For most people, brand building is only about creating a logo, drafting a catchy statement, creating a website, and selling products or services.
But that’s not true.
Building a brand is similar to creating a building. You have to plan the structure, chart out everything—color scheme, personality, design, and more—draw up a mockup, and do intensive tests to make sure you create something that can weather the storms.
You won’t live in a house that’s predicted to fall at the first earthquake, will you?
So, rather than creating something that wouldn’t even get you into the door of commerce, put in the time and effort to build a brand that lasts.
But how do you do that?
That’s what we’re here to find out!
What Is Brand Building?
Brand building is the process of generating awareness about your business through the use of marketing campaigns and various strategies. It aims to create a lasting image of the business in the market.
Brand building has three main phases:
- Brand Strategy – The brand strategy phase is about finding out how your brand is different from the competition, its purpose, and how it will be beneficial to consumers. You have to discover your brand’s audience, voice, message, and how you want the world to see your brand.
- Brand Identity – This phase is about conveying your brand identity to consumers through the consistent use of messaging and visuals. The elements of your brand identity include logo, designs and patterns, colors and fonts, website, advertising, vision, mission statement, content, and more.
- Brand Marketing – This phase is about highlighting to your audience through strategic communication why the products and services you offer are unique. Brands usually market their products by using various strategies, such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, video marketing, and more.
How You Can Successfully Build Your Own Brand in 7 Steps
Before you start panicking about whether or not your brand will survive in the market or your capital will sink, remember that it’s possible to create a successful and long-lasting brand: You just have to know the right formula.
And here it is!
1. Discover Your Brand Purpose and Identity
Every brand has a purpose behind it. So, the first thing you should do is find out your brand’s purpose. Ask yourself these questions:
- Why do you want to create your brand?
- What is so different about it?
- What problems are you trying to address?
- Why should people care about your brand?
These four questions are the most important you could answer during the brand-building process, as they define the purpose of your brand. And it is the purpose of your brand that will influence how your brand will eventually turn out.
You can also use The Golden Circle, a model created by British-American author Simon Sinek, to identify the purpose behind your business. The model works on the belief that “people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
The Golden Circle has three parts:
- What – products/services do you offer?
- How – different are you from your competitors?
- Why – do you exist?
2. Conduct Market Research to Find Competitive Brands
Researching your competitors can help you understand what will work and what won’t when you finally catapult your business into the market. You will also learn how to differentiate yourself from the competition and not fall into the trap that most brands do—the trap of trying to sound like the big brands in the industry.
You don’t want to sound like them; you want to sound like you. And a competitor research analysis can help with that.
When you’re conducting a market analysis, you should:
- Find out your direct competitors – Direct competitors are brands with a similar mission statement, audience, and products as yours.
- Find out your indirect competitors – Indirect competitors are brands who offer products or services similar to yours, but their main product lines are different.
- Conduct a SWOT analysis – A SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats) analysis helps you identify the qualities of your competition.
- Create a competitor spreadsheet – A spreadsheet will help you contrast brands against each other.
- Benchmark competitors – Benchmarking will help you understand where each of your competitors shines and where they don’t.
3. Determine Your Target Audience
Every brand has a target audience, so you should narrow down yours as well. After all, your products and services aren’t for everyone, are they?
So, when you’re building your brand, keep in mind your audience—the people you’re trying to reach. Once you understand them, tailor your message and mission statement to provoke their interest and meet their needs.
You can find your ideal customer by understanding:
- The goals, motivations, and desires of your customers
- The buyer persona (age, gender, location, demographic, income, etc.)
- The buying habits of customers in your industry
4. Establish Your Brand Mission Statement
What is the reason behind your brand’s existence? What is your brand passionate about?
There are the questions you have to answer in your mission statement. Consumers want an idea of what your brand believes in. They want to know what value your business provides to make sure that they’re going to make a good investment.
So, your mission statement must clearly communicate your objectives, purpose, what plans you have for the future, and the why behind your products. A mission statement will define the purpose of your brand’s existence.
5. Decide Your Brand Voice
How you talk to people matters to them. So, how you communicate with your audience, and how your audience responds to you is a crucial aspect of building a successful brand.
Your brand voice can be casual, conversational, technical, promotional, informative, and more, but it must be true to your brand’s purpose and values. It must also allow customers to engage with your brand.
So, if you want to create a successful brand, your brand voice must be consistent across all brand channels.
6. Create a Brand Logo and Tagline
The importance of a brand logo and tagline can’t be overstated because these aspects are the reason brands gain recognition. A brand’s logo and tagline are their calling card and hence the most important aspect of brand building.
To create the best logo and tagline you can, hire professionals. Not only will they help you create a logo that fits your brand identity, but they will also help you craft a tagline that sounds just like you want. You can even consider using a tagline generator to create catchy taglines for your brand.
7. Apply Branding Across Every Business Aspect
One of the most important aspects of brand building is integration. Once you’re done with creating your mission statement, brand identity, logo, and tagline, make sure you use them consistently across all platforms in whatever form you use them.
This means that if you use a check stub generator to calculate the salaries of your employees, the resulting invoice must have your brand logo and tagline. Your branding must be consistent even when you’re drafting a 1099 pay stub for independent contractors. There must be no compromise for anyone.
Your employees should abide by your mission statement, and your products should reflect your purpose. If you change the elements of your brand at any point, your customers may become confused. So, integrate your brand elements and remain consistent.
From afar, brand building can seem like a blurry concept, but in reality, it is quite concrete. You can create a brand through an established formula, but that means taking steps as they come.
So, if you’re willing to put in the time, effort, purpose, and creativity required to build a brand, then the list above—even though by no means comprehensive—will help you reach the level of brand development you want to achieve.