- How to create a successful brand from the ground up
- Creating an authentic brand stohttps://soaronline.co.uk/guides/how-to-successfully-build-and-maintain-your-brand.htmlry
- Launching an effective brand campaign
- How to maintain your brand’s image across multiple media channels
Building a brand from the ground up is no easy task, and no doubt, you’ll have a lot of questions about the best way to go about it: What should my brand look like? How should it make people feel? Will it appeal to my target audience?
You may also be thinking about stakeholders, investors and other people who have a say in the purchasing process: Will they feel confident about my brand? How can I get them to understand the needs and goals of the business?
Build a solid foundation for your brand and your business that will allow customers, prospects and the broader industry to distinguish you from the rest of the market – even if they have no intention of using your product or service.
After all, your brand is your business’s identity, “how people perceive and connect with your business — both the impressions you can control and those that you can’t.”
How do you create a successful brand?
If we compare developing a brand to building a house – you need a solid foundation to support the rest of the structure.
Lay the foundation of your brand
Your brand needs to have a strong identity that makes it easily identifiable in the market. So come up with a strappy phrase that anyone in your company can call on to ensure that the work they produce aligns with the business ethos.
It’s unlikely that you’ll come up with a phrase immediately, so don’t be afraid to undertake extensive research.
Take time to learn and understand your audience’s needs and pain points to improve the service or product you offer and your position in the industry.
While you might not have the budget for qualitative research, which tends to be a time-consuming process, you’ll more than likely have access to a contingent of people who can help you out.
If you’re already an established business, consider asking your employees, especially those on the sales and marketing teams, who have connected with your business’s prospects and customers.
Alternatively, you could use market forums and social media groups to understand what motivates your target audience to purchase the product or service you offer.
The data you collate could help you identify your position in the market by answering key questions, such as:
- Why do customers choose our product or service?
- How does our product/service benefit the consumer?
- What are the emotional benefits of using our product or service?
- How do we differ from our competitors?
- Who are our “low-hanging fruit” customers? (the ones you could most easily sell to)
Answering those questions helped us discover a position that only Soar Online could occupy – to service clients with more than just organic SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) by assisting in the profitability of businesses across the UK and be a joy to do business with on a human level.
Our philosophy is: “Giving businesses altitude online.” Not only is it strappy, concise and transparent, but it also lives up to its promise of creating results that are going to boost business growth and visibility online and delight clients.
It’s essential to find your focus and let that empower the other aspects of your brand as you develop its image, tone and personality.
Create an authentic brand story
Brands should understand how the power of storytelling can transform their online presence and connect with their audience to build trust.
In some ways, it is easy to integrate your brand into your product’s story; however, you need to ensure that all the core tenets of your brand are being communicated when you market your product or service.
Stories are a powerful tool in human communication and can generate trust in the reader or receiver. So, how do you build a brand that creates trust?
Avoid placing too much emphasis on the functionality and features of your product or service as this lacks personality. Instead, your story should be memorable, even inspirational.
Focus on how you can maximise the value of your product or service for your consumers, not just the business. Your story should be simple, straightforward and follow the three-part model of storytelling:
- Beginning – explain the problem you seek to solve
- Middle – detail how your product or service solves the problem
- End – create excitement about the success produced
The goal of your story is to develop a connection with your audience so that your consumers feel like they are a part of your brand and not just purchasing a product.
Personify your brand
Once you’ve laid the groundwork for your brand and integrated it into your product story, it’s time to start thinking about the focus and tone of your brand.
Personify your brand: How would you like your brand to be perceived? What would it be like if it were a person?
Applying a set of human characteristics and qualities to your brand can help you identify the individual qualities you want it to have, including voice, tone, vibe and style of communication.
Consider characterising your brand through archetypes – a term coined by psychologist Carl Jung during the early 20th century.
Mr Jung noted that 12 primary character archetypes that are aligned with human emotions, these being:
- Belonging > The Everyman
- Control > The Ruler
- Freedom > The Explorer
- Enjoyment > The Jester
- Innovation > The Creator
- Intimacy > The Lover
- Liberation > The Outlaw
- Mastery > The Hero
- Power > The Magician
- Safety > The Innocent
- Service > The Caregiver
- Understanding > The Sage
Archetypes are an effective tool to use when defining your brand’s personality as they represent recurring, instinctive human themes that are easily recognisable and resonate with your intended audience.
Even though our relationships with brands are transactional, science has proven that we have an emotional connection.
People tend to favour brands such as McDonald’s, Apple and Disney, all of which have a solid archetypal personality that connects with their audience on a deeper level, giving them a massive advantage over competitors.
While your brand’s personality will evolve as your business grows and its priorities, goals, and challenges change – it’s important for your brand to evoke an emotion that allows you to connect with your audience.
If you decide to implement an archetypal strategy, avoid taking traits from multiple archetypes, which could damage your brand’s individualism. In other words, don’t try to please everyone; identify your audience and pick an archetype that aligns with their desires.
For example, if your main aim is to empower your customers and make them feel gratified from the challenges they overcome, you might want to adopt the Hero archetype.
As your business evolves and your audience matures, you may need to review your strategy and change your brand’s persona to align with your firm’s new goals and the industry’s shifting priorities.
Launch a brand campaign
An effective brand campaign could establish a positive core image of your brand in the minds of audiences for generations to come.
What is a brand campaign? A brand campaign is an organised course of action that places your company’s story before an audience to reinforce what it stands for and improve brand equity to differentiate your business from the competition.
Before launching a brand campaign, ensure that you know your audience. If you don’t know who you’re targeting, you’ll struggle to craft a message that resonates with people and waste ad spend.
Also, consider spreading your spending across multiple media vehicles – print, digital, social media and TV – as this will increase your exposure and reduce the risk of over saturating a single media form.
However, it’s important to note which channels your audience regularly uses. For example, if your target market doesn’t use Instagram, advertising on that social network would waste time and resources.
Research the most pressing pain points in your industry, identify how your product could solve those issues and make that the core of your campaign. Seek to inspire rather than instruct; sparking curiosity in your audience will produce far more successful results than pushy CTAs that cannot evoke any emotion.
More importantly, measure the performance and success of your campaign. Setting clear metrics will help you determine the factors working well and identify areas for improvement to optimise your message.
Maintaining your brand’s image
Building a successful brand is neither quick nor easy, and once you’ve laid the groundwork, it’s essential to maintain a solid and recognisable brand image across all your media channels.
What that means is constant research, observation, measurement and maintenance to ensure that your brand continues evolving and keeps pace with the changes in your industry.
Consistency is an integral part of maintaining brand identity. Even if your brand undergoes a major overhaul, consistency will allow your customers to know what to expect from your business.
Remain focused on your audience’s needs and anchor your brand to create real value for them by encapsulating all of the tactics mentioned above.