How to Build Your Business’s Brand

When most people think of the word “brand,” they think of a business like Coca-Cola or Nike. And to be sure, these are certainly brand-name companies. In fact, their names are nearly ubiquitous, and they both have distinctive logos that we all know by sight.

But there’s more to a brand than just a name or a logo.

Really, a brand is a personality. It’s a fully-formed vision of your company. In other words, when someone gets to know your brand, it should be like getting to know a new person. Your brand should have a look, a feel, and an overall memorable impression that makes a mark in your chosen industry.

Whether you’re just starting out in business or you’re looking for ways to improve your already-established company, brand refinement is a great approach. Below, we’ve outlined a proven 7-step strategy for undertaking this process.

7 Key Steps for Successful Brand Building

1. Do some research on your target audience.

First, you have to know who you want your brand to speak to.

The key here is not to get overzealous and try to speak to everyone. If you’re selling coffee blends with a patriotic flair, you’re probably not going to be targeting millennials in college. If you’re selling fun and frilly hair ties and headbands, you’re not going to be targeting men in their 40s.

Know your audience, know what they like, know where they hang out (online and in real life), and know what your competition is.

2. Choose a personality.

Again, you can’t be every personality. For instance, you can’t be fun and chipper and also dark and brooding. You can’t be serious and studious and also silly and sassy. You need to choose your company’s personality and base it on who you are as an individual and who your target audience is.

As you make up your mind in this realm, be sure to put your personality and vision into words. What you come up with is generally good content for your “About Us” website page. Put your vision under a headline like “Our Mission.” That way, site visitors and customers have a clear understanding of where your company is coming from — and where you want it to go.

3. Decide on a name and slogan.

Chances are, you’ve already had some name and slogan ideas bouncing around in your head since your company’s naissance. That’s good. Go with a name that feels comfortable and right for you, but just be sure of two things:

First, make sure it’s a name you can legally choose. You need to check established business name databases with the government to make sure you’re not stealing another company’s name.

Second, make sure it speaks to your target audience and accurately represents your company’s personality.

Play around with different ideas. Invent brand-new words or use unrelated words in combination to create a brand-new idea. Wait until you have something that you are completely satisfied with, and then create a slogan or have one created.

4. Design a logo that accurately represents your company.

Now, here’s the fun part. It’s time to design your logo.

Like Coca-Cola and Nike, you’ll want your logo to be something simple, yet memorable. Try your hand at a few ideas yourself, but ultimately — unless you’re an inspired artist yourself — go to a professional to finish the job.

Once you have your logo established, it’s a good time to get some logo items created. Pens, water bottles, tote bags, pins, and magnets are great gifts to give away at your launch party or grand opening.

5. Develop your website.

These days, clients and customers expect every company to have a website. As long as you’re not dealing with extremely sensitive financial, legal, or medical information, you can usually create a good website by yourself using a tool like Wix or Squarespace.

6. Sign up for social media.

All new brands need to have a social media presence. We recommend signing up for Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, in addition to any other social sites that pertain uniquely to your industry.

7. Start speaking to your audience.

Now, it’s time to start posting! Engaging with your audience on a regular basis is your key to success with both your website and social media accounts. Comment on comments, answer questions, reply to reviews, and be sure to post text and video content regularly.

While it’s rare for the brand-building process to always go smoothly, by following these seven steps, you should at least have a solid foundation to start with. Along the way, if you backtrack or deviate from your original plan from time to time, don’t get discouraged. It’s natural to take two steps forward and one step back as you gain your footing. The key is to just keep moving forward — good luck!

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.