By Poll the People . Posted on October 31, 2022

Whenever your brand name comes up in conversations, what do you think people will say about it? Do they love it or hate it? Do they consider it worth a purchase, or do they hold off on buying?

Your brand is how people talk about you when you’re not around. That’s what the founder of one of the most valuable brands in the world said.

Jeff Bezos believes that your brand identity is key to your success. And so apart from improving your services and products, it’s equally important to pay attention to your branding. While branding is a perpetual process, it’s a lot more vital during the initial stages of your business creation.

So if you plan on establishing your small business, it’s better to start branding now and set aside some time and budget for this process. But don’t worry; we’re here to help you get started.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to how you can develop your brand identity simply and easily.

1. Research your value proposition.

Brand identity comes from knowing what sets you apart. There’s no point in branding if you don’t bring something unique to the table.

Antoine Boquen, CEO and co-founder of recruitment company Horizons describes “How do you know your unique value? You search the market and the competitors. What does your brand offer that your competitors fall short of? What’s the point of existing if brands like you are already in the market? Answers to these questions might help you take a glimpse of your unique identity. Yes, it might be challenging to find your proposition, but not doing so will make the marketing afterward incredibly difficult and fruitless.”

Moreover, defining your unique value will provide the backbone for other branding processes, a.k.a visual elements (logo designs, fonts, colors) and actions (services, customer support, human relations, experiences).

If you’re an existing brand that wishes to better your brand identity, then now is a good time to do a complete brand audit.

2. Understand Your Audience

All brands exist for one thing. And that is to serve their customers or audience well. Without the target people, there’s no point in improving one’s products, services, and marketing.

Therefore, when talking about branding, the audience should always come first in line. This means their needs, wants, and concerns should be defined and validated before any form of branding takes place.

In an email interview with Kelley Van Boxmeer, CEO of Motion Invest, a platform for buying and selling websites easily, says “Without a clear understanding of your target audience, your brand bursts in different directions. On the other hand, if you have a well-defined picture of who will patronize your brand, your branding is more specific, targeted, and accurate.

Before you create your visual assets, it’s important to research what the people who will perceive them will be like.

“Determine their age group, general income, location, concerns, challenges, hopes, dreams, and values. Only then can you form a true brand positioning, because then you can form a brand that truly resonates with your target people”, says Jason Lewis Owner of Fast Home Offer Utah.

3. Develop your Creative Elements

When people talk about branding, they often mean logos and other visual elements. But this only comes second when it comes to creating your brand identity. Because the truth is, you can start with the design easily once you get a good grasp of how you want to be perceived.

According to Jason Farr, President and Owner of Aviara Pavers, a design and outdoor living specialist company “We own a paver installation company and we have an idea what our unique value is to the market, that is why it is a lot easier for us to decide on what colors to choose, what font logo designs to consider, and what shapes to include, because these elements have a predetermined impact.”

Therefore, follow the first steps first, then you can move forward with the design.

Creative elements are those that you can visually see from a brand. It consists of brand name, logo designs, typography, color palette, tone and voice, shapes, images, micro-interactions, pictures, UX and UI designs, and many more!

“When developing the look and feel of your brand, it’s important to stick to your chosen unique value proposition. For instance, if you believe you’re the only cheap-shipping eCommerce store in your local market, then it’s best to make your tone affordable, inexpensive, using laymen’s terms, simple, and plain. Same with your color — avoid making it luxurious or else it might be perceived as a higher-end brand, elaborates Tom Miller, Director of Marketing at FitnessVolt.

Your unique brand position will also help you choose the better icon and font, that will truly stand out, and not just like any brand or competitor.

4. Implement your Brand Style through strategies

After listing down your preferred brand styles through icons, shapes, color choices, and more, the bulk of your budget and time will have to deal with the creation of the assets themselves.

Logos are one of the most important assets when it comes to branding. It’s the first thing people see, and it’s also what they most recognize, says Leo Ye, Co-founder, and CEO of CUBO.

So if there’s one design to bring in all the dollars, it’s the logo. A good logo will bring the most bang for your buck. On the contrary, a bad design logo will damage your company.

That’s why it’s important to sit through your design and create a logo that is not only simple, legible (wordmark), and clear, but also beautiful, impactful, and attention-grabbing. And this applies to any assets you hope to create — images, websites, flyers, tarpaulins, store signages, social media profiles, business cards, etc.

This is also the stage where marketing and branding come together. Since you have to create marketing materials in order to materialize your brand, marketing strategies and techniques will prove to be vital in this part.

Just make sure that all of these assets are consistent and adhere to your value proposition and brand style guide.

5. Refine your brand

According to Chris Riley, Owner of BoatSafe “While a timeless brand will get you far, adaptability is also a vital skill to possess when it comes to branding. True, brands should be consistent to get higher or at least stable SaaS revenue. But if the business changes over time, say because of a merger or an expansion, then the brand should be adaptable enough to go along with the changes.”

He further added “That’s why through time, refine your branding. Test different strategies and analyze the results so you can use a branding strategy that works, and one that is really in line with ever-constantly changing goals, values, and mission as an organization.”

Yes, we understand that an intrinsic value from your customers should never change. But the ways to achieve those values should come from different ways as you go along. One of the key brand features which can help you distinguish and be recognizable you could implement smart offices in your everyday business activities, just to embrace your brand culture as something which points new clients in the way you want.

Wrapping up

Tommy Pederson, Founder & Content Specialist of Vekhayn says “Branding is key to most business ordeals. A well-perceived brand has more sales than its competitors. It builds more trust and, therefore loyalty.”

But to get there, branding is extremely difficult. It’s not just a one-process thing. It spans different people, levels, teams, and times. You get better as you refine strategies and do away with what doesn’t work. Even if you have to send discounts or promotional emails to win your clients, you should do it to build your brand. Some companies even send thank you cards to their customers for being loyal.

But to make it simple: keep a tab on your customers and your strong brand identity, and you’ll have consistently improved customer retention rates, and, ultimately, a successful brand.

Poll the People

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