We hear about the importance of brand development all the time. The process is lengthy and extensive, and it lays down to the development of the strategy, promise, values, besides the colors, fonts, designs, and words give off the right vibe for our brand.
It can be exhausting going through the branding process, but when your brand can leave a footprint behind everywhere it reaches, you will reap the benefits. What does that mean?
Think about small businesses in your area that are advertising. Some of these advertisements are going to be one-off and not very memorable. When a company is well branded with a specific color and look, a catchy jingle, and a definite meaning behind it, you will spot their sign or billboard from a mile away.
Odds are, you aren't the only business offering the services or product you provide, and this means you have to separate yourself from the competition and stand out from the crowd. You are wondering how to accomplish the results mentioned above?
Start by taking yourself through a branding process by using the steps below or working with a professional branding strategist. It is essential to define your business, what it stands for, and who your target audience is. Here are the nine steps to brand your business inside and out.
1) Start Your Brand Development Process by Defining Your Target Audience
Before moving into the outwards branding, you have to brand your business from the inside. Every business needs a target audience, the audience that you focus on attracting and gaining as customers in everything you do.
A huge mistake that companies make is targeting anyone and everyone they can get as a customer. On the other hand, by focusing on a specific audience that you would love to have as customers, increase your chances of working with them by a landslide.
2) Find And Fill Your Audience Need
Many small businesses and startups are making the mistake of never understanding their market needs. Most of them are ignoring the fact that they should look for their market first then product second.
Fill out the consumer needs is an essential process for your company and your brand development process. You don't want a "me too" product or a "me too" message.
Conducting market research is very crucial when venturing into a new business. Here I list a few ideas on how to find a need in your market.
- Consumer research: Deep interviews, focus groups, or observation study are some of the examples os efficient consumer research.
- Checking out your competitors: This is the sneakiest way to check if there's a need for your market. When you have more competitors, it means that there's a need.
- Trends research: Looking for what's has been selling well, or increasing search index on Google Trends can give you a good idea of ways to fulfill your audience's needs.
- Visit online forums: With online forums, you'll be able to find out what most of them are asking about and what they are trying to solve.
- Keyword research: Another way is by doing keyword research. Search for ideas or keywords that people are searching for in search engines.
Once you've identified the need of your market, find products or services to fill their needs. By understanding what the market is offering to fill the demand, you'll discover what you can do to become better than your competitor.
With the information you get from checking your competitors, you can create a better product for an existing market.
3) Define Your Brand Promise and Identity
Your brand promise defines what makes your company unique and what values your company holds that differentiate your brand from the competition. These will be the words that help you position your brand in the market.
The identity of your brand is all about what people see and hear from it. It includes your slogan, logo, tone of voice, and brand guidelines. Your motto should define what your business stands for in a short, concise sentence.
Facebook’s brand promise is clearly seen in its mission statement:
“To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”
And it shows it on their sign up page as a message to its new users:
Apple summarizes it's brand promise in its slogan with just two words, "Think Different", which serves as a basis for their innovation purpose, and it's products. It also connects with their consumers by implying that those Apple fans are innovators and want to the world because they think differently from others.
The apple logo was also a basis for its brand value and promises, representing the meaning and power of the creation.
A lot of copywriting magic happens here. It should be catchy and memorable and serve its purpose of defining your business to the outside world. Your logo should be clear and easy to understand to represent your business accurately.
This imagery will appear everywhere when your brand is presented, making it extremely important in your brand development process. Your tone of voice and brand guidelines go hand in hand. When you are forming your brand, you are building a personality.
The branding process is a great time to define how your brand will present itself in advertisements, customer service situations, and public relations opportunities.
4) Pay Attention to Details
You want your brand to be something you are proud of! It means you should admire your logo, recommend your products, and enjoy your website. The small details that go on behind the scenes are going to be something that will return on your investment.
These details resonate with you and that you believe. In summary, when designing a brand, you create a personality to last for a long time.
A lot of buzz was created around the official White House logo in 2016. There was an error in the arches' pattern and pyramids over each of the windows on the ground floor.
Here you see how it should be:
Your audience, brand promise, brand identity, and all of the small details will always stick around and be followed through throughout all advertising, content, and public relations endeavors. Create something you love now, and the years ahead will be smoother.
5) Build Your Website
Once you have established your market and product, build your website. If you are already good at designing websites, do it yourself. You can use DIY platforms such as Wix or WordPress. If not, hire a freelancer to do it for you. Your website is vital for your online business and brand development.
It will serve as a venue where your customers can know more about your brand, product, or service.
According to a study by Microsoft, human beings have a shorter attention span compared to a goldfish.
The average attention span of a person is now 8 seconds from 12 seconds last year. For you to grab your customer's attention:
- Build a website that has one or two plain fonts on a white background.
- Ensure that your navigation is easy to figure out by making it clear and straightforward on every page.
- Utilize graphics, audio, or video only when you are enhancing your message.
- Add an opt-in offer to collect emails for future product or service offers.
- Make it easy for them to buy. Don't bury your offer-they should find out what they're looking for after two clicks.
- Design a customer-friendly website.
6) Write Copies That Sell [and Optimize For Search Engines]
Your copy is your salesman. The effectivity of your copy will depend on how you write it. Here's how you can compose a captivating text:
- Write a compelling headline.
- Illustrate the problems your product solves.
- Establish your credibility as a problem solver.
- Include proof or testimonials from people who have used your product.
- Talk about the product and how it can benefit them.
- Make your offer.
- Offer a guarantee.
- Create urgency.
- Ask for the sale.
Your copy should mostly focus on how your product or service can solve their problem and make their lives even better.
For the brand development process to work, you have to keep your brand values and always promise clear within your company to don't fall into mistakes in your copies.
When writing a text, think like your customer and ask, "What's in it for me?".
One good example of a brand and sales copy is from J.Peterson, e-commerce that offers a unique experience, where clothes are displayed in the form of vintage.
Matching the style, the brand voice, message, colors, font style is essential for your company's brand development. In this other one, it clearly shows the offer, but also keeps the vintage brand style.
7) Use Digital Marketing
PPC Ads or Organic?
The fastest way to get traffic to your brand-new website is through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, while the most challenging but worthy is organic search.
With PPC, your ad shows immediately on search pages, and PPC ads allow you to try out various keywords, headlines, prices, and selling approaches. PPC ads will help you find out the highest-converting keywords that you can use in your copy.
Organic will take time, but think about writing a copy for the searcher, not for the search engines. If you need to understand how to increase organic traffic, check out this SEO article.
An example is Fiverr showing up on top, before Upwork, on SERP for the keyword "hire a freelancer". Upwork, on the other hand, is the first URL of the organic results.
Remember to not worry so much about optimizing for a specific keyword but be thoughtful about giving what your audience is looking for, which will help you in your rankings on organic search results.
Email marketing is still useful for anyone who pursues entrepreneurship through their online business. As mentioned earlier, create an opt-in page where your potential customers give their email address in exchange for free, expert content.
With email, you'll be able to develop lifetime relationships with them, and it is a lot cheaper and more effective than print, TV, or radio.
Mailchimp is a good option and has a freemium model that can work well for you if you are starting.
And don't forget to follow up. About 36% of people who have purchased your product or services will buy from you again, which will only happen if you follow them up.
Follow up usually helps in any leads that you're looking for:
- Link building
- Upselling and cross-selling
- Coupon Sales
For example, offer products that complement their original purchase. You can also send out coupons that they can redeem on their next visit.
And finally, make use of your Thank You page after they make a purchase.
When you are emailing your customers, your intention should focus on rewarding them for their loyalty. In effect, they will become more loyal to your business.
8) Build Your Authority on Social Media
In the report published by the Social Media Examiner, 92% of marketers see the importance of social media in their businesses, 92% indicated that their social media efforts had generated more exposure for their companies, and 80% revealed that traffic to their website increased because of social media.
Build excellent content that your audience is looking for, build your reputation on social media. There are a lot of ways you can do that, and here are a few of them:
- Give away expert content for free. You can offer a free ebook, write as a guest writer (not ghostwriter), make videos, and try to be somehow useful to your market.
- Encourage your readers to share your content.
- Be active in social networking sites that are related to your niche and where your market exists.
- Be consistent.
- Keep your content quality high using original images, videos, and keeping the brand message alignment.
Here you can find more information about how to grow your social media organically:
And you find detail examples of successful ways to use social media marketing the right way for your business:
Always be consistent. You don't want to offer your market another product that they won't be interested in.
9) Align And Communicate The Results With Your Employees
After spending so much time on your brand, you do not want to risk your employees and decision-makers not being in line with what stands for your brand.
Everyone should be involved in branding and should be expected to follow the guidelines set.
Wrapping up Your Branding Development Process
Is developing a brand difficult? With so many brands out there, it can be challenging. These challenges will determine your failure or success.
For example, companies tend to forget about what is their target audience, or what their needs are. In some cases, they go to the market offering "me-too" products/campaigns to their customers, which will undoubtedly drive them to a sad end.
This article shows how to get through these challenges the right way. You will find resources for branding your business considering the whole process:
- Start your brand development process by defining your target audience
- Find and fill your audience need
- Define your brand promise and identity
- Pay attention to details
- Build your website
- Write copies that sell and optimize for search engines
- Use digital marketing
- Build your authority on social media
- Align and communicate the results with your employees.
After observing business becoming successful using marketing and branding techniques, being thoughtful about the details of each step can make your business improve.
Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned entrepreneur, you can benefit from this process.