HOW TO BUILD A BRAND FROM THE SCRATCH
The process of building a brand, especially for e-commerce businesses, can prove to be a mighty task. Questions like:
- What should it look like?
- How Should it make customers feel?
- Will it attract a target audience?
are some of the most important questions that come up in this phase, which determines how you bridge the gap between your business and your target customers.
If all you can offer, at the moment, is a viable business idea or support an already existing one, this article will enlighten you on diverse ways to build an attractive and powerful brand identity for your business.
Building a brand identity for your business is as important as every other activity you engage in to sustain and grow your business. Building a high-quality brand will go a long way in helping your product become unique in its own space.
So, before proceeding further, let us delve into the practical details of branding. To many entrepreneurs, a brand is all about your business having a name and logo that makes it different from any other business entity within a certain market. However, A brand is not just a recognizable name and logo that distinguishes you in a crowded market. Your brand also involves how your customers or target audience perceive you every time they come across your products. Branding focuses on giving people a great impression of your business.
At a human level, we all have branded personalities. Each of us has a name, face, style, way of communicating, and characteristics that make us unique, and leave impressions on different people. The same thing goes for products and organizations.
Businesses in the market all possess names, products, logos, colors, fonts, voices, and reputations that constitute what they are and determine the perception of people about them. There are experts who specialize in building brand guidelines, which is a compendium of all the components needed for a brand. Therefore, you could consider building your brand by yourself, or outsourcing it. It is important to note that you cannot build a brand without being consistent and maintaining consistency as you extend the brand to other parts of your business. It all starts with establishing what that consistency is going to look like and the feeling you want it to evoke. To give you a flavor of what it means to build a brand, at a professional level, it could be expensive. For example, the logo alone could cost a lot of money up to more than a billion dollars. Therefore, to avoid spending a dime in designing a logo, the CEO of Kusnap Africa (www.kusnap.com), Idorenyin IWE, always recommends that upcoming companies and start-ups do it themselves. This will cost you zero dollars. Read wide to know how to build your brand guideline documents.
Ways to Build a Successful Brand
There are many details involved in building a successful brand today. Each of the following steps will be a detailed guide on how to go about it.
- Research your target audience and competitors.
Before you start making any decision about your brand, you need to understand the current market, i.e., who your potential customers and competitors are. Ways to go about this include:
- Google your product or service category and analyze the direct and indirect competitors that come up.
- Talk to people who are part of your target market and ask them what brands they buy from within your space.
- Look at the relevant social media accounts or pages your target audience follows and is receptive to.
- Go shopping online or offline and get a feel for how your customers would browse and buy products.
As you go about your research, consider the following also:
- Those you could most easily sell to.
- the brands that are established and known in the market.
- How your customers speak and what they talk about
It is important to have a handle on this before moving forward, as it will inform you on what your brand should focus on and how it can position itself against competitors.
By evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, you can begin to formulate how to give your company an advantage.
- Pick your focus and personality.
It is not possible for your brand to satisfy everything people want in your business, especially in a start-up business. To be more efficient, you need to establish a point of focus and transmit the same to all the different segments of your brand as you build it. The following points should be taken into consideration in business branding.
- Positioning statement.
A positioning statement is one or two lines that stake your claim in the market. This is not necessarily put on your website or business card—it is just to help you answer the right questions about your brand and aids in creating your brand’s tagline.
Take for example, “we offer feeding bottles for babies to remain hydrated and fed while cutting down on spoilage. As opposed to other feeding bottle brands, we support the orphanage for each feeding bottle you buy.”
Your unique value proposition is the one content you are competing on. Find it, go for it, and make it a part of your brand’s messaging. Alternatively, if the company you want to start has a cause at its core (e.g., if you are starting a social enterprise), you can also write this out as a mission statement that makes a clear promise to your customers or the world.
- What words would you associate with your brand?
One way to look at brand-building is to imagine your brand as a person. What would he or she be like? What kind of personality would your customers be attracted to? This will help inform your voice on social media and the tone of all your creative, both visual and written.
A fun and useful branding exercise is pitching three to five adjectives that describe the type of brand that might resonate with your audience. We compiled this list of traits to help you get started.
- What concepts describe your brand?
Thinking about your brand as a metaphor, or personifying it, can help you identify the individual qualities you want it to have. This can be a vehicle, an animal, a celebrity, a sports team, or anything else if it has a prominent reputation in your mind that summons the sort of vibe you want your brand to give.
- Choose your business name.
What is in a name? Depending on the kind of business you want to start, you can make the case that your name matters little or matters a lot. As we have said before, a brand is so much more than a name. The personality, actions, and reputation of your brand are really what give the name meaning in the market. However, as a small business owner, your company’s name is probably one of the first decisions you must take. It will impact your logo, your domain, marketing, and your trademark registration if you decide to go that way.
Ideally, you want a store name that is hard to imitate and even harder to confuse with existing ones in the market. If you have any plan to expand the product lines you offer down the road, consider keeping your business name broad so that it is easier to pivot, rather than choosing a brand name based on your product category.
- Write a slogan.
A catchy slogan is a great asset for your brand. You can use it as a tagline in your social media bios, website header, business cards, and anywhere else where you have gotten very few words to make a substantial impact.
Keep in mind that you can always change your slogan as you find new angles for marketing. Pepsi has gone through over 30 slogans in the past few decades. A well-worded slogan is short, catchy, and makes a strong impression. Take, for example, Nike: Just Do It.
- Choose the look of your brand (colors and font).
Once you have a name down, you will need to think about how you will visually represent your brand colors and typography. This will go together when designing your website.
Colors do not just define the look of your brand; they also convey the feeling you want to communicate and help you make it consistent across all aspects of the business. You will want to choose colors that differentiate you from direct competitors to avoid confusing consumers.
- Design your logo.
A company logo design is one of the first things that come to mind when you think about building a brand. And for a good reason, it is the face of your company, and could potentially be everywhere that your brand exists.
Ideally, you will want a logo that is unique, identifiable, and simple. Consider all the places where your brand’s logo needs to exist, from your website to your Facebook page profile picture.
- Apply your branding across your business.
Applying your brand across your business gives it credibility, consistency, and defines the business’s worth. It differentiates the brand from other competing brands.
- Evolve your brand as you grow.
Building a brand does not stop with creating a logo or slogan, or even with your brand launch. Your brand needs to exist and remain consistent whenever your customers interact with you, from the theme you choose for your website, the marketing materials you produce, all the way to how you package and ship your products.
You will continue to shape and evolve your brand as you expose more customers to it and learn more about who your customers are and how to speak to them. It is important to appreciate that you will never have 100% control over how people perceive your brand.
You can tug customers in the right direction, make a great first impression, and manage your reputation, but you cannot control the individual perceptions of your brand, though with time you can change it. All you can do is put your best foot forward at every turn and try to connect with your customers.
Creating an attractive and unique brand for your business will go a long way in ensuring continuity for your business, recognition, and positive perception about your business. The steps described in this article will help any business, either new or existing, to stand out in any market it exists.
To enjoy many of these brand advantages for e-commerce businesses, join Kusnap today for easy integration. Without doing much, setting up your store in an e-commerce platform like Kusnap guarantees your brand better visibility and recognition for all target customers. Why not join Kusnap today and enjoy unmatched brand success?
The start-up series is regularly brought to you by Kusnap Africa Limited. For more information about the Kusnap brand, visit https://www.kusnap.com/; and for Kusnap Entrepreneurial Institute, visit https://blog.kusnap.com/.