Building Your Brand as a Startup or New Business
When it comes to building a brand, you may not think it applies to you and your business. We’re here to tell you that it does. There are so many different definitions of a brand. Ultimately, we believe it is what people think when they hear your (business or product) name. It works with personal brands too.
Social media puts brands front and center, immediately every single second. As a small business owner, it’s your responsibility to manage your (company’s) reputation and build your brand into something both recognizable and that potential and existing customers want to be a part of.
How do you build a brand?
It isn’t done overnight. It takes time to create that reputation, but some thoughtful planning in the beginning will help. And, if you’re ever looking to refresh your brand, or understand more about your overall marketing plans, you should consider our Small Business Growth and Planning Series (GPS) Marketing Strategies Cluster.
Strategize. Think About Your Brand Strategy
You’ll hear “strategy” a lot, as this goes for all things related to your business. Taking time to plan what and how you communicate with your customers is key. Identifying how to keep your words, imagery, and content consistent positions you as a reliable resource and business.
In terms of your content, create a defined marketing theme. Invest some time and energy on your visuals, website, and contact information. Making sure all of these things are easy to understand and your information is accessible will demonstrate who you are to customers.
Create Your Brand Voice & Brand Identity
Take time to understand who your ideal customers are. Outline a short buyer persona. When you understand who your ideal target market is, and what is important to them, you’re able to create a voice that they will connect with. You decide what your brand voice sounds like, and how it will look visually in your logo, signage and marketing materials. Make sure what you see and say is consistent with who you want to connect with.
Does your business appeal to a fun-loving, young crowd? Analytical engineers? Do you want your brand to be funny, whimsical, professional, relatable, etc. Identify some of those key communication values. When you take time to find out what voice best aligns with the customers you’re trying to attract it will only help further your branding.
Make Promises and Keep Them (Brand Promise)
Following through on the promise you make for your goods and services is the only way to build trust with your customers. Whatever promises you make and deliverables you insist on, make sure they come to fruition. You have to be trustworthy to succeed, and your brand will only build off of your dependability. Your brand both needs and deserves a team that will follow through and provide excellent service to customers. Not only will this kind of branding keep customers around, but it will invite customers to share their experiences with others.
Be Yourself. Authenticity Matters
It’s important for you to realize that being authentic when creating your brand is a huge part of making sure it’s successful. Know what your business stands for, what your mission is, and how you truly wish to portray yourself and your products/services. If you create something that doesn’t accurately reflect your business, it’ll only be harder to keep up with.
In today’s always connected online space, and the immediacy of social media, being real, transparent and having that dialogue with customers is a game changer.
GROW Can Help
Branding can seem overwhelming. Still, marketing and branding is a necessity in building a great business. It’s also not done in a day or a week, but over time. Start with intention and build on it.
We offer plenty of resources and mentoring programs to help you with all aspects of your business planning, strategy, marketing, and branding. Let us know if you need help building your own brand. Be sure to check out our upcoming classes for great branding resources like our Small Business Growth and Planning Series (GPS) Marketing Strategies Cluster, our Facebook Credentialing Workshops, Start Smart and more. They’re all on our Events Calendar.