The Ultimate Guide on How to Start a Brand
Building a brand can seem like an endless process that requires extensive forethought and insights every step of the way.
In the business world, branding is the backbone behind every new brand and successful company. Not only does branding directly influence how consumers will view your product or service, but it serves as a long-term strategy that speaks to the purpose of your brand.
With branding being one of the main steps to building any brand, it’s important to strategize a plan on how you will build your brand to allow your business to reach its purpose and goal in an organized manner.
Building a brand doesn’t happen overnight, so your business needs to stay consistent with the ongoing efforts of building your brand, reputation, and relationship with your target audience.
Our expert digital team at Bold x Collective understands the efforts put into building a strong brand that both resonates with your target audience and works well to promote your products or services.
Keep in mind that the building process of your brand doesn’t necessarily have to be chronological to the list of tips provided in this article, as you may have to make accommodations along the way and add new findings to prior steps to create the most optimal plan for your brand.
Building a brand on your own can seem intimidating, and it may be difficult to know where to start. Keep reading our in-depth guide on how you can start building your brand!
Before we jump into explaining each strategy, let’s discuss what makes up a brand and why creating a strategic plan on how you will build your brand is important for every business.
What Is a Brand?
As marketers, a few questions we get asked often are what defines a brand and why investing time and effort into branding is beneficial to building a brand. Your brand alone is an essential component for consumers to distinguish the difference between your brand from other similar brands in the industry.
A brand will house all the creative and main elements, like a creative logo, a unique mission statement, values, slogans, colour palettes, and more.
Together, all these elements, visual and non-visual, will work to shape your brand’s identity and voice to provide consumers with a one-of-a-kind experience when they come across your brand, and hopefully result in new customer relationships.
What’s The Importance of Branding?
Now let’s get into what goes into building and establishing a successful brand. It’s important to understand that without branding, it would be very difficult for a new business to communicate its purpose to the right target audience in an effective way. Branding serves as an effective marketing tool for businesses to help differentiate themselves from their competitors in the same industry, so you must create a brand that leaves a lasting impression on your target audience.
Overall, building your brand is when you are in the process of researching and designing specific features that identify and make up your brand. The goal of branding is to set your brand apart from your competition and give consumers a reason to choose your brand over others.
Now that we have provided you with a better understanding of what a brand is and the significance of branding, we can dive into explaining the six important steps we recommend you use when building your brand.
Here is our list of effective steps you can use when creating a strategic plan on how to build your brand:
1. Research your target audience & competitors
2. Define your purpose & mission statement (Slogan)
3. Implementing a brand personality (Persona) and storytelling (Focus)
4. Set out objectives & goals
5. Build your identity – (Name, logo)
6. Brand integration (Implement the brand across your business)
Research Target Audience & Competitors
Before formulating a strategy plan on how to build your brand, start researching and establishing your brand’s persona and target audience. Make sure to compile extensive research that gives you a concrete understanding of the major consumer segments your brand wants to connect with while looking for potential consumers and the advantages your brand can bring to each segment.
Additionally, make sure to research your brand industry to gather further information, as well as a couple of competitors.
During the research process, keep in mind the following questions to ask yourself when creating your persona:
1. Who is your easiest target audience?
2. Who is your toughest target audience?
3. How does your target audience express themselves?
4. What interests your target audience?
5. Who are your competitors?
By looking at your competitors, not only can you determine a better idea of how to reach your potential target audiences within your industry, but you can also analyze current and past branding trends that have or haven’t succeeded in the industry. Don’t be afraid to gather inspiration from your competitors as well and keep up to date with popular or new trends that thrive within your industry.
Define Your Brand’s Purpose & Mission Statement
Next is to explore and finalize what you want your brand to stand for, in other words defining your brand’s purpose. Think about how your brand came to be, how it is operating currently, and where you see the brand heading in the upcoming years.
Defining the purpose of your brand will help you connect with the right audience who also want to derive the same purpose of your brand. A great way to communicate this is by establishing a mission statement that directly outlines your place in the industry and answers the following commonly asked questions by consumers; why, how & what.
- How does your brand differ from others?
- What service do you provide?
- Why does your brand exist?
- Why should people engage with your brand?
Developing A Brand Personality
This next step involves storytelling and creative brainstorming to bring your brand to life! Here, you want to brainstorm the characteristics of your brand, and what you want to communicate to your audience. It can be helpful to think about your brand’s positioning in the market and to establish certain aspects that make up your brand to help your target audience see your brand’s personality.
For example, your brand can be positioned as a high-end luxury fashion brand that wants to highlight the high quality, one-of-a-kind, and exclusivity of its products. Therefore, you would want to implement these specific points throughout your brand through a unique voice, tone, language, and colour palettes to represent your brand’s personality.
Make Realistic Objectives & Goals
Brainstorming the objectives and goals for your brand is important to allow for short and long-term benefits when measuring your brand’s success and ensuring consistency. When gathering information and ideas in the branding process, it’s important to make sure all efforts are heading in the right direction that will bring your brand positive results with a concrete purpose.
So, to stay organized with your objectives throughout the progress of building your brand, make sure you set out realistic goals that your brand and your target audience can meet. Realistic goals allow you to see a clearer vision of how your brand is currently progressing and how the future will look. Therefore, we always recommend that you stay consistent in adjusting your objectives and goals to accommodate the results you get from your target audience.
One of the most important parts of building your brand is establishing your brand identity. A brand’s identity is how a brand portrays itself to the world using creative features like logos, experiences, and more. When creating a brand identity, keep in mind that you are creating all the visual assets that will serve as the foundation of your brand for how your target audience will recognize your brand apart from others.
During this step, you are using all the other steps mentioned above to help you visualize how your brand will look. There are many different types of assets you can create to help build the look and feel of your brand; a few elements of brand identity are:
- Logos & Icons
- Colour Palettes
Make sure that all these elements are consistent with your brand’s values, goals, and personality that you have established in the previous steps.
Integrate Your Brand
The final step of building your brand is brand integration. For this step, you are going to execute and put into action all the progress you have made with the previous five steps mentioned above. The main purpose of this step is to integrate your branding elements across your business.
This means applying your brand on both online and offline platforms. In today’s digital world, you want to ensure that you implement your brand the same way on all platforms so that your target audience can identify your brand and interact with both you and your brand.
Therefore, your brand’s identity will help you stay consistent with your target audience by using aspects like logos, fonts, and images that will remind your target audience of your brand every time they come across it.
Another great platform that will help integrate all aspects of your brand by creating an original website for your brand that speaks your brand’s voice, purpose, persona & identity while answering any questions coming from your target audiences.
With an infinite number of factors to consider when building your brand, we hope this blog helps you navigate a better understanding of the main steps you should be considering when creating your brand and provides you clarity on how to start!
The entrepreneurial and creative mindset that designing and implementing a branding strategy requires can be difficult to organize and balance but be worthwhile in the long run!
Need extra assistance on establishing your brand with all these steps? Contact our team of branding experts at Bold x Collective for a complimentary consultation. We’d love to hear about your idea!