BUILD A BRAND, NOT JUST A BUSINESS
Every new entrepreneur or business owner's dream is to have everyone falling in love with their product or service and people lining up to buy, buy, buy!
What often happens though, is that you share your new offer and hear crickets after some of your friends and family buy.
The truth of the matter is you will probably compete with other brands and businesses [that are probably more established] for the attention of your ideal customers, and that means will need to find creative ways to stand out and attract your ideal customers.
If you’re looking to make your mark in your industry, have customers rave about your business and spread the word about what you do and offer; then build a brand, not just a business!
Whether you’re still shaping your business idea or looking to get serious with your branding to differentiate yourself, here’s all you need to know about building a brand that will surely make your business stand out.
What Is Branding?
Let’s start by saying - a brand is not just a logo or the slogan and colours of your business.
Branding is all of that and more. In the words of Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you're not in the room.”
In other words, the overall perceived reputation of your business by a customer.
So, where do you start if branding is literally everything?
First, let’s highlight why building a brand is more rewarding than just building a business.
In a nutshell, a business focuses more on the exchange of value - selling a product or service for money. While a brand focuses on imprinting an emotion on the customer that lasts after the transaction - done by offering an experience or working to connect with the customer.
If you want to stand out and build a business that has people rooting for it, then building a brand is your key.
How To Turn Your Business Into A Brand
With all the unpredictable events that occurred in 2020, one thing is for sure. Building a digital brand should be on the top of every business’s list.
According to the Nielson Survey, 59% of shoppers prefer to buy new products from the brands they trust, and what better way to do that than by building a recognizable brand that people can trust.
It’s never been easier to get access to your customers online, with nearly all of the world forced to stay at home, more and more people are turning to the internet to connect and shop.
You have potential customers online, and now you just need to find a way to attract, connect with them and give them a memorable experience, that keeps them coming back.
First things first, you will need a blueprint.
This will outline the specifics that will set you apart from other businesses and how you want your customers to perceive you.
You need to pinpoint your key differentiators and how you will share and convey these to your audience and customers through your various channels.
And how can you differentiate yourself from others, you ask?
These are the fundamental things to look at:
1. Know Your Audience:
This is the most crucial step that business owners often overlooked, but it makes or breaks a business. Most businesses leave it at identifying their generic niche. If you want customers to have an experience of a lifetime with your business, make sure you take it a step further by getting clear on the details of your ideal customer.
2. Create A Specific Customer Avatar:
Write down everything you know about your ideal customer, from their pain-points to their interest and buying tendencies. This will help you identify how you are most relevant for them as a business. Dig deep into their core values, passions, beliefs, and ideas and align these with your business. It enhances the experience they will get from working with or buying from you.
3. Research Your Competitors:
Find out what your competitors are doing, and then find disruptive or better methods that they haven’t done before. This will help you stand out from the crowd. Rate your competitors against your brand and find opportunities that could make you stand out. It’s important to highlight that this should be a regular task to keep evolving and stay ahead of the game.
4. Brand Voice:
This speaks to your brand's style of communication to your audience. After looking at your ideal target audience, what would be the best way to “talk” to them. This includes the kind of content you feel they would engage with, the tone and vocabulary that would resonate with them. For example, if your clients are young adults using memes and vines would be more appropriate than if your clients are CEOs of corporations. Being consistent with your brand voice creates a personality in your clients’ minds that they will get to know and recognize in time.
Now that you’re all done with the blueprint, you are ready to move onto the brand marketing.
This has to do with delivering what your brand offers to your target audience in your brand's style and voice. You will need to align it with what your audience considers valuable, while making sure it's done in a way that is different from your competitors.
5 Places you can build your brand in the mind of your audience:
Website - create a great user experience with your website, sharing your story and offer, in your distinct style and voice.
Social Media - identifying which social network best aligns with your ideal audience and focusing on growing your community on that platform by creating valuable content that solves their pain points is the key.
Email Marketing - provide your customers with free resources that they can get when they sign up to your website or for your services. You can then send occasional emails that provide value and build a relationship.
Paid Advertising - Facebook ads are configured to address whatever goal you have in mind. You can run an ad to get people to message you, sign up for your newsletter, engage with your content, learn about your new product or service and more. These can increase your reach and boost your brand awareness.
Influencer Marketing - collaborate with influencers or brand personalities that align