Whether it is an online brand that compliments the work your business is already doing, a personal brand or even a completely new brand, it is imperative that you know what you are doing and that you do it well! It seems like every week we are hearing of a news story about a company mis-using their brand or giving people a negative impression of their brand to the public in some way, shape or form.
People tend to get very attached to brand identity too, take Zara’s new logo for example:
Zara have updated their logo. pic.twitter.com/GhhQziNV1D
— 𝙁𝙖𝙗𝙞𝙤 (@fffabs) January 26, 2019
At the end of January this year, Zara unveiled its new logo to the World. Whilst still featuring their core design principles that were followed previously, with the letters of their name laid out on a plain background, they changed the typeface that has been used as well as the spacing. The logo now features the letters slightly overlapping, effectively removing any spacing from their logo.
This has not been well received in the design community, with designers even mocking the brand on social media. Fabio Basile, who works at British design studio, Fortnight even went as far as estimating what the logo would look like in 8 years time, if they were to continue on the same trend.
The moral of the story here is you need to make sure your brand is strong, and has a good public image! In this blog post, I will go through some of the best strategies, tips and tactics you can use to start the process of building a brand people can know and love!
How to Build a Brand
Step 1 – Determine Your Brand’s Target Audience
This is one of, if not the, most crucial step in the entire process of creating your brand. If you do not spend a good amount of time on figuring out who your brand is going to work for, sell their products to and generally market to, then your brand is going to fail. For example, if you are trying to create a successful personal brand for your new freelance web design business, and you spend your time marketing to and putting content out for marketing agencies, you are not going to be getting a lot of business. Crude example, we know.
One of the best things you can do in this situation is to create a buyer persona for your brand. This is a document that gives you all the information you need to know about your target audience, which in turn will allow you to market your products and/or services in the right way, and at the right price! Giving your new brand more chance for success. An example buyer persona could be information like the below:
- Age – 25 to 40
- Gender – Male or Female
- Location – City
- Income Level – £30,000 to £50,000
- Level of Education – University Graduate
With all of this information, you would be able to create highly targeted marketing and advertising campaigns to appeal to your target customer, as well as making sure that you are selling at a price that works for them.
Step 2 – Create & Follow a Mission Statement
Another key step in creating a successful brand is to create a mission statement, and follow it! If I asked you what Nike’s mission statement was… Would you be able to tell me? I think that a lot of you would probably mention their most famous phrase… “Just Do It”.
The reality is, this is not their mission statement. This is:
Nike’s mission statement is to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. They go even further than this by adding in the ‘small print’ of “if you have a body, you are an athlete.” This is very clever from Nike as they have a great mission statement that speaks to them, as well as every single one of their customers. Nike clothing appeals to almost everybody in some way, allowing Nike to truly say that they are successful in following their mission statement, every single day.
And you need to do this too! You need a mission statement to work towards every day. What is your brand trying to do, what are you trying to achieve? What makes you different from your competitors that are out there already, and who does your brand benefit? All things you need to think of when creating your mission statement.
Step 3 – Create a Logo and Tagline
A strong brand needs a strong logo and tagline. Think Nike, Audi, Adidas and McDonald’s. All of these have logos and taglines that are recognised the world over. No matter what language you speak, or where you live in the world, you know these brands.
Your brand is going to need a recognisable logo too! Even in more niche areas, there are logos where your target audience will instantly know the company. In marketing, everyone is bound to know the HubSpot logo as it is used by so many marketers and agencies across the world. If you want to create a brand that people know and love, this starts with your logo and tagline.
This is often the stage where you should consider a branding agency. They will have designed logos for a wide array of companies across a wide array of industries, and will have combined all this with comprehensive market research across industries to create the best logos for clients that they can. Not only this, but they are also experts in graphic design and illustration, meaning they will be able to design the best logo (and tagline) for your new brand!
Step 4 – Determine your Brand’s Voice
Your brand’s voice will depend on what you are providing to your customers, who your customers are and the industry you are in. For example, if you are a personal blog about travel and you make your money through the placement of ads, then you should aim to be personal in your brands voice as you are marketing to people who love travel. However, if you are an IT service provider who deal with business owners, you will want to be a lot more professional in your tone.
Your brand’s voice is the language and tone of voice you use when communicating with your customers via your website, blog or emails to your customers so it is imperative that you choose the right voice that will compliment your brand, and the message it is trying to send out.
Step 5 – Sort your Social Media
When you are looking at creating a brand, social media is going to be a large part of it, whatever your business, it needs a social media presence. The reality is that almost everyone nowadays is on at least one social media website, and social media is the best way of connecting with your audience on a more personal level!
Coca-Cola and Pepsi do this really well, using Instagram to re-post images their customers put on the social network. This is a great way of making people feel like they are really connected with the brand, rather than just another customer.
Whatever your brand does, it needs these key social media profiles:
This will allow you to create an active presence on the websites, responding to customer comments and questions very quickly. All the while increasing the rep of your brand with your customers.
Step 6 – Apply your Brand Across your Business
The final step is to take all of the above steps and applying it across the rest of your business. Use your brand’s voice when communicating with your customers, stay active across your social media profiles and be consistent in the use of your brand logo. The idea here is that as your business grows, your brand will grow too!
So, if you are a freelancer, as you gain more and more work for clients, your brand is becoming more well known in your industry. This is the same for IT companies and software. If you have chosen to create a brand for your software, then as your business grows, more people will become affiliated with your brand (software), meaning more money in your pocket! Branding is key to the success of any business, do it well, and you cannot go wrong!