There's no two ways about it: One of the most important assets of a company is a congruent and loved brand.
Think, for instance of the companies represented below. Most people will be able to identify these at a glance. This easily demonstrates the power and importance of building a brand, even on a smaller scale.
Now is the time to get creative and explore new ways to build a solid brand in a highly competitive and ever-changing market.
As a small business, it's a given that you will compete against big brands with unlimited fans and money. That’s why it's so important for you to stand out, lest you be swallowed up in the shadow of larger corporations.
Here are some tips on how you can successfully build your brand. Let's start with a definition of what personal branding actually is.
What Defines A Brand?
Simply put, your brand is your reputation! We could really stop right there. Yes, a catchy slogan, or a great logo are important, but it all boils down to your client's overall perception of your business.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, put it this way: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
"Personal Branding consists of leaving a concrete and memorable mark by discovering who you are, providing unique value to a specific group of people, generating trust and harmony through efficient communication."
-Andrés Pérez Ortega, Brand Strategy expert
Personal branding is all about creating a memorable image in the eyes of the public, and marketing yourself as an individual.
Look at any successful business person with hundreds of clients or a Youtuber with an online fan base. What makes them trustworthy and memorable? Their businesses are built around them as a person and what they stand for. Personal branding is their top asset.
Your story is also being told. What is being said about you? About your work quality? Are you getting positive or negative feedback? What's being discussed about you online?
You have the ability to actively manage your brand. Being intentional about actively managing your brand will not only allow you to establish yourself as an expert in your field - but it will also allow you to build trust and connections beyond your services.
Now let's look at some practical steps you can take to build your brand.
Stand Out From The Crowd: 7 actions to building A Successful brand
1. Start With Vision
The first step to building your brand is to identify your personal vision or purpose. What is your overall purpose, your "why"? What legacy do you want to leave? What do you want to be known for?
Knowing what what you are passionate about is essential. It will help you define the attributes that make you unique in your niche.
Today, brands are more and more value driven. What do you value most of all in your personal and business life? What are your unique strengths that you bring to the table? Honesty and integrity? Quality and dependability? Try to come up with five core values.
Developing an understanding of your values and vision will go far in allowing you stand out against competition.
2. Define Your Target Audience
Next, you'll want to define your ideal client.
There's a quote that says "You can't make everyone happy, you're not pizza." While a little humorous, it's actually true, in more ways than one.
Your product or service won't be appealing for every person out there; rather, you need to pinpoint your audience and target them with your branding.
What is your audience's pain points? What are they looking for? What is their lifestyle? What problem do you solve? Define what people will get out of being your customer.
Once you come up with a clear picture what you can offer your customers, then you can start incorporating that into your branding language, website, logos, etc. and stick out in the minds of your audience.
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3. Research Competition
Don't skip this step in the brand building process! If you want to differentiate from everyone else, you first have to know what’s already out there.
Make it your mission to find out where competitors do well and where they fail. Research other companies in your niche and study how they've gone about marketing, industry regulations, and making a name for themselves.
After you have outlined the other's existing business environment, you can determine your own memorable message. Convince a customer to purchase from you over them!
The goal is to stand apart from what's out there already. Continuing that thought brings us to our next point:
4. Think Outside The Box
In order to attract more customers and investors alike, your brand has to offer something the market still hasn’t heard of. This might be easier said than done, but it’s true.
Your unique selling point is especially imperative in a crowded industry. Do you have a special skill or service no one else has to offer?
What’s special about you? Why should someone choose to work with you instead of your competitors? Your branding should clearly communicate your superior benefits.
These points also play important factors in creating your visual brand identity whether online or print - a catchy name, a memorable logo, or a cool website. The more ways you can differentiate, the higher your chances of branding success.
5. Build Your Online presence
Don't underestimate the power of social media! In today's day and age, it can't be denied that Facebook, Instagram and other socials have tremendous power when it comes to building brand awareness.
It's likely you’re already on social media in some way, shape or form. But does your brand have a thriving social media presence, or is it just sort of there?
To make real connections, you've got to be actively engaging with real people.
Getting to know you and your company on a more personal level has become an expectation for many followers.
To learn more about building your online presence, we have an entire post dedicated to how you can boost your social marketing.
6. Practice Consistency
Consistency is key. The number 1 sign of an amateur is inconsistency. You cannot afford to make minor changes now and then - it is absolutely important that the "feel" and strategy of your brand stays consistent across the board.
A successful brand is consistent in communication and user experience, wherever it shows up:
It's difficult to believe in a brand that is constantly switching. What you say on one platform has to match the others.
Remember those logos we listed at the beginning? Consistency in branding is something they all have in common. When people see the same logo, colors, and products over and over, they are going to remember it.
7. Strive For Customer satisfaction
Our last tip for building a successful brand is certainly not least. If you want to build trust and credibility in your brand, customer satisfaction is a must. Whatever you have to offer, you should stand behind your product or service with pride.
Going above and beyond with your clients goes a long way in boosting your brand reputation. Amidst a plethora of poor-quality services, wow your clients with outstanding solutions - and they'll keep coming back for more.
So there you have it - our top strategies for building a successful brand.
A solid branding strategy can be one of the most significant tools you need to take your business to the next level.
Which method will you implement today?