When you’re starting a business, it’s not enough to just set up and hope for the best. You need a brand identity, a virtual calling card that helps you build up a strong reputation and attract customers. A brand is at the heart of all successful businesses, and it’s easier to build one if you start from the very beginning. We’ll talk you through how to build your brand and give your business the best possible start in life.
Why Is A Strong Brand Beneficial?
A strong brand identity is what separates entrepreneurs with serious ambition from businesses that won’t really go anywhere. A brand is what helps customers connect with you and build up “brand loyalty,” an essential tool to have in your belt. Not only does brand loyalty ensure that you get a steady stream of customers even during tougher times, but it also saves you time and money on lead generation, freeing up your staff for other tasks.
A powerful brand identity also helps your business grow over time. With the strength of a brand behind you, you’ll be able to reach out to an ever-expanding pool of new customers along with the loyal ones. If you open up new physical branches of your business, a strong brand identity will help to get things off the ground more successfully. The benefits of a powerful brand identity are manifold, so it makes sense to use this as your secret weapon for success.
Research The Market Before Creating Your Brand
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Before you work on actually creating your brand, you’ll need to spend some time planning. After all, your brand is going to be what represents you to the general public; you’ll want to make sure that it perfectly matches your identity. To do this, start with some market research. The end purpose of your brand is to connect with your ideal customer, so it’s extremely useful to know who that ideal customer is before you start shaping the brand.
Having this target audience in mind also helps you make better use of your marketing budget in the long run. Instead of simply advertising to everyone and seeing a small return on your investment, you can target your marketing to particular groups of people who will respond positively to your brand.
Come Up With Your Mission Statement
You’ll also need a mission statement, a brief idea of what your business is setting out to do. While you don’t need to make this mission statement public, it’s useful to have it so that you can always look at it to keep you moving in the right direction.
Whether you want to provide your customers with a niche service that they won’t find anywhere else or deliver the very best in customer service, your mission statement should clarify what the core of your business is. From this mission statement, you can then research other companies that do something similar and see how they built their brands.
Stand Out From the Competition
Consumers are faced with more choices than ever when it comes to virtually all services and, thanks to the internet, it’s easy for your brand to get lost in the crowd. Think about what makes your business better than all the rest. Customers respond better to brands that think outside the box and offer them something real.
Every business has its strengths, so play up yours when creating your brand. If you have a lot of experience in your field or have expert knowledge that helps you serve your customers better, that’s great; let them know about this. Even if you’re taking your first steps in the wide world of business, you’ll have a passion for what you do, which is something that customers respond positively to.
Make Sure You Have a Good Logo
Never underestimate the power of a good logo. Think about McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Apple, Nike: All of these brands have simple, identifiable logos that have helped them conquer the world. Your logo should have a clear link with your company name so that it’s easily recognizable, and it should be simple enough that it sticks in people’s minds.
Create a Professional Website
Once you’ve got all of those steps sorted, it’s time to bring your brand to life. The first thing you should do is create a website that truly represents your brand. You can have a site professionally designed, but it’s also possible to create a beautiful, fully functional website by yourself.
Your website doesn’t only serve a practical purpose in selling your services, but it’s also the hub that all your other online marketing — from emails to social media marketing — leads back to. Every tiny detail is important, from the written content to the design, so set high standards for your brand. It’s what your customers expect from a business that’s worth their time and money.
Invest in Marketing and Advertising
Your brand should also feed into your marketing efforts. There are many different ways to do it, from traditional print posters and billboard advertising to modern methods such as social media marketing. Whatever approach you choose, try to get across the same message with your marketing as you do with the brand itself.
Remember when we mentioned that your brand should be built around what your ideal customer is looking for? You can use that same information to define who your marketing campaigns will target and what sort of message will appeal to them. Your brand is more than just a name and a logo; it’s a representation of your core identity, and that identity extends to the customers you serve.
Building your brand is a process that never ends. As your business continues to grow, your services will likely change, too, so you’ll need to keep going back to your brand identity and refining it to keep up with its evolution. However, starting out with a powerful brand and giving your business a firm identity will help you succeed in the long run and build a genuine relationship with your customers.