The ocean keeps its impeccable balance and even though the big fish eat the small ones, their population doesn’t cease to exist. That’s what nature is all about: destruction and balance.
Now, I have two news for you: a good one and a bad one. The good one is that when it comes to business we’re not talking about the merciless natural selection but rather about well-behaved civilization. The bad one, however, is that here there’s no balance – the big fish can and will devour your business whenever faced the opportunity.
That’s why you need to step your game up! When it comes to your small business you can’t afford a single moment of distraction. Keeping your focus on your priorities and your personalized customer care is what will help you not only survive but create your own loyal customer base.
The first thing to keep in mind while walking the long road of the successful business is the brand-building. Now, more than ever, brands have become an undoubtful part of our everyday life and decision-making.
60% of the global consumers prefer buying products from a familiar brand.
And even though being a corporate giant does help, it’s not necessary to have a huge business to become recognizable to your own target group. That’s why you need your brand identity. We’ve summed up the first steps you need to take into six simple steps for beginners.
1. Define your key qualities.
As a brand, you have to be completely aware of your qualities. We’re not talking just about technical features here, we’re talking about the actual advantages your brand offers to its users. You need to believe in your brand and in its benefit to the world. In order to craft a completed identity, your brand needs to become part of your beliefs, something you breathe with and you live with. As strange as it might sound when applied to your leather goods business, for example, that is the first sign that you’re moving towards the right direction. Leather goods mean luxury and quality – features applicable to every aspect of your life. Features you need to focus on in your language and visual presentation while advertising. These are your key qualities.
A company you can learn a lot from is GoPro. As one of the brands with the most user generated content, they’re very well familiar with their product’s biggest advantages for the users. Having a target group of young extreme sports enthusiasts means that the qualities you need to have are portability, durability, and convenient size. After defining their main advantages GoPro was able to come up with its infamous slogan: Be a hero which was soon acquired by their fans. That’s UGC heaven right there! This is what 21st-century marketing is all about!
Make a list with the technical features of your product. Write all the metrics and numbers you can think of. Done? Great! Now let’s think what each of these characteristics gives to the customer, how it’s unique and necessary for the users. Think of the actual benefits your product offers – those are your key qualities. After you’ve done with the definition of your qualities start incorporating them in your social media ads, brand language, and design.
2. Know your target audience.
A target audience might sound extremely broad at first, but once you create your actual customer personalities, you’ll see that you only need to get to know about 4 types of people. Consider your approach to your audience as a social skill. How would you behave if you met your customer in your everyday life? How would you talk to them? Are they young and spontaneous or are they analytical and authoritative? Do you call them by their first name or do they prefer Sir/Madam?
Choosing a brand voice is essential as you need to be consistent with your brand identity. This means that you can’t afford to change your visual style or talking tone when trying to build one whole coherent brand. That’s why knowing your audience and its preferences will help you define your own personal approach to it.
Well-known for its bold language and sharp design, Nike is a perfect example of a brand that knows and constantly explores its audience. Lovers of sports wear are open to somewhat aggressively motivational voice that sounds fresh and exciting. That’s why the infamous slogan Just do it has become a symbol of achievement and motivation. That is also why they can say The future was yesterday and still sound optimistic. That’s the power of brand identity.
As trivial as it might sound, the first step here is to create a Customer Persona Template. By personilizing your target group in one individual being you’ll notice that you get to know them better and improve your approach. Add demographics, goals and values, professional background, motivators, and everything else you find relevant. Afterwards, all that’s left to do is to adjust your voice as a brand according to that personality.
3. Design a unique logo and tagline
Image is everything. No, literally, image is everything. A high-quality visual representation of your brand is what is standing between you and success. Now more than ever, we’re used to perceiving the world visually and, even though we’re flooded by millions of images daily, we’re still able to recognize the actually valuable ones.
A huge part of your brand image is your logo. A logo has to be so simple that even when you squint your eyes, you’re still able to recognize it by the colors and the shapes.
It also has to represent your brand in some way – by image, by shape or by color. This means that you can’t just randomly pick a certain style you like – it needs to be relevant to your brand’s essence and values.
When it comes to the tagline, this is where you mix words and image in one whole. Serving as a slogan of some kind, the tagline needs to fit visually into your logo (whether it’s under or above it). Companies usually approach their tagline, not as a company belief but rather as a motivational mission statement connected to the user experience they provide.
FedEx‘s logo has been an inspiration to minimalism lovers for years. It’s isn’t just minimal, though. It’s also extremely well-thought out when it comes to colors and shapes. Check out that tiny arrow between the E and x pointing forward! A small detail like that is the assurance their customers need for their service quality: fast, developing, futuristic. As you can see, FedEx chose a tagline without any verbs – something that most companies wouldn’t dare to do. The tagline here sounds more like a metaphorical promise and a collective company goal. It definitely leaves us feeling like we’re choosing a safe and trustworthy delivery service.
If your team is missing a bright and modern graphic designer, don’t lose hope. You can create your logo for free on Free Logo Maker. I’m also usually sceptical towards online graphic tools but I promise this one will not only save your time and money but also give a new shine to your identity. Drag and drop any shapes, fonts, and graphics you want.
When it comes to your tagline, however, there isn’t a magical recipe. If you’re determined to craft an original and memorable tagline, try to choose one of the two options:
1. action words- including verbs in it lets your customers know what they’re supposed to do with your product (are they supposed to be loving it, to just do it, or to think different). Also these are the taglines that sound like jingles and are extremely memorable.
2. mission statement- using nouns and adjectives describing your qualities doesn’t need to be static. On the opposite, it comes to show your main goal as a brand and assures your users that they’re on the right place.
4. Be present online.
About 30 years ago brands were what was presented in the media- it dictated the trends and the winners. Today, every single company can have its own media through a high-quality digital content. Media’s dimensions have broadened incredibly to all the areas of our online presence: social media, personal websites, and advertisements. Now we’ve got the wonderful chance to connect to our users, communicate with them, see their faces and show them ours. We shouldn’t waste it!
Social media is that amazing wide field where you can plant whatever you’d like to pick. Your approach leads to your followers’ behavior. Furthermore, people are much more likely to actively participate in the communication with a brand online. They generate some of the most valuable content through pictures, testimonials, videos, etc. Your social media presence, however, is a multi-layered goal and you need to work on multiple aspects when trying to achieve it.
If brand building is an amusement park, then managing only your social media pages is like visiting only the gift shops. It might seem fun but you came here for the rollercoasters. Your personal website is what makes it all actually count.
Personal websites give you the credibility you need as a brand. Your customers will be thankful if you provide a nice space for them to explore you and your values and beliefs, your creativity and your advice, your products and your services. All of your efforts on this journey achieve a result only when you’ve managed to make yourself trustworthy and useful to your users. And if you’re able to combine your social media presence with your personal website, then you’re actually playing the game.;
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) 29 октомври 2013 г.
Oreo is one of my favorite examples of a witty social media branding. As a brand that has already earned trust and love by millions, now it provides an amusing experience to its followers. By being funny and even sarcastic, Oreo becomes the tweeter leader among its competitors.
When it comes to social media you need to be consistent. Even though most of your users will see your posts while scrolling down their news feed, they’ll remember your content only when it follows a certain frame. Make a weekly schedule of your postings and don’t neglect the options Facebook and Twitter give you. Include photos, videos and links. Try to choose your framework, your role in the news feed: a newsjacker, an inspirer, a comedian, or a communicator. Choose the type of person your audience would be friends with and incorporate him into every piece you post.
A personal website, as we said, can incorporate multiple elements depending on your professional field. There are, however, some universal ideas you can include. Add a blog/tutorial page to earn your customers’ trust: be useful and helpful to them, solve their problems and be honest. Show your team: seeing your faces and your interests is the much-needed human interaction we’re lacking online. Your users will feel much closer to you. Create a cool tool conntected to your brand: whether it’s a game, an app, or a quiz, you’ll be able to attain people’s attention for longer by doing that.
5. Stay true to yourself.
It’s like in high school. The harder you try to be popular and liked, the more annoying and obnoxious you become. Don’t be the copycat in the house repeating all of you competitors’ steps. Instead, find your own voice. Your brand has to reflect your own values and passions. Don’t be afraid of straying away from you product promotion – your products are there because of you and you breathe life into it. Through inspiration, boldness and a sustainable mission, you’ll be able to create a loyal community. That’s the ultimate challenge.
There are a few brands in the world so dedicated to a cause like Dove is. Believing in real beauty, they create all of their marketing campaigns based on that foundation. Encouraging women to embrace their bodies and even their imperfections makes Dove one of the most popular cosmetic brands in the whole world. They’re not just selling products, their acquiring ambassadors of their brands.
How to do it? You know how to do it. You do you. There’re no tips and tricks here.