When searching the internet for advice on how to effectively build your brand, I came across a huge amount of blog posts and articles. Many of them incredibly lengthy and quite frankly, comatose inducing 😴
The whole process of building a brand must appear quite daunting for business owners. Likewise, if you work in a marketing department for a larger corporation and you try to convince board members, that the company needs a brand overhaul, their eyes probably start glazing over pretty quickly.
So in today’s blog post, I’m trying to take the fear (and pain!) out of the branding process.
First we briefly look at what branding actually means. Most people think it’s just a logo, tagline or sales slogan. However, it is the identity which embodies everything a business or product does. How it reveals itself to their target customers and how customers can relate and connect with it.
Fear not, there’s a simple explanation for all of this. Think about a brand, as you would about a real person. The first thing you notice about that person is their appearance - their hair and eye colour, how they dress and so on. Those are first impressions. All very superficial.
Once we go deeper and look at the person more closely and start to interact, certain personality traits, quirks, talents etc. start to reveal themselves. The same happens with brands and products - at first glance, you notice the exterior, but as you come more and more into contact with it thorough touch points, the brand essence starts to appear.
Step one: Create a brand statement
What is a brand statement you ask? Think about why you started your business, created your product or service. What is the passion that drives you? What excites you about what you do? Once you have a clear idea about it, you can define your brand. Formulate it and turn it into a brand statement.
Step two: Determine the target audience
In order to connect with consumers, brands need to determine who they serve and which need they fulfil for a particular tribe of customer. Learning about the target market is an essential step in the process.
Step three: Define your uniqueness
Most market segments are flooded with competition. In order to stand out, a brand needs to communicate clearly its values, qualities and benefits. How does it improve customers lives for example or help them succeed in a particular task?
Step four: Finding a voice
How a brand communicates with its audience is crucial for converting targets into customers. Again, we need to approach this from a human perspective. How can a brand sound authentic and true to its values? I have written a guide on how to define a brand’s voice.
Finally: Treat a brand as a person
How would a brand introduce itself, talk about its products or services and most importantly, what would a customer say about the brand after meeting it for the first time? This step will ensure that the brand can connect with its customers on a much more meaningful level, connect more deeply and create a community or tribe around itself.
Finding a brand’s essence is one key ingredient of brand building. Noting down the above findings and turning them into brand guidelines, along with other components such as brand strategy, voice guide, content style guide and brand design will ensure consistency. It will be noticeable across the entire organisation - whether its on a brand’s website, on social media, on packaging, in advertising or sales and customer service. It will empower employees to provide a brilliant service, lasting customer experiences and hire the best talent for the company.
Let me know how you get on, I would love to hear how you developed your brand's essence. If you need more guidance, please do get in touch!