Branding means much more than a cool-looking logo and a Facebook ad. It’s about turning your business into a recognizable company that people are devoted to and think positively about.
Building your brand doesn’t happen overnight, but with ongoing effort and a proper plan, you’ll be well on your way to branding success.
Here’s how you create a brand people will love
What’s your brand’s promise?
Every successful brand has a powerful promise behind it, and your brand should too. It’s the driving force that powers your brand, the purpose of your brand’s very existence.
To discover what it is, ask yourself these questions below, the answers will help you form the building blocks of your branding efforts.
- What makes you different and better than the competition?
- Why was your brand created in the first place?
- What’s the problem your customers are facing, and how does your brand solve it?
- Why should anyone care about your brand?
These questions can be tough to answer, but by answering them truthfully, you’ll be able to create a strong foundation for your branding.
Snoop on your competitors
Imitation is the biggest form of flattery, but never directly copy the big brands in your industry. People will quickly disregard you as unoriginal and think you’re a copycat.
When performing competitor research, your goal is to find out what works for them and what doesn’t work. And don’t just limit your research to successful brands, check out smaller, unsuccessful companies and try to work out why they’re not as successful.
When performing your research, take note of the following and whether it’s working or not:
- Their message and visual (tone of voice, color palette, etc.)
- The standard of their products or services
- Do they have positive or negative reviews and mentions on review websites and social media
- What marketing methods are they using?
Once you have researched 2-4 competitors, you’ll know how to differentiate yourself from the competition while avoiding unsuccessful brands’ pitfalls.
Who is your target audience?
A common mistake made by new brands is failing to identify who their target audience is. You need to be specific about who it is you’re trying to attract and to help you do that; you need to create an audience persona.
An audience persona, or buyer persona, is a snapshot of your target audience. It easily allows you to view who you’re targeting and share it with other people you’re working with.
Here are some key details to include in your buyer persona:
- Level of income
- Level of education
- Pain points
By identifying your target audience and narrowing it down to a few unique personas, you’ll know how to cultivate your branding to resonate with the people you want it to.
Write your brand mission statement
Your brand’s mission statement is like your brand identity, but it’s a clear, written statement that defines what your brand is most passionate about. You’ll want to use all the details you’ve gathered so far about your brand and target audience to craft it.
Here are some amazing examples from successful companies. Note how they’re simple, straight to the point, and leave no wiggle-room for interpretation.
- Facebook – Connect with friends and the world around you on Facebook
- Tesla – To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy
- TED – Spread ideas
- PayPal – To build the web’s most convenient, secure, cost-effective payment solution
Define your brand’s benefits and best qualities
An essential part of successful branding is knowing what makes you unique (and better) than the rest.
You will always be fighting against brands with larger marketing budgets and more resources available, but your brand’s products and services are what sets you apart.
Knowing who your target is will make it easier to define the benefits and qualities are attractive to them, such as:
- Authentic and personal service
- Lower costs and customizable plans
- Easy to use compared to clunky alternatives
Create your brand voice
In recent times branding technology has made it easier for business to craft their brand identity design. However, technology can’t help with creating a brand voice. This has to come from you.
A brand voice is how you communicate your messages and statements to your audience. There’s an endless amount of ways you can form your brand voice:
If you want to create the strongest possible connection with your customers, formulate a brand voice that your target audience will best identify with and respond to.
Create a better experience with a brand personality
There are thousands upon thousands of companies that offer the same product or service and don’t provide any kind of genuine interaction with their customers.
In other words, they’re easily forgotten.
Make your business stand out with a strong personality that shines through every part of your branding and communication. Your personality can be:
- Personable and friendly vs. corporate and professional
- Fun vs. serious
- Spontaneous and high energy vs. careful
Develop your brand story
Using everything you’ve created so far, such as your tone of voice and brand personality, it’s now time to tell customers who you are by telling them a story.
Creating a story helps to make your brand appear more human and emotionally connect with your audience. It should be simple, clear, and make sure it’s not about your product! You’re not trying to directly sell anything with your brand story.
Your brand story should let your customers know where you came from, and why you do what it is you do.
It’s time to design a logo (and maybe a tagline)
Visual communication is a vital part of your branding, and your logo is an essential part of the brand-building process.
Your brand logo will appear alongside your business pretty much everywhere, online and offline, so it’s essential that it:
- Matches your brand identity
- Helps customers recognize your brand
- Highlight your brand’s character and traits
To help with your logo design, think about the design elements of your brand identity. These will also be used in the future as part of your brand guidelines to help your brand stay consistent. Your design elements are:
- Choosing a color palette
- The font-style and typography
- Types of images you’ll use
- Logo placement
Designing a logo can be tough, which is why it’s recommended to seek the services of a professional.
Make sure your brand is embedded in your business
A vital part of the brand-building process is ensuring that you successfully integrate your brand into every part of your business. Every time your customer reads or sees your business, your branding should be noticeable.
On digital platforms, this means sticking to your design elements above, such as your color palette, types of images, and your brand tone of voice and personality.
Consistency is vital
Once you’ve set in place your branding, remaining consistent is to help cement your company in the minds of your audience. So don’t change any part of your branding where-possible to help increase your long-term impact.
The bottom line
With these 11 actionable tips, you now have the perfect roadmap to create a winning brand identity. If you ever get stuck or need inspiration, just check out some of the most successful branding campaigns by companies like Starbucks, Apple, and Amazon, whose communication, logos, and messaging have allowed them to reach audiences worldwide.