Being a qualified professional in your field of work is just one part of a successful business story.
The other part is creating a special brand that people will appreciate.
Since this word is used in many different contexts, it’s important to narrow it down to its essential meaning.
What makes a brand different from other businesses is its reputation and recognizability.
Every business needs to make their effort to nurture these two elements.
Different niches require different branding approaches, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution.
Still, there are some general points applicable to various business contexts.
We’ve put together ten easy steps that should simplify the branding process for all sorts of businesses.
#1 Look at the competition but pave your way
What logo colors do your main rivals use?
What keywords are the most popular queries in your niche?
How often do your competitors publish new blogs?
When to the most popular trade shows take place?
<">These are only some of the questions that you should ask yourself if you want to build a successful brand. As you’re finding answers to these inquiries, you’ll get familiar with the current tricks of the trade. Don't copy your competitors but getting inspiration from your competition is definitely a surefire way to create an effective brand identity.
The more you observe your rivals, the better ideas you’ll get for your own business. Just like a writer who becomes more creative if he or she reads more, businesspeople need to learn from their colleagues.
Apart from online information and resources, you should attend trade shows and business conferences.
Meeting new people and attending innovative presentations will spark your imaginations, as well.
All these things will increase your awareness of your business niche and inspire you to improve your business.
#2 Define your authenticity
Being authentic is one of these smart branding strategies that set you apart from the crowd. Let’s say that you’re working as a UX designer for several years. Now you think you’ve reached your pinnacle as an employee and you’re set to launch your own business.
While we need to follow our dreams, you should first ask yourself one crucial question: what new are you going to offer to the world?
Your answer to this question will determine your professional future.
Is it a brand new approach to the most common problems of the niche?
Do you simply want to make more money for your work? If the goal is to make money, knowing who you are is crucial to build a money-making brand.
When you understand why you’re taking this step, you’ll be able to define your authenticity.
In other words, it’s imperative to offer something that others don’t do or at least what they don’t to successfully.
For instance, you might be more skillful at designing interfaces for TV-sets than other UX designers.
So, you can focus on that special aspect of work and become one of the best brands in this niche.
#3 Focus on a narrow audience
Knowing your audience and narrowing it down is one of those key elements to build a strong, long-lasting brand. Closely related to the previous article, every business brand should initially focus on a narrow audience.
Now, some readers might oppose this statement and say that Nike, Apple or Toyota address a global audience.
While this is a valid argument, we have to bear in mind that these are established brands. They’ve been with us at least for several decades.
What we’re talking about here is building your brand from scratch.
It’s easier to become a memorable brand for one hundred people, for starters. As they boost your business reputation by word of mouth and other recommendations, your audience will grow, as well.
Also, when you concentrate on a narrow audience, you won’t get a bad name if you fail at doing your initial business projects. So, you’ll have a chance to improve your performances for future collaborations. If you want to manage a project successfully, knowing the specific audience you want to target is key to define your brand identity.
There are at least 7 project management skills you need in brand marketing.
#4 Make an emotional impact
Our business doesn’t become a brand when we think so but when people perceive it that way. In other words, if customers have a positive experience with a trademark or its products, they see it as a brand.
From the local level to the global scale, this emotional component plays a huge rule in building a successful brand. A great way to achieve this is through brand storytelling.
Therefore, it’s important to leave a positive emotional impression on your target audience.
This is extremely important for rookie entrepreneurs. We’ve already published a guide with some most common mistakes for first-time businesspeople so you can take a look at it.
So, it’s vital to communicate all the benefits that customers will enjoy if they opt for your services all products.
For instance, you can stress out that using your services is less expensive for them. Also, highlighting advantages for their families is another practical way to make this emotional appeal.
Since this is a smooth way to build trust between you and your customers, you mustn’t mislead them in any way whatsoever. When you’re talking about financial benefits and sending a marketing message related to emotions, you must be sincere and accurate.
That way, you won’t lose their trust. What’s more, you’ll show a high level of professionalism. And this is something that a brand needs to have.
#5 Prove expertise in your niche
Proving that you’re an expert in your niche is something that will follow you throughout your career.
Regardless whether you’re an employee or a business owner, it’s vital to understand that you constantly need to work on your skills.
When we’re talking about running a new business, it’s extremely important to show your previous work. You want to show your experience and capabilities to your visitors.
This is how you will be able to establish a consistent and remarkable brand the right way.
This is where a website portfolio can come in handy. Also, you can make your portfolio one section of your business website. This will win over your first clients. It will have an even stronger impact if you’ve worked for a well-known company in your field.
As your first clients and new projects keep rolling in, make sure to launch a website section for testimonials.
Also, it’s important to include both local and international clients on that list. The more finished projects you can add to this list, the more professional you will look.
This will convince potential customers that you’re the right address for their needs.
Apart from that, it will add to the transformation of your business into a renowned brand.
#6 Build personal brands within your business
Authoritative personal branding is more important than ever. Solopreneurs are usually one-man brands. Their name equals their business and customers don’t make a difference between these two.
However, if a solopreneur decides to hire more workers, then the situation has to change.
In other words, it’s advisable to diversify the branding strategy in such a business. The more people from the same brand are recognized by customers, the better for the brand.
So, if you’re a business owner who keeps hiring new people, try to teach your new employees as much as possible. If you share your knowledge and revenues with them, they will develop a certain level of commitment to your business.
This is something that every brand needs: a fleet of educated, devoted workers who will add to the recognizability of that business. Therefore, business owners should both train their employees and enroll them do different courses.
That way, they will strengthen their knowledge, turning them into true personal brands within the business. If you, your colleagues or employees need help building their personal brands, we suggest you to have a look at these 10 free branding tools every growth hacker should know.
#7 Treat your employees with respect
Similar to the previous point, treating employees with dignity is something that makes a brand.
We’ve already pointed out that employees are the best ambassadors of a brand. If you see depressed, dissatisfied workers, you know that they aren’t treated with respect.
On the other hand, motivated and inspired employees will be eager to go to work and do their tasks perfectly. What’s more, they’ll heap praise on their company after work hours.
So, here’s what elements of worker management will make your business a renowned brand:
a) Fair payment. There’s no respected brand without good workers. And there are no good workers without a fair payment. So, pay your workers properly for their work and your brand will blossom, as well.
b) Appropriate annual leave. In most countries, companies need to give their workers a minimum annual leave. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t give them more days off work. Feel free to treat them to long weekends when you’re over the moon with their productivity.
c) Proper insurance. Ensuring proper insurance for your workers is a must, as well. Most of them will love their job when they know that they have a safety net behind them in terms of health and pension insurance.
d) Perks and bonuses. In addition to long weekends, business owners need to give their most productive workers other perks and bonuses. Giving a raise to the worker of the month or any other reward will show you’re a caring entrepreneur. This is also something that makes a brand.
#8 Keep your website in the spotlight
In addition to some professional and marketing elements, as well as employee management, every brand needs a strong online presence.
This is where your website comes on stage.
For starters, you need to popular it with original content relevant for your niche. There are many IT and marketing essentials you need to know when starting a business.
Here are some elements that every brand needs to provide on their website:
a) Concise business info. If you want to be treated as a brand, keep your business information concise. This refers mostly to the homepage and the About Us section. If you put too many things to these parts of the website, you’ll look chaotic.The goal is to look professional and committed. So, keep it concise but informative.
b) Relevant and useful tips for customers. A serious brand website will offer readers and customers some advice for free. So, you can launch a blog where you will produce content that might be helpful for your audience. Also, think about making tutorials or instructional videos for the website.
c) Commercial benefits. It’s important to say your visitors how they can profit from choosing your business. You should place those elements on the homepage to seize their attention at once. For instance, you can start with discounts on services or memberships to attract your first customers.
d) Packages.One of the tabs on your homepage needs to lead to the packages of services you offer to your customers. Also, the prices of these packages need to be clear and without any hidden costs. An aspiring brand will always be honest and sincere with their customers.
e) Testimonials. As we’ve already emphasized, testimonials are an important part of every brand. Again, you’re a brand when your customers and partners see you that way. This is where testimonials come as proof of expertise and professionalism.
Apart from your website, think about launching a business app. If your website has a certain number of visits per month, perhaps it’s time for that step.
Of course, you should first talk to some pros to see whether you can benefit from this app in the first place.
#9 Ensure consistency in social media
It's vital to create consistency in your branding strategy and respect your branding book and guidelines on your website, your social media channels, your business card, your flyers, brochures and more. It’s hard to become a brand these days if you aren’t present in social media. Social media will help you build and maintain a strong brand identity.
Therefore, you need to launch a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account to start your branding campaign on social networks. Simply put, Facebook can yield benefits for all sorts of businesses. In trade terms, this social network is like an open-air market. Twitter, on the other hand, might be more adequate for B2B communication and recognizability.
What Instagram has done to differentiate from those two are its commercial features. That way, today you can sell and buy things directly on this social network. If you think about it, Instagram is based on photos, just like an eCommerce store. That’s why it goes hand in hand with online sale.
You can read our guide to successful Instagram marketing, as well.
Apart from mainstream social networks, brands need to be present in business social media, as well.
From LinkedIn and Meetup to narrower niche networks, it’s vital to expose your business to all sorts of online users. This strategy will increase your branding and marketing potential.
#10 Provide fresh content daily
The last thing we think helps to build a successful brand is providing fresh content daily across all your platforms. From the website and blog to social media and in-house meetings, business owners need to ensure a dynamic environment.
Such an attitude will showcase seamless relevance and expertise in the affairs important for the niche in question.
As a result, your business partners, clients, and end buyers will put your name high on the list of their biz contacts.
When someone sees your posts on social media daily or reads your articles as soon as they’re published, it means that they like your brand.
Branding and content are strategies that complement each other in marketing. So, it’s crucial to ensure this mixture or freshness, relevance and knowledge if you want to build and maintain a business brand.
Final Thoughts About Building a Successful Brand
Building a brand is a scientific discipline. There are many nuts and bolts that need to fit perfectly to create a trademark and make it live.
We hope that our steps will help new and existing business owners find their place under the business sun. These are some principles that can work for most businesses, give that they’re adapted to specific differences that every business has.
So, decide what you want to achieve, who you want to work with and for, and cover all the digital bases described in this guide. All these features will make your business take off successfully and turn into a well-known brand.
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