What You Need to Know About Branding Your Business
In the world of business, branding is a catch-all phrase. In fact, depending where you are in your entrepreneurship journey, this can mean a variety of things. From creating a recognizable logo to your mission statement, branding any kind of business takes planning.
Since there are multiple steps you need to perform to create a branding strategy, it’s first important to understand exactly what they are. Read on to learn the different aspects of building the ultimate branding experience.
The Essence of a Brand
Your company has a lot of moving parts, some tangible, and others not so much. Your logo is the first thing people notice. It’s supposed to be the voice of your company. It’s also supposed to make your target audience feel something they don’t feel with your competitors.
On the other hand, there is much to consider about your brand’s identity since it is supposed to build and hopefully expand your community. It’s what loyal followers perceive when they interact with you.
When it comes to creating your branding strategy, particularly if you’re on a budget, you need to know how to create a playbook every member of your team can refer to.
Similar to your business plan, you need to include your mission statement, your vision, who your ideal customer and your tagline into your playbook. All these work together to create your marketing message. Your marketing message is what sets you apart from others.
It’s how you speak to your audience and how it makes them feel when you do. It should encourage them to interact with you and eventually perform the action you want. You also need to identify your competitors. Look for businesses that are similar to yours.
What vibe do they give out? Is it super fun and casual or is it more corporate-based and formal? Having this information will make huge difference in how you present yourself to the world.
In addition to your marketing message, you need to define your company’s hard and soft attributes. Hard attributes are your logo or company motto. Soft attributes are more along the lines of transparency, individuality and your overall appeal.
Understanding these attributes is fundamental to success, especially if you’re just starting out. A lot of entrepreneurs go into business without really knowing everything that’s behind the scenes.
As such, it’s not uncommon to see many businesses fall out of sight even before they really started. It’s those who take the time to educate themselves, albeit on their own or with continued education, who tend to do the best.
If earning your MBA seems like the next logical step, you can apply for a graduate MBA loan with a private lender. You can still launch a business while earning your degree.
The difference is, you’ll be equipped to handle your company on every level once you graduate. This also includes understanding the importance of branding and how it can positively and negatively impact your ROI.
Next up is creating cohesiveness on and off social media. In addition to your logo and website, you also need to tie things together on your social media platforms. Building a presence means creating feeds that your target audience will easily identify as you.
The visuals you create need to tell your story, so even if your budget is limited, you can still create quality content.
Canva, for example, has become the go-to choice for content creators, particularly ones looking to save money. The app offers a wide variety of free social media templates for all platforms. It also offers premium perks like fonts, graphics and even specific color palettes.
Identify Your Audience
Knowing who your audience is also has a lot to do with branding. You need to create a buyer persona of your ideal customer. Think about their gender, age and what they do for a living. Are they married with kids, or are they single living in a big city? Identifying these characteristics will then help to shape your branding and marketing efforts.
For example, if your ideal customer is a married woman who lives in the suburbs, she probably wouldn’t respond to marketing messages created for teen girls. The same holds true for a younger demographic. Unless your product is made for multiple age groups, it’s important to get this step right the first time. If not, it can be a huge waste of time and advertising dollars.
Identify Your Brand’s Voice
How you interact with your audience is just as important as the content you create. Similar to creating a buyer’s persona, you need to identify your brand’s voice. This ultimately depends on the type of company you have and the demographic you’re marketing to.
A younger audience will respond better to brands who engage on social media regularly. The tone is more laid back and friendly. If your business is strictly B2B, then a more formal tone is the way to go. You should still engage, however, there should be a stark difference between casual and friendly and business appropriate.
Choose the Right Platform
Marketing on the wrong platform is probably the easiest way to not build a brand. Even if you have done all of the other branding steps correctly, not marketing to the right people on the right platform just doesn’t work.
After identifying your target audience, you also need to see which social media channels they prefer. B2B businesses usually stick to LinkedIn and Twitter whereas DTC or B2C businesses will engage on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.
Finally, you also need to think about your mission statement. This is a phrase or two about your core values, what you hope to achieve and what services or products you offer. Keep in mind that this shouldn’t be a long-winded dissertation.
It’s about capturing attention in only a few sentences. It’s also important to note that you can change your mission statement whenever you want. Just remember to keep it similar to what you wrote previously. If not, your audience will be confused and question your brand’s validity.