First Steps to Building Your Brand Affordably
Many companies try to build a brand that is recognizable, strong, and popular. You can ask us, "Ain't company and brand the same notions?" Well, they are not really.
For instance, there are up to 24 million eCommerce companies worldwide. Do we know all of them? Of course, not. Vice versa, we speak and shop mainly from those who have created a strong brand!
That leads us to the conclusion of creating a brand around your business. Having a story behind your company and creating a memorable slogan and design are the few things that turn a generic firm into a flourishing brand.
In today's article, we will share six steps you must take to establish a successful brand. Moreover, we share some helpful examples and tips on how to make everything affordable.
What is a brand?
Before jumping to steps on how to build a brand, let's figure out what the word "brand" actually means.
There are lots of close-meaning notions various publications offer. Yet, let's stick to one from Investopedia.
The term brand refers to a business and marketing concept that helps people identify a particular company, product, or individual.
Basically, a brand shapes people's perceptions of your company. Though it's intangible, the correct establishment and use of the brand will make your company more visible and help you sell more.
A brand and brand identity lets you set your company apart from competitors. And taking into account a number of existing companies, that's truly vital.
And here's what famous industry experts and authors have to say about the brand.
The brand is the intangible sum of a product's attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it's advertised.
David Ogilvy (famous copywriter known as the "Father of Advertising.")
Branding is the art of aligning what you want people to think about your company with what people actually do think about your company. And vice-versa.
Jay Baer (founder of Convince & Convert Consulting, a digital marketing, and customer experience advisory firm.)
A brand is a set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer's decision to choose one product or service over another.
Seth Godin (best-selling author, speaker, and former dot com business executive.)
So, now we understand what the brand is and what it's supposed to do. With that said, let's move to the steps you need to take to build a great brand.
1. Define your target audience
If you've opened this article, most probably you have tried to build a brand from scratch. Though you can feel insecure about where you stand and how to start, stick to the next steps.
Your very first step is defining your target audience. It's genuinely essential as you will build the most of your brand strategy around them. We recommend you start by revising your current audience once again.
Analyze it and build a well-defined buyer persona. Basically, a persona is a generalized character of your ideal customer. Check your results. Does your audience match the essence of your company and the goals you set for it? Then it's fantastic!
Is it not quite what you expected to see? No worries, you can restructure your persona and start acquiring new customers.
To sincerely suggest you be very precise in creating your perfect TA. That said, don't rest upon a generic user profile. Let's say you run a sustainable clothing company.
Don't describe your potential customers like this:
A female wishing to buy everyday clothing.
Describe your potential customers in this way:
Young women from 21 to 35 who look for a sustainable and environmentally friendly clothing company with simple yet chick design.
After this, you can narrow down your target market and work on your brand image more successfully. Moreover, you will be able to define your competition correctly and see what they are doing.
So, never underestimate the power and importance of creating the right buyer persona and outlining a specified target audience.
2. Pick your brand's name
Some people similize the words "company" and "brand." But we can add the word "name" here too. Thus, the point is that brand is much more than the name as the brand includes design, slogan, story, etc.
Nevertheless, choosing the right name is a big step toward your merit.
Why is it so? Indeed, the name will influence the domain name you buy, the company's logo, design, and even marketing strategies!
That's why take your time and don't rush. Trust us, you don't want to end up in a situation like Kim Kardashian with her first name of Skims (that originally was Kimono). That being said, your name should be really unique, still not confuse customers, and be easy to associate with the goods you sell.
We've saved some tips on how to create a stand-out brand name. Here are approaches you can apply:
- Use a made-up word. It can be something really one-of-a-kind. Yet, in this case, you need to make efforts to "tie" the brand name to your company and its goods.
Famous examples: Pepsi, Coca-Cola.
- Create an acronym or abbreviation. Does your company consist of a few words? Do you find it difficult to describe everything in one word? Then this approach is for you.
Famous examples: BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke), IBM (International Business Machines Corporation).
- Apply a descriptive word or short phrase. Yes, you can actually describe what your business does. In this case, you need to be really careful and analyze if your TA can find you.
Famous examples: Footlocker, Boxraw.
- Employ compound some words. Once again, if it takes a few words to describe your company, you can use a combination of words.
Famous examples: FedEx (Federal Express Corporation), HubSpot.
- Use suggestive or illustrative words. Is it a real word that can remind people of your company or can be associated with it? Use it creatively as a brand name.
Famous examples: Canva (online designing tool, the name is associated with the word canvas).
- Compose an emotional name. Here's a huge field for your creativity. You can play on contrasts or strengthen the actual name.
Famous examples: Hot Wheels, Goodyear.
Use these suggestions to create a couple of names for your brand. We also advise running a focus group to decide what naming to pick.
3. Mastermind the motto of your brand
Let's move further on how to build a brand identity. After you create a catchy and memorable name, it's the right time to think about a motto.
A slogan can complement and enrich your brand name. It should be a brief, meaningful, descriptive, and head-turning statement or phrase. Apparently, you can use your motto on your site's first window, as a social media bio, on your business cards, etc.
Also, you can create several mottos to serve your marketing goals and campaigns. It will be truly outstanding if you create a slogan that will be strongly connected to your company to increase your brand awareness.
And we are happy to save some slogan creation approaches for you:
- Make a strong claim. Describe what your customers can expect when dealing with your products or services.
Famous examples: Disney with its slogans "The happiest place on Earth" and "Where dreams come true." Or De Deers with its "A diamond in forever."
- Urge to action or customers' attitude. You can create a proactive motto based on your brand's goal or consumers' expectations or desires.
Famous examples: Nike with an ultra-famous "Just do it," or Samsung with "Do what you can't."
- Create something out-of-the-box and provoking. Of course, we don't advise you to go too far with it. But it's not bad adding some spice to your slogan.
Famous examples: DollarShaveClub with its "Our blades are f***ing great." Or Washington Post with its "Democracy dies in darkness."
- Turn it into a metaphor. Create a unique phrase that creatively explains what your product does or offers.
Famous examples: Redbull with its "Redbull gives you wings." Or, also, KitKat with its "Have a break. Have a KitKat."
Create a couple of options just like with a brand name. Run a questionnaire among your existing customers, employees, friends, etc., and choose the best-fitting slogan.
Moreover, you can use the left mottos for your specific marketing campaigns. This way, your brainstorming sessions won't go in vain.
4. Write a brand story
Brand storytelling sets you apart from other companies. We've written about this lots of times. Yet, we are not tired of repeating it over and over again.
In fact, 55% of shoppers are more likely to purchase the product in the future if they love a brand's story. So, stories influence your sales as well.
Stories connect you with customers and show all the "whys" of your business. With that said, you can show what you stand for, your purpose, or what you do to change the world.
Literally, telling stories gives you a very broad space for creativity. You can share your company's funding history. You can introduce people who make your company to customers. You can tell everyone incredible stories of your real clients.
Storytelling makes your company more human and lively. Customers will find it much easier to connect with your brand.
- Adding authenticity,
- Building stronger relationships with customers,
- Attracting more attention,
- Increasing your value,
- Motivation to purchase.
We sincerely advise you to click the link above as we tell you not only about storytelling benefits but also share some inspirational examples from brands.
5. Work on your brand's look
This part definitely takes lots of time and dedication. Thus, that shouldn't scare you off. If you have a clearly defined plan, you can fulfill everything step by step.
Generally, a brand look deals with how your brand will appear to customers. So, it is all about how your website looks, the colors and fonts you choose, and the typography and packaging you use.
- Choose a platform. Earlier, we shared the article about blog hosting platforms. You are welcome to check it if you build your own blog. Still, it will be helpful for eCommerce businesses as it tells about WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and Joomla.
- Pick a color scheme. Of course, you can stick to the main design trends of the current year. Yet, the best option is to check the psychology of colors. Read the article by 99desings for this. Also, you can use this tool to get an idea of a color scheme.
- Select fonts. Fonts are essential when creating a brand image. The first recommendation we will give is to forget about boring Times New Roman and Arial. Instead, you can use this source for fonts inspiration. Or check out an in-depth article by Canva.
- Create a logo. The logo is an inseparable part of your brand look. You will use it on site, on social media, for business cards, packaging, etc. You can use services like Canva, Adobe Express, or VistaCreate to make your logo. Plus, every service provides guides on how to create them.
After you build your brand identity, you can also think about imaginary videos you will use. Whether you will make original visuals or use stock ones, ensure they align with your design.
6. Spread a word about your brand
The last essential step of how to build a brand online is letting people know about it. The point is if you don't work on your company's promotion, you are losing lots of potential clients.
For now, you have a website. It is one of your main instruments online. You run it to showcase your products and services and also tell everyone a story about your brand. We highly recommend running a company's blog to reach more people.
You might also like: Social Media vs. Guest Posting. Do They Grow Brand Awareness?
Another undoubtedly powerful instrument you can use is social media. (In fact, we've shared 11 reasons why you should run social media for your business.) Yet, at the very beginning, it's an amazing opportunity to raise awareness about your brand. Apply your brand style to your social media accounts, and think of smart ideas on how to position your business.
Still, here is another strategy you can employ. Use guest posting to publish articles where you can natively tell people about your brand. To get the maximum effect, choose the sources correctly.
That means the sites you choose for guest publications should be from your or close industry, from your GEO, and with traffic. Special guest posting services will help you search for such sources easily and affordably.
So, here are six main steps to building a brand for your company. Thanks to dozens of helpful tools and informative blogs, you can learn how to do everything without spending a fortune. Moreover, as you have a clear plan in the form of these steps, you can do everything organized and without a fuss.
Another thing you need to consider when thinking about how to build a strong brand is a story that stands behind your company. That's why we recommend paying close attention to this matter.
All-in-all, don't be afraid to be creative, use different approaches, and build your brand brick by brick.
(And don't forget Adsy is here to support you with 20K+ sites that accept guest posts.)
We want to hear from you! Have you built your brand identity or only plan to build one? Was this article helpful? Leave your comments down below.