In an era when consumers are more discerning than ever, your branding can make or break your business. And to be clear: branding goes way beyond your logo or color scheme. Branding is the story you tell your customers. The way you connect. The philosophy and values that drive everything you do within your business.
In short, branding is a big deal. And your brand strategy certainly deserves a lot of time and thought if you really want to get it right.
So how can you build a powerful, impactful, lasting brand from scratch in 2022? Check out this guide to learn the most effective strategies for building a brand that strikes the right chord with your target audience.
1. Identify Your Target Audience
The first step to building a successful brand is to know exactly who you’re talking to. No brand can serve everyone, and if you tried, your branding will be less effective. So who are you trying to reach? Who do your products serve? And most importantly: What are their likes and dislikes? Where do they hang out? What do they care about?
Rather than choosing a broad audience like “pet owners” or “Gen Z”, try to take it to the next level of segmentation. (Think: “first-time dog owners” or “Gen Z working professionals.”) You can further hone in on your audience by taking a close look at your existing customers, checking out who your competitors are targeting, or creating buyer personas that outline your ideal customers demographics, age, gender, etc.
2. Write a Brand Position
Once you know your audience, it’s easier to build a brand that speaks to that target demographic. At this point, you’re ready to develop a brand positioning statement, which is essentially a few sentences outlining who your brand is and why you do what you do.
Your brand position should explain how you’re different from your competitors, make it clear who you’re serving, and establish your brand personality. Once again, it’s important to remember you can’t be everything to everyone. Don’t try to be the luxury brand and budget brand all at once, or the sassy/fun brand and sophisticated/refined brand.
3. Choose a Memorable Name
Many business owners make the mistake of naming their company before doing any brand research. But in reality, smart brands choose a name after they’ve taken the time to define their audience, purpose, and personality. After all, a name says a lot about who you are and what you stand for!
Before you get ahead of yourself, make sure your brand name is something easy to spell, pronounce, and remember. Consider doing some keyword research and look up URLs to make sure you’ll be able to buy a related domain name, too.
If you’re really stumped on what to name your brand, here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Make up a word (like Zillow)
- Combine unrelated words (like HootSuite)
- Create an acronym (like DSW or ASOS)
- Choose a word related to your business (like Amazon)
- Create a literal description (like The Suit Co.)
- Alter an existing word (like Tumblr)
4. Write a Brand Tagline/Slogan
Though not every brand has a tagline or slogan, it’s a branding step that will help set you apart from the competition and tell your customers what you’re all about. Your tagline can be used in your social media bios, emails, printed marketing, and on your website to reiterate your branding message in just a few words.
Your tagline or slogan should encapsulate your purpose and attitude all at once. To gain inspiration, look to the greats! Here are some of the most well-known brand slogans of all time:
- Nike: Just do it.
- Mastercard: There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.
- Apple: Think different.
- Maybelline: Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.
- McDonald’s: I’m lovin’ it.
- State Farm: Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.
5. Design Your Brand’s Look
Today’s consumers have short attention spans and countless brands vying for their attention, meaning it’s vital to have a brand that’s easy to identify in a split second. To accomplish this, make sure your designs are consistent across all mediums—from packaging and mailers to your social media posts and website design. Consider conducting market research to understand which colors and design styles resonate most with your audience.
Here are some important elements to flesh out when designing your brand’s look:
- Color scheme
6. Implement Your Branding
With your name, slogan, and brand look established, it’s time to integrate it into every aspect of your business. Because the more you highlight your brand, the more memorable you’ll become (and your customers will also see you as a stable, reliable business.)
You can ensure consistency by creating a brand guide for writers and designers, who will apply your branding across your eCommerce store, blog, social media platforms, and marketing campaigns.
Build Lasting Customer Relationships
No matter what type of business you run, a unique, identifiable brand is essential in today’s competitive business landscape. A great brand is about more than just a well-designed logo or great name: it encapsulates every message you’re sending out into the world, from your writing tone to your font choices.
With the right branding, you’ll build an emotional connection with your audience and create lasting customer relationships.
And if you’re looking for more ways to connect and retain customers, Route can help. Join over 11,000 merchants and millions of shoppers on Route—the modern package tracking app that gives customers the real-time shipping updates they crave. Get started today.