Just as important as a working product is a brand to go alongside it. In its simplest form, a good brand is a shorthand way for customers to understand what differentiates your business from others in the marketplace. However, we all know brands can be a lot more complicated than this simple definition; a business’s brand can have hundreds, if not thousands of touchpoints, and can be the sole decision maker for a consumer – if a brand can establish itself particularly well.
Of course, brands don’t begin this way; they are built up over time. It can be daunting to figure out how to brand your business, so here are five ways to start building your brand so your business can find long-term success.
How to Brand Your Business:
1. Perform a competitive analysis.
A competitive analysis is a term used when comparing different businesses in the same sector. Review at least three other businesses in your industry and begin taking notes on the elements of their brand. Consider the following:
- What does their logo look like?
- Do they have a slogan?
- What tone of voice do they use when interacting with customers, or explaining their product?
Once you’ve gathered information on the market and your competition, find opportunities for differentiation in your business offering and in your branding. Write down what makes you unique among them, and make this a core tenant of your brand so it is memorable. This process will also inform you on what types of customers might prefer one business over another.
2. Understand your target audience.
Now that you’ve seen what other companies are doing in the space, it’s time to turn your attention to your target audience. Consider:
- Who, exactly, do you envision purchasing your product or service?
- How would your product impact their life?
- What other products or brands are they also purchasing?
Perhaps your customer cares about your brand’s values more than they do price. Or maybe they want a brand that provides personalized customer support. It’s important to create customer personas to help you really envision the lives and interests of those you want to sell to, which will in turn inform the rest of your branding and marketing decisions.
3. Develop a brand name and mission statement.
Not only does it legitimize a business to have a proper name, but prospective customers are more likely to remember and reach out to a business than an individual. You’ll want it to be catchy: consider using alliteration (Coca Cola), rhymes (Sunny Honey), or words with imagery (Rosebud Perfume) to make your name easy for customers to recall and share. Along with a name, you can consider writing a tagline that clearly describes your unique value proposition in all future marketing efforts.
A mission statement is a great way to articulate in more detail what your business does, and your broader vision and purpose. It serves as a framework for both your employees and customers to better understand your brand and what sets it apart in the market. Be sure to answer these key questions as you craft your mission statement:
- What product/service does your business offer?
- What are your core values?
- Why does your business exist?
4. Develop a visual identity.
Plenty of people have strong visual memories, so it’s important to establish a consistent visual identity to appeal to this. Start out with a logo and make sure to use it in any and all communications; sign emails with it, add it to any bios of yourself, make its presence anywhere you can.
Along with the logo, be sure to establish a color palette. Great brands tend to have one color that is strongly associated with the brand. Think of Snapchat, Facebook, or Twitter: each has a color that instantly comes to mind when thinking of each company (yellow, royal blue, and teal, respectively). Consistently using the same primary color for your business will allow customers to see your brand everywhere. Different colors also affect the subconscious differently; some brands may use darker colors that signify they take their business very seriously, while others choose bright colors to exemplify their playfulness.
5. Develop a voice.
It can sometimes be helpful to think about your business as if it were a person. Imagine the following:
- Do they prefer to wear formalwear, or keep it casual?
- What kind of books would they read, or TV would they watch?
- Are there phrases they love, or hate?
- What brands would this person love?
Take these answers and translate them into how a person with those interests might talk. Some brands that do this particularly well include Mailchimp, Nike, and Duolingo. Establishing a consistent voice will in turn help potential customers understand what it might be like to work with your business, and the more they can identify that the sooner they will know if they want to work with you. Once you have established your voice, you can detail exactly what this voice looks and sounds like by creating a “playbook” so the team is able to create marketing materials cohesively.
Creating Content to Establish Your Brand Presence
Once you have all of these essential brand elements in place, it’s time to create content. What they say is true: content is king. Think of content as a touchpoint for your business; the more touch points there are, the more people are learning about your offerings, and therefore your potential customer base is getting larger and larger. A compelling newsletter, user story or social post can garner interest and traffic and help to differentiate your business from competitors. And in marketing, it’s a rule of thumb that it takes customers seeing your advertisements seven times before purchasing.
When developing branded content, you want to ensure two things to see results: 1) you publish content that is consistently high-quality and serves a purpose for your customer, and 2) your content is discoverable through search engine optimization (SEO). At the end of the day, it’s content that drives the sale.
With these strategies, you’ve taken the first steps in mastering how to brand your business for success.
Bubble is a leader in the no-code movement. Bubble offers a powerful point-and-click web editor and cloud hosting platform that allows users to build fully customizable web applications and workflows, ranging from simple prototypes to complex marketplaces, SaaS products, and more. Millions of users are building and launching businesses on Bubble – many have gone on to participate in top accelerator programs, such as Y Combinator, or raise $365M in venture funding. Bubble is more than just a product. We are a strong community of builders and entrepreneurs that are united by the belief that everyone should be able to create technology.