How to Start Building a Brand
Establishing a brand can help encourage customer loyalty. Follow our steps to find out how to build your own brand.
If you want to create a business that resonates with your customers, it requires far more than just offering a good or service—it involves building a brand.
Your brand is your company’s identity. It includes everything from your business’s mission and personality to how it looks. Your brand is how customers recognize your business and differentiate it from your competitors. The more your customers remember and identify with your business, the more likely they’ll become loyal to your company.
So, how exactly do you build a brand? Our guide on how to create a brand can help!
How to Start Building a Brand
Whether you’re still dreaming up your business concept or already selling your products, it’s never too early (or late!) to start building your brand. While you can take many different approaches, the following are just a few steps that can help create a brand of your own.
People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.
— Simon Sinek
Determine Your Purpose
Building a brand involves identifying the purpose behind your business, which explores why, how, and what. This looks beyond the actual physical goods or services you’re offering and addresses the reasons behind it.
Let’s start with the why. As author Simon Sinek explains, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
So, what’s your why? Why does your business exist? Why are you passionate about providing your specific goods and services? And why will others want to buy from you?
Next, think about your how. Your how should align with your why. How will you achieve what you want to offer? And how will you set your business apart from others?
Then consider your what. What does your business do, and what kind of goods or services will you provide?
For example, maybe you’re a baker passionate about promoting non-animal product diets, so you’ve decided to serve vegan baked goods in a neighborhood where there are no other vegan choices. Or, maybe you’re a fashion designer who designs and sells upcycled clothing to align with your ideals around sustainability and help your customers avoid fast fashion.
The answers to your why, how, and what should complement one another and ladder up to your collective purpose.
Craft Your Mission Statement
Once you’ve determined your purpose, you can use it to begin crafting your brand’s mission statement. This statement should communicate your brand’s purpose and what you’re setting out to do. It should define your company’s goal, providing a clear direction in which you want to take your business.
For instance, your mission statement for your vegan bakery is to inspire foodies to explore vegan baked goods. But your upcycled clothing line could be: To encourage fashionistas to reuse, reduce, and recycle clothing to help protect Mother Nature.
Above all, you want your mission statement to connect your customers with your brand and motivate them to do business with your company.
Do Your Research
The next step in figuring out how to create a brand requires research. You’ll want to determine your target audience and your competition.
First, consider the kind of customers you want to attract and consider factors like gender, demographics, location, income, and education. Next, who are your ideal customers? What do they do? And what do they want? Answering these questions will help you identify your target audience, create buyer personas, and determine ways to seek them out and reach potential customers.
For instance, if you’re a vegan baker, maybe your ideal customer is a twenty-something college-educated professional passionate about animal rights who enjoys spending time in coffee shops. But if you’re selling upcycled clothing, perhaps your target customer is an environmentally-conscious female in her mid 30’s who appreciates high-end fashion and has the budget to afford designer goods.
Now, research your competition. Are there businesses providing the same or similar services? If so, how are they performing? And how can you set your business apart from them? There’s no point in copying someone else’s business, so think about ways to make your business more unique.
Select a Name
With a better idea of your purpose and mission, target audience, and competition, you’re all set for the next step in building your brand: choosing a name. You can go about naming your business in many ways, such as selecting a name that describes what you offer, making up a word, picking a completely unrelated word to your business, or choosing one that’s personally meaningful to you.
For your company, the name could be random—the technology brand came up with Apple because founder Steve Jobs liked the fruit. Or, it could be something descriptive and on-the-nose like the T.V. channel that covers weather reports—none other than The Weather Channel.
Research to ensure there aren’t other brands with that same name as you. Also, make sure your name isn’t too complicated to spell or pronounce. And finally, ask your friends and family what imagery your choice conjures up before making a final decision. After all, you don’t want your business name to have a negative connotation.
Define Your Brand Personality & Voice
Give some thought to the way you want to approach your customers and how you want your brand to be perceived in your customers’ eyes. Do you want to come across as bold and authoritative, playful and friendly, or laid back and casual?
Once you’ve pinpointed your brand personality, commit to it. Use it when writing social media copy, crafting emails, and designing advertisements. You’ll want to create a brand voice that accurately represents your mood and personality, from the words you use to the catchphrases you invent. Eventually, your customers will appreciate and expect the voice you build around your company.
Establish the Look & Feel
Now for the fun part! This step in building your brand is where you can get creative with your brand imagery. You need to create a cohesive look that your customers will associate with your brand, from the lettering you use on your blog to the colors you incorporate into your labels.
If you’re unsure where to start, think back to the personality you’ve established for your brand and consider ways to embody it. For example, a slick and sleek design with a dark color scheme and thick lettering would match your bold and authoritative brand personality. Meanwhile, more bright, vibrant pops of color and bubbly fonts may align more with a playful and friendly persona.
To see the power of color branding in play, imagine some of your favorite brands. When you think of Tiffany & Co., your mind probably goes straight to that iconic blue, often referred to as “Tiffany blue.” Or when you picture the U.K. chocolate brand Cadbury, you likely imagine the dark purple swirl and curly white cursive lettering. As for others? Home Depot? Orange. Coca-Cola? Red. And Lyft? Pink.
After deciding on the look and feel of your brand, be consistent with the colors, fonts, and themes you use when representing your business, as veering too far from them could confuse or mislead your customers.
Design Your Logo
Creating a logo is another important aspect of building your brand that falls into the creativity category. Your logo should align with the creative elements you established in the previous step, incorporating the same colors and themes.
As for the design itself, it can be practically anything under the sun, from something literal to something abstract. For instance, Target uses the target icon to represent its brand, while Nike has the famous swoop.
Going back to the vegan bakery example, your logo could be a muffin to represent your offerings, a happy cow to incorporate the vegan aspect or even a loopy nest of lines that speaks to you. Be sure to include whatever you decide in your marketing material, such as on your social media accounts, in the corner of your product labels, and on the sign to your storefront.
Your customers should immediately think of your brand when they see your logo.
Apply Your Brand to Your Business
Once you’ve established all these elements of your brand, integrate them into all aspects of your business, from your storefront to your business cards. That means incorporating your brand colors and font on your website, placing your logo on all marketing assets, and staying true to your brand personality and mission.
Remember: You want your customers to recognize your brand and never confuse it with another, so stay consistent and don’t veer from the parameters you’ve selected.
SMS & Small Business Marketing
Now that you’ve begun building your brand, it’s time to explore other small business marketing tactics like SMS messaging. Turning to an SMS marketing platform like EZ Texting can help build relationships with your customers, increase engagement, and enhance your lead generation efforts. Contact us today to find out more!