Building your brand identity – 10 essential steps!
How to build a successful brand identity:
Building a successful brand identity is as essential for a small business as for a big company – perhaps even more so, as savvy consumers are now more keen than ever to support small, independent firms over large corporations.
- Truly successful branding creates more than a logo, ethos or how your business is perceived, it is at the beating heart of your company, embodying the core of your values and identity.
- Your brand is who you are, not how you look or sound.
- It needs to be transparent and honest; sales can no longer be driven by charm or spin but are founded on trust and connecting emotively with your customers.
- If customers can share the same values and beliefs as your brand, this will lead to higher sales, growth and brand differentiation.
- In times of adversity this provides much needed loyalty, advocacy and price protection whilst your competitors are relying on gloss and price promotions to drive their sales.
- A great brand is a springboard from which to extend your offering or range.
Here are ten essential building blocks for success:
1. Define your brand
What product or service does your business offer and what are the needs and concerns of your customer base? Look at the space you occupy in the market and align your brand with that in a way that promotes your business, appeals to your intended customer and gives you a unique selling point.
2. Think of your brand as a person
What individual values, purposes and beliefs would define the personality and character of your brand? It’s essential to have an understanding of who your brand ‘is’.
3. Identify what’s driving your business
Establish your brand positioning, its character and identity to improve communications and send a clear, consistent message. What does your brand believe in? What is its purpose?
4. Build long-term customer relationships
Honesty is key here, meeting customers’ expectations, keeping promises and being transparent about who your company is. This will create and nurture trust as you build a brand with values that drive it from strength to strength.
5. Create a consistent voice
Reinforce your message and the character of your business offering so that customers have realistic expectations of your product or service.
6. Eliminate repetition
Build a coherent identity by creating a core of key messages that are different but work together to deliver a positive impact on your customer.
7. Don’t mimic other brands
In today’s market, self-aware consumers are actively seeking out independent companies with brand identities that share their ethos and values, rather than being loyal to large corporations. Use this as leverage to carve out your niche and distinct, appealing identity.
8. Be bold, be daring
Customers are attracted and inspired by a company that stands up for what they believe in and is not encumbered by bureaucracy. Be flexible, dynamic and react to your customers’ needs and it will pay dividends as your market share grows.
9. Brand identity first
Keep your brand identity strong and undiluted with indiscriminate discounts and mixed messages. Your customers will respond positively to a proud brand identity and use of promotions that reinforce and support your brand mission.
10. Retain mystery and depth
The future of branding is dynamic, engaging and fluid; customers like to explore a brand and winkle out information for themselves – it gives them a sense of achievement and captures their interest. Generate a little intrigue and allow them to discover information about your brand for themselves. This creates ambassadors who will eagerly tell others about what they have discovered, disseminating your brand message and growing your customer base.