As a new business, creating your brand should be a priority.
Few entrepreneurs fully understand what a brand is and why it’s so important.
Maybe you feel, “with everything needed to get the business running, branding is not at the top of the list”
But it should be.
From the beginning you must define who you are and your place in your niche. Otherwise, you leave your brand open for your audience to interpret what they think about you—right or wrong.
You never want someone else to determine your brand.
In this article we’ll discuss:
- What is a brand?
- Why is a brand important?
- Objectives for creating a brand
- Elements that makeup a brand
- Develop your brand strategy
What is a brand?
A brand is how your customers see you.
It tells them who you are, what you do and who you do it for.
It’s the image you want to put in front of the world, the story you want to tell, and how you want to be perceived.
It’s the relationships you create with your customers.
And it sets you apart from your competition, so you can control the space.
Think of how you feel when eating at McDonalds, Panera Bread or at an upscale restaurant. With each one you have a different expectation. Your have a belief about the food, the atmosphere and the price. Those differences are part of their brand and the reasons why you pick one over the other.
Why is a brand important?
A brand is a promise of what you will deliver to your customer and how you will interact with them. It gives you an identity and a voice.
Formulating the right brand for what you offer and who you serve will have a massive impact on your business.
People buy from a business they know, like, and trust.
It’s important to know who your customers are, their goals and interests. Once you understand their behaviors, you can develop content that speaks to their needs and gives them the information they’re looking for.
When you speak to their desires, you position your brand as the authority in your niche, and them come to trust you.
Objectives for creating a brand.
When you create your brand you want two things to happen;
- To be recognized as the go-to resource
- To evoke an emotional connection
You may think of a brand as its colors, its design, and its logo, but there’s so much more that makes a brand
It’s your style, your values and your voice .
What you say, how you say it, and the consistency with which you do them.
For instance, there are several people I follow online, some well-know, others not so much. Each is different.
I know what to expect before I click on their site.
One is to the point, tell it like it is with a big personality. Another has very analytical, detailed information.
And though they may be in the same business, they each have a unique brand. You’d never get them confused. In fact, you may choose to read or listen to both because they each are a valuable resource.
Your brand is the connection that people have with you and your business.
It’s the relationship they feel with what you offer. It’s the belief that only you can fill this need.
We’re happy to engage with a brand when we know it will give us a good experience, whether a product or service.
And we’ll have a positive interaction.
Unfortunately, some brands create negative emotions. Something makes you feel they don’t care about you. And so you believe that their product is not as good and you avoid them. That is the power of emotion in choosing who to do business with.
Visual elements that make a brand
Before you create the visual elements of your brand, think about your ideal customer and your product or service.
What are your visuals trying to communicate? Does your logo, colors, font style, header and website theme reflect what you want to convey?
Are they consistent?
Does your brand fit your customers?
For instance, if you’re a business coach you probably should avoid loud, bright colors and a funky type style.
However, if you sell specialty foods, your website may be full of rich colorful photos, and stylish lettering.
Use design elements to match the image of who you are and the authority you want to establish.
Develop a brand strategy
You need a startegy to get your brand known, and become a thought leader in your field.
To help you along, I’m copying this easy exercise from The Transformative Effect of a Well-Build Brand Statement from Copyblogger. Answer each question to define your USP, unique selling proposition. This will help you create your brand strategy.
- I help _____
- (do) _____
- so they can _____.
For example, I would write: I help people starting a business, associate with other entrepreneurs, so they can share knowledge, solve problemes, and get direction to grow their business.
Once you wriye your brand statement, follow through on every aspect to create a strategy consistent with your brand.
In his book, Brand Against the Machine, John Michael Morgan details six steps that makeup a strategy.
- know what your audience wants and what frustrates them
- position yourself as the go-to authority in your industry
- create a solution to their problem
- produce high quality-content that is valuable to your audience
- run a content driven promotional campaign
- over-deliver on your value
When you create your brand, you differentiate what you are and do. You establish your uniquenes.
And when you are unique, there is no competition.
The following resources were used for this article, in addition to those listed above.
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