Last updated on October 11th, 2019
There are plenty of businesses around you in any given market, creating fierce competition. But not all of them are brands. The difference between an established company and a new entrant is evident today, even to customers. They prefer to buy things from brands, not from ordinary businesses. This highlights the importance of building a company and its business into a trustworthy and thriving brand, which is the ultimate aim of most marketers.
A business turns into a brand when people or target customers build a certain desirable perception about it. When that happens, customers do not think twice in purchasing from the brand as they have already made up their mind in terms of quality, service, prices, etc. But building a brand is not easy. Marketers take years to formulate strategies before people finally have a definite perception of a business.
Branding can be called a process of creating a specific logo, name, an image of a product, service, or a company. Smart marketers do this to lure customers to a business. They take resort to aggressive advertising with a theme that is consistent for many years.
Branding For Small Business
We know that global companies are brands, but what about smaller businesses? They cannot be called a brand of high stature as they are still at the beginning of making an impact on potential customers.
Small business needs brand building exercise more than the established companies. This is because smaller companies have to face fierce competition not only from established brands but also from many other small businesses that are springing up every day.
They have to drive customers who are already cornered by many established companies. So, it is not an easy task.
Small firms need branding strategies to attract customers and compete hard. Most entrepreneurs do understand the importance of branding for their new businesses. They know it very well that there is a close link between strong branding and a successful business.
But branding is not just a company’s logo or any visual identity. Inevitably, a logo is a company’s face, but it is not the end of the branding. A logo is just one of many visual identities that a business creates to impress people and leave an impact on their minds.
Many other marketing strategies play a crucial role in convincing people about the quality and usefulness of a product or service.
When you intend to build a thriving brand, it is clear that you wish to create an identity of your business in the niche market. You want to define your business to your external audience as well as to your employees. But the brand identity is all about conveying your business’s core values to your target audience. It is not just about how your brand looks like. In the modern world, customers are smart enough to judge which company is befooling them with glossy, attractive advertisements.
You build a brand identity by connecting your target audience with your products or services emotionally. A brand should be reflecting the same values and beliefs that its customers have. Additionally, when people start repeatedly purchasing from your company, we can say that they identify your business. So, you should ponder on some basics of creating an effective brand.
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Here Are Some Useful Tips To Build A Thriving Brand
01. Keep Your Business Strategy In Mind
When building your brand, the first thing to consider is your business strategy. What exactly is your plan to move ahead of your competitors in a niche market? Pay attention to the type of firm you run. What are your plans for growing your business organically?
If you haven’t formulated any business strategy yet, we advise you first to put it in place. Any brand building exercise with a directionless approach is not going to yield the expected results. You must be clear about your company’s future course of actions. If that is clear to you in advance, then that is basic to start building a brand.
02. Know Your Target Customers Precisely
Which set of people in a market are most likely to buy your product? You need to find them out by researching their social, economic, educational, and cultural backgrounds. Do not assume that everybody is your customer. First, know who the ideal customer is that you want to target with your marketing and branding exercise.
In fact, you should narrow down your research to target a customer who needs your offerings. If you can find out your customers, you will be able to make effective brand-building efforts. This is because you will be creating advertisements, writing your copies, and designing your visual identities to appease those sets of target customers.
03. Decide On Your Brand Positioning
Brand positioning is about standing out from other such businesses in a market. Find out how your business is different from many others? Why should customers pick your products or services when there are already many other such offerings in a market?
A precise answer to such queries leads you to write down a positioning statement. Just write a small paragraph that makes your positioning of brand crystal clear. Make sure that you do not be too idealistic. Instead, the statement should be based on your realities and a practical approach to doing business. It may be an aspirational statement, but remember that you should be delivering what you are promising.
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04. Create Your Logo And Tagline
Many firms do not pay heed to create a logo that looks distinctive. If you are a new entrant in the world of business, the first thing to ensure for building a thriving brand is to have an impressive logo. If you already have a logo, check if it conveys your brand positioning statement and values that your company stands for in the market.
You should design a logo that stands out from your competitors’ logos. It is the face of your company as it will represent your products or services everywhere in your niche market. It is a symbol of your brand. Besides the logo, think of a tagline as well. Put that tagline just below the logo. The slogan will convey your core message to the customers while the logo will make an impression on them.
05. Have An Effective Content Marketing Strategy
In this digital age, when people search for everything on the Internet, your small business must be visible to them in the search results. When they use search engines like Google to find out about the products you make, your business website must come up higher on the search results. If that does not happen, your website will be buried deeper in the search rankings, which makes your brand invisible to the customers.
Therefore, produce content that is useful to your target audience, and then market it well on the web. You must explore all the possible ways to bring your website up on the search results by using your blogs and other text and visual content. Adopt correct search engine optimization practice so that the search bots can pick your content for ranking purposes.
06. Create A Useful Website
Your website is a source of information about your offerings to customers. It also lets them make purchasing of products or services. But will they stay at the website for a long time to read content and buy things? That is the question every website owner wants to answer positively.
Make sure that your website is easily loadable when potential customers click on its link or navigate from one page to the other. In fact, an impressive and user-friendly website helps you a lot in building a thriving brand. It must also be search engine friendly.
To create a visually appealing and user-friendly website, make sure that you have access to the services of a professional graphic designer who can closely work with as per your instructions and design brief.
07. Keep Tracking The Branding Process
Now that you have a tremendous brand-building plan check if you have implemented it fully or not. Often, small business owners lose their enthusiasm halfway and leave everything to the forces of the market and customers. But you should make sure to implement the strategy entirely, which is the most important for a new business. Do not forget this aspect after you are busy with your clients and other brand development tasks.
Therefore, track the implementation periodically. You should monitor the results as well. If the strategy is not going as per the plan and not giving the results, revisit it to make the necessary changes. So, check how many new leads, web visitors, search traffic, and partnership opportunities you got.
So, these are the basics of building a thriving brand when you are starting new in your niche market. But the brand building is a vast topic, and many other crucial aspects of it need to be addressed by experts.
Considering that, Designhill, a leading creative marketplace, organized a webinar on the topic ‘How to Build a Thriving Brand.’ The webinar was conducted on Thursday, October 3, 2019. Jacob Cass was the guest speaker.
Jacob is the founder of an award-winning brand agency ‘Just Creative’ and has worked with big clients such as Disney, Nike, Red Bull, and Vitamin Water. He is a visual designer, art director, brand strategist, UX, UI, interactive and print designer and holds a rich experience of more than 15 years in this field.
Jacob has spoken at TEDx and been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, and many high-profile design books including ‘The Best of Logo Lounge Master Series.’ During the live interactive webinar session, he discussed various aspects of building a thriving brand. He also answered the participants’ questions.
Here is the video of the webinar. Listen to Jacob Cass giving useful tips on how to attract top-tier clients, create your brand strategy, the right branding and design process, and price your work.
Branding is about creating a certain perception in the minds of people about your products or services and company. But it requires you to come out with a unique strategy. You must first know your business, market, and target customers inside out. Then, decide on your brand positioning statement. You will be creating visuals such as your logo, based on your research about your market and audience. An effective content marketing plan and its implementation, and tracking the results are also vital to build your brand.