Honey Hottake: Building a brand is all about the details!
Whether you’re trying to start up a mom-and-pop coffee shop or an e-commerce store selling streetwear, branding your business to stand out from the competition is never easy.
The biggest companies have millions of dollars in advertising and marketing funding to work with so as a small business or non-profit, it may be difficult to compete financially. Don’t worry, honey, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a memorable impact on your target audience.
Dialing up an effective brand-building process becomes paramount if you aspire to compete with the big dogs of your industry. From picking the right design and imagery choices to memorable marketing strategies, here are four steps we consider essential for how to build a brand identity in 2023 and beyond.
1. Naming, Slogans, Colors, & Logos: The Aesthetics
Before we answer the question of how to brand your business, we first must get the basics out of the way. Do you feel that the name you’ve given your business, the color palettes you’ve utilized, and the slogans you’ve written are efficient and memorable? Do they do a good job representing what your business is all about?
Whether you’ve answered yes or no to these questions, here are some pointers regarding the essential looks of your business:
- Name. For small business owners, picking the right name can mean the difference between gaining a loyal client or being passed up for a competitor. An ideal name for your business can’t be easily imitated, is hardly ever confused with other competing brands, and is easy to incorporate into your business’s online domain.
- Slogan. A few catchy words encapsulating your business’s offerings and vision can push the needle and be utilized as taglines on your social media pages, business cards, and online website. Whether that be making a strong claim about your products, emphasizing your target audience’s attitudes, or thoughtful metaphors, slogans add that extra oomph.
- Color. Aside from defining the look of your brand, your color palette choices determine the feeling your business is conveying to its customers. Every color communicates with consumers, and your palette choices can differentiate your brand identity from competitors.
- Logo. Arguably the most crucial choice your business can make when it comes to building a brand, your logo acts as the face of your business. Thus, making a logo that is memorable, unique, and befitting of how you want to represent your company’s values is paramount.
2. Research Your Target Audience & Competitors
When it comes to selling products to consumers, understanding the current market your brand is trying to infiltrate is key! Determining who you’re looking to sell to and who’s standing in your way are two essential, preliminary steps towards building a brand.
For example, if you’re in the e-commerce business, searching social media apps like TikTok for trending Amazon finds can give you a great feel of what’s hot right now in online shopping circles. Aside from this specific application, TikTok and other social media apps hugely influence the e-commerce industry as a whole. Use this information to find your niche and see what specific products could end up being home runs.
The process doesn’t diverge much, whether you’re running a small or large business. Study the field by analyzing what brands are popping off amongst online and offline shoppers, immerse yourself in that experience, and make mental notes of which kinds of customers could be your surefire target audience. Pay attention to the ways in which competitors in your industry reach their customers consistently.
3. Highlight Your Brand’s Unique Traits
Armed with all the essential information you’ve gathered regarding other businesses you’re competing against and having established your target audience, it’s now time to use this new knowledge to answer one all-important question: What makes your brand identity and its products different from the rest?
This is where you dig deep to discover how to separate your business from the rest of the pack. Emphasize the benefits and qualities that make your products or services unique. This can be anything from only sourcing fresh, local produce for a deli shop or using only sustainable materials for your clothing store.
Knowing your target audience is also key to this step, as not only will they dictate your segmentation choices, but the ways in which you communicate to them on social media and customer service channels also change based on their demographic makeup. These are key elements in how to build a brand.
4. Develop Your Brand’s Mission & Vision
The most important facet in how to brand your business comes at this crucial junction of developing your brand’s mission and vision; in other words, the values and ethos your company stands for and is willing to fight tooth and nail for. This is the biggest reason companies gain loyal customers: their morals align, and the customers feel valued as more than just another number.
The first step towards developing your brand’s mission is crafting an innovative mission statement that dictates what your business is committed to and serves as a roadmap to your brand identity. This statement will be plastered everywhere across your social media, web pages, and related online websites, so make it count!
When you’re wondering how to brand your business, utilize the information you’ve gathered from developing your target audience and focus on reaching them with your branding choices. Prioritize establishing a proactive, long-term vision for your company, setting attainable goals that benefit the bottom line and your business’s culture as a whole.
Strive for Innovation & Evolution
No matter what you do, evolving and innovating based on ever-changing consumer needs is crucial to keep in mind once you’ve set the wheels of brand building in motion.
Think you are well-informed about how to build a brand? Let’s go over the four steps mentioned in this digest:
- Establish the aesthetics (naming, colors, logos, slogans).
- Research your target audience and competitors.
- Highlight your brand’s unique traits.
- Develop your brand’s mission and vision.
Never underestimate the importance of brand-building. Once you’ve taken the proper steps, the sky’s the limit for your hive!