Making it in the business world is no easy feat when you don’t successfully build a brand.
Statistically, about 50 percent of small businesses fail during their first four years of operation, and roughly nine percent of American businesses shutter their doors every year.
One of the reasons half of businesses do succeed is because they build a brand. They stand out, are more distinguished than their competitors and are known and loved by consumers.
If you get your branding right, you can stay at the forefront of customers’ minds and capture your share of the market. You can also succeed in business for years to come.
The following are the steps you should take to successfully build a brand from the start.
You have researched your competitors
If you want to differentiate your brand, you first have to know what’s out there already. You need to understand your competitors’ branding, industry regulations, and market dynamics. After you have outlined the brand situation and the existing business environment, you can determine your message.
You have a clear business idea
You need to establish a clear picture of your business and what it will offer, as well as a well-defined place in the market. Determine what makes you different and what people will get out of being your customer. Once you come up with a clear idea of what your business will be and what it can provide for your customers, you can then communicate your product or service’s superior benefits.
You demonstrate your superior benefits
You decided to start a business because you knew you could do one thing better than everybody else. This needs to be demonstrated in your branding. Show what makes your product or service better than your competitors’. The more unique your product or service is, the more customers you will attract. Keep in mind that the benefits do not only have to be about how your product or service functions. They can be stylistic, emotional, or aesthetic, too.
Your branding is consistent
Star brands, like Coca-Cola, Apple, and Beats by Dre, are consistent in their branding. They use the same colors in their logos, products, and stores, have a similar marketing message in all of their campaigns, and are easily recognizable to consumers. When people see the same branding over and over again, they are going to remember it. After all, it’s been found that color boosts brand recognition by up to 80 percent, which is why it is crucial to use consistent colors.
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You know your target audience
Your product or service won’t be appealing to every single customer on the market. Instead, you have to pinpoint your niche audience and exclusively target them with your branding. If you use language, colors, and images that are attractive to your target audience, you are going to stick out in their minds.
You explore what marketing and sales tactics work with customers
Once you figure out what branding will appeal to your target demographic, you need to continue doing your research and see what marketing and sales tactics are attractive to them. From the start, you can test your product or service with customers and create a marketing activity system. You can also run experimental campaigns. For instance, you might post a promo code on your Facebook page to see if it drives sales. If you know what works, you can use it in the future for branding and marketing campaigns.
You communicate your larger vision
“Just do it,” “Think different,” and “Imagination at Work.” What do these slogans from Nike, Apple, and GE have in common? They communicate bigger ideals than simply, “Buy our shoes,” “We sell computers,” and “We know electric.” Ideals will set you apart from your competitors and guide all of your branding. It will also help you find and solidify relationships with customers who believe in your messaging. In your slogan and your marketing, communicate what your ideals are and how you are bringing something different and good to the world.
You constantly learn new things
The best brands around are always looking forward. They are learning new things every day and striving to be even more innovative. Business leaders don’t look at what’s out there and see how they can make it marginally better; they see how they can make it 10 times better. They learn more and learn faster than the competitor to determine what they can create that will be new and different. When you’re building your brand, think about what you can learn from your past and how you can adapt to changes in the future.
Building a memorable brand does not happen overnight. It takes years of research and refining to determine exactly what works for your business. But once you take the above steps, you will be that much closer to defining your place in the market and succeeding in all of your business ventures.