You may have heard the term "brand" before, but what does it really mean?
At its most basic, your brand is what your customers think of when they hear your company name.
But branding is so much more than that!
In essence, your brand is everything that makes up your company's identity. It includes your logo, name, tagline, and any other elements that help to differentiate you from your competitors.
But branding is about more than just visual cues. It's about creating an emotional connection with your target audience and presenting your business to the world in a way that matches.
When done correctly, branding can help to build customer loyalty and increase sales. After all, customers are more likely to do business with companies they know and trust.
And while branding may seem like a daunting task, there are some simple steps you can take to get started…
Step #1 - Define Your Core Values And Purpose
First, you need to define your company's core values and purpose.
What are you trying to achieve? What makes you unique? Once you have a clear understanding of these things, you can begin to develop branding materials that reflect your company's personality and mission.
Keep in mind that branding is an ongoing process, and your materials should be updated regularly to reflect any changes in your business.
With a little effort, you can create a strong brand that will help your business to thrive.
Once you have a solid foundation in place, you can begin to work on finding your people, finding your voice, and creating visual elements like a logo and website that reflect your brand identity.
By taking the time to build a strong brand, you’ll be positioning yourself for long-term success.
Step #2 - Find Your People
How do you find your people?
By building your customer avatar.
What is a customer avatar?
A customer avatar is a generalized representation of your customer. Creating an avatar creates a more accessible and relatable form of a target market. So instead of a series of generalizations, you basically create a person you can relate to and visualize.
Creating a customer avatar means that you can create a website and content that is personalized for it, so instead of yelling into a crowded room, you are having an intimate conversation with a friend.
By being able to have this intimate conversation, you can know:
- What campaigns will attract new customers.
- Which social networks you will be able to reach your potential customers on.
- What products and services will be of most use to your customers.
- How to write content that will get your customers to act!
- Where you can best reach your customers, whether it be through emails, Facebook Messenger, or through any other channel.
Here are a few questions to ask to build your own customer avatar…
- What problems does my company's product or service solve?
If you've been in business for any length of time, you should have some understanding of why your product or service exists. Your content should be related to that purpose (that means resisting the urge to share irrelevant memes just because they're funny—if it's not connected to your mission, it doesn't belong in your content marketing).
- Who are our current customers?
If you're not sure who buys your product or service, someone in your organization almost certainly does. Consider asking your company's executives or sales teams for this information. It may also be necessary to segment your types of customers. For example, you may categorize customers based on location, budget, or needs.
It's likely you know who your obvious competitors are. However, some quick searches on Google and social media (particularly on Facebook and Twitter) can often reveal upstart competition you may not have been aware of. Try searching for a keyword or two that are related to your industry. See which businesses come up. Browse their "About Us" pages and feature descriptions. This is an easy way to develop an idea of who your competition is and fast.
- What do customers stand to gain from choosing us (instead of a competitor)?
What features do you offer that no one else does? Is there something you can do better than anyone else?
- What was a customer experiencing before they purchased our product or service?
What is the driving emotion or experience occurring before a purchase was made? Think about Dewalt wanting to sell more electric drills. A driving experience may be someone making a big step in their life like getting married, buying a house, moving into a new apartment, moving across the country, or getting a new job. This new experience triggers this person to want to take more control in their life, putting together new furniture, making repairs on their home, not having access to friends or family's electric drill anymore.
Now that you understand why you need to know your audience like the back of your hand…
It’s time to find your voice to reach your people.
Step #3 - Find Your Voice
In a world that seems to be filled with fake—fake news, fake lives, and fake friends, how can you stand out from the crowd and make your mark on the world?
By being different and finding your brand voice!
What’s a brand voice?
It’s the personality of your brand.
It's what makes you unique and sets you apart from your competitors.
It's the way you communicate with your customers and prospects, and it should be consistent across all of your marketing materials.
Think about it this way: if your brand was a person, how would you want that person to sound? Confident? Witty? Inspiring?
Your brand voice should be representative of your company's values and mission, and it should reflect the needs and desires of your target audience.
Why do you need a brand voice?
Well, it helps you to connect with your customers on a more personal level. It makes your brand more relatable and approachable. And ultimately, it helps you to build trust with your audience.
When done well, your brand voice will help you build trust and rapport with your customers, and it will make them more likely to do business with you.
So if you're not sure what your brand voice is, or if you're not using it effectively, now is the time to take a closer look.
After all, your brand voice is one of the most powerful tools you have for making a lasting impression.
So how do you find your brand voice?
And once you've found it, how do you make sure you're using it consistently across all your marketing materials?
Here are a few tips:
1. Define your brand values and personality.
What are the cornerstone principles that guide everything you do? These values will help to inform your brand voice. What kind of tone do you want to strike with your audience? Do you want to be friendly and approachable, or more formal and professional? Consider what kind of language your audience will respond to positively.
2. Know your audience.
What kind of language do they respond to? What style of communication will resonate with them?
3. Be consistent.
Once you've found your brand voice, stick to it! Consistency will help people to recognize and remember your brand.
4. Find inspiration in other brands.
Take a look at other brands in your industry and see what kind of voices they use. What works well for them, and what doesn't? Use their examples as a starting point for developing your own brand voice.
5. Have fun with it!
Your brand voice should be reflective of your company culture and the people who work there. So don't be afraid to inject a bit of personality into your communications.
When you’re developing your brand voice, it’s important to be consistent across all of your channels. That means using the same tone and style in your website content, social media posts, email marketing, and advertising.
Step #4 - Create Images That Reflect Your Brand
In today's visually-driven culture, it's more important than ever for businesses to pay attention to the images they use to represent their brand.
The right images can convey your brand's story and values, connect with your target audience, and help you stand out from the competition.
At the same time, using the wrong images can send the wrong message and turn potential customers away.
That's why it's so important to carefully select the photos, illustrations, and other visuals you use to represent your brand.
When done well, images can be a powerful tool for building your brand and achieving success.
Well first, consider what feeling you want your brand to evoke.
Do you want it to feel friendly and approachable, luxury and aspirational, or something else entirely?
Once you've pinpointed the feeling you're going for, look for images that communicate that feeling.
Also pay attention to the colors in the image - do they match your brand's color palette?
And finally, make sure the image is high quality and professionally shot - blurry or poorly lit photos won't do your brand any favors.
Are you starting to see why it’s SO important to create images that reflect the values and personality of your brand?
If you’re still not sure, here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Define your brand.
What are your core values and messages? What do you want your customers to feel when they see your brand? Keep these things in mind as you create or select images for your brand.
2. Be consistent.
Once you've defined your brand, it's important to be consistent with the images you use. Use the same colors, fonts, and style across all of your marketing materials to create a cohesive look.
3. Make sure the image quality is high.
Low-quality images can make your brand look unprofessional, so be sure to use only high-resolution images that will look good in print or on screen.
4. Be selective.
Don't overwhelm customers with too many images at once; choose only a few that really capture the essence of your brand and communicate
A brand's visual identity is one of the most important elements of its overall image. After all, it's the first thing that customers will see when they encounter the brand.
A strong visual identity can help a brand to stand out from its competitors and build customer loyalty.
There are countless examples of brands with strong visual identities, but here are a few that really stand out:
- Nike: The Nike swoosh is one of the most recognizable logos in the world, and it's a perfect example of a brand with a strong visual identity. Nike's brand is all about movement and energy, and its visuals reflect that.
- McDonald's: McDonald's is another brand with a highly recognizable logo. The golden arches are recognized around the world, and they symbolize the brand's friendly, approachable image.
- Apple: Apple is known for its minimalist design aesthetic, and that extends to its branding. The company's logo is a simple silhouette of an apple, but it's instantly recognizable.
After recognizing brands like Nike, McDonald’s, and Apple, there's no denying that images are powerful.
In fact, studies have shown that people are more likely to remember information if it is presented to them visually.
This is why incorporating images, photos, and visuals into your branding efforts can be such an effective strategy.
Some ways you can use visuals to strengthen your brand include using a consistent color scheme, using images that reflect your brand values, and creating attractive and eye-catching designs.
By taking advantage of the power of visuals, you can create a strong and memorable brand identity that will resonate with your target audience.
Here’s How To Get Started With Your Branding
Once you come up with a logo, font, and colors, it’s time to add your branding to your website. Luckily, adding your basic branding elements to a Wavoto website is incredibly easy.
No matter what template you get started with, when you use ‘My Brand’ you can change the entire look and feel of your website with the simple additions of custom colors, fonts, and a logo.
In every Wavoto account, there’s the My Brand section of the Back Office under Site Builder, which makes adding and updating your brand easy.
But a word of caution…
Don’t spend too much time on your branding.
Wait, didn’t I just share how important a brand is…so why wouldn’t I want to spend a lot of time on it?
Because your brand doesn’t have to stay the same forever. In fact, brands need to evolve.
Just like people change over time, brands do the same thing.
Obviously, you want to try and create a brand that lasts, so you aren't doing brand work every two years.
But there’s no rule saying your brand has to stay the same forever. Keep your brand simple to start and when your business has the funds available, hiring a brand designer is a fantastic option to create a long-lasting brand.
Keeping your content organized is a huge help when maintaining a successful brand. With our free content calendar template
, you are ensuring that you are consistently sharing your content to build trust with your audience. Start managing your content from one place!