Your brand represents your promise to your customers and potential customers. For your customers to be loyal to your brand, you need to be consistent in delivering on that promise. Your customers’ brand loyalty is the only real way to make your brand successful. For your brand’s promise to be effective, it must stand out from all the other promises they will come across.
- What type of promise is your brand making?
- Who is your brand making the promise to?
- Why is your brand’s promise unique from everyone else’s?
- Why should they believe your promise?
According to Lucidpress, “Brand building is the process of shaping customers’ emotions, feelings, memories, and opinions associated with your brand through a strategy-driven plan that stands the test of time and people.”
Building a successful brand is the result of careful research, distinct boundaries and a comprehensive Marketing strategy
At first, the idea of defining your brand may seem simple but please know that it’s not. As the saying goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day” and neither is a good brand. The McDonald’s golden arches and Nike swoosh did not become what they are in a day. Building a successful brand is the result of careful research, distinct boundaries, and a comprehensive marketing strategy. All this hard work results in customers knowing exactly what these brands represent.
Have you ever walked into McDonald’s to buy a slice of pizza? Would anyone drive to Nike to pick up a pair of stilettos? Of course not!
That is because these brands have been carefully defined. We know exactly what to expect and what these brands can deliver. Customers are way more likely to be loyal to a brand that sends a clear message or has a unique voice.
The first step in defining your brand is to think carefully about and document what your company is good at.
You can make use of S.W.O.T (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis to outline the major strengths and weaknesses of your business. Want to learn more about S.W.O.T.? Check out this video from Wordstream “What Is a SWOT Analysis & When Do You Need One?”
After looking at the strengths of your business, pick three simple words that illustrate what your business does well. You can think of it this way – if your brand was a person, which three words would you want your clients to use to describe it?
Define your Brand Message
I don’t need to tell you that your brand should represent the strengths or core functions of your business. This will take a good amount of honest self-evaluation. Some Entrepreneurs fall into the trap of trying to be good at everything or doing too many things at the same time. Or worse, trying to make a ‘one size fits all’ product or service that has no specific target audience. This results in a brand that is not well-defined and will not encourage brand loyalty.
Trying to be ‘all the things to all the people’ will force you to spread your resources too thin. The easiest way to accomplish nothing is to try and do everything at the same time. Once you have a defined message, the next step is to choose the right tools.
Choose Your Tools Carefully
The marketing tools that you choose should emphasize the core focus of your business. By doing this, your marketing strategy should also highlight what your business is not. And make your clients see that your focus is not on ripping them off. This is an easy way to show the difference between you and the competition. Building a memorable brand is not worthwhile if you’re not earning money. And the easiest way to make money is to get rid of the competition.
This means that you will need to carefully define the mission and vision statement of your business as well.
Next, you will want to figure out how to communicate these characteristics to your target audience. It needs to be simple. Having commercials or a website that are complicated could be a major turn-off and will not be very effective at generating sales.
KISS – Keep it Simple Silly! Keep your message simple if your goal is to make your brand memorable and profitable.
Your Brand Identity
Designing your brand and your brand identity will take much more than a fancy logo. It must signify what your business does and what your brand represents. One core principle that never fails is to focus on quality and convenience. The identity of your brand should be viewed as adding value.
Make your clients believe your product or service is of the best quality, the most affordable, the easiest to use, or even the most durable. Sensationalism will not get you very far.
Don’t forget your goal is to give your brand a pleasant voice and a unique identity. You want to get your brand voice off the printed page or website and into the minds of your audience. Your message should have such an impact on your target audience that purchasing from you seems like the only logical choice.
For people to recognize what your brand stands for, you should not have to litter your website or commercials with a bunch of bells and whistles. This will be a waste of time and your brand may become easily confused with another building your successful brand.
A big part of your brand identity is your logo and the colors you choose. Not sure where to get started with picking your brand colors? One of the easiest (and fun) ways is to use seasonal brand styles (aka. bright colors for spring, pastels for summer, warm and cozy colors for autumn, and sophisticated colors for winter).