Imagine you’re picking up coffee for your boss. Do you swing by a gas station where you can get a bigger cup of coffee for a fraction of the cost – or do you wait in line at Starbucks?
Why do most people choose Starbucks? Branding.
Your brand is the heart and soul of your company. It differentiates you from your competition and influences audience perception. Unfortunately, many e-commerce entrepreneurs aren’t sure how to build a brand that attracts customers.
Building a brand is more than choosing a company name or logo. Branding is the most powerful marketing tool there is. So, whether you’re rebranding an existing business or launching a startup, it’s essential to create a brand that keeps people coming back.
This simple step-by-step guide will help you establish a successful brand.
What Exactly is a Brand?
Your brand is the face of your business. It’s the way your target audience perceives you. It’s what entices people to buy from you – and then keeps them coming back purchase after purchase.
Your brand includes your logo, website design, and brand colors. But it’s also your mission statement, values, voice, and more. Branding is all about your reputation and what people say about your company.
10 Steps to Building Your Brand
1. Establish the Purpose of Your Brand
Besides turning a profit, why are you in business? Your answer needs to go beyond the products or services you’re providing.
You may have to dig deep to define your brand’s purpose. Then you can put that purpose into a well-written mission statement. Your mission statement consists of ‘what you do,’ ‘how you do it,’ and ‘why you do it.’ The most crucial part of your mission statement is why your business exists. What separates your company from everyone else that’s doing the same thing?
2. Conduct Competitive Research
What differentiates your brand within your industry? After defining your purpose, it’s time to research your competitors and see what they’re doing. Identifying and researching your competition will help you discover which branding strategies work (and which ones don’t). Then you can create a more focused marketing plan to promote your business effectively.
Don’t follow the same branding strategies as other businesses. In saturated markets, consumers may already be loyal to an existing brand. Instead, find another niche and use a different approach.
3. Identify Your Target Audience
One of the most important aspects of branding is identifying your target audience. If you ignore this step, it will weaken the rest of your brand-building strategy.
Successful brands appeal to specific target markets. Think about what you’re selling and who will benefit from those products or services. Identifying your specific audience will also help you choose a brand design, voice, and the best marketing strategy to connect with potential customers.
4. Create a Personality and Voice for Your Brand
Once you’ve identified your target market, it’s time to create a brand personality and voice that speaks to your audience.
Do you want to be professional or funny? Is your brand formal or more casual?
You want your brand’s copy to have a consistent voice across all your marketing channels – from your website to blogs, social media posts, and ads – your brand’s voice and personality must connect with your target audience.
5. Tell Your Story
Your brand story includes the three steps we’ve already covered. Think of your brand story as the extended version of the ‘why’ in your mission statement. The explanation of why you’re in business should be expressed in your brand voice and appeal to your target audience.
A compelling story can motivate customers to support and respect your brand.
6. Design Your Brand’s Look
How will people identify your company at a glance? The starting points for designing your brand’s look include your logo, colors, and typography.
Remember, a unique brand logo will instantly make consumers think of your brand – just think of the Starbucks siren, McDonald’s golden arches, and Apple’s iconic apple image. Your logo should also be meaningful and easy to understand.
To ensure your logo makes a powerful impact, it’s best to work with a professional designer who can talk you through the different kinds of logos and help you capture the look you envision.
7. Build Out Your Brand
Now it’s time to make public all the components of your branding strategy. This means designing your website, creating social media profiles, and establishing your presence on as many marketing channels as possible.
It’s important not to tackle this step until you work through the previous steps. Your entire branding strategy may suffer if you complete this step out of order. You need to establish your brand voice before you’re able to write compelling website copy. You can’t write an ‘about us’ page or mission statement until you determine your brand’s purpose and story. You also need to design your logo and visual elements before you choose an appealing color scheme.
Read More: SEO and Web Design: How to Build a Website that Ranks at the Top
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8. Pick the Right Channels to Promote Your Brand
Once you’ve built out your brand, it’s time to promote it. How you do this will depend on your business and what type of brand you’ve created. The critical thing to remember is to maintain brand consistency across all marketing channels.
Many digital marketing tools are available to help you build and promote your brand, so it’s essential to choose the right channels for your niche. Consider your target audience and which channels they use the most. Two of the most cost-effective channels you can use to promote your brand are email marketing and social media marketing.
Read More: What is Email Marketing and is it Still Effective?
Read More: Should Your Business Be Using Social Media? And If So, Which One?
9. Turn Your Customers Into Advocates
Create marketing strategies that inspire your loyal customers to become your brand advocates and show others why they need to invest in your business!
How do you make this happen? One way is to partner with social media influencers who use your products. Other ideas include creating a customer loyalty program, promoting customer reviews, and running promotions that encourage referrals.
10. Be Willing to Adapt and Change
The branding strategy you create this year may not be effective next year. Your brand won’t survive the test of time if you can’t evolve.
Brands must be willing to change based on industry trends or market needs. Rebranding is a marketing strategy that changes specific parts of your brand (like your name, logo, or concept) so you can make a better impact on consumers.
Many famous brands have successfully rebranded themselves for a variety of reasons. For example, Nike didn’t sell basketball shoes until they partnered with Michael Jordan. Now they sell the most basketball sneakers in the world.
Your brand is your reputation – to be successful in today’s competitive world, it’s essential to build a compelling brand! At Impact Group Marketing, our goal is to help you make an impact in your industry. If you’re overwhelmed by the changing trends, contact us today. We can help you with every aspect of digital marketing, so that you can focus on your business.