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So many business owners firmly believe that it’s all downhill once you come up with that product or service to set you apart. To an extent, it does get easier once you have that differentiating factor, that value proposition to make your business stand out in a sea of similar items.
Even the online market is one massive store shelf with too many items on display and only a few that genuinely live up to their promise.
What sells is not the price, nor the exciting logo, the abundance of social media ads, or a clean website. What sells is your brand. It’s the alpha and omega of all long-lasting success. However, creating those individual brand elements such as the logo, the website copy, and the funky slogan won’t cut it.
Building a brand takes consistency, flexibility, and a knack for storytelling, among many other qualities. To help you get there, here’s a quick brand-building guide that will help you establish an enduring brand identity, not just another item on a crowded shelf.
1. Get to know your audience
The creative portion of brand-building heavily relies on the somewhat dry process of data collecting and analysis. So, before you move forward with a marketing campaign or a product launch, you should make sure that you know exactly how your brand makes your customers’ lives easier and better.
Regular target audience research is a vital step in your strategy. Getting to know the people interested in your business will allow you to position yourself in all the right places and adapt your voice to send the right messages through every campaign.
2. Establish a brand culture
If you’re the creator of your business and your core brand identity, you still need to remember that you’re not the only one in charge of your brand’s presence. You have your HR teams in charge of finding suitable employees for your brand, and the employees themselves, responsible for how they portray your business to the world.
That’s why it’s vital to remember that all-encompassing brand development isn’t limited to your visuals and voice, but your employee selection, training, and establishing a strong culture.
When you bring the right people on board and give them the right tools to properly represent your business, you’ll be able to build your brand one day at a time through your employees. Their values need to align with yours as much as your customers need to find your brand presence relatable.
3. Focus on brand consistency
If you’re quirky, you should find a way to be quirky albeit professional on LinkedIn, while you’re quirky and casual on Instagram. Your brand identity shouldn’t suffer from a personality disorder, but rather have a consistent presence across all platforms.
To ensure that, you need to make sure that all of the people that are in charge of disseminating your brand message are in line with your values and understand your purpose. Build and update your brand voice guidelines so that everyone’s on the same page!
4. Diversify your presence
When you kick-start your business, you know precisely where your brand needs to be present and what kind of content is most appealing to your customers. Over time, new social networks sprout to life, your audience shifts from one place to another, trends shape their preferences, and now you have social media stories to inspire the fear of missing out (or FOMO for short), and videos becoming more popular than mere blog posts.
That said, for your brand to stay relevant, you need to produce relevant content on relevant platforms beyond your website. Make sure to experiment with content formats, always monitor and analyze the performance of your strategy, and see how your audience responds. Innovation is the backbone of creative content output and keeping your brand fresh for your audience.
5. Find and refine what makes you different
The moment you enter any given market with all that collated knowledge and data may give you the edge you need to earn a solid reputation.
Whatever makes you unique is what makes you visible and it helps you grow brand awareness over time. Still, that authenticity and differentiation should survive market fluctuations and your customers’ evolving needs. That uniqueness should evolve, too.
That doesn’t mean that you need to come up with a brand-new value proposition every several years, on the contrary. You need to build a strong enough strategy that puts that uniqueness into a new perspective for your demographic.
Be it through your charity work, volunteering initiatives, local contributions, your sustainability efforts, or your diverse employing practices – you need to continue building an image of authenticity through everything that you do.
What’s vital to remember is that brand-building never truly ends. You might land a perfect, simple logo like that one by Nike, or an equally mind-blowing slogan, but your brand needs to stay ahead of the game and remain in the eyes of your ever-changing audience. Use these guidelines to keep your brand and its reputation strong and enduring, even in these trying times.
Marie Nieves is a student and a blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. She is an avid lover of photography interested in interior and exterior design and a regular author for several blogs. For her articles, she often consults décor specialists and experienced blogger experts.