Your brand is how individuals perceive you when they interact with your company. It’s the impression you can control and the one you can’t. To ensure the controlled impression is positive, it’s essential to build a brand that resonates with your target audience, solves a common problem, and ultimately drives sales. The formula to consider is positive brand identity + stellar brand strategy + stand-out marketing = brand success Think of your brand identity as the written and visual content and overall consumer experience. Think of your brand strategy as the blueprint for how you want individuals to view your brand. And think of your brand marketing as how businesses or organizations highlight and bring awareness to products or services by connecting values and voices to the right audience through strategic communication.
Let’s explore each of these components further and discuss how to build a brand that resonates and drives sales.
What is Your Brand Identity?
Brand identity is the visible elements of a brand, such as color, design, and a brand logo, that identify and distinguish the brand in consumers’ minds. It also includes the non-visible elements of a brand, such as a feel, character, brand voice, and personality. Brand identity is distinct from brand image. Rather brand identity is the entire brand story and helpful to create brand positioning and brand guidelines and reach new and existing customers.
Who is Your Audience?
The first question you need to ask yourself is who is your audience? You can’t expect to create stellar content that is meaningful and engaging if you don’t know who you’re creating it for. There are many ways to better understand who your audience is.
- reviewing your brand story,
- interviewing your target market,
- testing various marketing campaigns,
- seeing how consumers respond to a brand positioning statement,
- speaking with another small business owner,
- testing various forms of social media marketing to see who engages, and
- testing a target niche audience.
What Matters to Them?
You can start by asking yourself why you started your brand, what problem does it solve for you and other consumers, and what matters to them? These answers will help you dictate your creative direction, voice, tone, and personality. Is your audience fun and quirky or serious and professional? These are important questions to ask. You wouldn’t want to make the mistake of thinking your audience will respond well to something that is far outside of their comfort zone because they won’t.
Your brand voice will ultimately come through in your
- brand’s identity on social media,
- digital marketing activities,
- online store,
- brand’s mission statement,
- brand’s message,
- brand values,
- brand ambassadors,
- visual identity,
- digital marketing,
- content marketing,
- brand stories,
- company logo,
- positioning statement,
- social media posts, and
- all the brand guidelines.
Keep this in mind and strive to make content that matters.
Why Should They Care?
Finally, ask yourself why your consumer should care about your brand. Why do they need your product or service? What value do you bring to their lives? You should develop a brand building strategy around this. And this answer should be communicated to your audience directly. Consumers like it when you get on their level, explain to them their problems, empathize with them, and provide a simple solution. This will get them on board and spending money.
Remember to remain consistent with relevant content. You should also maintain a customer focus. This is how you become a great brand with a strong value proposition, stellar content marketing, and increase brand awareness.
What is Your Brand Strategy?
The next component of building a brand that resonates with your audience and drives sales is to develop a clear brand strategy. A brand strategy is part of a business plan that outlines how the company will build rapport and favorability within the market. The goal of a brand strategy is to become memorable in the eyes of the consumer so that they decide to choose your business over the competition.
Brand strategy consists of
- the brand building process,
- your brand image,
- your brand story,
- understanding your target market,
- your brand personality,
- your brand positioning,
- a unique brand voice,
- market research,
- search engine optimization,
- understanding your brand’s target audience,
- brand development,
- refining your positioning statement,
- building brand awareness,
- and crafting a brand style guide.
There are many questions that you must ask when building a brand strategy.
Who are Your Competitors?
First off, who are your competitors? You understand your target audience. Now you need to understand the other products and services out there and directly compete with your brand. After all, if they win sales, you don’t. And in business, there is no such thing as friendly competition. Competition is competition, and if your competitor has market share and you don’t, you’ll be out of business.
Once you understand your competitors, you can better determine your market differentiator. This should be communicated to your consumer and plastered across your website. Consumers need to know why your brand is unique and why they should trust and purchase from you.
You want to create a recognizable brand with a strong brand identity, memorable brand visual identity, a robust online store and value proposition.
What is Your Brand Purpose?
The next question to ask is what is your brand purpose? A brand’s purpose is a company’s why. It’s the reason for the brand’s existence and encompasses each of the things it stands for. The why usually pertains with the customers it serves and the market niche it seeks to fill. This is essential to understand as you develop the vision for your brand. All goals and objectives should align with your vision and mission. This is your reason for existence.
A strong brand understands their why. This is, after all, how you create a memorable brand and make your brand stand out from the competition.
Why are Your Products & Services Different?
Ask yourself why are your products and services different from the competition? We briefly discussed this in an earlier paragraph. When consumers search for a solution to their problem, they are faced with many choices. Each of which is quite similar. Companies must do the heavy lifting here and showcase their products in a different way—what makes them different, better even. This will help your brand gain more leads and conversions.
Remember to consider your
- visual identity,
- online store,
- existing business,
- brand creation,
- strong brand identity,
- own business,
- branding strategies,
- company’s mission statement,
- marketing strategies,
- brand development, and
- complete ample market research.
This will only further develop and elevate your own brand story, brand personality, brand voice, and differentiator.
What is Your Brand Marketing?
Once you understand your brand strategy, you’re onto the final piece of the brand-building process. You must answer the question, what is your brand marketing? Brand marketing is establishing and growing a relationship between a brand and consumers. Rather than highlighting an individual product or service, brand marketing promotes the entirety of the brand, using the products and services as proof points that support the brand’s promise.
There are several questions that go hand-in-hand with understanding your brand marketing strategy.
Who is Your Actual Consumer?
The first question is who is your actual consumer? Your target audience is one thing, but your actual consumer is entirely another. While you may market to both men and women 18-35, your actual consumer can be women 55+. That’s just how it goes. It’s helpful to look at the category data, as this better indicates who will consume your products and services. At the very least, it shows who is buying your product, regardless of who it’s for. And brands want to direct communication to the individual in the household with purchasing power.
What is Their Preferred Source of Information?
What is your consumer’s preferred source of information? By this, we mean, do they prefer to consume content on the Internet, social media, or in-store? This is an important question to ask and understand as this is where you need to increase your ad spend and build brand awareness.
Why Should They Care?
Finally, why should your consumer care? We went over this in a previous section, but it’s worth reviewing again. After all, your consumer needs to understand the why. This is what drives sales. Without a why, you have no brand purpose and won’t succeed in the crowded marketplace.
Your brand is how individuals perceive you when they interact with your company. It’s the impression you can control and the one you can’t. To ensure the controlled impression is positive, it’s essential to build a brand that resonates with your target audience, solves a common problem, and ultimately drives sales.