The best brands weren’t built overnight. They were built over an extended period of time with ongoing management to adjust and revamp the brand so that it best aligns with the expectations of your customers and prospects.
New business owners tend to focus on making sales, which isn’t exactly wrong, but when they dedicate the majority of their time to selling and leave little to no time to building their brand, that’s where they actually stunt their own growth.
A strong brand is crucial for new businesses like yours for a few reasons. It differentiates your business from competitors in the market, allowing customers to recognize and distinguish it from others. Well-established brands are perceived as more credible and trustworthy. This helps you bring in customers.
That same strong branding can then help build customer loyalty since a positive experience combined with recognizable and memorable branding encourages people to continue to buy from your business as opposed to that of a competitor.
Investing in your brand is worth the time and resources. Here are five things you should consider when building and scaling your emerging brand.
Brand-Building for New Business Owners
Determine the pain points of your ideal customers
There’s a reason you’re in business, and it’s because you offer a unique solution that isn’t available anywhere else in the marketplace. Now, how do you communicate that to the audience you want to attract?
Figuring out your ideal customer’s pain points is the first step in crafting your message. People are more receptive to businesses that can speak to their lived experiences and frustrations as opposed to just outlining the benefits.
Determine your brand’s desired impact
How do you want your customers to feel about your brand? This will help you figure out the impact you want to have on them, which is key to building your brand value.
Storytelling is a big part of that. Use the pain points you highlighted above to craft stories around them. Speak to the experience and the emotions it evokes, then offer them a light at the end of the tunnel (a.k.a. what your business offers).
You’ll want to make some different versions of each story you create so that they can be modified to speak directly to your various buyer personas. Not everyone will resonate with the exact same message, so it’s handy to have some uniquely tailored ones available to add to your marketing mix.
Create an identity and personality
To do this, you’ll first need to consider factors like your target audience, mission, values, and unique value proposition. Once you’ve got those established, you can then move on to building your cohesive visual identity, including a logo, colour palette, typography, and other design elements.
That’s not where this ends. You’ll also need to consider what kind of personality you want your brand to have. This includes tone, language, and key messages you want to deliver consistently.
Develop a brand strategy
This can be part of your broader business-wide strategy or its own stand-alone strategy. Whichever you chose, you should set goals for your brand and establish measuring and reporting metrics to track your progress.
This is easier to do if you want some sort of benchmark to work with, like a previous brand strategy or the findings of a previous brand audit (which we’ll talk more about in the next tip). If you don’t have that, it’s okay to make do with your desired outcomes and build your strategic actions, milestones, campaigns, and supporting content out from there.
Conduct an annual brand audit
A brand audit will help you assess how your brand is performing in the market and what you can do to improve its positioning. Armed with this knowledge, you can make adjustments to your brand’s messaging, visuals, and strategy to make your business more competitive.
Brand audits can be done in-house or by a contracted third party. It can be more cost-effective to do the brand audit with your existing team, but some businesses prefer to spend the extra money to have an expert do it as it is a rather time-intensive process.
Building a strong brand is essential for new businesses to establish a unique identity in the market and attract and retain customers. A well-defined brand strategy that includes identifying pain points, crafting stories, creating an identity and personality, and developing a brand strategy can help businesses stand out from their competitors.
Annual brand audits will help you assess your performance and make adjustments to improve your positioning. While it may take time to build a strong brand, investing in it is worth the effort and resources in the long run.
By following these five brand-building tips for new businesses, you can start establishing a recognizable and memorable brand that will help your business thrive in the years to come.