How to Build and Leverage a Brand
A strong brand sells – this is how you succeed in today’s competitive market.
Do you also want to come up and challenge the big giants IKEA or Coca-Cola? Do you know what they all have in common? Yes, a strong brand! Building a strong brand does not have to be difficult or impossible. In four steps we show you how to start your journey towards a stronger brand so that you become the first choice for your target group!
Yes, why should you really create a strong brand? Well, because a strong brand strengthens your position in the market and makes you sell more! Just look at Apple, Coca-Cola, and IKEA, they have all managed to create really strong (and global) brands. Almost everyone knows these brands and has a relationship with them.
Creating a relationship with your customers through your brand gives you a huge competitive advantage. Want to challenge your competitors, sell more and win market shares? Then invest in strengthening your brand!
1. Get to know your audience
Your first step in creating a stronger brand is finding out who you are really targeting. Who is part of your target group? You also need to find out who your customers are. The question is how to go about identifying existing and future customers?
Analyze your current customers
If you already have a customer base, start by researching the characteristics of your customers. Are they men or women? What is the most common age? Do they live in a specific location? From what channels did they come to your website? What do they do in their spare time and how much do they spend on products in your industry?
You who already have customers here have a clear advantage as you are probably already sitting on a lot of information. By getting to know your customers and finding out what they appreciate, you can build your brand in a positive way, for them. To further develop your brand, you can ask these questions:
- What do your customers like about your brand?
- What do they miss? What do they like less?
- What do they like about your competitors?
- What do they dislike about competitors’ brands?
Now it’s time to create personas, fictional portraits of your customers! It is much more difficult to reach a message when you do not know who you are talking to: When you create personas, you get a persona to relate to. By painting up scenarios and people representing your target group, you can more easily understand how, where and when, for example, you should communicate with them.
Say you should invite three people to dinner. You obviously know who these people are when they are invited and then you know that one is vegan, the other is allergic to nuts and the third does not drink alcohol. In other words, you can customize your dinner to your guests’ needs and make sure they are fantastically satisfied. Now imagine that the custom dinner is your marketing, and the personal fact is what you came up with in the process when you created your personas.
Start by thinking about what different customer segments you have. Can they be broken down by personality types, age, family relationships or interests? Imagine that you write a personal portrait, in other words, you want to know as much as possible about your persona. Here are some tips for what you need to include in your personas to make them realistic and vibrant:
- Describe the person’s lifestyle based on age, family situation, location, villa or apartment, and relationship status.
- Describe the person’s work situation and interests.
- What drives the person? Is there something they are really passionate about? Environment, animal rights, voluntary work?
- What do they like to do online? In what channels do they move?
- What are their pain points? Economics, time or maybe knowledge?
2. Make your brand memorable
Tell your story
What is the story behind your business? How come you started? Was there a special reason or interesting story that you can highlight? By telling a story about your business, you give your visitors the opportunity to get to know and participate in the journey you have begun. Invite customers to come along!
Through a story, you have the opportunity to tell who you are as a company and brand. Also, try to weave important value words that mean a lot to your business in your story. Maybe it’s about what has shaped you, or a reason why you thought your product or service was not on the market. Try to go deeper with what your brand represents and find your niche!
Create the brand’s personality
Try to see your brand as a person instead of just logo and name. How had this person been? What had been his / her habits or dreams? What had that person been passionate about? Try to bring these personality traits to life in your brand.
3. Create a unique graphic profile
Now that you’ve grasped what you need to work on in your brand’s “personality,” we can now move on to the visual part. Here, it is important that you create a plan for what your graphic profile with color, shape and logo should look like. Your graphic profile should reinforce your story and personality. It is also important for you to be consistent in your graphic profile, if you have chosen a certain font, stick to it, this also applies to images, colors and shapes. Always think that you should reinforce your message further, not thin it out with several different variations.
Do you like fashion and clothing? Like the fashion industry, brands can also be divided into different styles. So what style do you want your company to have? Minimalist, futuristic, technical or maybe classic? There are a variety of influences to be inspired by!
Can you find any symbol, animal or other connection that tells you something about your company or its name? Is it easy to remember and links it to what you want to convey with your brand? Then you may already have your logo ready! Can’t think of anything? Then we have a list of important points for you to follow when you start to creating your logo.
- Look for other companies that have a logo that you really like. Keep it in mind but be sure to create something unique for your business!
- Keep it simple and clean, you want those who see your logo to easily associate it with your brand. The fewer details, the easier it is to remember.
- Create 3-4 different options to choose from. Write down their strengths and weaknesses and check with an expert or one of your personas before you decide.
- Think simplicity. Try not to use too many fonts or colors in your logo. It gets easily distracting.
- Make sure the logo is in line with your brand identity, What does the logo say about your company? If you have chosen a classic style then your logo should also be in a classic cut, if you choose playful then the logo should also be playful. Think whole!
All in all, everything in your brand building is about positioning yourself. When talking about brand building, it is important that you are really consistent in all your communication. It is equally important that your employees understand what you want to convey about your company to the outside world. This should characterize your website, your marketing, the contacts with the customer and everything you do.
Set up a plan for how you want to communicate with the customer. If you choose to be playful, for example, try to keep that tone in contact with customers, on your instagram or have fun with it in your advertising. Try to strive for that tone in all external material!
Make sure everyone who works with your company really knows the importance of “being” your brand. It becomes easier when everyone is fighting for the same goal.
Be clear! Let it be clear what your brand stands for and don’t let it float in too many details. The simpler, the clearer and more effective!
Be consistent. A brand is not built by being said and done once. You have to say and do the same thing many times and all the time.
Think long term. Building a strong brand does not happen overnight.
Your brand is not just about a logo and advertising, but about what you do, how you do it and when you communicate it.
Now we have gone through what you can do to strengthen your brand. Don’t forget that branding takes time. Think, breathe and work in your brand, let it take its time and you will end up with a much stronger brand than before. It’s worth the effort!