If you think that coming up with a great idea was the hard part of becoming an entrepreneur, you may find yourself a bit disappointed when you learn everything that goes into marketing your company and building a brand. Even great ideas are unlikely to result in financial success if you can’t find a way to make them catch on.
Therefore, you need to learn what goes into growing your brand if you want your company to succeed. Here are the essentials to building your brand that are very likely to result in success for you, provided you have a solid business idea.
What Is a Brand?
You probably have some concept of what a brand is, but you may find that understanding how to create a brand isn’t as clear-cut as you imagined. Here are some important distinctions to make about what a brand is and is not.
- Brand is what other people think your company is
- Branding is deliberately shaping that perception
- Brand elements are the things your business or a contractor who works with your business creates to build the brand that you want to get across to customers
Building your brand may seem straightforward, but it might be more complicated than you realize to create a strong, distinct brand that does a good job of communicating your business values. Here are some things that you should do to help define your brand before you begin putting anything into practice.
Define your Company
This is especially important if your company does something that is fairly straightforward. Business-to-business companies often struggle to define their branding beyond the service that they are providing.
You need to understand not only what service you’re providing, but what values are important to you as a company to create a strong brand. What makes you different from your competition? Why should someone choose you over another company? You need to know the answers to these questions to create an effective brand.
Why Are You Different?
Define exactly what makes you different from other companies. Do you work harder to keep customers satisfied than some of the other businesses that you compete with? Do you offer better quality in materials than anyone else on the market?
You don’t necessarily want to rub it in how you are different from your competitors, but you do need to know this information to define your brand well.
What Is Your Mission Statement?
Every business needs a mission statement. The mission statement explains why your business exists and where it is going in the future. The mission statement should be concise, but it should also be thorough in its explanation of what sets your company apart.
Define your Values
The values you stand for drive essential components of your internal strategy as well as how you relate to customers. Is your business driven to succeed, or do you take a more reserved attitude and instead strive for success overtime through solid business practices?
The way you define your company values is essential to every aspect of how your business is run, including the branding. Remember to be specific. Not every company could possibly encompass all of the possible values that you may want to attach yourself to.
Do not think about defining your values as marketing. Rather, seriously examine your company to decide what sets you apart from your competitors.
Define your Customer
When you are building a brand, it is important to know exactly who you are talking to. Know who your primary customer is and make sure that your values are speaking to their values.
Business-to-business companies will likely have a different language than businesses that are marketing directly to the consumer. You need to know who you are talking to when you choose which values and brand to represent.
Why Is Branding Important?
If you’re selling a good product, and perhaps especially if you are selling a very practical product that most people need, you may wonder why it matters for you to develop a strong brand. This may be especially true if you have an essential sort of business or are a business-to-business company. However, branding is valuable for a number of reasons:
- Stand out from the competition. No matter how little competition you have now, you can expect competition to develop if you are in a valuable market. You do not want to lose your customers just because they don’t realize that they are choosing a different brand.
- Expand. If you do what you do well, you may want the opportunity to expand into new markets in the future. By developing a strong brand, you give yourself the opportunity to expand into new areas down the road.
- Connect with customers. A strong brand better enables you to make a meaningful connection with your customers, which can make the difference between them staying with you through a difficult time in your company/
How To Build Your Brand
Once you have defined the information that you need to know to begin to describe your brand, it is time to begin building. Effective brands rely on a number of different aspects to build a brand that makes sense and sticks in the minds of customers. Here are a few things you’ll be keeping present as you define your brand.
This could be one of the hardest aspects of a brand to define, but it is also one of the most important. Companies that are trying to present a highly professional corporate face will naturally choose a very different brand voice than companies that want to give off a sense of fun and adventure.
If you are marketing to children, you will make different decisions than if you are appealing to an elderly population. Depending on what your brand voice is, you’ll choose a different font, colors, and other marketing elements.
Your brand voice also defines how your content is written. Do you have a slightly snarky vibe, or do you emphasize the capacity of your company to care deeply about their customers?
Your brand voice defines everything about how your content is produced and what your marketing looks like. This could be a very frustrating thing to change later on, so it is very important that your brand voice is well-defined from the beginning.
The font, or typography, is used throughout your marketing and product design, so it is essential that you get it right from the beginning. Your typography should be easy to read, but it also needs to be fun and distinct.
Many companies use a couple of different types of typography that work well together, one which is more strongly branded and distinct and another which is very easy to read
Colors are another essential aspect of how you communicate your brand. Colors are surprisingly powerful. They can represent emotions and stimulate ways for customers to think about your business. Choosing colors just because you like them is a tremendous missed opportunity.
Choose a Graphic Designer to Build Your Brand
Graphic design is an essential element of many parts of how you will build your brand. Choose a quality graphic designer who knows how to help you effectively communicate your values, mission statement, and company purpose through your brand. Not only that, but a graphic designer that is able to work with you and really understands what your brand is all about is able to bring your values and purpose to life for your consumers through a well-designed logo and other branding assets.