5 Steps to Successfully Build a Brand
Building a brand, especially from scratch, can seem quite intimidating. There are so many details that go into designing a brand and making it successful. Although brand development and brand strategy should be among the first steps when starting a business, the process often gets neglected. A brand is how people perceive the company; it is a powerful influencer as consumers evaluate whether to purchase your products or services. Your brand distinguishes you in the market from all your competitors, so how do you plan to stand out from everyone else? Here is where to start:
1. Define Your Target Audience and Research the Market
The first step to creating a successful brand is understanding your place in the market; you must discover and home in on the best audience for your products or services. Who are potential customers, and who are current customers? From which competitors do members of your target audience purchase similar items? Uncovering attributes of your target audience will naturally lead to research about the overall market and where you fit into it. The best market self-assessments are those driven by the type of business strategy you adopt, such as product differentiation, cost leadership focus, etc.
2. Define Your Brand’s Value Proposition
Once you know who you are marketing to and where you fit in the market, find a way to establish your offerings’ value to your ultimate customer base. What makes the business’s product or service more valuable to the customer over other companies’ products or services? The value proposition should focus on what you do best. For example, fast-food chains are not concerned with offering the tastiest cuisine; they focus on affordability, easy access, and quick service. A technology company may pride itself on having the most updated system, while a furniture company may focus on classic, quality products that never become obsolete. Develop a value proposition that positions your brand’s unique strengths.
3. Consider the Brand’s Personality
Developing a brand personality is where the brand-building task becomes a little more fun and creative. The brand must have memorable character attributes in the same a person has noteworthy character attributes. Depending on the message portrayed and the data found in the first two steps, this step could encompass various things. Keep your target customer and your competition in mind while developing a personality for your brand. Color, font, images, logo design, etc., will play into how consumers perceive your brand and your business.
4. Choose a Name
This step can come before or after developing a personality but is usually best thought out after deciding on a business strategy. Naming a business or brand is simple and complicated at the same time. Ultimately, the name should tie all the other factors together clearly and concisely. You never want the name to confuse the customers. There is a big difference between creating curiosity and confusing or deterring people. The name is something you want to last because it is how people will associate themselves with the brand.
5. Extend the Brand Across All Points of Contact
A brand does not stop with a logo on a building or product packaging. A company’s brand epitomizes the essence of the business. The brand should be consistent at any point of contact with current or potential customers. Whether on a website, in social media, within advertisements, or otherwise, messaging must fall in line with the brand. Don’t forget to inform the company’s employees: they are among the most important brand ambassadors for the business. Share with them an internal branding model to communicate what you are trying to convey through the brand and how they can help propagate it.
There are many steps to creating and implementing a successful brand and business strategy, but these five tips are an excellent place to start. Continue to update and grow your brand as your business grows. The best way to keep a brand successful is to stay consistent. Brand development is an essential factor in business, but don’t overthink it. Building a brand is your opportunity to have fun with your business idea and let your vision shine. If you need help putting your brand puzzle together, there is help! Catalyst Collective is a Brand Architecture firm that specializes in business development, strategy, and scaling. To access a professional team of dreamers, thought leaders, storytellers, and friends to help guide your business into the revenue-generating machine you envision, give the pros at Catalyst a shout. It’s free, and you won’t regret it.