Picture this: you own an indie sneaker company which you pour your heart and soul into every day. You know your product is just as good as the big names like Nike and Adidas, if not better. Your product is carefully handcrafted and thoughtfully designed.
And yet, when your ideal client goes to buy a new pair of sneakers, guess who they pick? Is it your small brand without a clear message? Or does Nike’s almost subliminal assertion to “just do it” coerce them into imbibing in a new pair of Air Max 270s?
You guessed it. They went with the Nikes.
It’s not surprising; 1/3 of customers start their shopping with a brand already in mind. And Nike has nailed their branding.
It’s safe to say that branding is pretty important.
If you’re still scratching your head wondering how to develop a brand, read on for the essential crash course in branding for business!
Defining your business is branding 101. Your entire brand should be built off your values since 64% of people who feel a connection to a brand say it’s due to shared values.
How do you determine your brand’s values, you ask? It’s simple. Answer these questions:
- What is your business’ mission?
- What sets you apart from others in your industry?
- Do your customers already have existing associations with your brand? What are they?
- What qualities and values do you want your customers to associate with your brand?
Buy an empty journal to dedicate to your business, and answer these questions there. Set aside a few hours of uninterrupted, undistracted time to focus on this process. It’ll help your business so much in the long run.
Hone in on Your Client Avatar
Client avatar, target audience, client X. There are many names for this step in branding, but they share the same core concept: defining who you’re selling to.
One of the most important elements of defining your business is defining your client avatar. Your client avatar is your ideal client; it’s the person you envision purchasing your service or product.
Everything about your branding should appeal to this person.
If you’re trying to appeal to millennials, you would want to use Instagram in your business and write copy in a vernacular that appeals to that demographic. If you’re trying to appeal to an older crowd, you might use different marketing techniques, a more muted color scheme, and invest in ads.
65% of people connect to a brand emotionally because they believe that that company has their best interests in mind. And emotional connection turns into sales.
If you try to sell directly to your target audience instead of fostering long-term relationships, they’ll smell it from a while away. You should try to get into your client avatar’s heads to understand and solve their problems. Once they trust you, they’ll be clamoring to buy your product or service.
Consistency Is Key
Once you’ve built the foundation of your brand strategy, you can begin to fill your website in with the fun stuff: color schemes, your look and feel, and your copy.
As you enter this stage, remember how important it is to stay consistent. Inconsistent branding is confusing for your client avatar, which doesn’t allow emotional connections to form. That’ll hurt your leads.
It takes 5-7 interactions with a brand for a customer to remember it. Each of those interactions needs to give them the same feeling in order to cement that emotional connection. If not, your brand will be lost among the crowd.
Often referred to as a “branding suite,” your deliverables are the actual images and copy that you’ll use to convey your brand’s message.
When it comes to your logo, simplicity is key. You should also place it everywhere you possibly can to maximize recognition.
Your images should reflect the look and feel you discovered in your journaling session. For example, if you own a yoga studio, your images might be light and airy. If you own a CrossFit gym, they might feel strong and intense.
Your graphics should stick to one color scheme that embodies your brand’s ideals. Of course, designing graphics isn’t in everybody’s wheelhouse; you can always hire the pros, like this company, to take care of this step for you.
When it comes to your copy, make sure to write in the same tone and voice consistently. If you’re having a hard time, imagine you’re writing directly to your client avatar when you write your blog posts, sales page copy, or social media captions.
If you’re branding a large business, imagine that your branding is a persona that represents your business. You can even name him or her if you want! Always write as if your copy is coming out of that person’s mouth, and you’ll always be consistent.
Launching Your Brand
It’s finally time to launch your brand! You’ve likely done a lot of soul-searching and color-scheme coordinating to get to this point, so pat yourself on the back.
The key to a successful launch is to focus on the platforms your client avatar hangs out on.
For instance, if your client avatar spends a lot of time on Instagram, it’s essential that you build your launch on that platform. If your client avatar doesn’t use Facebook much, it doesn’t make sense to spend money in your marketing budget on Facebook ads that won’t be seen by the people you’re trying to reach.
You should also make sure your site is full of content and ready to go for your launch. If your blog is an important element of your marketing scheme (and it should be), make sure it’s loaded up with rich and juicy content ripe for the reading. Launching your brand is a great opportunity to get new leads onto your website; make them count.
Branding For Business
Now that you’ve got your branding all squared away, leads will begin to pour in! Branding for business allows that to happen naturally, too, without having to resort to using sales-y language.
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