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As the owner of a business, you need to set yourself apart from the crowd if you want to make more sales — especially if you are in a competitive niche.
Developing a strong brand identity is a lot of work and doesn’t happen overnight. However, with the right guidance, you will be able to establish yours quickly and more effectively.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can develop a strong brand identity.
What is a brand identity?
A brand identity is a combination of all the elements that distinguish a company from others in the market. It can include everything from your communications and logos to the tone you use in your social media posts, along with your general approach to business.
It’s important to have a strong brand identity across all channels because it will help to ensure your content stands out and that you attract the right audience.
There are so many companies out there and it can take a lot of work to truly make an impact. But you don’t have to worry, as I’m going to provide you with my top tips to help you get started.
Research your audience and competition
Before coming up with your brand identity, you should thoroughly research your audience and competition.
This is necessary to make sure you are meeting your audience’s expectations, but also don’t blend in too much with the competition. For example, green tends to be the color favored by most environmentally-friendly brands. So, if you put a lot of emphasis on sustainability, you might want to go down this route. However, you’ll still want to ensure that your branding isn’t too similar to that of other companies in your field. You could mix things up with unexpected shades of green, stand-out fonts, and unique motifs, for instance.
To get an idea of who your ideal customers are, you’ll want to put together a buyer persona. This is a fictional representation of your audience. To do this, you want to put some thought into who your customers are, what they do, why they are in your market, and how they buy products in your niche. You can also carry out a customer feedback survey where you ask your existing customers specific questions to help you gain some insight into their behaviors and what currently interests them.
Competitor research is where you identify similar businesses and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their brands and products. You can start by doing a Google search for products in your niche and taking a look at the companies that show up in the results. Once you have a list of your main competitors, you can check out their website and social media platforms to see the kind of content they are creating and how the people in your target audience are responding to it. You can then decide what you want to replicate, and what you’d like to improve upon.
Create a strong logo and templates to keep everything consistent
A logo is one of the key elements that will define your brand identity. Your logo will be present on every piece of content you put out, so it is important that you create a strong design that is consistent and makes your brand easily recognizable. You have to be willing to invest the time, resources, and energy required to craft a strong logo. And, if you don’t know how to do that, you can use the services of a company like Pro Designs. They are experts in this field and will be able to help you come up with a fantastic logo that really represents your business.
To create the right logo for your brand, make sure you take into consideration the nature of your products or services. For example, a company that sells fitness products might want to incorporate the icon of a bicycle or a dumbbell into their logo. You should also experiment with different fonts and colors so you can pick the ones that work best for your brand. Graphic design tools like Canva will allow you to create different versions of your logo so you and your employees can study them and choose the best one.
It’s also a good idea to create templates you can use to ensure all of your social media posts and graphics have a consistent look. If multiple people are designing assets for your business, you’ll still want to ensure they work well together, and templates can help to keep everyone on the same page when it comes to color palettes, layouts, and fonts.
If you would like to learn more about making responsive templates for your social media posts, Designhill has a great guide that can help you.
Focus on finding your brand voice
Companies tend to put a lot of thought into their visual branding, but finding your brand voice is just as important. Your brand voice affects the way you communicate with your customers and it could be professional, conversational, informative, friendly, or technical.
To identify and create a brand voice for your business, you want to start by assessing your brand’s mission statement because this contains information about your ideal audience, company values, and brand goals. These characteristics can help to inform what kind of feel your brand voice should have.
It should also resonate with your target audience. For example, if you run a sports goods company whose ideal audience is people aged 18-35, your brand voice should be youthful, passionate, and quirky so you can attract the people in your target audience.
You should also focus on using the same brand voice across your website copy, blog content, social media posts, and any other medium because this will help customers to identify and remember your brand regardless of what platform they are on.
Only publish content that’s incredibly relevant
Many business owners make the mistake of creating a lot of content for their blog or knowledge hub that’s irrelevant to their products, services, or audience. While it’s a good idea to keep your website updated with regular content that has been optimized for search engines, the most important thing is that you only cover topics that are very relevant to your business (and that your audience will find valuable).
To create relevant content, one of the things you can do is identify the questions your audience is asking on Google or forums like Quora or Reddit. You can use keyword research tools like Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, or AnswerThePublic to find search queries that people are typing into search engines and these will guide you in creating content that is relevant for your brand and its customers.
Let’s take a look at some examples of companies that publish relevant content so you can get some inspiration.
First, consider My Canada Payday’s blog post about why good credit really does matter. The company is a financial lending company, so its target audience is primarily made up of people who are looking to take out a loan or who at least need some financial guidance. So by highlighting the reasons why good credit matters, they have been able to educate their audience with content that is relevant to them.
This kind of content can also help the company to build a strong brand identity as a leader in the financial services sector because it shows that they are very knowledgeable about the credit system. If someone reads this guide and learns from it, they’ll see My Canada Payday as an expert in this field and will be much more likely to use their services in the future.
Let’s also take a look at a very relevant article from FreshBooks. They are a company that provides accounting services, so they’ve created an in-depth post that answers all of the FAQs someone might have about what cloud accounting software is.
Their customers are small business owners, freelancers, and generally people who are looking for accounting solutions, so this post is highly relevant to their audience. It also benefits the company because it gives their brand a strong identity as an authority in the cloud accounting industry.
Once you have a list of the questions your ideal customers need the answers to, start creating blog posts and guides to help them. This will go a long way towards establishing your brand as an authority in your field and will help you forge a strong brand identity.
Stay active on social media to increase your online visibility
Social media is one of the most powerful tools for getting the word out about your business. The more active you are online, the more likely it is that people will find you.
You have to make sure you are maintaining a consistent output on social media and you can do this by creating a content calendar and bulk scheduling posts to save time. There are lots of tools you can use to help with this — for instance, SocialPilot has a great guide to the best Twitter tools that will help you remain active on the platform.
You should also be reactive in your social media management. This means monitoring your social media platforms, as well as responding to questions, reviews, and feedback in real-time to make sure you build a great relationship with your customers and get the most from your marketing efforts.
And, of course, you should also remember to keep a consistent brand voice in your social media posts. Having a well-known brand can help build your business’s credibility and also increase the number of loyal customers you have.
One way to do that is to develop a style guide and ensure that all your communication remains consistent even when different people are handling multiple social media platforms for your business.
With so many different brands trying to stand out in most markets, it’s becoming increasingly important for you to develop a strong brand identity and doing that requires organization and planning.
By researching your audience and competitors, creating a brand voice, and designing a strong logo, you will be well on your way to building your own brand identity that will accelerate the growth of your business.
Author bio & headshot:
Aaron Haynes is CEO and co-founder of Loganix. The company is an SEO fulfillment partner for digital marketing agencies and professionals, which provides the services businesses need to improve their online visibility and grow. If you liked this article, check out the Loganix blog, where you’ll find more SEO guides full of expert advice.