Do you know who your brand is for? If you answered “my brand is for my business,” you may just be missing the mark.
In reality, your brand is for your audience. It’s a way to signal to your audience “this is the thing you are looking for.” It’s a way for you to show your target audience that you share their values. People have to buy products and services, but they WANT to buy products and use services from brands they trust.
As Seth Godin puts it, when people are looking at a brand, they are looking for “People like us [who] do things like this.”
So how do you build a brand identity that attracts the audience you want to attract?
Building A Successful Brand Identity
There are five elements you need to consider when you are building your brand.
Nothing great starts without a strategy. Your brand strategy should encompass all of the elements that will make you unforgettable to your audience. A good strategy will bring consistency to your brand that ensures your audience will recognize you in an instant and understand what you stand for when they see you. There are six elements that go into creating a powerful brand strategy.
To create the right branding strategy for your business, you need to consider your:
- Business name
Each of these elements should be viewed as a puzzle piece. When they all come together in the right way, the full picture of your brand becomes clear.
Your brand’s story is the most powerful weapon in your branding arsenal. Every business has one, whether you know it or not. There’s a reason you decided to start your own business. There’s a reason you left the corporate world, or never entered it in the first place.
Your story is what is going to inspire your audience to connect with you in a deeper way. Your story is what will turn your customers into loyal brand ambassadors. One of the hardest things a business owner will face is encouraging a customer to make a repeat purchase. When customers buy into your business and are engaged with your story, you can help them to gain confidence in further purchases and become a brand advocate.
You created your product or service with a specific audience in mind. You want your brand to appeal to them. When forming a brand identity, you really need to get into your customers’ shoes before you create any visuals. Knowing exactly who your ideal audience is will set a solid foundation for the style, tone, and message your branding will encapsulate.
The important thing to remember when creating your brand is that your branding is not about what you like. It is about what will resonate with your ideal audience. It’s important to know what they like, what they’re looking for, and, most importantly, who they are before you begin to think about branding.
There are two types of identity you need to consider when constructing your brand identity: visual and voice.
Your visual identity refers to all the things your customers will see when they interact with your brand. This includes colors, pictures, graphics, typefaces, and your logo.
Your brand’s voice identity refers to the tone in which all of your copy is written. It could be modern, professional, laid-back, snarky, neutral, or a combination of characteristics.
When figuring out your brand’s visual and voice identities, it’s important to refer back to all of your audience research. A visual and voice identity targeting CIOs is going to be very different from a visual and voice identity targeting housewives.
5. Style Guide
Once you’ve settled on the other four things on this list, you need to write everything you’ve discovered and decided in one, easy-to-use guide so you and your employees know how to properly represent and speak to the brand you’ve worked so hard to get right. If you haven’t had one for your business previously, a brand style guide is essentially your business’s “go-to” manual for every element in your branding identity.
Designers, developers, and content creators can refer to this style guide to ensure brand continuity. If you engage with third parties such as a web designer, printing company, or marketer, it’s essential that they have a copy of your brand style guide so that they can work within your brand’s guidelines.
A solid brand is the cornerstone of every successful business. If your brand is lacking, your sales are lacking. If your brand is lacking, your audience isn’t as committed to you as they could be. If your brand is lacking, there are easy things you can do to grow your business to new heights.
For more professional tips on how to create a brand that ignites the passion of your audience, download our free ebook “5 Steps to Building a Successful Brand Identity”. Still have questions or need some insight into building your brand? At Carrboro Creative, we’ve got you covered. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help you perfect your message and get recognized for all the right reasons.