There is a lot of stuff to read about brands and branding. In my personal experience, people read a lot about brands and finally come down to an agency to create a brand for them. Remember, an agency can just create your brand identity or at the most help you create your marketing material. But creating a brand is lot more than that. Read on to find out how to really build a brand from scratch.
Step1: Identify your own personality
Identify your own personality and relate it to what you want to accomplish. your personality needs to reflect the brand. If you are sporty, athletic and fashion conscious, a trendy sports clothing line will suit you. To be successful, your brand should be about your own joy and desires. Your customers should see the reflection of the brand in you. That is how they will be able to relate to the brand and will have a long lasting impression on them. So, your own outlook about your brand is a very important factor that constitutes the first step of building a brand from scratch.
Step2: Audience research
It is important you reach out to the right customer and hence it becomes important to identify who that right customer is? Most businesses want to sell their products and services to a very broad audience. Assuming a large broad based audience is a just a feel good factor that deflects your from building a sharp brand. Remember it is easy to impress a small group of people than a large group.
You need to identify the sex, age group, social profile, education etc. whatever your target group narrows own to, your brand has to ultimately reflect what they are looking for.
Step3: Competition research
One mistake people make while doing competition research is finding how they do it and try to mimic it. Competition research calls in for identifying the things your competition isn’t doing right, and create an opportunity to fill that gap or perhaps an unmet demand. You may also want to go a bit further to somehow check if your competition tried to address this gap or meet this demand earlier. There is no point repeating the mistakes they did.
Once you are sure about the opportunity, your need to reflect this unmet demand is by using the right colours and shapes in your brand identity. If their business lacks trust, yours should appear to be more trustworthy and serious. If their business is not customer centric, yours should appear to be built around the customer.
Step4: Brand voice and messaging
Before creating your brand voice and messaging, you need to first identify where your customers will find you. And once they find you, how do you want them to see you as? Do you want to be seen as a serious brand or a happy one or a youthful & energetic one? Once you decide this, your logo, website, business cards, brochures, office interiors, all needs to reflect that. It is a smart move to create a distinction in your brand voice (compared to your competition), to be seen as standing out in a crowd.
Step5: Invest in your brand
Unless you are a not for profit or a charity organisation, you should not cut corners in creating your brand. You need to spend money on your logo, branding, website as well as in ensuring the quality and packaging of your products and services. A luxury brand has to appear luxurious and a sports brand has to appear sporty and energetic in every way you look at it. Your customer does not care whether you are a start up and have shortage of funds to include all the bells and whistles a brand should have. If you do not have adequate funds to provide the experience your brand promises, you are in for a disaster.
Step6: Community participation
Community participation is important for all businesses alike. Whether or not you sell to your community, it is important from a banding perspective to participate in the events within and around your community (where you live or work). The participation could be as small as placing a small sponsorship logo on community mailers or participating actively in the events, Such participation is important for you to live your brand and for people to identify with it.
Recommended reading: What is the difference between brand and Logo
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