A product goes beyond what we produce and sell to customers. Product is a personality, the experience you give people or receive during an interaction.
Imagine that you want to buy a chocolate box for your friend who’s celebrating their birthday and considers a chocolate box the best edible you could ever give them; which would you go for? M&M, or some other generic chocolate whose brands you can’t make head or tail of?
It’s a no-brainer for me as I would go with M&M because I already recognize them, I’ve had interactions with their product in the past, and I liked it. When I think of M&M, I think of chocolates.
As content is to a business, so is branding. With millions of companies vying for attention in the online marketplace, having a solid brand identity strategy distinguishes your business from your competitors.
When you have a strong brand identity, you will no longer have to dedicate time to influence your audience’s perception or drive advocates into your organization. In other words, it is the backbone of your business and should never be taken lightly. Unfortunately, many business owners have no idea how to create an appealing brand.
Building a solid brand involves more than making a logo; it combines every little detailed effort that gears your audience towards a particular way you want them to feel when remembering your business.
This article gives detailed steps on brand identity creation for your business. But before we move further, let’s take a look at what a brand is.
What Is a Brand?
A brand is the sum of all the efforts you make to distinguish your company and attract the attention of a specific target market.
A brand can be seen as the set of features that sets your organization apart from another. This includes but is not limited to visual assets such as your website design, company logo, brand colors, brand voice and business cards, company mission, values, and other elements.
On the other hand, brand identity is the personalization of your brand. It is the aspects of your branding strategies that help to separate you from other brands. It entails the collection and accurate collaboration of these branding elements that help portray the right image to customers and prospective buyers.
Your brand identity is what instantly identifies you to your customers. Your target audience will associate your brand with your product or service. That brand identity establishes a bond between you and your customers, fosters customer loyalty, and shapes how your customers perceive your brand.
Giving your customers something to relate to before pitching with them boosts sales and makes you more loyal customers than advertising will.
So How Do You Create a Strong Brand Identity?
Identify Your Target Audience
The primary purpose of branding is to create awareness, get recognition, win the public over, gain their trust, and generate revenue for your business. So, you must understand who you’re trying to reach. After that, you build your brand around them.
A lot goes into the psychology of buying and selling. To succeed in the marketplace, you must stand out to your audience, one of the ways to do that is by appealing to their emotions.
Your brand must resonate with their value and needs, so you must niche down to a particular audience. This is where most businesses make mistakes – getting into the system and trying to cater to many needs at once.
For instance, suppose you run a cat accessories business; instead of focusing on all cat owners, you can choose to target new cat owners and everything they’ll need to make their new furry friends feel at home.
B2B marketers who connect with their buyers emotionally have twice the impact as those still selling the business or functional value.
Research Your Audience
After that, you might need to do a little target research to understand your audience – what is their age range? Where are they from, and what part of your business do you think they love most?
Research Your Competitors
Let’s face it, there are thousands of businesses like yours out there, and the fact that the internet has made the world a global village further increases the competition. So, doing something unique to stand out is the one thing you must have going for you.
The first step to achieving this is researching your top competitors. Following questions should be taken into consideration when your are doing the research:
- What kind of customers do they target?
- Why do their customers love them?
- Are there any aspects of the businesses that find it hard to satisfy their customers?
- What can you do to fill that gap?
- How can you get into the market and be immediately seen as better than your competitors because you now fulfill a desire that businesses in the market before couldn’t?
90% of companies who invest time in researching their competitors say they now have a more competitive advantage in the market.
Create Buyer’s Persona
After collecting data based on your market research and data from current customers, create a representation of what you perceive to be your ideal customers from the data.
Consider customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals when developing your buyer persona(s). The greater your level of detail, the better.
A detailed buyer persona will assist you in determining where to focus your efforts, guiding product development, and allowing for organizational alignment.
As a result, you will be able to attract your company’s most valuable visitors, leads, and customers.
Position Your Business
Developing and projecting your business position while armed with an in-depth knowledge of your target audience is also essential for brand identity creation. What impression do you want your prospective buyers to develop as soon as they take a peep into your business?
For instance, are you taking your position as a high-end tech company or a budget-friendly business? You must decide from which end you’d like to enter the market so you do not leave many prospective customers confused.
Here’s the thing, as soon as a buyer becomes confused about a business, they will abandon it for a more confident company, and then they’ll tell their friends about it, who will, in turn, avoid the slight confusion altogether.
The simplest way to accomplish this is to create a mission statement – one or two lines that will help establish who you are and what you do.
Your mission statement is crucial because it is what first tells people why they should care about your organization. After this, every other part of your branding must reflect that mission and vision.
A real life example is the coca cola company, notice how in marketing their brand, they do not actually advertise the drink, but the feeling it provides.
In their adverts, they emphasize on some things like the pop sound when you open the drink, the nourishment while drinking and how good you feel afterwards.
The brand has positioned itself such that you do not think about their drink when you wake up in the morning, but after a long working day, when you’re tired and ready to feel good again, you think of refreshment and the first thing that comes to your mind is CocaCola.
Naming Your Business
You understand your target market and how you want to position your company. It’s now time to choose that crucial brand name.
Naming is one of your brand’s most important distinguishing characteristics. Everything your customer needs to know about you should be condensed into a single word in the right name. Select a memorable word with sounds conveying your audience’s appropriate emotions or ideas.
Before deciding on a name, do some research to see what’s available, as your brand name will also define your online store when you move your business to the online marketplace.
Outline Your Qualities and Benefits
Luckily, even with the millions of businesses similar to yours out there, you still have the one thing that sets you apart – Your branding.
As a result, you must ensure that your brand is made up of and inspired by uniquely your elements: the values, benefits, and qualities that distinguish your company.
Beyond money, consider why you started your business and how your products can improve people’s lives.
For example, the makeup brand, Liht organics contributes to a sustainable lifestyle by producing cruelty-free makeup that allows you to express your moods freely and in all shades.
Their story highlights how they sought to help women boost their confidence through their product and their desire to foster more nurturing relationships with the planet through their brand.
Their story identifies with the modern woman who wishes a less hazardous impact on the environment while living the best of her life.
Liht Organics found a way to make that happen for women all over the globe. Tell your story, as it is the first way to get customers to fall with your brand.
Create Visual Assets
Now that you understand your audience, have a buyer’s persona, and have established your business’s mission, it’s time to move on to the exciting aspect of your branding – visual assets creation.
Your brand looks are what helps customers recognize you at a glance. For example:
- How will you package your products?
- How will they identify your parcel when customers order from your eCommerce store?
- What will they see as they browse your website for products?
Some Aspects of Branding Visual Aspects Include:
Your brand colors are a group of colors that will appear on all of your branded assets, such as your website, emails, and product packaging.
Colors are essential as they have psychological effects on customers, so you must choose carefully. For instance, red represents bold, while blue depicts relaxation and trustworthiness.
Maintaining a brand color will increase your brand’s recognition by 80%.
Like your brand colors, the fonts you choose can significantly impact how your customers perceive your brand. Choose a relatable one, and let your texts be bold, so customers have no problems reading them from a distance.
Sans-serif fonts are typically more modern and approachable, whereas serif fonts are more traditional and authoritative.
What kind of imagery do you want to present to your audience on your products, advertisements, and website? Companies these days add animations to websites to further illustrate their values, and you could do that with the help of animation software.
Graphic designing has become a massive part of online marketing. Thankfully, you have nothing to be concerned about, as you only have to get the best graphic design software that will do this for you from the comfort of your home and smartphone. Do not forget to make them in your brand colors.
One of the first things your customers will notice about your company is your logo and your name.
A great logo should be meaningful and easy to understand. Working with a professional designer to capture your visual essence is best to ensure your logo has the right impact.
A designer can walk you through the various types of logos available.
Create a Brand Voice
Your branding also includes how you communicate with your target market. You need to establish a brand voice that connects and resonates with your target audience; otherwise, they will likely ignore you.
As a result, don’t be afraid to go back to step one and familiarize yourself with the person with whom you’ll be conversing.
Ensure that your tone is consistent throughout your written content, from your advertising campaigns and social media captions to your blog posts and brand story. Allow your audience to become acquainted with your brand and learn to recognize the sound of your voice.
Even better, master a fun, entertaining voice, and your customers will eagerly await your social media and email updates.
Integrate Your Brand
Now that you’ve built your brand, share it.
It only becomes the strong brand personality you want if you put in the work. Let it be seen throughout every part of your business. Pay special attention to displaying it anywhere your company interacts with customers.
Here are a few pointers for implementing your brand throughout your organization;
Select a store theme that complements your brand’s identity and incorporates your company colors. Remember to include your logo on every page and emphasize your brand voice in the content of your website.
Your company’s identity is heavily reliant on your website. Ensure that all web copy, calls to action, and product descriptions are consistent with your brand voice.
Reflect your brand in your profile photos, cover art, and branded imagery. Consider using your logo on your profile photo to help customers recognize your company.
As with your website, reflect your brand voice in all profile information, posts, and captions.
Your brand should be present in every marketing campaign, whether you’re sending out newsletters or connecting with customers via podcasts. Make sure your brand image and voice are consistent across your marketing efforts.
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You can’t emotionally connect with your customers without the proper branding because any customer who finds another eCommerce store they can connect with will abandon your business.
Building your brand identity provides something with which your customers can truly connect. It keeps customers coming back for more, distinguishes you from the competition, and converts one-time customers into loyal brand advocates.
Never undervalue the significance of developing a brand, and in all you do, BE CONSISTENT.