Your business is a unique detailed vision, tied up with your dreams and aspirations for its success and impact you want to have upon the world.
It’s no accident that the biggest and most successful companies are more than just the product or service. These are not just businesses, they are legends, institutions, icons, they have a place in history, but most importantly a place in our hearts and souls. You get a warm fuzzy feeling, a sense of belonging, you feel ‘one of the gang’, they connect with you and they connect you with others. You become part of a community where you share the same values and a group identity. As part of this group, you’ll share the love with others too – a huge benefit to the business and something you need to be taking advantage of in your business too.
Companies invest a lot of time and effort to make this happen. This is an intentional strategy that goes beyond a company’s image and mission statement. Branding is this process of creating an emotional connection, creating something people want to follow, love and ultimately buy into. If you haven’t already, it is incredibly powerful for you to start thinking about your own brand from the very start of your entrepreneurial journey, but whatever stage you are at, it’s never too late to start and the benefits are immense.
How to begin creating your brand.
Know your audience. Creating a buyer persona may seem unnecessary hard work. You know your product and service and that’s what you’re selling, right? Wrong!
It’s all about the buyer!
We so often shout from the rooftop about the latest features of our product or what our service does best, when, in fact, we need to spin this around. Get inside the head of your ideal customer and start talking their language. Talk about what your audience wants to hear, and guess what? Yes, you’ll connect, solve a problem or two and in the process you’ll have an offer too irresistible to pass up.
Focus not just on your product, but on your identity and it’s meaning to your customers.
When you’ve understood your customer and know who you’re talking to, you can build your brand around their needs. Focus on the ‘why’ and not the ‘what’.
Your product is great…so, what? what’s in it for the customer? Think carefully about what you offer to your customer. Why should they choose you above your competitors?
This is where having a brand and an community that people can aspire to be a part of is important. When you take a customer-centric view of your business, you start thinking differently about how you sell. In fact, you’re not even selling, because you’ve created something that people want and need.
Whats your story?
Creating a narrative around your business or product is key to getting people on board to follow you. When your customer feels valued, part of your community and sharing the same values, not only will they buy from you, but they will also do their best to promote you to others as well. We know from the stats that people are more likely to buy through a recommendation from a friend rather than simply through company advertising. This highlights just how important it is to work on creating an audience of raving fans!
Whatever stage your business is currently in, do not underestimate how important it is to be clear on your brand identity and use this to your advantage. It is incredibly powerful for all businesses from the solopreneur to the largest of global companies. The great news is that anyone can take advantage creating connection with their audience, and today social media gives us a large and cost-effective platform to work on. It is a great way for any business no matter how small to start something amazing.
What does branding involve?
When you think branding, the first thing you’re likely to think about is a logo, and the importance of a logo shouldn’t be ignored, but it’s not the end of the story. You will need a logo that is recognisable and very quickly sums up your identity in one image. But a brand very much extends beyond the logo and encompasses packaging, flyers, posters, staff clothing and website… all the way through to social media and even to the decor in your office.
The overall brand identity will come together with a cohesive palette of colour, typography, imagery and narrative – a whole personality will be created that becomes ready to be launched online and offline, in person and in print.
It’s always good to get another perspective and ask for an independent opinion of what meaning is being conveyed by your branding by someone without any prior knowledge of your business. Like any creative process, it takes time and expertise to convey the right message with clarity. So don’t worry if you work through a number of revisions.
Most of all, be creative and find a way to stand out from the crowd within your industry. Remember that people buy from people and your brand needs to be something that people will relate to, just like any person you need to create a distinct style and personality.
Need help creating your brand? We’re here for you. If you would like a free consultation, schedule now.