Public perception is a critical factor in determining the success or failure of your business.
Even the hottest products and most helpful services can’t save a business from a poor reputation.
Too many entrepreneurs focus disproportionate amounts of time, energy, and money on coming up with a high-quality logo.
A logo is an important part of developing your brand, but it’s not the only branding element you should concern yourself with.
To bring your company to life, you need an effective brand development strategy.
This guide will teach you:
- What brand development is
- Why branding is important
- Strategies for building a brand
- Tips for starting your own brand
More Than a Logo
Logos are often the most prominent and recognizable component of a company’s brand development. But there are other factors involved.
When you think of some of the most familiar logos, an image isn’t the only thing that comes to mind.
For example, when you see the Apple logo branding, you’re not just thinking about the company itself. You’re also thinking of broader concepts that include cutting-edge technology, sleek design, and futuristic capabilities.
You’ve come to associate certain characteristics with that logo and the business it represents. A positive and relevant association is proof of an effective brand development strategy.
Poorly executed brand development can have an opposite but just as potent effect. Instead of having a logo that elicits positive feelings, a business might find that its logo triggers negative associations.
Logos stand out so much to customers because they’re visual, simple, and ubiquitous. They are the component of branding that we notice most often, but businesses can’t afford to ignore the rest of what’s involved in effective brand marketing.
What is Brand Marketing?
Brand marketing is a strategy that seeks to create a distinguishable and relevant identity around a business. You can think of it as your company’s personality.
This process encompasses many facets of your business, including reputation management, design, customer service, advertising, tone, and, of course, your logo. An effective brand development and marketing strategy leverages all of these aspects to create a cohesive, recognizable, and relevant identity.
Your efforts impact the way in which the public will view, feel about, and perceive your goods and services.
Why is Brand Development Important?
Branding has a direct impact on the habits of your customers. It can determine how they interact with your business.
In fact, businesses that present a consistent brand across platforms can boost their revenue by 23%.
Successful brand development can lead clients to associate your business with positive feelings and values, such as trustworthiness, punctuality, attentiveness, and influence. Poor brand development, or lack thereof, can create a negative image of your business.
Branding helps to create an image that can inform other aspects of your business, making it easier to answer certain questions such as:
- How should my logo look?
- What voice should I use when addressing my target audience?
- What kind of content should I offer to my followers?
- Which social media platforms should I be most active on?
- How should my business ads sound?
- How does my brand stand out from the competition?
How to Build a Brand: The Basics of Brand Development Strategies
Building a brand is a continuous process that requires consistency, fine-tuning, and creativity.
It’s not something that happens overnight.
Here are some of the most important components of a complete brand development strategy:
All great brand development strategies start with gathering important information.
For example, you should know the specific demographics of your target audience, what market or industry you fit into, and what your competitors are doing.
This information is going to inform every other decision in the brand development process, so its accuracy is paramount. The more precise it is, the better you can target your branding to potential clients.
When you have a good idea about what your target market looks like and what other successful businesses in the industry are doing, it’s time to start brainstorming around your ideal client. Think about the personalities, characteristics, and needs of your clientele and consider how you want your business to come across to this audience.
You need to construct a brand identity and a specific company voice to better connect with customers and increase your name recognition.
When you have a better idea of your business’ brand identity, it’s time to market that image to the public. Everything from your website and logo, to your tagline, ad copy, and blog posts should be inspired by the full brand identity you’ve developed.
When everything associated with your business starts to convey the same messaging, voice, and characteristics, people will start connecting the dots and seeing a brand instead of just a business name.
No company makes all the right brand development decisions the first time around.
Maybe your brand’s voice turned out to be a little too formal for your target market, or perhaps you came across an intriguing competitor’s website design element that you made your own.
This process of research, brainstorming, implementation, and making adjustments will repeat as your business reaches new customers, brings on new products, and grows as a whole.
How to Start Your Own Brand
Brand development requires you to balance two different factors:
- How you want your business to come across to customers
- How you want customers to perceive your business
If you only focus on what you want, then you’ll have a hard time catching the attention of your target customers. Conversely, if you only focus on what potential clients want, you’ll fail to create an identity that’s unique to your business.
Here are some important questions to ask when starting your own brand:
What Makes Your Company Unique?
If you can pinpoint and effectively communicate something unique and distinctive about your business, you’ll have a much easier time standing out from the crowd.
This unique characteristic can become the cornerstone of your brand identity and even a primary selling point.
Let’s say you’ve been a family-owned and -operated company for multiple generations, while most of your competition are novices. In this case, your identifiable difference might be experience or expertise.
What Are the Core Values You Want to Embody?
When customers work with you, they’re not just basing the decision on obvious factors that include price, proximity, and quality. While the importance of these variables can’t be overstated, there are also some unspoken associations that influence a customer’s decision.
If your brand identity exudes professionalism, punctuality, and quality, customers who hold these values in high esteem will be more likely to work with your business.
Why Were You Motivated to Build This Business?
Think about why you were initially motivated to start your business. Personal backstories like these are a great way to connect with your customers on a deeper level. Customers love to learn about the people behind a business.
Storytelling, featuring important voices from within the company, is a great way to humanize a brand.
What Problem Are You Trying to Solve by Offering Your Products or Services?
All businesses find success when they can offer a solution to a problem their customers are facing. This solution can come in the form of products or services.
Understanding the exact problem you’re solving, and how it can help people, is a critical part of brand development.
As the primary motivation for working with your business, you should focus on this solution in your brand marketing.
The goal is to have customers come to associate your brand with a specific solution to a common problem.
How Would You Want Clients to Describe Your Business?
Imagine a group of people talking about your business.
What words do you want them to use when describing your business to others? How do you want the public to perceive your company?
You need to determine which brand characteristics you want to stand out to potential customers. Focus your brand development efforts on highlighting these areas.
What Do You Want People to Think and Feel When Hearing Your Company’s Name?
One report found that 68% of men and 64% of women feel an emotional connection with brands. The way you portray your business through advertising, descriptions, images, and logos will influence what pops into people’s heads when they hear your company’s name.
While it’s obvious you want these connotations to be positive, try to think deeper about the emotions you want your business to elicit.
Brand development is much more than just a logo and a catchy tagline. It’s the continuous process of creating and maintaining a unique identity for your business.
Brand development increases name recognition for your company. It is designed to evoke certain feelings and thoughts in your target audience when they think about your business.
Effective brand development strategies result in customers associating your business with positive attributes, values, and characteristics. A customized website is a great way to start brand development, and Bluehost has the tools and resources to help. Check out Bluehost’s website hosting plans to get started.