How to Set Yourself Up for Success by Creating a Strong Brand
Written by Brenda Berg
16 April 2018
One of the greatest assets you can have as a business is owning a strong brand. If your customers can instantly recognise you, sometimes simply just through your logo or brand colours, you know that your customers are thinking about you and you might most likely be their go-to business when it comes to products or services.
Of course, as a small business, you’ll be competing against the likes of huge global businesses which already have established international brands. Think McDonald's, Nike or BP. However well you know these brands, a good, strong brand goes way beyond a snazzy logo and expensive advertising slots.
Today, we’re going to delve into the world of branding to find out what makes a strong brand and how you can apply this logic to your business.
Defining Your Target Market
It’s going to be impossible to launch your business as a strong brand if you don’t know who you’re starting it all for. Without defining your target audience, you won’t know what your customers want and what they are looking to interact and connect with.
Conduct market research is the first process you should be undertaking. Try to get as specific and as detailed as you can. For example, targeting college students who are studying in America will have a much different outlook for single moms, workaholics or CEOs of big businesses. Build up a picture of each of your demographics so you can see exactly what they want.
Develop a Mission Statement
If your business doesn’t already have a mission statement, now is the time to do so. In short, your mission statement needs to define, for you and your customers, the sole purpose of why your business exists. With this statement in mind, absolutely everything you create for your business from here on should reflect this message.
Researching Your Competition
This point goes hand in hand with the consideration above. When you’re searching around your industry to see what’s already out there, you may have some global companies operating at the top of your niche. However, when it comes to branding, don’t feel like you’re down to replicating what they are doing.
Of course, you can note for yourself what catchy moments their branding has, but don’t try to copy and jump on their success. This tactic is far too obvious.
Jennifer Cottel, a branding manager for Ox Essays, shares, “Try to make notes on the quality of the products or services that the business provides, read customer reviews on the company and check to see how consistent their brand is across multiple channels. This allows you to see what’s successful, and what isn’t”.
Creating Your Brand Logo (and Tagline)
These are the visual representations when it comes to your business’s branding, and it’s paramount that you get them right. Your logo is a small and easy to remember graphic that’s going to appear on every single one of your products, your website, your content, your business cards and everything in between.
With this in mind, it becomes clear that you’re going to want to invest in something that’s outstanding. Although a good logo may be hard to develop and can be a time-consuming process, this is to be expected from one of the most important aspects of your branding campaign.
Harry Davis, the branding advisor for Resumention, says, “Use a professional designer, or a freelance designer, and work together closely with them to make sure they are producing what you want. Be sure to give them your mission statement and tagline (the bit of text under or next to your logo) to work from. Alternatively, you can hire a start-up team to work with you create this content and brand material”.
What I’d suggest is going for a DIY option as a small business and taking your time to create your own logo with Ucraft Logo Maker. At the end of the day, who knows your brand better than you do?
Deciding on Your Brand’s Tone of Voice
This is one of the most important aspects of your branding that shouldn’t be underestimated. It’s so important that you get it in line with the branding materials that you’ve already created above.
What kind of business would you define yourself as? Are you a serious and formal business? Are you professional yet casual? Are you an extremely informal business? Whatever you decide upon, you need to make sure that this is reflected through your business’s branding and is evident in every single piece of content that you produced, write and create for your marketing campaigns.
Even if you’re simply writing a blog post, it’s not only about what you write but also how you write. That’s the only way that your customers are going to interact with your business, as though they are having a conversation with your business, and therefore they need to feel comfortable, safe and engaged.
When writing content for your website in your chosen tone of voice, whether it’s your static page website content or your content marketing posts, make sure it’s perfect before uploading it. If you don’t trust your proofreading skills, use a professional service like Grammarix, Australian Help or Via Writing. There’s no better way to bring down and to damage your branding and reputation than content that’s littered with spelling and grammar mistakes.
Hosting a Launch Event
Now that you’re getting close to finalising all the details and completing your brand creation process, what better way is there to introduce yourself to the world that hosting a brand launch event. This is where you can invite potential customers or even other businesses in your industry (competition or potential partners) to see what you’re made off.
Daniel Peterson, a branding expert for Revieweal, exclaims “Hosting a launch event is one of the best ways to get your business and brand out there in front of the eyes of the people you want to know about you. You’ll be setting a great first impression with your customers, and it’s also a great way to receive feedback on your branding so you can make minor tweaks, so it’s perfect”.
Remember to Be Unique on the Web
With all the steps above in mind, don’t forget that you want to stand out from the crowd and shine above the rest. It can be tempting to try and replicate what your competition or industry leaders are trying to achieve, but it works for them because they have put the time in to discover their own branding. Today, first and the most popular way you can establish your brand and its uniqueness are through a website.
Nowadays, all the successful businesses should have a website. Why is that? Because it is the most precise differentiator of one company from another on the web. Build a website that stands out from the overall competition and you will surely benefit from your online presence while making money in a sleep.
Do your research, find your niche and create your own personal image, standing out against the grain, and you’ll definitely find success in your branding creation journey.
And that just brings us to the end of your branding process. Once you’ve launched, listen to the feedback that people give you in person and online in regard to your brand. Of course, it’s better to make tweaks early before everybody starts to recognise your branding, but with the right amount of planning, research and organisation, you should have no problems launching a strong branding for your business successfully.
Author Bio: Brenda Berg is a professional with over 15 years of experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs at Uktopwriters. Also, Brenda is a part-time educator and Editor in Chief at Bestaustralianwriters. She believes that constant learning is the only way to success. You can visit her personal blog at Letsgoandlearn.com