A brand is much more than just a logo or a tagline. Successful business branding involves best practices that can help you differentiate your business on the market and ensure it stands out among competitors.
As much as 59% of consumers prefer to buy products from brands that are familiar to them, while 94% of customers are more likely to recommend a brand that engages them emotionally.
How can you achieve both of these qualities?
By carefully following and applying a brand building process to your business.
But first, let us discuss what brand building is and how it benefits your company.
What Is Brand Building And Why Does It Matter For Your Business Growth?
A brand is your reputation and your customers’ perception of your business.
Today’s businesses have to be consistent, unique, and true to their core values across many environments: retail, storefront, website, online advertising, social media, customer service, packaging, press visuals, and other channels.
Brand building is a complex process that requires a strategy in order to result in a long-term trusting relationship with your ideal customers.
It generates public awareness about your company, a specific brand image, and identity within your market. The end goal is to create a steady boost in qualified prospects and leads, an increase in sales, and advocacy for your products or services.
There are three main phases of brand building or branding:
- Brand strategy
- Brand identity
- Brand marketing
A brand strategy points out your business’s unique value differentiators and trustworthiness. It maps out the memorable aspects of your brand and what makes it likable while conveying your purpose and problem-solving capacities.
Brand identity involves delivering all of that to your ideal customers through messaging, visual elements, and user journey across multiple channels.
These brand identity elements, that should be consistent across all available channels, include:
- Brand voice
- Content strategy
- Print and packaging design
- Now, let’s go through five actionable steps of building a brand.
Step 1: Think About Your Purpose, Mission and Vision
The first step in the brand-building process is defining your business’s purpose by asking yourself these four questions:
- Why does my business exist?
- What makes my business different?
- What problems does my business solve?
- Why should people care about my business?
Answering these provides a branding foundation that will reflect in your tagline, value propositions, messaging, voice, tagline, and brand story.
This will reveal to you the answers to three questions:
- What? – the services and products you offer.
- How? – the difference between you and your competitors. This is your brand mission.
- Why? – the reason why you exist and what you’re passionate about. This is your brand purpose.
A brand vision is about projecting your brand into the future and where you want your business to be in the years ahead.
Try to paint a picture: what does your future brand look like and where do you want it to be ten years from now? How many employees will you have? Where will your headquarters be? How will your customers see your brand and how will it affect their daily lives?
Having a brand vision gives you a sense of purpose and direction. You will communicate this direction through your actions and messaging.
A brand mission is a statement of intent that encapsulates brand purpose and brand vision. It exists to make sure you always deliver on what your promise on the path toward becoming a brand you see in the future.
It reveals what you give as a brand in order to impact the lives of your target audience for the better.
Step 2: Establish Your Target Audience and Buyer Persona
Determining your target audience is the next step when building your brand identity campaign.
You must know exactly who you should reach with your marketing, content, products, and other business efforts and form your broader strategy of meeting their needs and solving their pain points.
There are two ways you can approach this:
- Ask yourself who your ideal customers are and why they need your products and services; analyze your direct competitors, their products, services, customers, and how people interact with their business online.
- Analyze your existing customers, clients, and market; categorize your customers into different segments based on common traits and behavior patterns in order to understand which segment is the most profitable.
When defining your target audience for your brand, you should be very specific. Narrowing down your target audience focus will give your brand a competitive advantage by ensuring your message comes across as very clear to the intended audience.
Building a brand relies heavily on understanding your buyer persona. In order to describe it, you should collect basic info on your consumers such as:
- Education level
- Pain points
- Solidify a picture of your consumers, then learn how to create a brand identity that they can understand and relate to.
Step 3: Outline Your Brand’s Defining Qualities And Key Differentiators
Focusing on the unique qualities of your products/services and the benefits they bring to the user is the next important step in brand building.
A memorable brand is offering what no one else is – and, even more importantly, knows how to articulate that in the way no one else can. You need to give your target audience the reason to choose your business over others.
Make sure you outline your unique value differentiators and benefits of using your services in your website copy, PR statements, email campaigns, social media posts… every piece of content.
For instance, depending on the nature of your business you may want to emphasize points like:
- Time-saving capacities of your solutions
- Reducing the costs of production
- Productivity support
- A transparent client service
Step 4: Write Your Brand Positioning Statement
A brand positioning statement is a tagline that sums up your business’s offering, its benefits and your target audience.
Think about how you understand your business and how you want the target audience to perceive it. Then, break down your positioning statement into two parts:
- Your target audience
- The value your brand delivers
Ideally, your brand positioning statement should follow this pattern:
“_____ is an all-in-one process automation solution that provides people in ______ industries with an intuitive online solution for streamlining your day-to-day work. We are trusted by over _____ companies and partners.”
A brand positioning statement should be relatable with your purpose and mission, so think about how it will evolve as your business scales up.
Step 5: Form a Consistent Brand Personality in Voice, Messaging and Imagery
Brand consistency is essential to building trust with your audience. It gives your brand a sturdy attitude and style that your consumers can expect and can rely on.
To keep your brand consistent and, as a result, trustworthy, you should introduce uniformity and stability in all brand elements and manifestations:
- Visuals and imagery
- Voice and tone
- Customer relationships
It is important to keep all of your business sectors, staff, and employees on the same page to make your brand consistent. All of them must know your core values and how to communicate them via marketing, content creation, social media tactics, and other methods of addressing your audience.
Also, it is advisable to create branding material documents that would outline the best practices in graphic design, imagery, and messaging to ensure consistency throughout a business lifetime.
When it comes to brand voice and messaging specifically, they are absolutely critical in forming a specific brand identity your audience can relate to.
To make them trustworthy and consistent, bear in mind that the defining qualities you are looking for are:
- Conversational tone
- Informative nature
Maintaining a consistent brand voice is especially important when creating and publishing social media posts and blog articles. Followers, subscribers, and readers come to expect a certain brand voice and personality when interacting with a brand or when consuming their content.
A solid and consistent brand building process ensures your business has the identity and personality to generate interest with your ideal customers.
Following the outlined steps and branding best practices, you will develop a complete brand strategy that will boost your visibility and exposure on the market while winning you new customers and generating greater revenue.