Creating a brand is something that many businesses struggle with. What is a brand? How do you create one? And why should you bother? If your business is like most, it probably has several components to its identity: an operating name, a logo, a tagline and perhaps some secondary branding elements like colors or fonts. These are all parts of what’s known as ‘branding’. Your brand is the set of visual and verbal identifiers that make people think of your business when they see or hear those tokens again. It’s how people recognize you, understand what you stand for, and connect with your business in a way that makes them want to keep coming back for more. Fortunately, building a brand doesn’t have to be scary or difficult. There are many ways to do it. Here are four steps that will get you there:
Step 1: Define what makes your business unique
First and foremost, you need to define what makes your business unique. What’s different about you and your product or service compared to everyone else in your market? For example, if you own a bakery and your business is special because you use only organic ingredients, that’s something that makes you unique. If you’re a mortgage broker, and you offer loans with a longer term but lower interest rate, that’s also a way to make yourself stand out. Or if you own a clothing shop and your clothing is unique and high quality but also affordable, that’s a third way to make your business stand out. What’s important to note here is that you don’t have to be the best at anything. There are plenty of companies that offer organic ingredients, loans with longer terms, high-quality clothing, and so on. What matters is that you choose one or two of those things and make them the signature characteristics of your business.
Step 2: Find the sweet spot between branding and functionality
Next, you want to find the sweet spot between branding and functionality. What do we mean by that? Well, as you’re working to create a visual identity for your company, you need to be mindful of the functionality of that visual identity. When you decide what your company name will be and what your logo will look like, you’re also making decisions about how your customers will order products and services, how employees will use their computers and phones, and so on. That’s why it’s important to think about how the visual aspects of your business will impact functionality. Will your logo confuse customers or be hard to decipher from a distance? Can your primary font easily be read on every type of device? Will your color scheme make it easy for customers to find your storefront in a crowded shopping center?
Step 3: Determine how you’ll measure success
As you’re building your brand, you should also determine how you’ll measure success. This can be as simple as tracking brand awareness or measuring the number of people who are familiar with your logo or name. For example, let’s say you own a financial planning firm. As you’re building your brand, you might want to focus on getting the word out about your business. In that case, your goal might be to reach 100,000 people or more with your brand messaging. For another example, let’s say you own a clothing shop. In that case, you might want to focus on getting more people to visit your store and make purchases. In that instance, your goal might be to double the number of people who come to your store each month.
Step 4: Commit to making it happen
Finally, make sure you commit to making it happen. This is where a lot of companies get stuck. They have the idea and the passion but they don’t have the tools or the resources to follow through. And while there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to this problem, there is one thing you can do: Start small. Don’t try to overhaul your branding in one day or even one week. Instead, take a long-term approach. Every week, make one small change that advances your branding journey. This could be anything from choosing one new font to using one new color or image in your marketing materials. It could mean holding a meeting with your marketing or creative team to finalize your company name and logo. Whatever it is, you want to make sure you’re moving the needle every week.
Of course there is professional help to really make your brand stand out with long lasting positive results. Content-1 is here to help you build and implement the best branding and messaging possible to meet and exceed your marketing goals. Contact us today and let’s get together to strategize how to attract, engage and grow your brand audience.