A brand is not just a fancy logo or color scheme, but the connection and reputation that your business will have with your consumer group. Personal branding is also not just about showing people how amazing you are, but rather connecting with people and contributing to their lives. Needless to say, building your brand is vital to growing a successful business and is possible by doing the following:
- Determine the goal of your brand
- Identify your target audience
- Establish the story of your brand
- Communicate the story of your brand
- Design the visuals
Anyone can build a brand, but only some will do it right. Let’s dive into why these steps are so important.
Determine the Goal of Your Brand
It’s important to note what it is you are trying to achieve with your brand from the very beginning. Keeping the goal of your brand consistent is essential to maintaining your audience’s loyalty. However, determining the goal of your brand goes beyond the product or service you are offering, the goal of your brand goes deeper than that.
For instance, if you are selling a makeup brand, the goal of your brand should not just be to provide makeup, but the promise that you are making to your consumers with that makeup. In the case of Selena Gomez’s makeup brand Rare Beauty, the goal is clear: to enhance one’s original beauty. When you determine this goal, you become one step closer to the next step: identifying your target audience.
Identify Your Target Audience
Identifying your target audience is the foundation of your brand because they will be the consumer group that will stick with you throughout. Growing an organic community of people that will stand by your brand will sustain your business. To do this successfully you can’t appeal to every single person. There needs to be a particular group that you can depend on.
You first need to do some research on what demographics align with the goal of your brand. For instance, if your product is a learning app, your main demographic will be students. To have your brand reach more people, you could narrow down this audience even more to either college students or high school students. The more you narrow down your audience, the easier it will be to create marketing strategies to appeal to them. Once you’ve determined who this audience is, you can begin to tell your story.
Establish the Story of Your Brand
Humans are immediately drawn to a story. A story is a powerful marketing tool for your brand because it’s a set of hints and shortcuts that trigger an emotion. For instance, when you think of Google your brain directly goes to feelings of productivity or endless coffees, which is reminiscent of the company culture. If your brand can trigger that emotion in people’s everyday lives, they will remember your brand along with it.
With hundreds and hundreds of brands out in the world, it’s important to identify what makes your brand stand out from everyone else’s. The most important step in establishing the story of your brand is keeping it personal and consistent to who you are because the more personal it is, the less likely you will have to compete with a similar brand.
This means you should not only keep it personal to you and your company, but also to your consumers. Consumers want the businesses that they buy from to treat them like people. A popular example of this is the Coca Cola “Share a Coke” campaign that allowed customers to find and purchase a coke bottle with their name on it.
This story also needs to be direct and easy to understand because sometimes less is more. Keeping it simple is accomplished by picking out the key points rather than going in complete detail from start to end. If in your story you want to communicate that you are passionate, it’s important for you to tell a story that shows your passion. It’s also important to outline the attributes you have that will make your brand stand out. You should avoid the basic necessities of a brand and look at what is the unique thing that you have to offer that you can do better than anyone else.
Communicate the Story of Your Brand
Once you’ve established your story, in order to communicate it effectively you need to find the people who can share it with you. Partnering with popular influencers such as YouTubers is a great way to do this. YouTubers have a large fan base who they feel connected to and who they regularly tell stories to as oppose to celebrities in traditional media.
Vloggers have the most success in this because they show their day-to-day life and regularly show their viewers the products or services they are loving. If you can partner your brand with a YouTuber whose demographic aligns with your own this will allow your story to automatically resonate with more people. This is because there is already an established trust between the Youtuber and their audience that you can build on.
Design the Visuals
The last step to building your brand is designing the visuals that allow you to communicate your goal, reach your target audience, and communicate your story. Keeping your brand’s logo or color scheme consistent will allow consumers to create a memory with your brand. When picking the color scheme, it’s important to apply color psychology. For instance, if you are promoting a fitness brand, consider applying a green color scheme which is known to represent health and wellness.
Understanding the difference between a logo and a label is also crucial. A logo is meant to describe a business without saying a word while a label will provide information about the product itself.
Paying attention to the font style you use will be important in communicating your brand because different fonts tell different stories. For example, if your brand can be described by words like authoritative or traditional, a font similar to Times New Roman would be appropriate and consistent.
Overall, it’s essential to keep the visual elements simple and not overwhelming. Keeping a balance is key because if your designs have too much going on, consumers will have no idea what you are trying to communicate, and the same goes if you have too little going on.
How Do I Compete with Other Brands?
Begin by researching other brands and find what they do differently from you. Making sure to stray away from having your brand seem too similar to others is key to outcompeting them.
How Should I Promote My Brand?
Pay attention to your target audience and where they are most of the time. It’s safe to say that these days most people are on social media so choosing the right platform to promote your brand will allow it to grow tremendously. If your target audience is Gen Z, consider promoting your brand on TikTok. If you are targeting an older generation look more at Facebook. Researching target audience will be key to finding the best place to promote your brand.
Sources: Column Five, GianFagna