You’ve created a product, picked a business name, had a logo designed, set up a website and maybe printed some business cards. This is how many brands typically start out, reacting to what is happening rather than developing from a well-thought-out, or at the very least a basic branding strategy. And whilst this approach will see you through the early start-up days and months there eventually comes a time when you think ‘hang on a second, this is getting very real and I need to get clear on my brand’.
Branding is about more than having a logo or some pretty visuals. A brand is a vehicle that connects your business, product, service or even yourself to your customers and audience. A previous post I wrote What Exactly is A Brand? goes into more detail. A brand is made up of many things including, yes your logo, the messages you send out, the design of your products, the experience of your service. Your brand is what gives you and your business visibility, and is what your audience uses to make assumptions about you and what you do. So it is no surprise that one of the biggest challenges creative entrepreneurs face when it comes to branding their business properly is knowing where to start.
If you are a start-up business owner who is serious about your business and want to create a brand that will take your business to the next level here are some basic branding strategy elements to consider.
Know your why: the story of…
- Who you are
- What you have to offer
- Why you do what you do, and why it matters. In other words your mission, values, purpose, and motivation.
Know your market
- Who are your audience – what do they do, like? How do they behave where do they live, shop, play
- Know your customer – who are you selling to and why should they buy from you
- What is your market like – trends, competitors, pricing, expectations
Your brand personality:
- What your brand looks like – your visuals
- What it says – how it sounds, the messages you share
- How it behaves – your brand experience and what you want people to feel when they come into contact with your business, products or service audience
These are all important stages in building a brand, and ones I guide you through in my Heartfelt Branding Blueprint course. Specially created with creative business owners in mind, if you are building a brand, or thinking of starting one and need some guidance to get you on the right track the Heartfelt Branding Blueprint will give you the confidence to make the right decisions. It will guide you through the journey of starting and developing a brand that truly reflects the heart and soul of your business and shows you how to position it for success in a crowded marketplace.
[Image credits: The images shown are sourced from/belong to Tapiwa Matsinde. If downloaded and used elsewhere please credit accordingly.]