Amazon’s founder defines a brand as, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
The word “brand” itself originates from the Old Norse word “Brann” referring to burning wood. In Scandinavia, the Carolingian dynasty used ‘Brand’ as its family name, referring to fire and family resemblance.
Today, more than building a business, building a brand is far more important. A brand doesn’t pop up overnight, it takes directed efforts to create a brand. Starting a business is as easy as it gets comparatively but what makes it successful is to create a brand. One rule to live by: Build a brand, not just a business.
Branding doesn’t happen overnight, not even in a few months. It takes a great deal of thought to create an astounding brand. Building a brand requires hard work, but more than that a strategy. Branding will make your business more relatable, position you as an industry leader and make you known for whatever it is your branding is trying to convey.
The brand has been defined as a unique name, symbol, design, or any combination of these elements by which an enterprise or products are readily identifiable. It exists because customers have consistently associated an organization or product with this identity.
What is a Brand?
When you think about a brand, you’re probably thinking about products like Coca-Cola or Apple. These brands have created strong emotional connections with their brand identity. This is exactly what you should aim for your brand; the ability to connect emotionally with the people you’re trying to reach.
In simple terms, a brand is defined as what people think, see, feel, and say about your business when they come across it.
What’s the secret to building a strong brand that lasts?
Branding is not just about logos and colors, though these are part of it. Indeed, a brand is much more than just design. Branding is a philosophy, a state of mind, and a way to establish your company. The various elements of your company’s branding create an image about what you do, how you do it, and why you do it.
5 steps to create a strong brand:
1. Set a purpose
One way to transform a startup into a brand is by setting a purpose. Even before working on the idea is to set a purpose. Ask yourself, what are you trying to solve with this idea or business. Who will you be solving this issue for? How is it going to benefit them? The task of defining a purpose for your organization can be difficult. It requires thinking deeply about what you want your company to accomplish, how you will get there, and what will support your work? A well-defined purpose provides direction and a framework for all activities.
In this stage, you should also include setting up your company’s
Once you are clear on your purpose and other business elements, it’s easy to set a strategy. Without a strong purpose, your startup will be ineffective in achieving its branding goals.
2. Create a strategy
Building a strong brand is all about creating a strategy. The most successful businesses have a powerful brand strategy. They know how to position their business in the marketplace and how to use branding to connect with consumers in a very specific way.
The brand strategy helps business owners articulate who they are or what they are really trying to achieve.
Our brand strategy includes three elements:
- Brand core (the core of your brand)
- Brand Messaging (how others talk about who you are and what your brand is)
- Visual Identity (visual elements of your brand aka logo, colors, fonts, etc)
Why do you need a brand strategy?
Brand strategy is an element of a company’s overall business strategy. The goal of a brand strategy is to develop and communicate the value proposition of the brand.
Brand strategy is all about creating the right perception for your company and products with your audience. In essence, branding is all about crafting a unique identity or “personality” for your brand which makes it stand apart from competitors.
3. Find your unique selling point (USP)
Your business needs a reason to exist; a reason for people to want to support you and keep coming back for more. One of the most important things is understanding your business’s unique selling point (USP). If you’ve taken the time to think about it, you should have an idea of what your USP is. The USP is what makes a particular brand or product stand apart from all other offerings in the marketplace.
Standing out will make your business successful. Figure out why your target customer should choose you instead of your competitor. What do you have which they don’t have? Know your competitors before you answer all these questions, learn their tactics and what they do.
You can review the intangible qualities of your products or services. The goal here is to position the brand as unique as it comes.
All the big brands like Amazon, Google, Uber stand out because they have positioned themselves as unique.
4. Know your customer
You don’t need to be a brilliant programmer to build a strong brand, but knowing your customer is critical. Your customers are going to care a lot about your brand and what it stands for. Your customers are an asset, not an expense.
Building a company that will last and thrive, one needs to get to know their customers and understand how they think. Understanding the mindset of your customer is much more valuable and informs how you approach your brand.
So, how do you build strong connections with your customers?
Building strong connections start with knowing who they are and what they need. You should build a community of loyalists who will help you grow and succeed. It means listening and learning from them, acting on their feedback, and working hard to provide value. Your customers are the lifeblood of your business, so they need to be treated right.
Being direct and authentic with your customers is key. You need to empathize with these customers and understand what makes them tick. Then you have to work hard on creating experiences that connect with them on an emotional level, which will, in turn, result in a better image for your brand.
Hence, it all comes down to knowing your customer.
5. Show up regularly
They say, “Consistency is key”.
It can not be more true for building a brand. Brand development is not an activity that a business owner does when they just start. It doesn’t end with creating a strategy. It’s a lifelong activity till the company is in business.
Yes, implementing the strategy will be the first step, but what is the long-term goal?
Making sure the brand is perceived the way it is supposed to be perceived, will take continuous efforts.
Consistency is not just showing up regularly, but relaying the same message through different tactics. Consistency among visual elements plays a large role to create a strong brand identity.
If you want a brand that sticks, you need to make sure that you’re continually showing up, your principles are solid and your voice and messaging are clear.
By now we know that branding is important and know how to build a strong brand. It takes time, effort, and commitment. Ready to take your brand to the next level?