In this competitive era, the survival and success of any business depends largely upon the branding. The competition is no longer limited to the locality or city. You can now reach and influence the target customers for your business around the world. However, you have to compete with thousands of similar businesses across the globe. In this scenario, branding helps you make an unforgettable first impression and let you create a custom identity for your business. You may use the following points as a branding checklist for your business.
1. Define Your Brand
Whether you want to sell a product, an idea, or a service, defining your brand is the first step of branding. It helps you build the foundation for your marketing strategies as well as your efforts. Creating a solid brand identity may become crucial for customer retention and customer loyalty.
The definition of a brand plays an important role for all businesses, especially for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers. The values defining your brand communicate what you stand for to the target customers. It can affect your relationship with the clients/audiences/prospects/vendors whilst influencing your communication and marketing decisions.
2. Identify Your Strengths
Identifying the strengths of your business is important for successful branding. It allows you to communicate to the target customers why they should invest in your products or services instead of a competitor’s business.
When evaluating the strengths of your business, it is important to consider how it is compared to the strengths of competitive businesses. You have to be completely honest and realistic when articulating your strengths. You may use the personal strengths and characteristics of the staff, service personnel, or management team as the strength of your business. You may even promote the unique features of your products/services as strengths.
3. Know Your Target Audience
Attracting the target customers or audiences is critical for the success of your business. There are three steps to identifying the target customers that you want to reach with your business or services.
- Creating a customer profile on the basis of the age, gender, level of income, and localities of the target customers.
- Conducting market research using surveys, feedback from focus groups as well as interviews.
- Reassessing your products/services based upon a comprehensive customer profile and the following points.
- The features and benefits are capable of attracting new business.
- The features that may actively discourage potential or new customers.
- The features to keep in focus during the marketing and paid advertising.
- The customers, images, and copywriting influence your message.
4. Create Your Brand Story
To become a successful brand, you need to articulate an authentic brand story to the target customers masterfully. It enables you to articulate what you do to the target customers and others. When writing a brand story, it is important to keep the following points in mind.
- The story of any business or brand starts with the founder. Therefore, you have to narrate why you started the business.
- You have to be creative when making a brand statement. It is different from the mission/vision statement. You have to consider what matters to the customers and/or stakeholders along with the main purpose of the company when creating this statement.
- You have to create a succinct and authentic brand story around this brand statement.
5. Find Your Voice
It is important to be careful about the tone of marketing when connecting to the target audience if you want to effectively influence them. Using the right tone, you can make the target audience feel that you understand what they need and you can provide them with a product/service to make their lives better. When marketing, it is prudent to talk to the target audience instead of talking to them. It enables a brand to build credibility and trust.
6. Design Your Look
You may use the visual brand to narrate the brand story. Therefore, it is important to consider how to visually represent your business. The design, the logo, and the images that are used in order to promote a business all constitute the visual brand. Alongside telling the brand story, it has to represent a company’s personality, core values, and purpose. The aesthetics of the visual elements will affect the emotions of the target customer. Hence, it is important to remember the following points when creating a visual brand.
- Visual elements must have the same feel and deliver the same message.
- Product images, employee headshots, advertisement photography, and social media images become the visual representatives of your brand along with the logo.
7. Be Consistent
Your brand becomes the face of your business. Hence, it may deliver a wrong message to the target audience if your branding is not consistent across all platforms. It shows that you are not attentive to details. Consistent branding makes sure that your brand is easily recognizable, as recognized brands are regarded as trusted brands. Hence, it is important for your branding to look consistent on your website, brochures, stationery, signage, and other platforms.