Building a Brand the Right Way: A Guide for Entrepreneurs
Building a brand the right way means that you understand the structure of the industry you’re trying to penetrate. It’s not a walk in the park and important data is required to produce a strategy.
While there are no hard and fast rules in building a brand, knowing how to do it is critical to everything that revolves around your business ideals.
A strong brand is a strong market rival. If you don’t nurture it, it will eventually die. It can also grow into something else that you have to fight against. Losing sight of what you want your brand to be will reflect how your consumers see you.
Every company will be different, but there are elements that you will have to go through to ensure that your brand stays true to your vision and mission.
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What is a Brand?
In simple words, a brand is the perception of the market about a business
There is more to a brand than just the recognized colors, logos, or taglines. Branding is all about consistency and how you communicate your values, products, and services to the market. A brand is an intangible sum of what encapsulates the company’s mission, vision, history, products, services, employees, reputation, and all things that people associate it with.
If you are keen on keeping what your brand identity is, brand recognition will follow. That’s how you create a reputation for your brand. And that’s what a good brand is.
A good brand will deliver a valuable impact that will create strong customer loyalty and higher business profits.
What are the Characteristics of a Successful Brand?
Entrepreneurs all want to launch successful brands that capture not just local, but international attention. They want a brand that will move the hearts and minds of its market - and become a strong contender that new entrepreneurs look up to.
The business world can be a confusing place as there seem to be an infinite amount of approaches you can use, but limited time to execute them. So learning all the ropes can be a long process, but taking a peek at how successful brands do it can become your key to success.
Creating a successful brand is never simple, those who were able to succeed in the market have these common characteristics, and so should you.
They Understand their Market
Knowing and understanding the market helps create a branding edge. Successful brands look at all the touch-points of consumer interaction with their brands and with their competitors.
Businesses who know their audience, what they like, what they hate, and what they need will always strive to keep up with their customers’ demands. They listen and they do what is necessary to make sure that their audience keeps their brand at the top of their minds.
They are Genuine and Credible
No consumers like dishonest and deceitful practices no matter the size of the company. Those who are found guilty will damage any kind of branding they’ve built, and this is extremely harmful to larger businesses that operate globally.
For instance, General Mills’ alleged dishonest social media response and lack of quality assurance practices can be a PR nightmare that the market will remember.
A strong brand knows that having a genuine and trustworthy brand image is what customers value the most.
They are Innovative and Competitive
The threats of competition are higher than ever. Ever wondered where Blackberry is now?
Blackberry’s unique product has overtaken the market and sold over 50 million units in 2011 and then experienced a downfall when better substitutes rise—touchscreen phones from Apple.
That’s one major example of how quickly a market can be convinced to switch when a seemingly better product comes into the picture. And if a business doesn’t learn to adapt, it will be dominated by innovative competitors and experience a downward spiral leading to becoming a thing of the past.
Businesses try to keep up with high customer demands, and brands who can dive through this challenge and continue to innovate can become market leaders. So even if there is a small threat to your market, address it immediately by making sure you’re not easily replaceable.
They are Consistent
Building a brand name that it successful is not a one-time thing, consistency will make you remain the top option for your consumers. To do this, marketing initiatives play a huge role in making sure that your consumers are always aware of all your efforts.
Your customers buy your product or service, so a consistent quality or even an upgrade is always expected. Loyal customers will know even just a tiny bit of difference from what they’re used to, and small mistakes can push your customers away.
All these characteristics translate to the overall business revenue. A hard-earned brand reputation that’s consistent and continues to be innovative will have fruitful years to come.
How to Build a Brand from Scratch Effectively
With the rise of social media and all digital marketing channels, companies are more challenged to create a brand that will stick; a brand that will catch on and gain momentum for the long-term; and a brand that’s authentic and will resonate with your market.
Ideas are great, and they help you produce colorful strategies that are innovative and bound to succeed – in your mind, at least. Remember, ideas that won’t turn into profit is just an expensive and lengthy mistake.
When building a brand online and offline, the goal is typically to generate income that’s not only sustainable but also provides profit for long years ahead.
So let’s explore more about the fundamental steps on how to establish a successful brand from scratch.
1. Define Your Brand
The first step is to define what your brand is. What are your products and services? What’s your mission and vision? What perception do you want to receive from your market?
Getting this straight in the beginning helps shed light that will define which path your business will take. Knowing your consumer insights will help you understand your audience better and give you a leg up on the competition.
In brand-building, assumptions are practically useless. Don’t assume what your consumers will think of you, instead, know what they think through deep diving on the customer personas you research.
2. Understand Your Market
Here’s where your customer personas come in. Do in-depth research of your target market—their demographic, psychographic, and behavioral analysis. Then, use these data to develop a persona.
For example: A man who works in a bank, within 30-35 years old, lives in Colorado, has a bachelor’s degree, earns $50k yearly, and actively searching for a product similar to yours, or is using a competitor’s products.
These types of data are extremely beneficial to how you create your messaging and develop an edge throughout all your marketing and advertising campaigns.
3. Do a Competitive Analysis
There is always a high chance that your product is not the first in line. Someone else may be selling what you’re selling – some characteristics may change, but the use is possibly the same.
So how do you gain an edge over them? Short answer: know them well.
Competitive analysis means that you identify and gather information about your main competitors. Look for their weakness, evaluate their strengths, find opportunities, and predict their next move.
All this information will help you formulate a strategy with the goal to get their market share or even place them behind your brand.
4. Brand Positioning
Brand positioning is where you create a distinctive place in your customer’s mind.
For instance, you sell a low-cost car. Does a target consumer think of you first when they are in the market for low-cost cars? Because that’s where you want your brand to be—at the top of their mind.
5. Establish Your Brand Identity
Your brand identity is who your business is and what it represents. Personality will play a huge role in making your brand stick out above the rest.
Brand identity includes:
Building a brand identity shows how you portray your brand in the market. So make sure that your brand is unique and recognizable as this will be the foundation that will shape your brand and everything around it
Why do some new brands fail?
With thousands of brands sprouting like mushrooms here and there, there is a high possibility that newer ones won’t make it. Some can only last for a couple of months before deciding to permanently close.
Any product that falls short of key elements may suffer from a terrible loss. While steep competition is a major factor, there are other factors you need to look out for.
A lot of new brands seek to be revolutionary, and in doing so, they set unrealistic ideals they cannot really back up with actions.
These brands only “know and feel” that they will be successful because they are one-of-a-kind. This is the thinking that sets up a lot of new brands to fail. So when building a brand strategy, see to it that you avoid these major mistakes.