, social media, print, advertising, store front, and more! However you’re doing business, you want your brand to be reflected in everything you do.
To Wrap It Up
Branding is the key to success in this social age. Your brand or business was created by you but it prospers because of your customers. How they perceive your business is incredibly important in an age where people have less time and are looking for quick and easy content to consume. Evaluate your branding on a regular basis and make sure it’s reflected in all parts of your business.