There are over 500,000 brands worldwide, covering more than 2,000 product categories. So how do you create a brand that is unique to you? How do you build a successful brand that sets you apart? A brand that positively impacts the lives of those who experience it and ignites emotions in them that drive their behavior.
A common misconception is that all you need for a successful brand is a logo, slogan, and tagline. While these are essential marketing tools used to promote your brand, your brand is actually an intangible marketing concept, helping your employees, investors, influencers, and ultimately your customers identify with you, your business, and your product.
How you position your brand influences your target audience’s preferences and guides their decision-making process. It forms the foundation for their loyalty and willingness to continue to engage with your brand and recommend it to others.
So, how do you create your brand with all the existing brands in the marketplace today? Where do you start?
How to Create a Brand
The first stage of creating your brand involves introspection and research. During this initial stage, there are several essential things to consider.
- What purpose your brand serves, and how will people benefit from interacting with it?
- What values does your brand represent? What do you believe in, and what’s most important to you?
- What is your brand’s mission? What contribution to society do you want your brand to make?
- What is your brand vision? Where do you ultimately see your brand? How do you define success?
- How are you going to achieve your vision? What objectives do you have for your brand, and how will you measure them?
This introspection cannot be done in isolation. To thoughtfully answer these questions and define each element, it is critical to research your marketplace and examine what your competition is doing. Discover how your brand is unique and why your target will choose it over others.
Determining your competitive advantage and unique selling proposition requires researching and analyzing your market. Governing every element of your brand, the importance of this critical first step cannot be understated.
Elements of a New Brand / Building Brand Guidelines
Brand Name – Your brand name should speak to the purpose and value of your brand. It should be easy to write and pronounce and not have negative connotations or hurtful meanings in other languages or cultures. Make sure your brand name and associated URL are available. Take the time upfront to brainstorm and test ideas with peers and colleagues. Remember to keep it simple. You want it easily recognized and remembered.
Brand Personality – Like every human has a unique personality, so should your brand. A successful brand forms personal relationships with its audience, so determine your brand’s personality based on the relationships you want to develop. Think of your brand in terms of a person. How will your brand look and sound if it were an actual person?
Target Audience / Buyer Persona– Be specific when defining your target audience. Include not only their demographics but also their psychographics. Find out what motivates them. The more detail you uncover about your target, the more effectively you can position your brand. An insightful target definition not only defines your brand but also guides your marketing efforts.
Positioning Statement and Brand Promise – Once you internalize your brand’s values, personality, and mission and fully understand what makes your target customer tick, you are ready to write your positioning statement. Rarely viewed by outsiders, this internal statement forms the foundation for all your marketing efforts, so take your time.
A typical positioning statement is only three to five sentences and includes the following common elements:
- A description of your target persona.
- An insightful realization of what your target needs and how your brand will meet their needs. Focus on the benefits your brand delivers to your target. The problems and pain points it solves.
- An explanation as to why your brand is better than your competition.
Your brand positioning details your promise to your target, guiding every interaction you have with them. If you promise to deliver “a cleaner environment, ” every initiative associated with your brand must keep this promise.
What Does Your Brand Look Like / Visual Representation – Now the fun begins. Close your eyes and visualize the look of your brand. What colors do you see? What font best represents your positioning? Is your brand best illustrated through photography or iconography?
Gather online and offline representations of your brand to make an inspiration board. The result will include your logo, color palette, and the visual representation of your brand across all channels, so take the time to research your competition and garner input from others.
What Does Your Brand Sound Like / Verbal Representation – Like your visual representation, your verbal presentation must stand the test of time and be easily implemented across various channels. Make sure that your verbal representation remains consistent with your vision and positioning. Always consider your target when defining your brand name, tagline, tone of voice, and overall brand messaging.
Keep an eye out for part 2 of this series, in which we go into brand-building strategies and dos and don’ts. Ready to begin developing your brand right away? Equivity can help. Our team of skilled marketing strategists and marketing assistants can organize, implement, and evaluate your branding and marketing efforts. Contact us today!