According to Seth Godin, a brand is defined as:
“The expectations, stories, memories, and relationships that explain a consumer's choice of one product or service over another. »
Simply put, a brand is what your business does to create a memorable impression in the minds of your audience.
From color to logo design, product selection fonts and other factors contribute to your brand. But more importantly, it is a reflection of your values, your practices and the motivation of your company.
That said, here are some steps you can take to build your brand.
Essentially, what you need to create a brand is a business name, logo, colors, fonts, and brand personality. But it's not that simple. You need a lot of research before you start determining your target audience and understanding your competition.
Furthermore, it is essential to humanize your brand so that your consumers can not only relate to it, but also trust it to solve their problems.
Here's what you need to work on when building your brand:
Researching your target market and competitors is the first step in building a brand. It can not only help you validate your business idea, understanding your audience's pain points, but also highlight key players in your industry.
Through competitive analysis, you can answer the following questions for your brand:
It would be helpful if you also consider highlighting the demographics of your target market that would be easy to reach and acquire, the way your customers express themselves, and their interests when searching. Knowing your competitors and your audience would also help you establish the unique selling point that sets you apart from the rest.
Additionally, since a brand defines how your consumers perceive your business, research also helps unite your brand with your company values.
Besides the people who buy your products, your branding could also target influencers, bloggers, journalists, and people who might be more interested in how you work. Thus, researching your potential market is key to understanding audience demographics, as well as the individual buyer personas you might be reaching.
A brand reflects the personality of your business which, like human personalities, comes in many forms. From your logo to your color palette, fonts, and more, they all speak to your brand personality.
There are also your values that define the way you conduct your business and the environment of your company, its employees, etc.
That said, these things are constantly changing for a startup as it grows and develops. So, it may be more beneficial to consider defining your brand by who you are at your best than by who you are in general.
Also, to make your brand successful, you need to give it direction and focus. You may ask yourself:
It is a statement that highlights your products or services, your target market, and your unique selling point or value proposition.
Like human personalities, identify which set of words define your brand and which would appeal to your target market?
Personalizing your brand through a metaphor or concept will help you visualize the vibe of your brand and the tone you want to set. It will also help you stay consistent throughout your branding strategy.
To turn your startup into a brand, you must have a defined strategy to follow. Helping you visualize your goals and stay on track is essential. That said, your strategy should focus on these three attributes of your brand:
A logo is one of the most central aspects to consider in your branding efforts. It is the visual or graphic representation of your brand that people identify with your business. That said, it should be unique, memorable, and scalable to fit all the platforms you target.
It can be text or an abstract design like the Walmart and Google Chrome logos, respectively. Conversely, you can try lettermark logos like IBM or an icon like Twitter or Apple.
In addition to deciding the name of your brand, how you choose to present it to your target market is equally essential. That means you have to consider its typography and colors.
Colors not only define your brand, but also help convey your brand personality and the promises you want to communicate to your audience. For example, blue represents trust, strength and reliability, which is guaranteed by brands like Dell, HP, Orient, Walmart and WordPress.
That said, choosing your brand color will help you stay consistent with everything you do and set yourself apart from your competitors.
A catchy tagline is another branding element that can help you resonate with your audience. It is a brief but descriptive tagline that is useful on platforms such as social media, your website, business cards, etc.
There are endless possibilities at your fingertips when writing a slogan. But above all, it should be short, catchy and create a strong impression. You can follow Redbull as an example and use a metaphor,'RedBull gives wings,' or adopt an attitude like Nike ‘Just do it.’
Get creative and write a rhyme for your tagline or describe it in literal terms like Folgers Coffee and Aritzia, respectively.
As a startup, it's essential to keep an open mind and be objective about your brand. Consider it from the perspective of the consumer rather than as an entrepreneur. This will help ensure that your target market understands who you are, your brand and how it benefits them.
Right off the bat, focus on the full experience you want your brand to deliver. From product conceptualization to sales journey and interactions with all your marketing channels, evaluate your brand strategy from an objective perspective.
Branding and marketing strategies naturally merge, which means it's best to take the two side by side when you're starting out. Your targeted marketing channels, for example, are a gateway to gather customer insights on your brand, after which you can modify your brand strategy.
Consider marketing an extension of your brand image that influences how the target market perceives your brand. From the design of your marketing elements to the tone used in your content, through emails, tweets, blogs or videos, all influence your brand image.
That said, marketing can be used to boost your branding efforts, primarily your brand awareness among the public.
For a startup, branding is not a luxury but a necessity, if you want to leave your mark on the target market and stand out from your competitors. Plus, it helps you drill down into the details of your business, understand your audience, their pain points, and how best to address them.
That said, it's not a one-time deal that you can quit after a while. You need to keep abreast of market trends, learn industry insights, and perform competitor analysis to optimize your branding efforts so your brand resonates with your audience, the way you want it to.