There’s a lot of steps to starting a business, but the one thing many start up’s wonder, is...
‘Where the heck do I start with branding my new business‘
I have been there.
I get you.
The answer is possibly right in front of you. You’re just over-complicating it in your mind.
The majority of consumers would rather buy from a well known brand than a small business, which means you're competing with the big guys. Which is why YOUR branding needs to be on point.
What Is Branding?
I have said this before and I will say it again. A brand is MORE than just a logo and a colour scheme. It's how you speak to clients, the language used on the web and face to face, all of your print products such as business cards, flyers, banners. It all must tie in to help you create an unforgettable brand.
Another thing to point out. Branding doesn't happen over night, you don't just get your logo designed and then sit back and say 'Yep! Here is my brand!' Because it's not. Far from it. To build a brand you need to make relationships with your audience and the way you make these relationships defines the way your audience think about your business (aka. your brand)
How To Create Brand Awareness
Creating brand awareness mainly starts from social media, creating pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn for instance. To grow your awareness further you could look into content marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay per click), a website, landing pages, generating an email marketing list. Using these strategies together will help you reach the right audiences who are mosgt likely going to buy your product or service and also build a following, therefore resulting in people becoming aware of your brand.
But be patient. Creating a solid, strong brand which people can trust takes time.
So.. Lets get to the good bit.
Building A Brand Step By Step
1. Target Audience
The biggest mistake a business can make is. Trying to please everyone. It's not happening. You'll have your biggest fans, you will also have people who are just not interested, for whatever reason. So targeting your product to the right audience is key.
Some key points to consider, are...
> Who is going to buy your product? (realistically.)
For instance, if you're selling a childrens trampoline which is only tiny, you want to be targeting parents with toddlers who would be interested in buying their child their first trampoline.
> What age group are you focusing on?
Lets go back to our childrens trampoine. I would mainly want to target parents, and therefore I would be targeting around 18 year old - 40 year old parents with young children.
> Do you need to target people with a wide budget?
Is your product expensive? Are you offering training worth £20'000, if so, you need to target people with a wide budget.
> Are you targeting people who live in a certain area?
Are you running a little coffee shop? Then you want to be targeting people who live close by (or a short drive away)
2. Mission Statement
What is your business offering? and why? How will it benefit other people? Why should other people choose you over other businesses? Are the questions you should be asking yourself.
You must define your purpose as a business. Why does your company exist? What are you bringing to the market that is worth peoples time? Be specific, make it easy to remember, don't go too into detail. Mysteries are sometimes exciting.
Lets use my mission statement for an example. 'Bringing design to your business' It's short, to the point, and memorable.
3. Research Relevent Brands
This step is vital.
Researching brands within your neiche will help you understand what works and what doesn't. For instance, look at numerouse of businesses and check out their logo's. Is there a pattern? Are they using similar colours, typography, shapes, voices? Defining patterns with businesses which relate to yours is a great way to start. Obviously don't go copying, but getting an idea of what is working so you can impliment this will help.
> Patterns within their visual branding
> Patterns with how they word things on their website and social media pages.
> How are they presenting themselves?
All of which you can impliment into your own branding and moldify it for your own personal touch.
4. Brand Message / Pitch
Focus on who you are as a business, what you have to offer that other businesses don't. What are you giving your clients that is going to benefit them? Be inspirational, catchy and keep it to around two sentences if you can.
Giving a reason for everything is important. People want to know why they should choose you, they want to know why they should trust you.
5. Logo creation and tag line
My favourite step.
When it comes to creating a brand, this is the first thing many people think of. After all, it's the first thin potential customers are going to see when they arrive on your website or page, or walk past your shop.
A logo should be, simple, memorable, relevent, high quality. Check out 'How to create a boss a** logo' here! and read in detail all the point to consider when designing or having a logo designed.
Now You're Halfway Through, Why Not...
6. Create your voice
This point focuses on the way you speak to your audience. Whether that be online or face to face. You must keep in line with the way your voice is heard. Are you a technical business aiming at high end technical businesses, if so, you need to be able to speack technically. Are you running a play centre for children, then it's a good idea to have a humeouse voice.
It all depends on who your target audience is and what business you have. Only you can decide upon a voice for your business, but once you do, your employee's must follow this to ensure professionalism runs through your business.
7. How can you stand out
You need to think about how you are going to market yourself as a business. What platforms are you going to use? Would it be worth investing in Google advertisements? (find out how Google Ad Words can help put your business infront of your competitors HERE) Or are you going to invest in banners or flyers to advertise at events? (Work with me on your marketing materials HERE)
Now it's time to apply your branding throughout your business, whether that be online presence, uniform, signage or business materials, every corner of your business must be considered.
When promoting your business on social media you must ensure it's repetitive and frequent. You need to post regulary and at certain times which works for your business so you get the most interaction. (See how you can impress your audience in 5 seconds, HERE!)
Now all that is left to say is, good luck! and if you need to...
By doing this you're going to ensurfe you don't miss a single bit of information and everything is smooth with no cracks.