For most businesses, effective branding is the difference between success and failure. This is true for big corporations, but also local mom and pops, freelancers, and small business entrepreneurs.
You might be thinking, “okay, so I just need a cool logo?” Not quite. Branding is much more than a sleek logo. It involves much more thought than that. It’s about communicating the essence of your business to the world.
This involves defining and constantly evolving your branding strategy, which includes considerations for every aspect of your business, including:
- Your target audience
- Your location or region
- Your competitors in the industry
- your online presence
That’s what makes branding so difficult. That said, it’s not rocket science. And as long as you follow three basic rules, you’ll have set yourself a strong foundation towards building a successful brand.
1. Create a Brand Strategy
Many business owners’ entire branding strategy involves paying a graphic artist to create a logo, slap it on their website, and calling it a day. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to cut it in today’s competitive digital landscape. Effective branding requires that you have a true understanding of who you are as a business (and who you are not). This is crucial because this is the only way you can effectively communicate who you are to your potential customers.
Once you define who you are as a business, and what you want to achieve, all of your branding decisions will flow out of that.
In a nutshell, an effective branding strategy answers the following questions:
- What is the goal of my business? That is, what do you stand for as a business? What gap or need are you trying to fill for your customers?
- What are my competitors doing? And what aren’t they doing? Think about what sets your company apart from the competition, and use that to your advantage as you brand your business.
- Who is my target audience? This one sounds easy, but there’s a lot more to it than you might think. It’s more than just choosing a specific group of people – you have to choose the right people for your business. This involves doing research to determine which types of consumers prefer which goods and services. You can do this by conducting surveys or doing secondary research online.
- What is my brand message? To help answer this question, consider what your business does, why it exists, and who it exists for. This will help you determine the personality and values of your business, and how to message those ideas to your potential customers.
- Is my brand registered as a domain? Preferably, your brand and domain should match exactly. This means you should check to see if the domain for your brand name is already taken. If so, you will need to buy the domain. Saw.com offers a free consultation for domain broker service.
No matter how deep you go into developing a branding strategy, just know this – a simple logo is never enough.
2. Find Your Niche
As discussed above, a crucial part of branding is defining the right target audience. That is, an effective brand knows exactly who they are communicating with and how they like to be spoken to. For example, if you were to create a men’s clothing company, you’d want to determine what specific type of men you want to target.
To know your audience, start simple. You should know their age, their interests, and their socio-economic status. But more important than these characteristics is understanding their wants and needs. Once you understand what your customers need, you can determine how your brand can meet those needs in a way that speaks to them.
3. Be Consistent in Your Messaging
Once you know “who you are,” so to speak, you should always communicate with your customers from that same voice or perspective. This applies to everything – website domain, images, words, blog content, and multimedia.
Think about it this way – any message your customers receive from your business should feel as if they’re coming from the same voice. And that voice is the one you conceptualized when you planned your brand strategy. It is the voice that communicates your values and goals and speaks specifically to your target audience.
If your brand speaks inconsistently, you risk losing the trust of your customers. Inconsistency makes your brand seem unprofessional and lazy. Even worse, if your customers feel they no longer connect with your brand, they’ll take their business elsewhere to someone that speaks to their needs.
Make The Step Towards Effective Branding!
Don’t try to do everything overnight. Even when you follow these principles, good branding is no walk in the park. You will surely make some mistakes along the way.
But that’s normal and a part of the learning process. As long as you remember these key principles, you’ll have a strong foundation for creating a great brand. As you learn more about your audience and yourself, you’ll be able to refine your brand and ultimately run a successful business.
For more information on how to create a memorable, authentic brand, reach out to a saw.com domain broker. We offer a complimentary domain buy service brand consultation.