The term “brand” is thrown around a lot these days. But what exactly does it imply? And how can you build one from scratch?
It’s not easy to create a brand from the ground up. It entails more than just coming up with a name and designing a logo. It’s the sum of your consumers’ thoughts, feelings, and interactions with your company.
In other words, a brand is the first thing people think of when they hear your company’s name.
But, a strong brand is the result of careful planning and execution of various elements.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about building a brand from scratch from generating a strong visual identity to establishing yourself on every marketing material.
So if you’re ready to start building your empire, read on!
What really is a brand?
People often think of brands as big companies with huge advertising budgets. However, every business owner, regardless of size or budget, should consider how clients would perceive their product or service.
And this is exactly what the brand is!
A brand is a business and marketing term encompassing a company’s entire identity, including how people perceive you, your values, mission statement, products or services, and much more!
Let’s take the brand Gucci as an example.
Like its contemporary brands, Gucci is a fashion company known for its collection of women’s handbags and other assortments of clothing and accessories.
But according to Luxe Digital, what makes Gucci the most popular luxury designer brand in 2021? It’s not just the quality or the designs of its products.
It’s also how they make their customers feel — confident, attractive, and stylish. In other words: it’s the complete package that Gucci offers, which includes its brand identity.
Loyal clients can readily recognize your brand only by hearing or seeing something related to your business whenever they hear or see your name or see your logo.
Thus, it’s an essential part of any business plan. It’s how you’ll set your product or service apart from the competition, similar to how the world’s most successful brands are instantly recognizable.
But remember, everybody can build a brand. But not everybody is capable of developing a strong brand. So, how do you find ways to create a ‘strong’ brand from the ground up?
Building a brand from scratch checklist
Creating a brand from scratch can be both exciting and daunting. To help you get started on the right foot, we’ve put together a checklist of everything you need to do to build a strong brand identity.
- Define your target audience and research your competition.
- Create a brand positioning and a mission statement.
- Brainstorm your brand name
- Create a visual brand identity
- Develop your brand story and voice
- Apply your branding across your business.
- Evaluate and adjust your branding strategy as needed
1. Define your target audience and competitors.
Before you start building your brand, you need to know who you’re going after. Who is your ideal customer? What are their demographics, interests, and needs?
Why do you need to ask all these questions? Simply put, you can’t satisfy every customer. Everyone has their own demands and desires. Concentrate on the person who is most likely to buy your items or acquire your services.
Take the time to define your target market by creating buyer personas. Once you understand them, you can start developing messaging and strategies that will resonate with them.
If you’re not sure where to start, you can even take time to research your competitors and figure out what makes them successful.
What do they bring to the table that you don’t? How can you present your company as the superior choice? This will assist you in determining the unique selling proposition of your brand (USP).
Other ways to start is by:
- Examine conversations from several entrepreneurial discussion forums to begin identifying your target demographic.
- Consider conducting market research or surveys to learn more about your target market.
- Initiate conversion towards your market, and ask them about their opinion of your business
- Scroll through social media accounts that your prospects follow, and discover their passion, interests, and even dislikes.
- Immerse yourself in your target audience’s experience when they wish to shop on your website.
You can use these information to fine-tune your target audience and brand positioning.
Once you have your target audience defined, it’s time to move on to the next step in brand building.
2. Develop your brand positioning and mission statement.
All of your future marketing activities are built on solid brand positioning.
A positioning statement, often known as a brand promise, is a brief description of what makes your brand unique. It comprises one or two lines summarizing what you have to offer and how it differs from the competition.
If you’re not sure how to develop your brand positioning, start thinking about what makes your brand unique.
Use this template to get started:
We offer (product or service) for (target audience) to (value proposition). Unlike (alternative or competitors), we (key differentiation or what makes you unique).
We offer natural and organic skincare products for women concerned about the harsh chemicals in conventional beauty products. Unlike other skincare products, ours are free of harmful toxins and good for your skin.
Remember, your brand positioning should be brief, clear, and easy to understand. It should also be unique to your brand, so don’t try to copy what your competitors are doing.
After you’ve developed your brand positioning, it’s time to move on to your mission statement.
The mission statement is a longer-term view of what your brand stands for and how it will make a difference. It should be clear, concise, and easy to understand.
It should also serve as a blueprint for any future marketing activities. Some brands choose to include their mission statement in their positioning statement, but it’s unnecessary.
These statements will serve as the foundation for any future branding decisions.
3. Brainstorm your brand name.
The brand name is the first thing people will see when they come across your business, and it’s critical to choose something distinctive and reflective of your brand’s core values.
But again, a brand is more than just the name. It communicates to the market the company’s offers, values, personality, and actions. It will also affect other areas of your brand, such as your logo, website, marketing, and trademark registration.
So, before making a decision, you must make a concerted effort to think about something that would be ideal for your brand.
Ideally, you might choose something unique and a sensible part of your company’s history. And you don’t want to narrow the name into a specific service category, especially if you have plans to expand your business in the future.
If you’re having trouble coming up with a name, try brainstorming with friends or family, seeking inspiration in other firms, or using word generator programs to generate a list of possible names.
Don’t forget to check if the domain name is available too! You don’t want to find out that your dream name is already taken after all this brainstorming.
4. Create a visual identity.
Forward to the most exciting part – creating your visual identity! This encompasses parts of your brand’s design, such as:
- Logo. This is probably the most important part of any visual identity as this will be used on all your marketing materials, website, social media, and product packaging.
- Color Palette. Pick at least two or a maximum of three colors that you want to be associated with your brand.
- Typography. The font on your website, marketing materials, and product packaging should be consistent with creating a cohesive look.
- Media. The photos and videos you use on your website, and social media should reflect your brand personality.
You no longer have to complete all of these tasks on your own. It’s recommended to leave this portion to the professionals unless you’re a designer or have experience with graphic design.
There are plenty of talented premium designers on Fiverr or Upwork. You can even resort to an online logo creator like Instant Logo Design to get the job done quickly and efficiently.
But whether you ask for help or do it yourself, here are a few things to keep in mind when designing your visual identity:
- Keep it simple – less is more when it comes to design, and you want people to be able to remember your brand.
- Make it timeless – you don’t want to redesign your logo every year to stay current.
- Consider all touchpoints from your website to your business cards, and you want people to be able to recognize your brand no matter where they see it.
A good visual identity will assist you in gaining trust from your audience and establishing yourself as a trustworthy company.
Note: Adding a slogan is optional, but a few words can hugely impact your brand.
5. Develop a brand story and a brand voice.
Your brand story is the foundation of all your content. The narrative explains who you are, what you do, and why people should care. IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU!
Based on research conducted by NCBI, consumers react positively to a business that has inspirational beginnings. It’s the driving force behind the development of a brand-consumer relationship.
Meanwhile, your brand voice is how you communicate your story. It’s the tone and personality you use when talking to your target audience.
Others may not think of developing a brand voice, but it’s a vital step in defining your company and connecting with your customers.
When developing your brand voice, consider what personality you want your business to have. Do you want to be approachable and friendly? Professional and accommodating?
Take into account the tone of your communication as well. Are you attempting to be amusing or solemn? Is it more official or informal?
Apple, for example, has a simple and minimalistic brand voice, but Old Spice’s is amusing and joyful.
It’s essential to put some thought into it early on to maintain consistency as your business grows.
6. Apply your branding across your business.
Now that you’ve defined all of the critical components of your brand, it’s time to put them to work!
Your branding should be consistent from your website and social media channels to your business cards and product packaging.
This way, you’ll see how brand awareness can help your customers recognize your company no matter where they see it if you do it this way. The more times people see it, the more probable they will remember it.
When it comes to developing a great brand, consistency is crucial.
People should have the same experience every time they interact with your brand, and this is how you gain your audience’s trust and credibility.
If you’re unsure where to begin, look at your competitors’ branding to see how they’ve done it. Use their branding as a starting point for your own, but be sure to add your own flair.
7. Evaluate and adjust your branding strategy as needed.
As your business grows and changes, your branding should evolve as well.
Keep an eye on how your audience perceives you, and don’t be hesitant to make changes as needed to keep your branding consistent with your mission statement and objectives.
Examine all areas of your branding strategy regularly, from your target demographic to your brand story, to ensure that everything is still working in your favor.
Your goal is to build a strong, recognizable brand that will resonate with your target audience and help you succeed.
After all, your brand is one of your most important assets.
Piece of Advice
Congratulations! You’ve made it to the end of our guide on how to build a brand from scratch.
We hope you found this information helpful and that it has given you a good foundation to start building your own successful brand.
Remember, branding is all about creating an identity for your company that sets you apart from the competition and resonates with your target audience. So get creative and have fun with it!
The sky’s the limit as long as you focus on what makes your firm special. Are you ready to put these suggestions into practice?