When it comes to branding your business, often the first port of call is the visual branding. This is the part of your brand that will make the first impression, and there’s no doubt that it is key to attracting the right audience. However, visual branding alone is not the most important part of creating a brand.
A brand is effectively the personality of a business and involves creating a story that connects with a target audience. The stronger the connection, the more likely you are to grow a loyal and highly converting customer base for your business.
Doing your research
When creating your branding, it’s also important to look at what others are doing. Identify any topics that your competitors are focusing on, what language they use, and what tone they use. Make a note of how other businesses in your sector are presenting themselves to your potential audience.
Audience research will also be integral to building the strong foundations of your brand. There’s no better way to find out what your audience cares about most than to ask them directly. Set up focus groups and design questions that pinpoint what your ideal audience cares about: what they are interested in? What social or political issues do they care about? You can also test your brand story to see how it lands with your consumers before making it official. The aim is to create a unique connection between your brand and who your business is selling to.
All of this research helps you to identify whether your branding is landing correctly. It’s important that you do research like this along every stage of creating a brand, to make sure that you are moving in your desired direction. With this in mind, it’s best to do research before anything else, as well as researching during the creation of your brand, and even once your branding is finalised and ready to be released to the world.
Defining your business values and brand positioning
Around 89% of shoppers said that they would be more loyal to a brand if they shared similar values and beliefs. Consumers now want to feel like they have a personal relationship with a brand; the stronger the relationship, the more likely they are to stay on as a loyal customer.
Your brand values should be defined before you start to think about any other area of your branding, as it is the centre of your brand that all other materials will feed off. These values can help you create brand positioning that helps you to take up a unique space within the market. The more confident and consistent you can be with your brand values, the stronger your brand will be.
In order to figure out what your brand values are, think about what your business stands for. Are you an eco-conscious brand? Do your products help people feel more luxurious at a more affordable price? Are you dedicated to recyclable packaging? Do you want to empower a particular minority? Try writing down keywords that you feel best represent your business and start to build on those, thinking about why certain keywords resonate and how you could use them to build your brand values.
The story behind your business
When creating a brand, we need to understand what that brand stands for. Defining brand values can form the core of a good brand and make everything else a sinch. It is these values that help us to create an effective brand story, which we can then use throughout the marketing for the business.
Your business needs to have a story that connects with your target audience, one that clearly defines what your business stands for and that perfectly describes the services or products you provide. A great example of a strong brand story is Toms, an eco-friendly and conscious living brand. Toms brand story is that they make simple, sustainable shoes that give back to the environment and grassroots communities. This brand story is the thread that ties everything else together, from their social media to their product launches and visual marketing. Their customers are people who share this value of equality for all and eco-living, so when they need a new pair of shoes, Toms is the first place they will visit.
Your brand story should be authentic and have transparency, especially with the more socially conscious millennial and Gen Z consumers. The public increasingly wants to invest in companies that reflect their own values and activism. A recent study showed that “64% of consumers would buy from a brand or boycott it solely because of its position on social or political issues”, highlighting the importance of creating that strong brand story.
Standing out from the crowd
One of the biggest benefits of creating an authentic and transparent brand story is that it can help you stand out from your competitors. No story is exactly the same, and the more focused you can be on what makes your story unique, the more likely you are to have a more prominent brand. The USPs you find while creating your brand can then be used to inform all other aspects of your branding, including your colour scheme, the tone of your business copy, your logo, your social media presence, and all other aspects of your marketing.
Starting with your story and values when creating other elements of your branding ensures that there will be no other brand exactly like yours. The more you stand out in the crowd, the more likely you are to find your most valuable audience.
Before you start on the more visual and public facing parts of your brand, make sure you’ve built the foundations behind the scenes. The more established your brand is within your business, the more likely you will be to create consistent and effective marketing.
If you’d like some help building your brand values and creating an effective brand story, get in touch with us, and we can chat about how our team can help.