Crafting a brand for your business is a crucial aspect of building a successful organization. In essence, it is a promise you make to your customers. What can you give them that no one else does? What should they expect from you? Brand identity gets to the core of what your business is and how you want it to be perceived, explained Entrepreneur contributor John Williams.
With all those elements packaged into a business brand, clearly the task of defining and then building your brand is not something to take lightly. Let’s take a look at how to tackle these projects.
Defining your brand
In order to build your brand you need to define just what that brand is in the first place. Some businesses may have constructed a brand without even knowing it, others may need to start from square one and build from the bottom up. Whatever the case, branding requires asking yourself some key questions about your business and its offerings.
Williams compares the journey toward defining your brand to a voyage of self-discovery. The process may be tricky and a little time-consuming but the rewards are well worth the effort. As such, the questions that lead to a brand definition are far-reaching.
- What is your business’s mission?
- What values do you want your customer to associate with your brand?
- Which qualities do you think they currently attach to you?
- What do you offer your audience that no one else does?
- What do you lack?
Working your way through these questions and the research they entail will reveal a lot about your brand as it exists now and how to strengthen it. Williams also suggested taking the time to really learn the habits and needs of your current audience and the audience you hope to attract. This shouldn’t be guesswork. So, try sending out customer surveys to get a feel for their opinions. No one knows what your brand actually looks like better than your customers.
Building your brand identity
So, you have defined your brand. After some soul searching, you have nailed down what makes your company special and what values you want to project. Now comes the fun part. You need to take that brand and spread it throughout everything you do. This is an essential component to marketing. All of your materials – social media posts, email newsletters, direct mail and even customer service should work together to convey the brand of your business. In order for customers to truly understand that brand, you must build it up. Here are three quick tips to establish your brand among consumers.
1. Create a distinct voice: In order to ensure a clear brand message across the board, businesses should create a voice for their brand. In doing so, they are guaranteeing a uniform character is being delivered throughout different mediums. Your interactions with customers, whether on social media or in an email, should read like they were written by one personality: your brand. Finding your business’s voice will do wonders for establishing your brand identity as this will convey a certain persona to your customers in all their interactions.
2. Write down your key messages: Throughout the process of defining your brand identity it is likely that not many different themes came up. As you work to build your brand identity through various outlets make sure you are not trying to do too much. Nail down your top three values and stick to those points every time, explained Williams. Trying to convey every single admirable quality in a 140-character tweet just won’t work. Prioritize in order to optimize and things will run much smoother.
3. Be consistent: Consistency is arguably the most important element of building up your brand identity. If you fail to consistently communicate your brand through different content formats on various platforms, the rest of the suggestions are moot. Creating a content calendar can be helpful in this regard. Make a plan for when you will deliver content and how. Sticking to a schedule like this can ensure your brand and its messages are evenly distributed throughout any given week.