There’s a difference between a business and a brand. However, both rely on each other to grow and evolve.
What is a brand? It is the way that your business is perceived by those that experience it. It’s more than a name or a design. It’s a recognizable feeling or emotion that a product or a business creates or evokes. Think about the lifestyle of your brand, your company’s culture, the personalities (and social media) of your employees that represent your bands at networking events, speaking engagements, or in any public-facing marketing.
When the elements of your brand align with the values and interests of your clients and customers – that’s when the real magic happens and you start to resonate on a deeper level. Quality products and services paired with top-notch customer service combined with this alignment is where you start to create brand loyalty in your clientele.
All of this being said, let’s dive into the basics – how to create a brand, not just a business.
How to Create a Brand
Research Your Audience
First things first; you need to know your audience, and you need to know them well. Before you even begin your business or your brand, you need to know your target market. Research this audience as much as you can. What gender are they? What age range are they? Where do they live? What other types of brands do they like? What does their lifestyle look like? Find out as much as you can about your target market – and developed Buyer Personas. This will allow you to craft a brand that speaks directly to this audience and aligns with their values.
Here’s a helpful PDF worksheet to get you started down this path.
Have a Story
It’s essential to have a story to back up your business. As our editor always says, “Great marketing doesn’t feel like marketing, it tells a story.”
Telling a story with your brand showcases that you’re more than just a business. It creates a personal connection that is much more relatable by your consumers. It is also something that helps you stand out among your competition. Have you ever watched ABC’s Shark Tank? We’ve seen countless pitches on this show where the “sharks” have been persuaded to invest in a brand because of the story – whether it was emotional connection that was created, an acknowledgment of the hustle, or another factor – stories are what creates that initial reaction between a brand and the world.
If you’re not sure the story that your business has to tell – dig a bit deeper. We all have a story to tell. Answer these questions:
- Why did you start your business?
- Why is your business so important to you?
- What makes your business different than your competition?
- What challenges have you (personally) and your business faced to be where you are today?
The answers to these questions are the genesis of your story. Take a deep dive here, and craft together the story of your brand.
Create a Message and Mission
Every business needs a mission statement defining what their business is and what the vision and goals are. It’s important that you convey these elements to your audience. They should know what you bring to the table, what your motivation is, and what your goals are.
If you don’t know what the mission of your business is, your consumers won’t know either. Making these elements clear and concise will help you continue to evolve your brand’s story and create an emotional connection with your consumers. Don’t underestimate the power of connection and the feeling of warmth when it comes to your brand. It’s what creates brand loyalty and the feeling that consumers are buying from a company they love and not just a large successful corporation.
Here are some examples of inspiring company mission statements to get the ideas flowing.
Do you know those brands that are always killing it on social media (looking at you Wendy’s) or the brands that immediately WOW you with their packaging (we’re obsessed with Poppi!)? The brands that have personality go a LONG way! They immediately grab your attention – and it’s an opportunity to build a long-lasting relationship.
So what exactly is a brand personality? It’s a set of human characteristics that a brand possesses. It’s something that consumers can relate to, and when done effectively, it increases the brand equity by having a consistent set of traits that a brand’s target market enjoys.
Where do you start with defining your brand’s personality? Take a look at some of the brand personality traits of these top 10 brands.
We hope this helps you get the gears turning with creating a memorable and engaging brand for your business. Have you created a brand before? Share with us your process and your challenges in the comments below!
Emily Sprinkle, also known as Emma Loggins, is a designer, marketer, blogger, and speaker. She is the Editor-In-Chief for Women's Business Daily where she pulls from her experience as the CEO and Director of Strategy for Excite Creative Studios, where she specializes in web development, UI/UX design, social media marketing, and overall strategy for her clients.
Emily has also written for CNN, Autotrader, The Guardian, and is also the Editor-In-Chief for the geek lifestyle site FanBolt.com