Make no mistake about it: a recognizable and loved brand is one of the most valuable assets a company owns.
According to a Nielson survey, 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands familiar to them.
As a small business, you may be competing against big brands with devoted customers and unlimited marketing budgets. That’s why you have to find ways to differentiate—with a solid brand building process of your own.
How do you build a brand?
Branding is much more than just a cool logo or a well-placed advertisement.
You need to do more.
Let me provide you with a quick definition before diving into the nitty-gritty of brand building.
What is a brand?
Simply put, your brand is defined by a customer’s overall perception of your business.
The founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, says it even better: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
Your brand is your reputation!
In today’s market, a successful brand has to be consistent in communication and experience, across many applications:
- Environment (storefront or office)
- Print collateral, signage, packaging
- Website & online advertising
- Content publishing
- Sales & customer service
Now, brand building being simple? The truth is: branding doesn’t happen overnight…or even in a few months.
Building a brand is definitely a process. However, the ongoing effort will result in establishing long-term relationships with your customers.
This can lead to a steady increase in sales, more projects, word-of-mouth referrals, and advocacy for your products or services.
What is brand building?
The definition of brand building is to generate awareness about your business using strategies and campaigns with the goal of creating a unique and lasting image in the marketplace.
Positive image + standing out = brand success.
Branding can be broken down into three phases:
- Brand Strategy
- Brand Identity
- Brand Marketing
Brand Strategy will map out how you are different, trustworthy, memorable and likable by your ideal customer. It will convey your purpose, promises, and how you solve problems for people.
You can think of brand strategy as the blueprint for how you want the world to see your business.
Brand strategy is a critical and foundational piece for building a successful brand. It’s one of the areas that most businesses overlook because they jump right into the design and marketing.
Brand Identity is the way that you convey this to the public with visuals, messaging, and experience. Your brand strategy will influence how you present your identity and align it with your purpose for the most impact.
Your elements of brand identity should be applied across all channels consistently. It’s the way that your business becomes recognizable. This includes your logo, colors and fonts, website design, content, advertising, print or packaging, and more.
Brand Marketing is the way that businesses or organizations highlight and bring awareness to products or services by connecting values and voice to the right audience through strategic communication.
In 2020, the amplification of your brand image can be done effectively through various digital marketing activities:
- User Experience (i.e. your website)
- SEO & Content Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Paid Advertising (PPC)
Together, these channels are fundamental to gaining brand awareness and growth. We’ll dive into each of these elements in detail, later!
I simplified the path for a comprehensive brand-building process below, to help your business brand or personal brand gain a more loyal following.