by Charleen Montano May 3, 2022
It’s the question that haunts every entrepreneur: How do you build a great brand? What strategies and tactics should you focus on? And how can you make sure your company really stands out?
And yup! We’ve all heard the same old advice: Be authentic. Be genuine. Be different.
But how do you actually do that?
You’ve been there. You’re sitting in front of a blank screen, or maybe a yellow notepad, and you’re trying to come up with some kind of branding for your business. You know that branding is important and can help you grow your business in the long run, but you just don’t know what to do.
You’ve tried everything- you’ve looked at other company brands, you’ve thought about your own favorite brands, you’ve even asked your friends what they like. But no matter what you try, you just can’t come up with any ideas that are seen right for your business.
You’re not alone. In fact, it’s estimated that around 80% of businesses fail to create an effective brand strategy. Why? Because they don’t take the time to understand what a brand really is and how their company should use it.
The definition of a brand is something that’s often debated in business circles, but for the purpose of this article, take time to have it defined concisely.
Do you find videos more enjoyable? Watch this:
What is a Brand?
A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other features that distinguish one seller’s product from those of others. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising. A brand is a valuable marketing tool that differentiates your company’s product from competitors because it creates loyalty to your product, and most importantly, it makes money for you.
Or simply, a brand is why you buy Coke over Pepsi or Apple over Dell. Or why you choose product A instead of product B in the grocery store.
That simple, huh?
Now, I want to dig deeper into the definition because I’m so tired of this long debate about this.
The word gets thrown a lot, but it’s not often defined. The fact is, there’s no single definition of “brand.” It’s a word that means different things to different people. To some, a brand is nothing more than a product name or logo. To others, it’s the sum of how the customers feel about the company’s products, services, advertisements, and customer service.
In my opinion, most people think too narrowly about what constitutes a brand. They equate it with a logo or name. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A brand is so much more than that tiny silver at the surface of your company’s image. It includes everything from the words you choose for your website copy to how your employees answer the phone to what happens on your social media channels to whether there’s an umbrella in your company logo.
And it has very little to do with what you think about your business– it’s all about how customers perceive it.
So, why does any of this matter?
Because without a strong brand, your business will struggle to grow and succeed against a larger company that has its brand established since World War 2.
OK, maybe after that.
Why is Branding Important?
When you’re launching a business, it can be tempting to just focus on the basics: getting a product or service up and running, acquiring customers, and making money. However, this kind of “business first” thinking often fails to consider one crucial element vital to your business’s success: its brand.
In addition to what I was blabbering above, a brand is more than just a logo or a name– it’s the sum of all the ways that people perceive your business, whether through advertising and marketing materials or word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family.
The right brand has the power to make people feel a certain way about your company.
In fact, studies have shown that consumers are willing to pay significantly more for products that carry their favorite brands; in some cases, they will pay up to 50% more for the same product!
That’s because people identify with their favorite brands and want to support them– and if you don’t have a well-defined brand image, people won’t know what they’re supporting when they buy from your company.
The goal is to make sure that every experience aligns with who you are and what you stand for as a company. Your brand is not just about how your business looks; it’s about how it feels. This is important because when you create a positive experience for your customers, they’re more likely to be loyal to your brand and buy products or services from you even if they’re more expensive than the competition.
They’ll also be more likely to recommend your product or service to other people, which is the best kind of advertising!
As a small business owner, the idea of establishing a brand can feel overwhelming—or even pointless. After all, you’re busy running a business and don’t necessarily have the time or budget to hire an agency or marketing team to help you create your brand. But branding is not just for big businesses with huge marketing budgets.
In fact, it’s just as important for small businesses as it is for big ones.
1) It sets you apart from the competition. A branding strategy helps you distinguish yourself from other businesses in your industry, which makes it easier for potential customers to choose your company over someone else’s.
2) It gives your employees direction. Your employees are the face of your business, so it’s important that they understand and embrace your vision, mission, and values so that they can deliver a consistent customer experience every time.
3) It helps attract talent. Branding enables you to create a unique identity within your industry, which will appeal to people who want to work for an innovative company that offers growth opportunities.
6 Steps To Create Your Brand
It’s true, creating a brand for your business is a complex process. You’ll need to know what to include in your company brand, how to use the tools at your disposal, and how to deliver a cohesive message throughout your entire brand.
But before you can dive into creating or revamping your brand, there are some basic steps you’ll need to take. Branding isn’t something that happens overnight, so don’t let the idea of branding intimidate you into delaying the process!
With just these six steps and some time in your hands, you’ll have a new brand up and running no matter what industry you’re in.
FIND OUT WHO YOUR CUSTOMER IS– AGE, GENDER, RACE, PROFESSION, AND ANY OTHER KEY THINGS ABOUT THEM.
Here’s a fun fact: If you don’t know who your customer is, you don’t know what to sell them.
In a world where it feels like everyone has a business and everyone is selling something, how can you stand out?
One of the most important ways you can stand out is by building your brand, and one of the ways to build your business brand is to find out who your customer is, their age, gender, race, profession, and any other key things about them.
If you don’t know this information, you can’t target your marketing efforts toward people who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer. You will probably be wasting time and money marketing to people who aren’t interested in what you have to offer or, worse yet, don’t even need it.
You may think that the answer to this question is “anyone with a pulse.” While that may seem like a reasonable answer on the surface, think about it for a moment.
If everyone needs what you have to offer, why do so many businesses fail?
Businesses fail because there aren’t enough people willing to pay for their product/service or people who can afford to do it themselves (DIY) the product you might be selling or not in the right marketplace.
Might you be selling high-heeled sandals in the middle of the forest without even realizing it?– OK, Don’t take it personally and literally.
But you got the point, right?
First things first. Do yourself a favor. Know your customer!
FIND OUT WHAT THESE CUSTOMERS NEED, WANT, AND LIKE
“When you find out what your customer needs, wants, and likes, that’s the beginning of a business relationship. The more you know about your customers, the better off you’ll be.”
As Kevin is a marketing expert, he understands that customer insight is mandatory for businesses to succeed. You can’t build a brand without knowing who your customers are. It’s important to do so because it helps you generate leads faster, make better decisions, and improve your customer service skills by analyzing the customers’ feedback. All of this will help give your brand an image of being reliable and efficient, making it easier to build relationships with new clients.
Getting to know your customers is a lot like dating. You want to make sure you’re compatible with each other and that you’ll be able to keep each other happy in the long run. A healthy relationship between business and customer is no different—it is built on understanding what each party needs from the other and making sure that everyone’s needs are being met accordingly.
Determining your customers’ needs, wants, and likes might seem difficult, but it’s actually very simple. Once you’ve figured out the types of people who buy your products or use your services, you can start to ask yourself more detailed questions about their personalities and preferences. Are they young? Do they have kids? What kind of car do they drive? How much money do they spend on groceries? What do they do for fun? What kinds of problems do they have in their lives? What worries them? The answers to these questions will help you tailor your marketing efforts to their interests, which makes for a better experience for them as well as for your company’s bottom line. This process also helps you clarify what your product or service is really all about—and it helps you think of ways to make it even better!
FIND OUT HOW TO REFLECT ON EXACTLY WHAT YOU KNOW THEY CARE ABOUT THE MOST
What does it mean when your customer cares about something? What should you do if they care about more than one thing? Does it matter what they care about, or can you just make them care about something you think is important? And why is it important to find out what they care about in the first place?
It is not just a matter of knowing what your customers care about the most. You need to reflect on exactly what that means and why you should care, too. Asking yourself these questions regularly will help keep your brand relevant to your audience.
The world of personal branding is tricky to navigate, and it’s easy to get lost in the process. The most important thing to remember is that you need to be yourself. It’s the only way you’ll create something unique, and if you don’t do that, then all your efforts will be for nothing. And how do you know who you are? By reflecting on exactly what you know your customers care about the most and why it’s important to them.
One of my favorite personal branding examples comes from Seth Godin, who wrote a book called Purple Cow. In it, he explains how he came up with his brand by focusing on what his customers didn’t like: old-fashioned yellow cars. When he realized they were tired of seeing those cars everywhere, he came up with the idea of a purple cow—something that would stand out from everything else around it. That purple cow led him down a path toward creating an entire company based on this concept (he even has an office with purple cows painted all over the walls!).
Another great example comes from Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who knew what his customers wanted before they did: sleek design and minimalism. He took these ideas and turned them into something new by creating products that could help fulfill his customers’ needs and ideas.
When you’re building your brand, it’s important to know what your customers care about the most—not only because it helps you connect with them and make them happy, but also because it’s a way of giving back. If you know what matters to them, then you can show that they’re not just paying for a delivery service or a product—they’re also supporting something that’s meaningful to them, whether it’s a cause or an organization.
And in this day and age, where people want brands that align with their values, knowing those values is key to success.
For example, suppose you know your customers are passionate about animal welfare and environmental sustainability. In that case, that means you can offer products made from organic cotton or fair-trade hemp instead of conventional cotton and denim.
Or, if your customers’ top priority is gender equality and women’s rights, you can highlight how important hiring women in leadership positions is to your company culture. Knowing what your customers care about the most will help you build a brand that attracts more people who share those values—and can even change the world in the process!
CREATE THE 3 CORE VALUES OF YOUR BUSINESS
You’ve heard that it’s important to define your company’s core values, and you’re probably thinking, “how the heck am I supposed to do that? The core values of my company are 1) to make money and 2) to have fun.”
The truth is, establishing this essential foundation for your business is actually pretty simple.
What are core values?
Core values are the basic tenets of your business philosophy. They’re the principles and beliefs that guide how you operate on a daily basis. In other words, they describe how your company does things.
Why define core values?
Because when you know exactly what you stand for as a business, you can lead with confidence. You know how to make decisions about where to invest time and resources. You can determine which kinds of partners or clients are ideal for you. And you can also find ways to differentiate yourself from competitors in a crowded marketplace– a huge advantage!
How do you define them?
Eazy peezy as reflecting on the past experiences and identifying the things you value most in those situations that have brought success, fulfillment, or joy. It might not be obvious at first what those things are– sometimes it takes really thinking about them before they become clear.
Now, here’s the main point: a brand’s core values are an organization’s essential and enduring principles that guide its actions, behaviors, and decisions. These values are like the DNA of any company; they represent the foundation upon which all other aspects of the business are built. Core values should be more than just words on a piece of paper; they need to influence how employees behave and how customers perceive them.
Core values are important because they help companies define who they are and what they stand for. They also influence how employees operate within the organization and how customers perceive them.
For example, one of the core values of Strive Enterprise is “over delivery,” we always aim to exceed what was the expectation of our clients. It is very important to us to do more of what is in the average and aim high to reach the highest peak result of our product.
Another is “we are always for the client,” which is why we do custom works– the fact that we care about our clients and bring out their branding, we do customized work in need or preferred by the client to achieve their branding goal.
With these example of core values, we believe that this will set us apart from other companies that may not adhere to such high standards, which makes our reputation better known among consumers as well, leading them to become more loyal over time.
DISCOVER THE BEST SALES PSYCHOLOGY FOR ALL TYPES OF CLIENT (WHETHER THEY ARE PASSIVE, AGGRESSIVE, OR NEUTRAL)
When it comes to sales, the customers aren’t always right. Not really. In fact, they’re frequently wrong– and that’s just fine.
The customer doesn’t have to be right. They just have to be happy enough to buy what you’re selling. The key is learning how to make them happy enough, and that means understanding their psychology. The three main types of customers are passive, aggressive, and neutral, and each one responds best to a different kind of interaction with salespeople.
Passive customers are those who are hesitant to make a purchase. They will likely not make any decisions on their own, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not interested in buying your product. You’ll just have to be persuasive enough to get them to come around.
Aggressive customers are often described as having an extroverted personality type, which means they’re outgoing and enjoy socializing with others. They tend to be assertive and prefer to make decisions quickly– perhaps even impulsively. Because of these traits, they’re likely to be more receptive to short-term sales pitches, like those that focus on discounts or other incentives that encourage instant gratification.
Neutral customers are those who will buy only if the cost is right and who don’t care about anything else. They’ll look for the cheaper option unless something is truly better than what they’re considering; then, they may pay more for it– but only if it’s exactly what they want or need.
Identifying the type of client you’re dealing with is a crucial step in building a strong brand and sales strategy. This can give you the insight you need to sell yourself up for success.
Remember, the key to the customer’s mind is not what they want to buy… it’s WHAT they want TO buy.
If you solve their problem, people will buy, even if it’s not your product.
APPLY ALL THE 5 STEPS.
Following all the steps mentioned will be the first big step to creating your brand. You should always believe that your brand has to be something very positive and with which you will identify yourself. And next step is to have big ambitions in the future and work harder every time to get success everywhere in this world.
And thus, design your brand like you are designing a nice dress for it. Decide on a color that is just right for your brand’s personality; you can do it gradually or go bold. Maybe add some accessories or dominant features like the waistline or something else. But most importantly, finish it with a nice bow!
The majority of the factors in the success of a business can be narrowed down to customer experience and relationships. We want you to focus on improving and recognizing your customers while doing what is honest, best, and right for them.
This is just as a customer as it is as a business owner. We do not want you to buy-in to something that says it will magically or instantly get your money back in five minutes online.
Your brand should be the core of all that you offer. If you take any of this information and make changes in the way that you develop your brand, we would love to have feedback from you about it because there are many options available for building yourself a solid brand in today’s competitive market.
Hopefully, we have provided you with a good set of tools to think about and how to apply them in your business. Find ways to use these tools to build your own brand, and take some time every now and then to reflect back on your brand.
Does this help or hurt the brand?
From this reflection, you will likely find ways to improve on your current brand or come up with a new brand idea that you can implement.
In the end, it’s all worth it.