How To Create a Brand In Ten Steps
Over 4 billion people use social media worldwide. Tapping into this vast global audience isn’t easy. Creating a brand that stands out and makes an impact is a challenging task. That’s why it’s vitally important to get your brand spot on from the outset. This is not a process to rush, as these crucial decisions you make will eventually determine the overall success of your business.
So, what can you do to create a brand that’s memorable and which captures your target customers’ attention?
It all starts with a compelling and cogent brand strategy that - if well executed - will help you rise above the rest and successfully communicate your business narrative.
Here are ten things you can do to get started…
1. How do you measure up to the competition?
There’s nothing wrong with sizing up your rivals. Look at their social media activity, scroll through their website and be objective. What are they doing right, and what could they (in other words, you) do better?
Make a list of areas to review. For example, what’s the user experience like on their website? Does it flow, or is it clunky? Perhaps you like their tone of voice and feel like you could adapt it for your brand. Likewise, perhaps their social media feed will inspire your engagement strategy.
To create a brand, you must learn from others. It’s not stealing. It’s research and an essential part of the process.
2. Get out into the digital wilderness and find your lake
Who is your ideal customer, and, just as importantly, where do they hang out? Perhaps they’re business professionals growing their network on LinkedIn or maybe they hang out on Reddit, Instagram, or Pinterest.
The point is not to guess. To create a brand, you need a buyer persona. This will flow a deeper understanding of your customers’ mindsets, leading you to the right online and offline locations.
To build a buyer persona, you could:
- Look at your rivals’ social media feeds and online reviews posted by bona fide customers
- Use keyword research to fathom what sort of questions your ideal customers are asking
- Create focus groups where you interview prospective customers to learn about their needs
The point of this process is to be specific. You can’t appeal to everyone. So don’t feel afraid to exclude customer types from your shortlist.
3. Invest in a professional and memorable business logo
To create a successful brand, you’ll need to hire a graphic designer to jazz up an eye-catching logo that visually summarises your business.
Depending on the size of your business this process can be expensive - ranging from hundreds of pounds through to millions at the top end of the scale.
A logo means nothing on its own but can be a powerful ambassador for your brand if your other strategies are well thought through and executed.
Finally, don’t be afraid to mine your competitors for inspiration and compare various graphic design agencies before committing.
4. Create a catchy tagline that embodies your brand
Stella Artois’s ‘reassuringly expensive’ tagline still slips effortlessly off the tongue - even though the beer manufacturer hasn’t used the wording in its campaigns since 2007.
This world-famous slogan never felt tagged on. Instead, it felt like a natural extension of the brand’s DNA - and that’s precisely why it worked (and continues to influence us 15-years after its demise).
To create a brand slogan:
- Make sure it’s positive and embodies your values
- Use it to show how you’re different from competitors
- Weave in a benefit to catch people’s attention
- Ensure it’s easy to remember
Do all of these things then rinse and repeat, brutally removing any taglines from your shortlist that don’t fulfill these criteria.
5. Review and understand industry trends
Researching industry trends is just as important as understanding your competitors. What changes are influencing your sector - and which of these are most (and least) appealing to your target audience.
To be clear, this isn’t a process you follow just to create a brand. It’s an ongoing one that will help you stay on track and up to date - minimising risk and helping you keep pace with your rivals.
Running cursory searches on Google is a fast, free, and simple way to gather data. But you can also use tools like Answer The Public. Enter a keyword or phrase, and the website will present customer queries about your topic in the form of questions clustered around a wheel.
Can you focus too much on trends? Yes and depending on what you sell. Certain products are timeless and, therefore, impervious to trends.
6. Remember, you’re not creating a ‘bland identity’
A bland brand won’t stand out in a seascape of witty on-point slogans and brightly coloured logos. That doesn’t mean you have to be outrageous. The personality of your brand must be in direct proportion to its tone of voice - else it will feel artificial and tagged on.
Are you risk-takers or risk-averse? Are you raucous and loud or quietly conservative? Drawing up a simple list and jotting down your brand traits will help you evolve a natural language and palette that gel together to create an authentic persona.
Remember: your brand personality should feel natural and never forced. So don’t try too hard.
We’ll help you find your brand voice…
Creating a brand takes time and effort. That’s why it’s often better to work with experts who know the process inside out and who have a provable track record of helping brands like yours to find their inner mojo.