By establishing your brand, you are communicating to your potential customers who you are, what you are selling, and why you exist. These are crucial components to enable you to differentiate yourself among a growing sea of competitors who want to offer products or services similar to yours.
What Is A Brand?
A brand is a difficult concept to define in just one sentence. It encompasses so many components like The Brand Promise, The Brand Perceptions, The Brand Expectations, The Brand Persona, and The Brand Elements. Let’s take a look at these further:
- The Brand Promise: At its very foundation, The Brand Promise is essentially a promise to consumers of what they will receive when they buy your product or service. But it doesn’t just cover the tangible aspects of your product or service. It is also about the feelings it evokes in your customers when they use your products
- The Brand Perceptions: Brands are not built by companies, as many might perceive, instead, they are built by the consumers themselves. The way that the consumers perceive a brand is ultimately what defines it. The company’s job is to ensure that your consumers’ perceptions accurately reflect your brand.
- The Brand Expectations: Using your Brand Promise, customers will begin to develop expectations from your brand. When they are ready to buy one of your products, they are convinced that you will meet their expectations. If your company fails to meet its expectations, it will simply search for another brand that will.
- The Brand Persona: You must think of your brand as a person. What is the personality of that person? What should customers expect when they interact with this person? Consumers will be ready to judge your brand’s persona before they will decide to buy from you.
- The Brand Elements: What makes up your brand elements is all the “intangible elements” previously described as well as the tangible elements, including your brand’s logo, packaging, copy, etc. All of these aforementioned elements must work cohesively together in order to make sure nothing goes off. If it does, your entire brand will falter.
Why Is Branding Important?
When it comes to branding, it all comes down to building trust with your customers. Ask yourself about what you buy regularly. Why is that particular brand you buy important to you? Which brand do you trust more than others?
At a very basic level, consumers tend to buy from brands that they already know and trust.
Let’s look at some numbers.
A survey conducted by Nielsen revealed that 59% of consumers prefer to buy new products from brands that they already know.
If a customer is already familiar with your brand and they have developed trust in it, you don’t need to work as hard to sell them more of your products.
How To Build Your Online Brand
Now that you know the importance of building your brand, let’s take a look at each of the steps needed to build your online brand:
1. Know Your Customers
Before you can start developing your online brand you need to identify who your target audience is. Get familiar with the demographics. Determine how old they are. Where do they live? How much do they earn?
The more you know about your target audience, the easier it will be to create a brand with them in mind.
2. Research Your Competitors
Always look to your competitors to see what is working and contributing to their success. How well do they project their brand? Where do they fall short? Also, determine what their customers are saying and how they are reacting to that brand.
Examine whether your competitor’s messaging is fairly consistent throughout their platforms and channels.
3. Understand Your Product
Delve deeper and determine the most crucial elements of your product that will benefit your customer the most. The more captivating these benefits are, the better they will help shape your brand.
4. Write Your Mission Statement
Your mission statement says what you want to accomplish with your product. This statement should be evident in every aspect of your company. It answers why you are selling this product. What is the purpose of your brand?
5. Select A Voice
Your brand voice will reflect the personality you want to portray. Your brand voice can be casual or professional or you can be a combination of both casual and serious.
It really comes down to how your customers respond to your voice. What’s important is that you remain consistent with your voice. If not, you will lose your audience and their connection with you.
6. Refine Your Brand Message
Your brand message identifies who you and your product are. It is a statement that expresses who you are, what you sell, and how it will benefit your customer. The entirety of this message should only consist of a couple of sentences.
7. Create A Logo
Logos are used to identify a company. Before you hire a graphic designer, be sure to create a brand guideline so that you can have your colors, fonts, styles, and other visible parts of your brand ready to come to life.
8. Build Your Brand Online
After you have come this far, it is time to begin promoting your brand across many different platforms where your target audience is likely to hang out. It is through these channels that you will be able to engage and make meaningful connections with your target audience. It is here where your potential customers will experience your online brand for the first time.
There are no magic formulas to building the perfect online brand. It really comes down to doing the work and making sure that you are using your brand message consistently throughout your entire communication channels.
This could be your website, your copy, your social media, packaging, etc. They should all cohesively communicate who your company is and what your product offers your potential customers.