Why You Need To Build A Brand and How
There’s a common misconception that a brand is the visual identity of a company, generally the logo.
But, a brand is SO much more than this.
Essentially, a brand is when you build a relationship with your audience because they resonate with your vision, values, voice and visuals. It’s the way people perceive your business; the impression your business gives and the way your audience feels about it.
So, let’s talk about why you need to build a brand and how!
Branding and Brand Identity
What’s the big difference between Branding and Brand Identity?
Branding is the overall personality, presence and feelings associated with your business. It’ s portrayed in every touch-point of your business. The values, mission and vision of your brand all contribute to your branding. Your brand is what makes you, you!
Your branding also dictates your brand identity.
Your brand identity is strictly the visual part of your brand, i.e. your logo, colour palette, font choices, patterns and use of photography, and is the quickest way to illustrate your identity.
The importance of branding
So, why is branding so important?
One of the critical things about a brand is that it helps you establish a personal connection with your customers, clients, prospects, followers and so on.
The story you tell them about your business, your values and mission, will create some emotional response, and you want this to encourage them to interact with your business, whether that’s purchasing from you, helping generate new customers through word of mouth, or simply engaging with you on social media.
Your brand tells people about what kind of business you are, your business DNA. From the first interaction someone has with your brand, you want them to receive the full brand experience, from the visual elements like the logo to the way you might wrap up their purchases and how you answer the phone. Ideally, you want the first interaction with your brand to leave the best first impression.
The power of a brand also instils a level of trust, improves recognition of the business, and helps inspire employees by knowing the values and mission of your business.
How to define your brand
Defining your brand can, initially, seem overwhelming. However, there are some simple steps to take to help identify your brand, and tell your story!
Starting with, what is your story?
What is the story behind your business? Why did you start the business and what gets you going every morning?
By knowing the story behind your business, it helps create a deeper relationship between you and your customers, than just a business and a customer. It helps people relate to your business and become more invested in what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.
What is your mission statement/values?
By establishing the mission statement that describes your vision and your goals, you can create a personality for your business.
While you may not be branding an individual, personality is essential when developing a brand image. Once you know who your business is, it becomes easier to represent who the brand is.
What is your USP and who are your competitors?
With millions of companies trying to make a name for themselves, it is crucial to establish what makes you different to them.
What is your Unique Selling Point?
What can you offer your customer, that no-one else can?
Where community over competition is gaining momentum, we can look at ‘competitors’ in a different light, and instead of competing with them, we can instead focus on what you can offer that is different.
Knowing the difference between you and your competition is imperative in developing a successful brand.
Who is your ideal customer?
Until you know who your ideal customer is, how do you know how to target them? How do you know how to create a relationship with them?
First, identify who your target audience is.
Are they male or female?
Are they in their teens, 20s, 30s, 40s and so on?
What are their interests?
What do they need?
Why do they need it?
By asking questions about who your ideal customer is and what they need, you can learn how to target this audience and further create a relationship with them.
Create the logo and visual identity of your brand
From here, you can create the visual identity of your brand, through your logo, font choices, colour palette and photography.
The logo and visual identity of your brand are likely to be the first interaction someone will have with your brand, whether that’s by looking at your logo at the front of your shop or by finding you on Instagram.
You want this to be a positive first interaction that will keep them coming back, so make sure that your visual identity represents who you are, what you do and what your values are.
Your brand identity doesn't need to be something overly complicated either; complicated doesn’t always mean better. Some of the biggest and favourite brands have the simplest brand identity, e.g. Apple.
Once you’ve established what and who your brand is, you can begin making relationships and connections with customers, prospects and followers.
It’s important to remember here that you should never be afraid of re-branding your business as your voice, values, mission and vision change. It’s likely that this will continuously develop, and it’s crucial to update your branding to reflect who you and your business are now!
If you’re ready to make the next steps in building your brand, check out the Top 5 Questions You Need To Ask Yourself When Creating a Brand Story and How To Create Beautiful Brand Presence With Ease.
About the author
Evie Cox is the Virtual Office Manager here at Cone. She loves wearing many hats in her role, with day to day jobs ranging from general office admin, developing graphic content for web and social media, and writing the odd blog here and there.
Evie loves yoga and meditation, being beside the sea, and shares her home office with her DaxiJack pup Rosie!