Quality branding is a cornerstone of a successful business.
For instance, consider that almost 60% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands they already know.
Having an established brand facilitates revenue generation. However, its importance goes even further. To quote Jeff Bezos, your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.
It’s the reputation that precedes you and the image you carry.
New businesses must prioritize the brand building process. After all, branding dictates everything from product selection and marketing endeavors to the design of your office space.
To be blunt, failure to cultivate a cohesive, relevant, and well-received brand image hamstrings any attempt at business success.
Looking to do it right? Keep reading for an 8-step process to building your brand.
1. Define Your Audience
Your brand goes hand in hand with your audience.
For your brand to hit the mark, the right people must receive it. Thus, the first actual step to brand building is defining your audience.
In the absence of hard data, you’re forced to idealize and hypothesize. Who are you trying to reach with your product or service?
Create an image of them in your mind’s eye (or draw them out!).
Consider their wants, needs, interests, demographics, and behaviors.
Get specific. Think about where they hang out, how they talk, the clothes they wear, the celebrities they follow, and so on.
With a clear buyer persona in place, you can move onto the next steps.
2. Define Your Mission
Businesses need to know why they’re in operation.
That might sound obvious, but there’s more to this concept than meets the eye.
Having a ‘why’ is different from knowing what you do or how you do it. Saying you sell computers, manufacture clothes, or create new mobile apps isn’t your ‘why’.
Instead, write a mission statement that outlines your business’s purpose for existing.
Decide what you’re trying to do and for whom you’re doing it. Next, write it up into a succinct phrase (e.g. ‘to provide innovative, world-class design for start-ups around the world’).
Once complete, you’ll have a statement to help inform every decision of your branding and marketing endeavors.
3. Check the Competition
It’s time to see what your competitors are doing.
Far from copying them, this vital step is what’s going to establish your unique place in the market. After all, you need to understand what’s already out there to differentiate yourself.
Research the companies in your niche. See what they’re doing well and where they could improve. Learn from both their successes and mistakes to inform your approach.
Consider everything from their name, slogan, and logo to their ad copy, ethos, and product/service.
From there, you’ll have a better chance of setting yourself apart.
4. Understand Your USP(s)
This quick step follows on from the last.
Essentially, having checked the competition, you now know what you’re up against.
It’s time to figure out your unique selling points. These are the qualities, attributes, and features that will ensure your target audience comes to you over the competition.
Refer back to what you learned about the competitions’ weaknesses. This key insight will reveal how and where you can do better.