Have you ever ran across a social media post that you were immediately able to match with the company it belonged to? Maybe it was the color combinations or certain phrases they were using. Either way, your mind was able to quickly place who it was.
This is an example of well-executed branding. And it’s one of the most important factors of long-term success. But how exactly is it done?
Well, for starters, it doesn’t happen overnight and there are certain ingredients that make it all work. Keep reading to check out these 5 tips on the basics of branding for entrepreneurs.
- Establish Foundational Elements
Branding is mostly about pulling separate elements together to create a cohesive experience. This might seem like the part where you start creating your logo and slogan. But before you even touch any color palettes, there are foundational components that build your brand on the back-end.
A lot of time they aren’t customer-facing which means you don’t always have to announce them to your audience. However, these foundational elements still play a large role in being able to position your brand in your customers’ subconscious minds. Here are some of the key ingredients that you should establish to build the ground floor of your brand:
- Mission statement
- Vision statement
- Brand archetype
- Positioning statement
These key factors will help to shape and solidify your brand’s personality. They should be included in any guides you create for team members or contractors.
- Identify Your Audience
Once you’ve established the foundational basics of branding, it’s time to start thinking about the people your brand serves. Who you want to help is just as important as how you help. It also plays a role in building the persona of your brand because you’ll need to tailor certain things to fit those people.
Start identifying your target audience by determining demographics. These are basic facts about information like their age, location, occupations, etc. This is the starting point for building an ideal customer profile.
But this isn’t where the market research ends. You’ll need to gather more data that tells you about their likes, interests, behavioral patterns, etc. These are referred to as their psychographics.
Put all the information together to build out avatars of people who may need your product and/or service. You might find that you have more than one buyer persona which is common. Knowing your target clientele well will help with marketing down the line.
- Get Clear on Messaging
When you think of Nike do the words “just do it” come to mind? Do you also think of powerful athletes and being courageous, resilient, and determined enough to stay the course of your goals until you achieve them? If you do (most people do), then they’ve done a great job on their messaging.
Brand messaging may be the most important yet challenging basics of branding to understand. That’s mostly because it’s an intangible factor that helps to strategically position you in the market. People don’t always know what you wrote down as your brand mission statement but they know how you make them feel.
Every single element, strategy, color, etc. will go towards your overall messaging. It all comes together to move your audience to a certain point of emotional connection with your brand. That’s why you need to be intentional with branding from the very start.
If you’re still confused about brand messaging, just do an audit of your brand and consider whether or not you’re communicating your story well. Does your audience understand and connect with your brand story? Are you seeing a community being built around your brand?
The brand messaging can be looked at as how effectively your brand comes together to communicate and connect with your audience. People should be able to easily identify who you help, how you do it, and what you believe in. This is a unique positioning that being strategic and consistent can get you to.
- Master Storytelling
That brings us to our next point. Most successful brands have gotten to where they are today because they’ve mastered the art of storytelling. This might sound like a phrase that marketers just throw around but it’s real.
Humans recognize patterns and connect with narratives in storytelling. Stories actually activate certain areas of our brains that play roles in social and emotional processes. This is how you can build strong emotional bonds with your audience.
Disney and Pixar have shown us how deeply a good story can make us feel. They’ve become household names for generations because we created a relationship with them based on emotional attachment. Learning and understanding how to apply storytelling is a basic concept of branding that yields tremendous long-term gains.
- Create an Experience
As you can see, a lot of basic principles of branding have to do with psychological concepts. That’s because branding happens on a subconscious level for your audience. This means they may not consciously think about the connection but they feel that the connection exists.
It’s important for you to consider the experience your brand creates for your customer─ especially if you sell physical products. Each time they purchase from you or read your content, do they feel like they’re in your “world” or community? You can add small but significant touches to your brand to build more intimacy with the customer.
For instance, many people like the “unboxing” part of opening their products. Consider this when creating the packaging for your products. Invest in professional packaging design services that will help bring your colors to life the right way.
Learn the Basics of Branding for Longterm Success
Incorporating the basics of branding doesn’t just start or stop at a logo (although that’s important as well). Each element should be an intentional decision that will add to the overall messaging of the brand.
Focus on building an emotional connection with your audience to position yourself well in the market. Also, be open to investing in creating a top-notch experience. For more tips and advice on branding, check out the rest of our blog.