Building a brand is no walk in the park. I’m going to be honest with you. Most likely, there are already hundreds of businesses selling something similar to your product.
Not to fret, follow this expert guide to building your brand, add a little bit of pizzaz, and BAM! You will be attracting new leads in no time.
Building your brand checklist:
- Identify what makes you unique
- Define your value proposition ←-Most important
- Create a calling card around your differentiator
- Lockdown the voice and style of the brand
- Create a workplace culture that reflects your brand’s value and style
- Don’t be lazy. Your brand is the base that inspires all of your content.
Let’s look at these in more detail.
Identify your secret sauce
Your brand needs to stand out in a crowd. For example, put any hamburger patty between two pieces of bread and Voila! You have yourself a bonafide hamburger.
But then you add that secret sauce, and suddenly it is the iconic Big Mac which McDonald’s sells over 900 million a year.
What is your secret sauce? What makes you exciting and worth engaging with? What makes you a Big Mac in a world of Whoppers?
You may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Still, your secret sauce will allow you to claim a significant portion of the market share when communicated clearly and correctly.
How to go about defining your secret sauce
- Investigate and understand precisely what your customers want
- Identify their goals and their needs
- Position your brand as the most qualified to solve your customer’s problems
Define your value proposition – Why should your brand exist?
The value proposition is your promise of the value you will deliver to customers. The main reason why people should buy from you and not your competitor.
Your value proposition is crucial to promoting your competitive advantage. Therefore, it is one of the most important factors when considering your brand.
When sitting down to write and workshop your value proposition, start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What do you do?
- How do you do it?
- Who is your customer?
- What does your customer want?
- What makes you better than the rest?
I highly recommend involving all the key stakeholders within your business when creating your proposition. With everyone’s buy-in to the company’s value proposition, you end up with the top-down effect of the value proposition infiltrating everything you do, not just marketing.
Lock down your brand’s voice and style
Create your brand bible. A highly recognizable style supported by consistency across everything you put into the world makes your brand appealing and credible.
Arguably, your logo is the most memorable part of your brand. Design a logo that becomes a visual cue for your brand, whether or not people remember the name of your business. In addition, logos provide an opportunity to automatically associate certain products and services with your brand.
The dream goal is when a customer sees a specific color, your brand immediately comes to mind (think Tiffany blue). So define your preferred colors and use them seamlessly across both digital advertising and physical marketing content.
Tone and Voice
How do you want to present your brand to the world? Are you funny? Irreverent? Formal? Professional? Academic? A combination of a few? Establish the way you communicate with any external party, as well as with your own employees.
Any images you put up on your website, post on your social media, or any other platform should represent your defined tone and style. Follow your color palette and always try to include your logo within the image.
What style of imagery matches your brand’s voice? Is it cartoons or graphics, or maybe high-quality photos?
Design your workplace culture around your brand style guide
Your value proposition will be at the core of all your communications as you move forward.
No matter what the department — finance, research and development, sales, marketing, compliance, or legal — if any of your employees communicate externally, they need to be across the value proposition and understand the style that your brand communicates.
The best way to do this is to provide everyone access to your brand style guide. Your brand style guide will be created after the key stakeholders in the company have locked down their value proposition, tone, and style. The style guide should communicate the following:
Logo size and placement – Include variations of your main logo that are acceptable. For example, whether or not the logo can be stacked or altered and the preferred placement on any collateral. Also, make sure you include examples of how NOT to use your logo.
Color palette – Include a list of the colors that represent your brand and stick to it. It is critical to include the exact hex codes of your chosen colors for digital use and CMYK values and Pantone colors for printed items. Make sure to manually check the conversions to create consistency.
Fonts – Dictate which fonts show your unique brand identity. Fonts are a significant part of all of your collateral. We suggest picking a few different typefaces and identify where they are appropriate to use – headings on documents, body text, subheadings, etc.
Brand Personality – Communicate the style in which your brand communicates with the world. Can you swear? Are you funny, clever, witty, strict, kind? This section is essential as you bring writers onto your staff. Clearly dictating the structure of how you communicate helps writers.
Control your story
As your brand awareness increases, there will be a whole lot of conversation that you will not be able to control. People will be blogging, reposting, and commenting upon your brand.
The best way to maintain as much control as possible over your narrative is to build a strong brand identity. Everyone’s brand style guide may look different, but every business must develop one.
A fantastic way to get your brand involved in the social conversation the way you want is to work on a viral marketing campaign. Nowadays’ campaigns use a Social Scripting process that we designed to guarantee a viral campaign (our secret sauce). For each campaign, we write a script featuring tension, surprise, and/or delight. In addition, we specialize in emotions that make people take action, whether downloading your app or retweeting your branded video.
If you want to partner with us to take your brand identity and inject it into the world, holler at us.