Millions of businesses are striving to make a name for themselves by branding their businesses. Why?
Because they understand that having a strong brand is crucial for standing out in the crowd, making the business memorable, and grabbing the attention of the customers.
But how to create a brand identity? How to make the transition successfully from a business into a brand?
GIF Source: Pinterest
Well, branding is the process of giving meaning to your business, products, or services by forming and shaping a specific perception of your business in the mind of your consumers. And it’s an extensive one.
But there are certain things you can do to build a strong brand and differentiate yourself from your competitors, that too, without draining your pocket!
Find out all about the nitty-gritty of building a BRAND here.
“The first step is always the hardest”. So is doing the necessary market research, the very first of your business branding idea. For complete market research here are the things you need to do:
Defining your brand identity can be uncomfortable, difficult, and even time-consuming. It’s like being on a journey of business self-discovery where you know your values, your mission, and who you are as a business entity, as a company.
But you have to do it. Start with answering these questions:
Getting clarity on these questions will help you better build your brand identity that truly will grab the attention of customers.
As everyone is different from the other; so are their needs which means the way you target a product to a college student must be different than to a pre-teen.
For creating brand identity for small business that people will love, you must be thorough with what the audience wants from a business like you in your industry.
And the completion of S.W.O.T. (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) can also help businesses the characteristics they want to portray in their brand.
Strengths: Refer to the positive characteristics of your business that gives your brand an extra edge over others.
Weaknesses: Refer to those characteristics that can put your business at a disadvantage.
Opportunities: Refer to the trend and changes in the industry that might prove to be beneficial for your business.
Threats: Refer to the elements in the industry or the environment that may cause issues to your business.
What comes to your mind when I say designing visuals to establish a strong brand identity?
Brand logo, right? (And brand logo it should be!)
A brand logo designing is not everything of branding but is certainly one of the most significant elements in the entire branding process.
The logo will be there on almost everything related to your business, from your business card to your website and online ads which makes it the face of your company and the most identifiable part of your brand.
Hence you must make sure to design this visual asset that is closely-tied with your brand from which all other visuals will begin such as website, business card, etc.
Plus, creating cool and catchy templates, whether it’s for letters or emails or your business cards, can help with adding a credible and professional feel and appearance to your brand.
Even creating a set of guidelines for your brand to follow that will document everything that you should and should not will help people be brand compliant while they share your brand. Take the clear and cohesive brand guide created by Skype for example.
So, here’s one piece of advice, do whatever you have to do, just make sure the visuals elements of your business you design are worth creating an unforgettable brand identity.
Once your brand is established, it’s time for integrating it within your community, the next vital step of how to build a brand online.
Believe it or not, but connecting with your local community can do wonders for your business and your efforts of turning it into a brand. And offering high-quality content is one of the most effective ways of accomplishing this.
In the ebook “Branding in the Inbound Age” by HubSpot, the writer has mentioned content to be the “brand online”, the “store”, the “salesperson”, and the “marketing department”.
In simpler words, every single piece of content that you publish on your website defines your brand and reflects your story. So make sure your content possess these features in them:
Image Source: Executive Secretary
Everyone prefers to do business with brands whom they trust. Now, how can you make your target audience trust your brand?
Simple! Grab the partnership opportunities with other established brands.
Partnerships with other brands not only help to reach new audiences but also enhance the customer’s perception of your brand. When you introduce your business as a brand through an already known and trusted brand, customers are more likely to trust you and recognize your brand.
There are also partnership marketing campaigns, a form of digital marketing, that function as a great way of brand marketing where both parties involved achieve their goals.
Image Source: IDC
By now you’ve known the various ways of how to create a brand name. Now comes how you can maintain it.
Unless you track the main performance metrics of your website how will you know whether your branding strategies and marketing efforts are working or not!
And how can you monitor your brand to maintain its identity?
Well, conduct surveys, use Google analytics, go through the customer comments, social media discussions, etc. and get an idea about how people are interacting with your brand or what they think about your brand.
Insight into your brand’s performance metrics helps you to improve your brand identity by implementing the changes required.
Just like there are certain steps to follow for a solid brand presence; there are steps to avoid as well for preventing your brand from failing or faltering. These strictly No-No steps are:
Repeating the same message again and again and that too in the same way won’t get you anywhere. Rather, making your key message work together can help you build a coherent identity. Remember, branding for small businesses or businesses of any size is not about repeating the same messages but creating patterns.
You must know what you want to tell your customers and use the appropriate visuals and language to do so. An image or language that makes sense to you may not appeal to your customer and can even confuse them by giving mixed messages.
The exemplary branding of your competitors might make you want to copy them, but imitating your competitors is the biggest branding blunder you can do. Since you’re offering the same services and selling the same products, having originality and including your twists is how to create a brand image in the industry.
Yes, your online presence is certainly different than that of your offline presence (I mean the print materials). But when it comes to the colors, theme, font, message, and type, make sure to maintain consistency.
Your brand indeed begins with you. But it ends with the people’s perception of your business and the actions they take out of their perceptions.
So, a positive customer experience is crucial you know! Especially when it comes to creating a brand for yourself, and standing out in this hyper-competitive market. Branding is more than just trying to grab the attention of your customers, creating a logo, or having some marketing strategies ready.
What your customers say about you (read: behind your back) and the reputation you gain is also a major part of branding.
And that’s why you gotta make customer service your priority if long-term success and recognition as a brand is something you strive for.
Irrespective of how, why, or when they interact with your business, you must offer a consistently positive experience to them. Try to find out the areas within your business where you can improve your customer experience such as are they having difficulties in placing an order on your site or are they facing issues with registering, etc.
Remember, the more you’ll improve your customer experience, the more customers you’ll receive who will know you as a brand that truly cares for its customers.
A better reputation, a greater exposure, a stronger connection with your audience, a higher revenue generation – do you desire all these and more?
If so, then it’s time you put the work your business needs to grow into a brand! For any branding help, Klizo Solutions is just one call away.
From digital marketing to business copywriting, logo designing, social media marketing, we have expertise in building brand identity, web designing, brand marketing, and developing effective branding strategies.
We know what it takes to become more than a symbol or name. Call us today and let’s unravel the secrets of building a BRAND!
Klizo Solutions was founded by Joseph Ricard, a serial entrepreneur from America who has spent over ten years working in India, developing innovative tech solutions, building good teams, and admirable processes. And today, he has a team of over 50 super-talented people with him and various high-level technologies developed in multiple frameworks to his credit.