16 Mar 2020 - 5 mins read
A recognisable, trustworthy and appealing brand is one of the most valuable and important assets that your company can have. A brand portrays your businesses credibility and provides an assurance of quality, this all helps to influence a customer’s perception of your business.
According to a recent survey, 59% of customers prefer to buy new products and services from a brand that is familiar to them. To some, a brand may just be seen as just a logo, but there is so much more to it than that.
As a small/startup business, you may be competing against multiple brands that have loyal customers, a strong marketing strategy and large marketing budgets. Therefore it is important to make sure that you stand out and differentiate your business from your competitors, a solid brand will help you to achieve this.
In this post we will be discussing what to consider when building a brand from the ground up and the best practices for creating, crafting and developing a well positioned brand.
The first thing to consider when building a brand is, what is the purpose? Every successful brand has a story behind it, and the story will help you to create the foundations of your brand.
There are 3 questions to ask yourself which will help you to create your story:
Once you have answered these questions, they can then be used to articulate your brand's story. This can then be utilised throughout slogans, tag lines and your tone of voice. It's sometimes hard to define, but think about why you started the business, and you’re going to need to dig a bit deeper than ‘to make money’.
Take a look at Warby Parker - a US based Eyewear brand, they articulate their story well, and carry this throughout all of their above the line marketing.
Of course you want to stand out from your competitors, who doesn’t? But first you need to have an understanding of what they’re doing and how they’re doing it - the aim of this research is not to copy them - it's a discovery phase.
You should begin by creating a competitor landscape analysis, you can see where you currently sit within the market alongside them. Below is an example template:
What does their brand look like? Take away both positives and negatives from their brand presence.
They might do social media really well, but their website might be poor, they might offer discounts every day - is this something you’d want to do, or are you looking to hit a higher end of the market? Here is where you should consider their use of colour, fonts etc. Do they use their brand consistently across all channels? In what ways do they market their brand, both online and offline? Keeping up to date on what your competitors are doing will keep you one step ahead.
It is important that you know who you are aiming your brand towards - as you can then tailor your look, tone of voice, marketing and user journey to fit their needs. An advantage of this is to be specific as possible, as this will ensure your brand message comes across clearly to the intended audience.
For example; instead of aiming everything at ‘women between 18-25’, try and break it out further so that you don’t exclude any specific quirks of your demographic.
In order for customers to trust and buy from you, you need to build a brand that is memorable, trustworthy and to be able to offer what other brands can’t/don’t. Focus on the benefits and qualities that make your brand unique, which will give them reason to choose your brand over one of your competitors.
When you think of building your brand, the logo and visuals are usually what come to mind first. However, each stage before this should heavily influence the way your brand looks. The fact that this point is number 5 out of 6 in the blog, shows how much thought needs to be put into a brand before even considering what your brand will look like.
Your logo will appear on everything that relates to your business; it will become your identity and a visual representation of your brand’s story. This process shouldn’t be rushed, a lot of time should be invested to create a brand identity that reinforces your story and your USP’s. Colours and fonts should be carefully chosen to represent the industry you’re in, appeal to your target audience, and aim to stand out against competitors. Think about where your brand is going to be placed, website, brochures, business cards, clothes labels, bags, social media - make sure it's identifiable, readable at small sizes and a colour which can sit on various background colours and still be legible.
Take this example by conceptual creative: Diego Guevara. Easily & simply showcasing the thought process which went into the creation of this conceptual brand for Inter Milan FC. Each aspect relates the identity back to the brand itself.
Brand guidelines should then be created to ensure consistency for any future application of the logo, fonts, or colour palettes. It should contain; logo size and placements, typography, colour palettes, iconography, photography and web applications.
You now need to think about how you can use your brand effectively. Everything that your customer sees should be branded appropriately, and not just with the application of your logo. It’s not as easy as simply adding your logo to a business card template or a website, everything needs to be considered as to how that appears to your customer. Some brands are so powerful and recognisable, that they don’t even need to brand themselves anymore. Take McDonald’s for example. Their latest billboard advertising campaign highlights just how powerful a brand can actually be;
Your website is instrumental for marketing your brand. When designing your website, you need to consider all the factors talked about in this blog post; applying your story, tone of voice, strapline, colours, fonts, photography etc. All content used on digital platforms should be branded appropriately, using your brand guidelines to keep the brand consistent throughout.
Any print design, for example, business cards, billboards, posters etc. should be branded appropriately with your logo and strapline. Make your brand follow the customer throughout their journey clearly and consistently.
If you need help building your brand story, get in touch with us
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