For anyone venturing into the world of online business, branding is absolutely key. It isn’t just a name; it embodies everything about your business and determines how your customers will perceive you from day one. Creating a brand is therefore not just a case of coming up with a catchy moniker – it requires plenty of consideration and careful planning.
You may have the best business idea in the world, but without proper branding, your success will be limited. Here is how to establish and build your brand for online success.
Get to Know Your Brand
All successful brands have one thing in common: they know exactly who they are. Think of your brand as a person – before you can introduce it to anyone else, you have to get to know it as well as possible.
Start by brainstorming key words and phrases: what concepts and ideas should your brand be associated with? What is your niche? What makes your brand unique? At this stage, it is also necessary to consider your target audience and the kinds of brand characteristics they will relate to. Is your brand serious and corporate, or rather lighthearted and playful? By now, you should have a more solid picture to work with.
Establish Core Values
Having identified the fundamental qualities of your brand, it is now time to mold these into solid brand values. Essentially, core brand values are what your company stands for; they are the pillars of your brand identity and will be used to build relationships with your customers.
Just like Apple is synonymous with innovation, your brand values should be present in everything you do. Avoid generic terms like “reliable” and “trustworthy” and focus instead on what truly sets you apart. Think about what you, as a business, are passionate about and why your customers would choose you over your competitors. These are your core brand values, and they will be used to shape each and every aspect of your brand.
Develop a Visual Brand Identity
The next step is to translate these brand values into something visual. This is where your logo and business website come in. Before you can start building your website, you need to register a domain name; this forms your web address and should ideally be the same as your brand name.
Once you have registered a domain name, no one else can use it, so this is also a crucial part of protecting your brand. Acquiring a domain is a fairly straightforward process – simply check the availability of your desired name, register it online and it’s yours. You can then proceed to create your website. The font, colors and overall design should all reflect your core brand values and the overall vibe you are going for, so choose carefully. The same goes for your logo; before you start, it’s worth taking a look at this guide to common logo design mistakes and how to avoid them.
Find Your Voice
Every brand needs a voice, and consistency is key. If your brand were to speak, what would it sound like? Find a tone that matches both your core values and your target audience – be it down-to-earth and casual or formal and informative.
Your brand voice will determine the way you communicate with your customers, so it’s important to get it right. As with all aspects of branding, the brand voice must be consistent throughout, regardless of whether you are posting on social media or writing a blog post for your website. Learn more about why tone of voice is so important with these branding success stories.
Bring Your Brand to Life
Your brand identity now has a clear and unique identity – all that’s left to do is share it with the world. You can start building brand awareness through social media, email marketing, blog content and even video marketing; whichever channels work best for your target audience.
No matter what your marketing strategy, just remember the brand personality you have created and make sure it shines through at every given opportunity. This way, your audience gets to know and recognize your brand – thus laying the foundations for long-term engagement.
Read more about building your brand identity on TechCo