Creating a Brand
Follow these 10 steps to create an impactful brand
1. Business Strategy
When we talk about your business strategy it’s important to know that this should, and can be, a loose idea. It’s at this point that you start to think about what your goals are for the business. You should be setting up a plan to accomplish those goals. Think of short term and long terms goals and figure out how quickly you’ll want to accomplish them.
2. Identify Pain Points
A huge mistake some entrepreneurs make is not realizing that nobody needs what they’re selling. It’s ok to think outside the box here, but remember, there might not be anybody interested in a smart phone that lets you decompress from technology by only allowing you to store a limited amount of numbers, no internet, can only text and call…oh wait…that’s a thing that exists…and there apparently is a market for it! So anyways, remember try to find a problem and sell the solution. That’s how you attack the market’s pain points.
3. Target Audience
When you’re first starting out it’s super important to identify your target audience. You can’t just say “anyone with money” because it’s just too wide a net for a small startup out the gate. You need to find your target audience or perfect customer type and get hyper focused on them so you build your base tribe of super fans that will spread the good word about your brand. This makes it much easier to do A/B testing and to shift audiences by applying tested strategies. If you want to fill out our B2C target audience form, you’re welcome to.
4. Discover Your Platform
Now that you’ve started narrowing down that target audience, it’s time to start thinking about your platform. If you know your market is young college age kids, you should be focused on Instagram or Snapchat. If you know your audience is the suburban parent with 2 kids, you should be working within Facebook or even Pinterest! Choosing the platform where your audience spends it’s time just makes sense!
5. Know Your Why
I know it’s cliché to talk about your “WHY”, especially for startups and entrepreneurs. You almost need to be drinking your coffee from your Oprah mug while watching Fixer Upper or something to cultivate your why. BUT it is incredibly impactful for a business owner to explain what sets them apart, what happened in their story that put them on the path to sell you the best dang tacos this side of the Mississippi. Find your meaning, and tell it well.
6. Develop An Identity
This doesn’t mean your secret identity, like Clark Kent or anything. This is the time that you can really start to get your professional logo and visual identity done. You know who you’re selling to now, and you know what would appeal to them visually. If you’re not sure, you can have us do some research for you! We’ve even got great identity packages that get you a little bit of everything to hit the ground running! The logo and identity are the first line of your business, it’s usually the first thing customers will see, and so if you don’t look legit, you probably won’t get the call. It’s as simple as that. People buy what looks nice. You can check out some of our identity work for clients here.
Photo by Sarah Pflug from Burst
7. Deliverable Production
True identity work doesn’t just stop with the logo. You’ve got to apply your logo, colors, fonts, and corporate style to all your deliverables. Consistency is super important in the market place. If your business cards don’t match your website, or your vehicle wrap, customers could get confused or you could lose some brand trust. We often design and broker the production of deliverables for our clients to ensure an easy process, professional quality, and correct setup. It’s important to work with a professional and invest a little more than some of those online guys charge. Think of being in a networking event and you hand someone a flimsy, pixelated, off-center cut business card. Not a great look, hire a pro! Email us at email@example.com for deets on printing.
8. Develop a Website
So you’ve got your business cards printed with that nice new logo on them and everything looks solid. Now what happens when someone goes to the site listed on the cards? Is the site mobile friendly? If it’s not you could be losing major points with Google. Is the site clean, easy to navigate, user friendly, and to the point? We like to try and get users where they need to be within two clicks if possible. And creating the right copy for a website is important too! Remember, the market might not use the same lingo as you, the professional, it’s important to write copy for the reader. Now there are multiple platforms out there to use for a site. If you don’t have the budget for a professional, Square Space is a decent starting point and is fairly easy to do yourself, or you can hire a freelancer for a lower cost to build it for you. Now if you have some budget and you’re hoping to grow your business quickly, I would really suggest speaking with us about a WordPress website. The range of ability and scalability with WordPress greatly outweighs platforms like Square Space or Wix. Those are fine starting points, but in order for your business to truly scale as well as utilize SEO services, you’ll want to get a WordPress site.
9. Create Content Strategy
Currently, on the internet, content is king. It’s cliché but true. If you’re not talking, nobody is listening, and that counts for you business too. It’s really important that you’re providing content to your target audience so they feel like they’re receiving value from you outside of just the product you offer. When you’re getting started it’s important to approach your audience from a place of empathy. This is why the MLM crazes are so tough, and why the biggest names out there are failing. People don’t want to be bombarded with your sales posts. And social media companies are making it harder to just push sales all the time. Remember, it’s called social media, not sales media! People want interesting articles, funny memes, helpful tips on lifestyle. Building a baseline of fans with good engaging content will open up your ability to successfully push products to your market. So it’s important to decide where you’re going to focus your energy. It’s a good idea to have social media accounts on all platforms, but picking two of them to really zero in on is a great practice. You should also be creating blog posts on your website that will attract users to read the articles, and hopefully do a little window shopping or exploring while they’re on your site. We produce blog posts for our clients and like to do a mix of informative content, and fun content. It’s the best of both worlds! If you have any questions about how to best manage everything from social media, to blog posts, to SEO (Search Engine Optimization), you can always reach out and ask!
10. Build Community
This is the final step for building a great brand! And it’s one that’s often overlooked, but one that we ask of all of our clients. You have to build your community as a business. Your community has done a lot already to support you and your dream, it’s important to return the favor. We ask all of our clients to pick something important to them and then yell it from the rooftops. We have a roofing client, Top Dog Home Pro that gives money from every roof job to their local SPCA to help dogs find homes. Things like that are truly important and can create an amazing emotional bond between the market and your product. People like to support businesses when they know the money is going towards good. So look around, ask your community, see where you can help, and get to work!