Branding is one of the most important steps in creating a successful business. It's what helps you stand out from your competitors, tell potential customers what your business is about and what gives them confidence to choose you over other options in the market.
That's why it's so crucial that you've got a good strategy behind your brand—without one, no matter how good the visuals are, you'll have little in the way of convincing customers that your brand is the right choice for them.
So if you want people to love your brand, here are three things that must be considered first:
When you're developing the strategy around your brand, think about who your customers are and what they want from your business. This is your target audience. Think, what kinds of problems do they have? What challenges do they face? The more questions you ask and answers you generate, the more your brand's story will begin to take shape.
And to make sure you tell that story effectively, it's important to keep these three key aspects in mind:
The most successful brands speak to their audience in a genuine, authentic voice that resonates with the people they're trying to reach. It's important for brands to be genuine, because if what the audience hears doesn't ring true, people won't buy into it. They'll see right through you and not trust your messaging or products at all.
A great brand story needs a strong message that aligns with your target audience and speaks to them on an emotional level. Your messaging should be simple and easy to understand, but also have some depth and meaning behind it so that it can make an impact on people's lives when they hear or read it for the first time (or the tenth).
The best brands tell stories through their marketing campaigns and social media content—both of which are essentially just different types of storytelling formats. Your brand storyteller is usually the person who comes up with the idea for each campaign or post, so he or she needs to be able to think creatively, be able to come up with compelling narratives that resonate with your target audience, and be able to communicate them effectively.
You could even go so far as to hire a professional writer if you want someone who's really good at this. But it's equally important for the person who writes your content to have a deep understanding of your company and its values, as well as an understanding about what makes your target audience tick—because those elements will inform how they create their stories.
Before you can develop a brand, you must first define your value proposition. A value proposition is the unique reason why someone should do business with you — it's the promise you make to customers that sets you apart from your competition.
The most important thing to remember about defining your value proposition is that it should be specific and measurable. So instead of saying "delivering quality care," try something like "delivering 100 percent satisfaction."
Every business has a different value proposition, but there are some common themes:
The best way to show that you're providing quality products or services is by having a track record of doing so. You might offer guarantees or testimonials from past customers to prove that you're worth trusting and offer the quality you promise.
Your product or service needs to provide more value than what people can get elsewhere at the same price point. Everything from your packaging and presentation to the way you deliver customer service should be designed around this concept.
This may sound similar to quality, but experience is much broader and encompasses more sensory inputs than just what people see or hear when they engage with your brand; it also includes touch, taste and smell (if relevant).
It's easy to get caught up in the creative side of branding. It's also easy to get overwhelmed by all the details and possibilities. But when you're starting out, clarity is your best friend.
It's important to know who you are and what you stand for before you can create a cohesive image for your business. That doesn't mean you have to be boring or unoriginal—just that you need to know what works for your business (and customers) before you start making decisions about how it will look.
When you're thinking about branding, you want to keep two things in mind:
What does your company stand for? How do people perceive it? What do they think when they hear its name? Think about all of these things before deciding on any specific elements of your brand identity (colour scheme, logo design). You want something that reflects what people already think about your business and conveys the vision that brought it into existence in the first place.
Even if you have multiple locations or represent multiple brands, it's important for each of them to be consistent with one another—otherwise, you risk confusing customers as the try to decipher which personality or piece of information about your brand is true. But good luck getting them to stick around long eought to figure that out.
Now that you know a bit more about the importance of branding and the strategy behind it, hopefully you'll be able to put these tips to good use. For example, you might want to consider asking your customers for feedback about your brand and how it's perceived. You might also want to seriously consider coming up with a new brand for your business if the one you have now isn't working out. The most important thing is that you keep your branding top-of-mind, so you can continue to improve and refine it over time.