Branding 101: Steps on How To Develop Your Brand
Branding requires considerable effort to pull off. Nonetheless, you do not need to worry and be overwhelmed by its complexities. In this journey, you do not need to master everything, you merely have to get the hang of the basics in this Branding 101 guide.
What is Branding All About?
Branding is a critical part of every entrepreneurship endeavor since this serves as the avenue for your target to know you, try your offers, and trust what you can provide. Today, 43% of consumers allocate their money and engagement to their tested businesses based on how they brand their products, company, and services. Thus, branding immensely impacts reputation, sales, and customer satisfaction. However, branding is not a piece of cake. You must conduct research and make thorough approaches to have strong, relatable, and authentic branding. The latter means a lot to consumers given that 86% of them opt to love those companies and products that have authentic brand images.
Advertisements, packaging, labels, logos, and other marketing efforts fall under the branding aspect. Branding shapes your business by following particular elements, attitudes, objectives, and actions that will make your name shine over thousands of firms in your industry.
The Importance of Branding
If your business has no brand, you will drown in the crowd of profoundly established companies and miss the attention branding can give. Besides, there is a high tendency to get lost since you have yet to learn what your business is all about or where you will be heading.
Moreover, audiences nowadays consider branding a vital facet in choosing where to spend their money and what products to count on daily. Despite the ever-changing behavior of consumers, these people who matter continue to put branding on their checklist whenever they need to make a purchasing decision. Hence, you better understand the importance of building your name and forming your business’ identity.
More than ever, every firm needs to show strong and competitive branding, a unique one that can capture people’s attention amidst the stiff competition in the market. You, as part of the creative, sales, and marketing departments, should do the work on how to brand or rebrand your identity in a sense that will yield better results and exceed client expectations.
What Makes a Good Brand?
As mentioned above, branding 101 is as crucial as the captain of a ship. Branding will lead you in your journey and navigate you and your business inside and out. And here are some tips for branding that will make you look good in the eyes of prospective clients and customers:
- Well-Researched – good branding is made out of rigorous research and dedication to study every part of your business. You need to know what your competitors are already doing and what you can do to surpass them. You should know the latest trends and what these things can do for you. Most importantly, you need to comprehend deeply who your target audiences are and what you need to do to connect with them. These are only some things you need to discover upon developing your brand. Side tips for branding: a comprehensive SWOT and case analyses will help!
- Unique – people would love to see something fresh for their eyes. You do not want to be another Starbucks or Nike. It would be best if you made your brand identity distinct from what already exists in the market. You can do this by starting to think of an outstanding name, followed by an appealing tagline, and craft an excellent key visual. This work requires so much of your time, grind, and resources, but promise, this branding 101 pursuit will be worthwhile.
- Focused – branding should not be vague. Instead, it must be clear, precise, and crystallized. You do not want to disorient your customers with a lot of variables. You must communicate one message per campaign and a goal or two through a defined mission and objective. In addition, you should always make your brand reflective of your identity. Stay in your lane and specify who you are at all times.
- Consistent – After focusing on your brand, you need to be consistent. Some businesses successfully established good branding but ended up rebranding because of inconsistencies. Don’t get the message wrong — rebranding is also significantly helpful today when trends and highly viral materials increase sales. However, dwelling on your core is something that many consumers also opt to choose and adore. They still want to show loyalty to a brand that is also loyal to its roots. Therefore, if you can stay within your zone, practicing your molded branding from years ago, you are still good to go.
Branding 101: Steps on How To Develop Your Brand
After knowing what makes good branding, you also need to know the specific moves you must make to develop your identity. It would help if you considered your business like persons who must possess particular qualities that act as identifiers of who they are as friends, lovers, or family members.
So, here are some branding steps you will need in forming your business brand.
Step 1: Write Your Story
This is part of branding 101 because writing and telling your story is the backbone of your business. You need to acknowledge your history, aspirations, and audiences. Your exceptional narrative from personal experiences will make you stand out and gain familiarity among your target market. Communicating the idea of you as a business is one of the branding steps that will catch and hold people’s curiosity to follow you for more.
By writing your story, you can evoke specific feelings you can transmit from one potential buyer to another. In this step for branding, you can establish sound messaging and commanding call-to-action that many people will bite. The high recall is the most favorable result that this step can provide you. So, do not waste your time and start writing who you are; it can be through a testimonial video, a modernized website, personalized advertisements, or personalized products.
Step 2: Discover Your Brand Purpose
Once you write who you are, this next step will follow since your purpose — to raise brand awareness, gather new prospects, or whatever you want to achieve from the start—can only be reflected after you understand who you are and what kind of materials or services you have to offer. The actions and initiatives you will push through will all be anchored to your primary intention. You can position yourself based on your liking, advocacies, upbringing, objectives, and general grounds.
Do you want to be a brand with a cause? An affordable brand? A business for the higher class or a company that caters to the needs of ordinary citizens? Discover it.
Step 3: Learn Your Goals
In contrast, the purpose is more extensive, while the goals are more specific. Learning these goals is a branding step you should pay attention to because these will direct you to execute and accomplish your overall purpose.
Your branding goals should be SMART at all times. They should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. These intents must be indicated in your mission and vision statement, which will eventually emerge in your particular strategic campaigns and marketing endeavors. You can declare your goal in different ways, like wanting to raise awareness, gather more audiences, gain engagements, and many more.
Step 4: Determine Your Target Audiences
All these steps for branding are essential, but this point requires more time and devotion. Identifying who your audiences are is a piece that will complete your branding as a whole. It would be best to discover who they are, their demographic data, socio-political factors, purchasing power, behavior, preferences, resources, platforms, and more that are advantageous for your brand.
Knowing your brand is as important as knowing them because all your plans, goals, time, and resources will be wasted if these audiences neglect your existence. So, you better start researching and examining them. Segregate these people according to particular criteria and classify them as primary, secondary, and potential audiences.
Step 5: Know How You Want to Be Identified
You’re mistaken if you think you are one step ahead of your audiences because you get to study them. Your target market is also assessing your identity as a brand. When you release something for them, these audiences will have a fleeting or fixed perception of you, either good or bad.
That is why your brand must be recognizable and consistent from the start. Do you want to have a funny and relatable brand? Do you want to be a motivational business or branded as affordable and for the masses? Is having a luxurious and sophisticated image something you want to push for your business, like Apple and Gucci? You have the choice of how you want to be perceived, so you must be careful and be sure of who you want to be as a business. Every brand aims to hear their audiences say “AHH” whenever they see their logos, like Coca-Cola’s iconic labels and names like the classic Amazon.
Step 6: Get Your Brand Distinguished Your Competitors
In this branding 101 point, you need to identify what makes your business different. Again, learning in-depth information about your competitors will help you set your name apart. You need to investigate what they are doing. You need to know their possible plans, how they angle their messages, and what your target audiences say about them. Besides, you also need to understand what your customers love about their products. With this, you need to conduct interviews, focus group discussions, and ask for expert guidance on what you can do to overcome your competitors’ status. After all, you are in a business industry; hence, you need to think like a true businessman who is strategic, logical, and ahead of his time.
You need to shape your unique selling proposition and maximize it every step of the way. It would be reasonable if you were sure about what you will produce and provide. The uniqueness of your story, clear messaging, captivating visuals, beneficial products, and targeted campaigns are the factors that can distinguish you from your rivals. You just have to be smart with your actions and leverage the right ones.
Step 7: Design
In the world of social media, having a formidable online presence is a must. You have to brand yourself as a business that knows where most people are and what they want to see on these platforms. To achieve a solid and trusted digital persona, you must expose your brand designs in visually appealing, memorable, and coherent ways. You can efficiently have these high-quality materials if you explore various online platforms that automatically do the work for you, like background remover and other automated software.
Furthermore, if you have a particular color palette, use it. If you have an inspiring story, produce a creative advertisement, your USP is your product, collate consumers’ positive reviews and pleasingly share them online. If being on trend sets you apart from your rivals, then go for it. Everything lies in your hands and how you will explore the world of media-–whether conventional or contemporary.
Remember: you need to be on brand and stay on brand, so design properly.
Step 8: Review
As noted earlier, consistency makes good branding. That is why you need to review everything that you share and publicize. You need to double-check if your assets are part of your visual references, if the colors are correct, the font, the message, the CTA, the platform, the audiences – everything!
Businesses should value the power of cross-checking in every output they share with their target market. Every time you create a brand deliverable, it is a hit-or-miss moment. So, you better review it twice, thrice, or ask colleagues to reassess if your branding is consistent and well put together. Sometimes new eyes and perspective are what you need.
Step 9: Promote Your Brand
Among the steps for branding, this point combines two or more, if not all, of the formerly stated steps. After completing some actions, you will find yourself promoting your brand. From writing your story down to reviewing your material, you need to exhaust all your efforts in supporting your business in any way possible.
You can release a jingle, expand your website traffic, capitalize on online social networking sites, and generate a series of advertisements, depending on you.
Creating is as tricky as promoting, so continue to trust the process and adapt to different platforms and approaches where you can exceedingly nurture your brand.
Step 10: Continuously Develop Branding Strategies
Finally, do not be blinded by the standard methods. In branding, you need to acknowledge that the landscape is continuously changing. Therefore, the need to explore different strategies is part of the game.
Despite emphasizing consistency, marketers also heavily recognize the essence of acclimating to changes and revamping old ways. Thus, you need to know what needs modification for your brand, what aspect requires improvement, what technique is better, and how you can take your business to greater heights. This last step is something you should not forget because this is also the beginning of something new – may it be an overall rebranding, recalibrating a few efforts, or reimagining your goals.
Branding your business is not a walk in the park. It is not a straight path toward success; this aspect does not happen overnight. Branding takes time and measures to embrace the kind of business you have and the image you want to establish.
After all, these steps for branding are just your guide in forming your own. Regardless of the pacing, your business’ branding remains at your hand.
The branding 101 reminders and list of tips for branding mentioned in this article is only one way to achieve your ideal business. So, start practicing them now because the future of you being known by many is not impossible to transpire.