Brand identity is a crucial part of developing your business. Think of it this way: your product or service is like a ribbon-wrapped gift to your customers. Your brand however, is more like the card – a personal touch attached to the gift. It’s not the reason your customers want the product; it’s the reason they come to you to get it. Business branding says who your product is for and who it’s from – it’s your chance to show what you’re about. But there’s a common misconception that building your brand is costly and time consuming. While effective branding does require a bit of thought and planning, you don’t necessarily have to break the bank. In fact, there are some creative, inexpensive ways to build your brand that cost next to nothing. Here’s our top tips on how to do it.
Define your niche
Before anything else, you have to develop buyer personas. Who, specifically, are you marketing to? This is crucial because the simple fact is: you can’t be everything to everyone. You need to narrow your target market by creating ‘characters’ who possess all the qualities of people you want to reach. Instead of broad generalisations, pinpoint the exact person you’re trying to attract. For example, fitness and nutritional programs for pregnant women over 25 vs. fitness and nutritional programs for anyone.
Develop an identity
Once you know who your target market is you will have an idea of what your brand identity looks like. Start by checking your values: what is the important message you’re trying to send? Does your message align with your vision, personas, and product? What makes you stand out from the competition? Whatever it is you want to be, it has to be unique and authentic.
Find your voice
Your message is important, but how you say it is where the magic happens. Your voice makes your brand human and personable, it’s the language and personality of you and your team. Customers can’t relate to robots, so without a strong voice, your business message falls on deaf ears. It’s important to note, how you communicate with your customers helps to determine which type of customers you will attract.
Every aspect of your brand must be consistent. A lack of consistency confuses your customers, muddles your identity, and weakens your target market. No matter whether it’s your voice, content, website, social media presence, or style, whatever it is – consistency is key.
Blogging might just be the most fundamental step in brand marketing. By creating relevant, informative, and engaging content that your personas are searching for, you’re giving something that every customer wants: free advice. Giving your wisdom away not only establishes credibility, but it lets customers know that they’re more than just dollar signs to your business, and that you’re more interested in being helpful than you are in selling.
Have a good name and logo
Good branding isn’t about tricks and clever design campaigns, but a quality name and logo goes a long way. Recognition starts with the name of your business, but a name isn’t enough. People commonly associate brand names with logos, so you’ll need something memorable that reflects your company’s message. Your business name and logo will appear on websites, social networks, promotional material, products, and pretty much everywhere in print and online, so it pays to put the time into crafting a good one.
Grow your community
Small businesses have a heap of opportunities to build online (and offline) communities. But just like you can’t be all the things to all the people, you can’t be in all the places all at once. Choose one or two places where you can really focus on growing a community and invest your time and resources there. Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram are excellent platforms to start generating a following for your company.
Building a business brand should be a fun process and not too difficult if you’re being true to yourself and mean what you say. With a bit of strategy, logic, and authenticity, your brand potential is limitless!
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