It’s not easy to build a brand from scratch. What does it resemble? What do people think about it? Will it strike a chord with my intended audience? These are the kinds of problems that arise when you’re trying to figure out how to draw the connections between what you’re offering and who you want to meet. Here’s what you need to learn about creating a good brand style statement, whether you have nothing but a business concept or want to pivot your current brand. In this blog, you will discover how you can build a brand with seven easy steps.
What exactly is a brand?
A brand is more than just a well-known name and emblem that helps you stand out in a competitive industry. Your brand is just how people view you everywhere they communicate with your company—both the ones you can influence and the ones which you can’t. People, too, have a brand identity, if you think about it. We all have a name, a voice, a style, and a way of talking, and we all leave different perceptions on different individuals based on these characteristics.
Businesses, too, have brands, products, images, colors, fonts, voices, and reputations that define them and influence how they are viewed. You can’t build a brand without becoming trustworthy, and you can’t sustain that continuity if you expand the brand into new areas. But it all begins by figuring out what the continuity would look like and the emotion you want to elicit.
Let’s start by setting the foundation for approaching a strategy to build a brand.
1. Find out who your target demographic is and who your opponents are
Before you begin making assessments about your strategy to build a brand, you must first gain a thorough understanding of the competitive industry and who your future buyers and rivals are. This can be accomplished in a range of ways:
- Examine the direct and indirect rivals that show up when you Google your service or product group.
- Examine subreddits for the clients and listen in to their discussions and product reviews.
- Talk to customers in your consumer market and find out which brands they use in your industry.
- Examine the social media sites or pages that your target demographic supports and response to.
- Go browsing, either online or in-person, to get a sense of how the clients will look for and purchase items.
As you go about your research to build a brand, make a note of:
- Create a list about who your “lowest hanging fruit” buyers are—the people you will most readily sell to.
- Who the top-of-mind rivals are—the proven and well-known brands in the industry.
- What the clients say and how they say it—their desires and the words they use to communicate them.
Before going on, it’s important to understand this, and it will determine what the company can rely on and how it will differentiate itself from rivals.
2. Decide what you want to work on and who you want to be
You can’t be anything to everyone at first, particularly if you’re just starting out to build a brand. It’s critical to identify your emphasis and allow it to guide all other aspects of your brand as you develop it. Here are a few observations and branding activities to help you consider the brand’s emphasis and sound.
What does your positioning statement say about you?
One or two lines that make the step up in the market constitute a positioning statement. This isn’t something you can place on your webpage or business card; it’s just to help you answer the relevant questions regarding your strategy to build a brand and to help you come up with a tagline for it. The only thing you’re competing over is your exclusive value proposition.
Find it, capitalize on it, and incorporate it into the brand’s branding. You should also write this down as a goal statement that gives a straightforward commitment to your clients or the community whether the business you want to launch has a purpose at its heart (e.g., if you’re launching a social enterprise).
What phrases or words come to your mind when you think about your brand?
Imagine the brand as an individual while thinking about brand growth. What kind of individual would he or she is? What kind of attitude will entice the customers? This will remind your social media voice as well as the sound of all of your art, both written and visual. Able to pitch two to six adjectives that characterize the kind of brand that would resonate with your customer is an enjoyable and effective branding exercise.
What metaphors or ideas come to mind when you think about your brand?
Consider the brand as a metaphor, or exemplify it, to identify the unique characteristics you want it to have. This can be a car, an animal, a star, a sporting team, or something else as long as it has a well-known name in your mind that conjures up the vibe you need your brand to elicit.
For instance, if you wanted to build a brand for entrepreneurs, you could start with the raccoon: they’re streaky survivors who would do anything to survive. What breed would your brand be if it were an animal, and why would it be reminding you of that animal?
3. Decide on a business name
What is the significance of a name while you build a brand? You may argue that your name affects very little or very much based on the type of company you want to launch. A brand is far more than a name, as we’ve previously said. Your brand’s personality, motives, and reputation are what give the name significance in the marketplace.
However, as a small business owner, deciding on a name for your organization is likely one of the first significant decisions you’ll have to make. If you decide to go that route, it will affect your logo, domain, brand management, and trademark registration (it is more difficult to trademark standardized brand names that literally define what you sell).
You would like a store name that is difficult to copy and much more difficult to confuse with established competitors. If you want to broaden your product lines in the future, keep your corporate name broad rather than using a brand name centered on your market sector. You can try one (or all) of the following methods:
- Make up a new term, such as Pepsi.
- Reframe a seemingly unrelated term, such as Apple for computers.
- Use a term or metaphor that is suggestive, such as Buffer.
- Like The Shoe Company, define it literally (warning: it’s easy to replicate).
- Remove letters, add letters, or use Latin endings to change a word, such as Tumblr (Tumbler) and perhaps Activia.
- Make an acronym out of a longer name, such as HBO (Home Box Office).
- Simply combine words. Pinterest (pin + interest) or Snapple (snappy + apple) are two words that can be combined.
Since the brand name will influence your website’s domain/URL, do some research to see what’s possible before settling on a domain name? For nothing else, it’s a smart idea to run the name past a focus group of near friends to make sure it doesn’t have an accidental sense or is too familiar to anything else you may have overlooked.
4. Compose a slogan
A memorable slogan is a nice-to-have tool that you could use as a motto in your social media profiles, website headers, personalized business cards, and everywhere else where you only have a few terms to make a significant difference. Remember that you will change your logo when you discover new campaign opportunities—Pepsi has gone across over 30 slogans in the last few decades alone. A decent slogan is concise, memorable, and leaves a lasting impact. Here are few ideas for coming up with your own slogan:
- Put your stake in the ground. “The World’s Strongest Coffee” is Death Wish Coffee.
- Make a metaphor out of it. “Redbull gives you wings,” says Redbull.
- Adopt the mindset of the clients. Nike says, “Just do it.”
- Use stickers to your advantage. “A party game for horrible people” slogan used by Cards Against Humanity.
- Come up with a rhyme. “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup,” says Folgers Coffee.
- Describe it as accurately as possible. “Women’s fashion boutique,” says Aritzia.
Use your vision strategy to come up with one-liners to represent your business.
5. Decide on the brand’s style (colors and font)
Once you’ve decided on a name, you’ll need to consider how you’ll physically reflect your company, like colors and fonts. This would be useful as you begin creating your own website.
Deciding on colors
Colors not only describe the look of your company, but they also express the emotion you want to convey and help you keep it clear through all of your activities. To prevent customer confusion, select colors that set you apart from your immediate rivals. Color psychology isn’t an actual science, but it can help you make better decisions, particularly with regard to the color of your logo.
It’s crucial to think about how readable white and black text can be against the color scheme, as well as how colored text will appear against black and white backgrounds.
Making font selections
It’s also a smart idea to look at fonts you may like to use on your website at this stage. To stop misleading visitors, use no more than two fonts: one for headings and another for the body of text (this does not include the font you would use in your logo).
6. Create a logo
When it comes to designing a brand, one of the very first things that immediately springs to mind is possibly a business logo design. And for a valid reason: it is, after all, the identity of your brand, and it could be seen wherever your brand resides. You’ll want a logo that’s distinct, recognizable, and flexible to fit in a variety of sizes (something often ignored).
Consider all of the areas where your brand’s logo is needed, from your website to the profile picture on your Facebook page to the little “favicons” you see in your new browser tab. If your Instagram avatar is a text emblem, for example, it will be nearly impossible to decipher. Build a squared variant of your logo with an icon feature that is visible even at small dimensions to make your life simpler.
7. Utilize the company’s identity around the board
When you use your branding in your business, it creates a unified brand tale. A brand story is a description of who the company is and what it strives for. It sets the tone for any customer engagement with your company, both in-store and online. Buyers browsing on an online marketplace for the first time also look for a company’s vision and intent to see if they share certain beliefs with the company.
They’ll go to the About Us page to find out a little more about who they’re buying from and, with more socially aware consumers, how the company operates. If your company has a brand story, tell it to your customers, and it will show them that you are a legitimate company. Your positioning statement will help you get started, but you’ll need to ask yourself several questions to create a brand story:
- What motivated you to initiate your own company?
- What is the company’s purpose?
- How do you make a difference in the world?
- What is the back-story of your company that the client should be aware of?
Not every organization has a vision or ideals, but if yours does share your brand story and explain why the company was founded. Consider the companies TOMS and Coca-Cola: the former is a mission-driven brand, whereas the latter is not. TOMS, a brand that makes shoes and accessories, is “in business to change lives.
“TOMS’ first fundraising organization, One for One, provides sneakers to children in need, and the company has recently donated to the COVID-19 International Giving Fund, among many other causes. When a shopper buys something from TOMS, they will feel positive about it because they trust in the cause that their transaction supports.
Coca-Cola, an internationally recognized soft drink company, does not have a clear social or environmental agenda, but it appeals to its consumer market by messaging that emphasizes bringing friends together to share pleasure, enjoyment, and attachment. If a consumer enjoys a Coca-Cola product with loved ones, they may feel more socially associated with those friends.
The strategy to build a brand does not end with the creation of a slogan or logo or even with the launch of your brand. From the style you chose for your website to the marketing campaigns you create to how you store and distribute your merchandise; the name must be present and consistent wherever your customers engage with you. When you present your brand to more people and understand more about who your clients are and how to communicate with them, it will begin to shape and grow.