90% of startups fail because they lack brand identity. Don’t let this be you!
Luckily, newer businesses have a unique opportunity to develop a concrete brand identity that can last for generations.
Let’s talk about some simple steps you can take to improve your brand strategy!
Table of Contents
What Is A Brand Strategy?
First, let’s get over a common misconception. A brand is NOT a logo.
Your brand is so much more than just your logo and if you aren’t treating it that way, then your brand won’t live up to its full potential.
Let’s try a little word experiment — You open up your phone, you click on an app, and there’s a loading screen that’s almost entirely white if not for a blue header at the top and a blue square logo with a white letter in it. What app did you open?
If you said Facebook, that should show you how powerful of a brand the company has built.
If you see futuristic, sleek technology, you think of Apple.
If you see a white background with the colors green, red, yellow, and blue, they don’t even have to say anything for you to think of Google.
These companies have worked very hard to develop that kind of association among the public and they receive plenty of benefits from doing so.
But that is still only their VISUAL brand identity. A brand is way more than that!
From your tone of voice to your company values, a brand is an embodiment of how your customers associate your business.
Having a uniform brand that’s always on point and on message will go a long way toward building that brand recognition we’re looking for.
Let’s talk about how to do that!
1. Determine Your Company's Vision
An important part of a brand is creating a vision. Steve Jobs and Elon Musk are famous examples of “visionaries” and they made a fortune in their lifetimes because of it.
Understanding the long-term vision of your company will help you choose the brand you want to build and stick to it.
If you have a clear vision of the future of your company, then you won’t have to worry about any dramatic changes down the road.
For example — what are your core values? What is the mission of your company? Where do you see this company in 10, 15, or 30 years?
These are important questions to ask yourself before considering the type of brand you want to build!
2. Choose Your Niche
Make sure that you know your target audience!
Niching down has plenty of benefits for building a concrete brand identity and a network of loyal customers.
Figure out which products or services are selling at the highest rates, pay attention to customer reviews early on, and stay on top of market trends!
This will help improve your ROI, which is super important for startups and small biz.
Every dollar counts!
3. Choose Your Style
If you know your target audience and what your mission is, it’s time to choose your style. This includes everything from tone of voice to font.
And YES, this is also the point where you will choose a logo if you haven’t already.
Pick a color scheme, font, and structure that matches your brand identity.
Many companies choose different shades of blue because it’s a calming, positive colour, but the downside is that so many other brands already use it!
Choose something somewhat relevant but recognizable and make it as unique as possible without being too glaring.
You should also choose the tone of voice that you use for written material – like your blogs and social media.
If your business involves anything educational, you could to try 3rd person plural (they, them, their).
If you want it to seem more casual and personable, try the tone in this article (you, your, yours).
4. Be Consistent
Once you have these aspects of your brand down, remember that that’s only part of it, but it’s an important part. It’s how people will recognize your brand.
You develop that with time AND consistency!
On your flyers, business cards, websites, ads, social media campaigns, images, videos, and everything else across the board, do your absolute best to show consistency in your brand.
The best way to do this is to develop a list of brand criteria and go over the expectations with your marketing team, managers, and staff.
You can even create a “brand identity” document. This is the best way to ensure consistency over the long-term.
5. Spread Positivity
Let’s jump back to your core values!
Whatever they are, it’s important to display them to the public, and there is no shortage of ways to do this.
Sharing relevant stories on social media or hosting a community event are great ways to share your core values with the public in a way that brings people together and helps people associate your brand with positivity.
For example — let’s say you run a smoothie shop or a gym. You would expect the core values and mission statement to be something along the lines of “promoting healthy living”, right?
Okay, why not host a community 5K or a fun run to raise money for healthy causes?
Not only will this bring people joy in your community, but it will also build awareness of your brand within the community and develop a positive association with it.
The best part is that it won’t even cost you any money, just some time and a phone call to the town hall!
6. Highlight Your Special Qualities
What makes your brand unique?
That’s something to figure out as early on as possible.
There are thousands of different coffee shops throughout the US, so why are Starbucks and Dunkin at the top? Both of them have strong brand identities that are catered to different people, and both of them are super successful within their target markets.
Starbucks promotes their fair-trade coffee, employee consideration, excellent customer service, and their “third place” atmosphere. Dunkin identifies itself as a New England staple with delicious products, a better bakery selection, and a bright and chipper atmosphere.
You can use the same strategy!
Determine what separates your brand from the competition and highlight it across your entire marketing campaign.
Across your website, on your “about us” page, on your social media posts, and anywhere else that you can think of.
Here’s an example for a pet shop — “We’re a top-of-the-line pet store focused on bringing the highest quality products to your furry friends. We don’t sell any products with unhealthy additives and your pets are always welcome to come into the store and pick out their favorite products.”
Don’t be afraid to let your customers know directly about why your brand is better than the competition.
It’s okay to brag a little if you have a reason to!
7. Create A Personality
If your brand were a person, who would it be?
Adding an avatar or a mascot behind your brand is an excellent way to promote instant recognition, and creating a brand character can even be fun!
If your target audience is younger, this is an especially beneficial strategy.
Determine a character for your brand and develop their personality to meet the mission and core values of your company.
This isn’t feasible or ideal for every brand but it is a great idea if you can swing it!
Build Your Brand Today!
Now that you know how to implement a brand strategy, there’s no time to waste!
The longer you put it off, the harder it will be to establish a brand identity with your client base.
Get started with your strategy today, stay up to date with BrashBerry’s latest brand news, and check out our marketing strategy services to see how we can help!
And as always, follow Brashberry on social media so you don’t miss a thing!
Let me know in the comments if you think you have a successful brand strategy already! If not, which of these simple steps do you think you could do first?