GRIND UNTIL EVERYONE KNOWS YOUR NAME
Every brand has a story. Every great brand knows how to tell that story well. Why? The reality is, whether you’re selling coffee, bookcases or enterprise software, you’ve got more competition than ever before. Making sure your story is compelling is the absolute key to getting the edge. And of course, we’re not just talking words. Your brand story is communicated in many ways: through your visual identity, tone of voice, PR and social media channels.
It’s a lot to think about, and churning out endless content hoping something hits the mark is definitely not the solution. In order to rise in rank, you have to connect with your audience – and there’s no one size its all formula for that. Some channels will work better than others for certain businesses, and some subject matters will gain more traction. In many ways, it’s about trial and error, and above all, being consistent.
How does that work? Consistency comes from knowing who you are as a brand. What you stand for. What you care about. What your products or services do for people. Once you’ve taken the time to cement your brand story (and worldview), you can build content plans, marketing activities and themes that are in line with that. It’s not a creative strait jacket –instead it brings a sense of cohesion to everything you put out into the world. It’s also a powerful way to gain brand recognition, helping you connect with like-minded customers, building familiarity, liking
Take an Italian shoemaker, for example. They’ve built a loyal following of customers who love their range of handcrafted, down-to-earth, luxury footwear. Just imagine how those customers would react to the launch of the new Jordan’s complete with high-profile marketing campaign featuring Michael Jordan. It’s a complete disconnect. Fans would be alienated and disappointed, and those new to the brand would be confused as to what the company was all about. The same applies to what you share online, and how you share it.
ARE YOU WONDERING WHERE TO START?
Below are my 7 steps to building a successful Brand! (or you can just hire me*wink*)
#1: Figure Out Your Target Audience
The foundation to all brands and business is to determine who your target audience is. You must make sure your brand and how you are viewed by the public match.
You can’t be everything to everyone. Its just not possible.
Be sure to tailor your mission, message and vision to meet your audience’s specific needs.
For example, you are reading this article because you are looking to build a brand of some sort. If I start talking about Yandy Smith and Love & HipHop NY, 70% of you would stop reading.
Dont be afraid to get specific. Use Facebook and Google Analytics to study behaviors and the lifestyle of your audience.
Solidify a picture of your consumers, then create a brand identity they can understand and relate to.
#2: Create A Branding Mission Statement
Before you can build a brand that your target audience trusts, you need to know what value your business provides.
The mission statement basically defines a purpose for existing. It will inform every other aspect of your brand building. Your mission should be a clear expression of what your company is most passionate about.
Everything from your logo, colors, the tagline, brand messaging, and personality should reflect that same mission.
#3: Research The Competition Within Your Industry
You should never try and imitate what the big brands are doing, but you should be aware of what they are doing well or not so well. Your goal should be to become a little more innovative. Do re-invent the wheel but maybe just put some spinners on’em. You should become an influencer in your market and work on changing your consumers buying pattern.
Pay attention to your main competitors benchmarks and study what has and hasn’t worked for them. Even go as far as reading their reviews and social media comments from consumers. Good and Bad.
The more information you know regarding your niche industry, the more refined your brand can be.
#4: LOGO and TAGLINE the Rock On Which Your Brand Stands
The most basic and in my opinion the most exciting part of brand building is logo creation and tagline creativity. The graphic will appear on everything you do. The logo will speak your brand when you aren’t around. It captures the attention of future consumers while you sleep. Look at McDonald’s– you don’t have to read the word McDonald’s all you have to see are those golden arches… not to be confused with McDowell’s.
I would highly recommend hiring a professional designer or agency to help you with your branding identity.
#5: Form Your Brand’s Messaging/Voice
Your voice is dependent on your company mission, audience, and industry.
It’s how you communicate with your customers, and how they respond to you.
A business’s voice could be:
- informative, etc.
There are endless adjectives and possibilities. Be sure your voice makes sense and its translated correctly to your target audience.
#6: Integrate Your Brand into Every Aspect Of Your Business
Brand Building is forever. It literally never ever stops. From your email signature to your bio on Instagram, your messaging should always be clear, precise, and consistent.
If a client walks into your office, your brand should be on display both in the environment and with personal interactions. Anything tangible–from business cards, to advertisements, to packaging–needs the stamp of your logo. When you design your website: incorporate your voice, message, and personality into content. Profile pages for social media networks should be branded visually, and with your chosen voice for engagement.
#7: Stay True To Your Brand
A solid brand building process can transform your business from a small player into a successful competitor.
You’ll discover that your customers will develop a deeper level of trust for your brand, and be more likely to purchase what you are selling.
Develop a consistent message and visual identity to reinforce your mission.
Integrate your brand into every aspect of customer experience: from your storefront, to your website, to your personal interactions!
Please share and comment Below with any question or additional ways to build your DOPE brand.
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This post was VERY informative. I definitely agree that figuring out your ideal client is the FIRST thing that should be done. Then everything else can flow because you know exactly who you are talking to through your brand. I needed the reminder that a brand takes times and forever to build. When you are passionate you just want everything now. Thank you for great tips.