In a previous article, Personal Branding: Standing Out in an Overcrowded Market, I talked about the importance of branding. In an overcrowded marketplace, you must stand out in order to attract the attention of the people in your target market. The only effective way to do this is to start branding your business and marketing that brand every chance you get.
Branding is not something that you can do in an hour. It takes a lot of thought and effort to find a way to represent yourself and your business to the world. Here are a few tips to assist you in developing a brand that connects to your audience and helps you stand out from the crowd.
3 Tips for Branding Your Business for Success
Determine How You Want Customers to Perceive You
No matter what you may think about your personal brand, at the end of the day your brand is how the outside world perceives you. Therefore this should be the starting point for figuring out what you want your brand to be. In order to do this, however, you need to understand who your target market is.
Your target market is the people who are most likely to buy what you are selling. For example, if you are selling designer shoes then your target market will likely be upper class women who can afford the high price tag. Therefore, your brand needs reflect your personal qualities as well as the characteristics valued by your target audience.
Start by doing research on your target audience and write down the types of things they value. Then write down the things that you consider to be important and what you would like to convey to your audience. Going back to our upper class ladies, some things they may value is uniqueness, high quality, and personalized service. Some things that may be on your list would include humor, providing value, and expressing yourself.
Using the two lists as a jumping off point, develop a mission statement that communicates both your personal ideals as well as those of your target audience.
Example: BootBugs manufactures high fashion boots with unusual designs and in offbeat colors. Our goal is to create footwear that allows fashionistas all over the world express their unique style without sacrificing quality.
Brainstorm Your Brand’s Physical Appearance
Every brand has a look and your brand is no different. Your goal in creating your brand’s physical appearance is to create something that is instantly recognizable. When you see a red bull’s eye you probably think of major retailer Target. Five rings connected together in a rainbow of colors probably bring to mind the Olympics. That is what branding looks like.
Creating your brand’s physical appearance includes selecting colors, fonts, and images that convey the spirit of your mission statement. Going back to our previous example, black, white, silver, and gold tend to convey luxury while bright colors like electric blue and hot pink are seen as fun. You may need to enlist the help of a web or graphic designer to get the look you want.
But it’s not just how your brand looks. It is also how it sounds. Even the words you use communicate your personality. Think about it. A person who speaks formally is not thought of in the same light as someone who uses a lot of slang. Consider how you want your brand to sound and the best style of writing to convey that tone.
Start Incorporating that Branding into Your Marketing
The last step to developing your brand is to incorporate it into your marketing strategy. You want to use your imagery and tone in everything you create for your business. This includes all of your marketing materials, your websites and blogs, and your social media profiles. The key to creating a recognizable brand is to use it over and over again until it gets implanted into the minds of the people in your target audience. It is important that you remain consistent across all channels to avoid confusing your target audience.
Creating a brand from scratch is an investment worth making.