How to Build a Brand and the Importance of Having a Brand Identity
A brand is a variety of things used to identify a business or even a single person. It’s a name, logo, and any other identifiable feature that distinguishes an entity from another similar entity. Branding is how businesses set themselves apart from each other.
All businesses are already brands, but there’s a way to build a brand to create awareness of your company intentionally. In addition, establishing a solid brand identity will help you when marketing toward your target audience— consumers, job seekers, and other businesses. Here’s how to build and market a brand and the powerful impact it can have on the success of your business.
Research Your Competition
Much research goes into starting a business, creating a brand, and running a successful business. One of the first things you’ll have to research is your competitors. Some questions you may want to ask include:
● Who are some of the biggest companies in your industry?
● Who are some of the smaller startups?
● What are your competitors doing right?
● What are they doing wrong/where are they lacking?
Make sure also to study the online presence of your competitors. For example, look at their website and their social media accounts. By doing this, you’ll also be able to identify their customers/target market, likely to be the same as yours.
Research Your Target Audience
Researching your competitors gives you a little insight into your target audience. However, consumers aren’t the only group of people who make up your target audience. You’ll also need to research B2B (business to business) companies if you hire a company to perform specific business tasks for you. You’ll also need to investigate what job seekers are looking for in a company.
Even if you’re a startup, you’re probably not thinking about employees right now, but you will need employees once your business expands. This part of branding will take some expertise to help you build a brand to attract job seekers.
Determine Your Brand’s Personality
The accurate marker of a strong brand identity— especially if it isn’t widely recognizable yet— is if it can be personified. This means you should ask yourself: What would its personality be like if your company was a person? First, stake your claim: what are you offering, who are you offering it to, and why are you offering it? You should also state what makes you stand out from the competition.
Next, make a list of adjectives that you’d associate with your company. They can be simple, complex, or whatever descriptions you can think of. After this, develop a few metaphors/concepts for your brand. Doing this will also help set the tone, voice, and aesthetic for your website and your social media profiles.
Evaluate the Physical Aspects of Your Brand
You probably have the name of your business and your logo already created, so now’s a good time to look at these aspects again since you’ve established a stronger brand identity. Does your current business name, logo, company colors, slogan, etc., align with your brand identity? Once you make the necessary adjustments, you’ll have a more cohesive brand identity.
After doing all of this, it’s time to apply your brand identity to everything! Start with your website and social media pages, where your logo will be front and center to be engraved into your audience’s mind. Then, depending on your business type, you should also apply branding to your business cards, uniforms/T-shirts/aprons, packaging, office supplies, and so many other things.
A strong brand identity will set you apart from other businesses similar to yours because it’s safe to assume that you’re not the first or the only company in your industry. In addition, you want your potential customers, job seekers, and other businesses to see something in your company that they don’t see in others.
It’s important to remember that your brand has to appeal to more than just your customers/clients— which can make it a little tricky to appeal to job seekers and other businesses that you may want to work with in the future. Unfortunately, many companies make the mistake of only appealing to consumers, neglecting to build a brand identity that appeals to other members of their target audience.
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