HOW TO BUILD A BRAND THAT REALLY STANDS OUT
Whether you’re well-established, or in the early stages of bringing your biz dream to life, chances are you’re doing your best to find — and cement — your place in a crowded market.
You’re trying to build a solid reputation that will get your customers and clients recognising you, paying you what you’re worth, coming back for more and saying lots of nice things about you.
You basically want your business to be straight up irresistible.
How do you achieve it?
With a brand that really, really stands out (in a good way).
A brand is the name, symbol, design or message that identifies or differentiates one product from another. It’s your promise to your customer. It tells them what they can expect from your product or service. For example, there are thousands of graphic design businesses in the world, but it’s their brand that sets them apart.
Put simply, your brand will determine what potential customers think of you.
Today we’re sharing some tips with you on where to start and what to think of when it comes time to build yours!
Define your audience
Who you are as a brand, should be based (to an extent) on who your ideal customer wants and needs you to be.
So, of course building a brand starts with knowing your audience. Like, really knowing them.
Where they are, who they are, what they like, what they need, what they don’t need.
You’re doing it for them, after all.
One of the biggest mistakes biz owners make is trying to appeal to and be everything to everyone. But this doesn’t make sense — your time, energy and money is far better invested in the very people who are going to want, need and use your offering.
Honing in on your ideal customer takes a bit of time and research, but once you’ve identified who they are and what their pain points are, you’ll be far more successful at developing a brand that actually targets and speaks to them.
Have a crystal clear vision
Your brand is derived from who you are, who you want to be, and what people perceive you to be, so its crucial you do your homework and decide on these things before you start.
Defining your vision can be difficult and time-consuming, but it’s a crucial element in your business success.
Before you start bringing your brand to life, consider:
– Your mission
– Your values
– The benefits and features of your products and services
– Your unique selling point
– The qualities you want your customers to associate with your business
Those answers should then determine the direction of your brand.
Always strive for a brand that reflects exactly what you are about.
Customers can smell inauthenticity a mile away and in an age where choice comes in abundance, they will always be drawn to a brand with a sincere story at its core.
Bottom line, authenticity is about practicing what you preach and being crystal clear about who you are, what you believe and what you do best. When your brand’s rhetoric is not in alignment with a customer’s actual experience, your integrity is compromised — pronto.
You may not have an original idea, but you can still ‘stand out’ from the others.
Don’t be a copycat.
From your brand’s logo to its messaging, make sure it can’t be confused with your competitors. Defining and then playing on your ‘Unique Selling Point’ will really help you out here.
Looks really do count
Visual storytelling is the key to successful branding, because it effectively acts as the ID tag for your biz.
Your visual identity is usually what captures the eye of your consumer, in the first place. From there, they’ll begin to form an opinion or perception about you before they even know who you are or what you’re about.
This is why it’s incredibly important to have an aesthetically appealing brand — because customers tend to buy with their eyes (and then their hearts).
Your logo is the foundation of all this, so if you’re having one created, you’ll want those colours, styles, images and fonts to flow — or at least complement — the rest of your branding elements (such as your website, packaging and other ‘marketing’ collateral).
Invest in a good quality designer who can help you create a branding suite and establish a memorable visual presence that communicates who you are — and really turns heads.
Connect with your audience
Of course when you think about your brand, you want to consider how it looks. But how it makes someone feel is just as important.
It’s been said that great brands aim for customers’ hearts — not their wallets, so find a way to galvanise an emotional response from your customer. Aim to establish a real connection between you and them, whether it’s through words or images.
Really stir something in them. Move them.
Give them, tell them or show them something they resonate with, deep in their bones.
A good way to do this is by sharing your story, or journey with them. Take your customer on the ride, because people really do ‘buy in’ to the person behind the business as much as they buy into your products and services.
People love a good background story, so make this a part of your brand.
Whether it’s through social media or a blog, give them a behind-the-scenes glimpse into a day in the life of your biz. Tell them why you do what you do. What drives you.
Give them something to share and feel. You might be surprised at how many people resonate with and appreciate your passion.
It’s crucial to capture the essence of you — your values, your key messages and what makes you unique — and communicate that through every single element of your brand.
Your logo. Your website, tagline, copy, products, packaging.
How you answer your emails, what you wear, what you post on social media.
It’s helpful to design templates and create a style guide to standardise and replicate your ‘voice’ and ‘look’ through all of your communication and marketing materials.
Build a community
Often, customers want to be a part of something ‘bigger’. With the power of the internet and social media at hand, capitalise on the opportunity to bring these like-minded people (who believe in your and your brand) together to form your ‘tribe’.
Building a community for your brand gives you the opportunity to provide them with extra value, and in turn have them become ‘advocates’ for your biz.
It can be done online, or in person.
A brilliant example of a brand that has done this extremely well, is Lululemon, which offers yoga classes and other brilliant events to its customers even after the doors to its apparel stores have shut for the day.
We’ve only shared eight tips here, so of course we’re only just scraping the surface when it comes to ways you can build a brand that really stands out. Have you been-there-done-that? What worked for you? Share with us in the comments below!