Do those sound like you?
The unsureness that comes with being a new business owner.
The sense of overwhelm mixed with not knowing where to begin.
Aware of what you need to do but not knowing how to do it.
You’re not alone!
No matter what the specific goals are for your business, everyone agrees on one thing: They want to be the go-to brand.
You decide to get professional help for sake of your time and sanity….look for a marketing pro.
This is elaborating on a previous blog post, Creating A Brand That Lasts.
You book the Free Discovery Session which leads to a (much needed) Branding+Positioning Strategy. Why is this so important that we always begin with a B+P? It’s all laid out in the chicken and the egg question of creating a brand or a logo first. Deciding to hit the ground running or build a firm foundation. You can read more on that here.
Are you striving to create a legacy with passionate customers like Apple?
Do you hope to leave a lasting impact on America’s heart like Coca-Cola did with the Santa Clause we know and love today?
Want to inspire and encourage people while making them feel capable of anything like Nike?
Even if your goal is to sell three drinks on opening day in your coffee shop you can still show up in front of your audience like they deserve. Here are five easy steps to get you started on creating a brand that lasts.
Why and Who.
You’ve got the idea for a business and you’re ready to put it out to the world. Not only are they going to be asking questions about the product and how to use it but they want to learn even more about your story and why you started your business.
I know everyone say this. ‘Find Your Why’, ‘What’s Your Why’ and it sounds overused. It doesn’t have to be. It needs to be more than a logo. While you will need one, you need the brand that backs it up and reinforces it to be created first. (More on this later). Your Why can help you find your Who.
Start with the broad reasons for why you started. Don’t worried about giving the right answers just write down whatever comes to mind first. The ability to work from home, an encounter that sparked the idea, just because you wanted to…whether it’s internal or external lay it all out. What’s the emotion that your customers are experiencing in their current problem? How are they going to feel when you help solve their problem? Do those fall under the broad ideas of why you started this brand? Great. Make statements or combine sentences and look around for consistent words, phrases or themes. All of those are reasons Why but we’re seeking clarity.
Now make the customers feel at home. See them. Help them. Get in front of them where they’re at so you can help them. Become their preferred brand. Be their first choice.
I’ve said this before and I will say it again.
If you’re talking to everyone you’re talking to no one.
Many people are afraid of disappointing someone and want to appeal to everyone. Sure maybe every person could purchase from you but if that’s the reputation you have then what is it that would make people return? Keep talking about you? If you’re no different than the competition, why would they show up?
Decide what you believe and repel. Decide what you do and don’t say. Decide who you aren’t and, just as importantly, who you are.
Show up as that brand. Not as you. Not as what you like. But show up as your brand, who your brand is, what your brand archetype would say (we can figure that out). What is it that you so firmly believe in that you would say whether it attracted the millions or repelled the few?
Know that niching down will solidify the target audience who wants to listen and buy from you is refreshing. They are the ones you need to focus on serving because they will support you, buy from you and send repeat business your way. Ignite those emotions and lean into creating a legacy. The people who get just as excited about your brand as you do are your kinda people!
Remember what I said earlier about your logo? Here we are! Now that you know what kind of brand you are, it’s time to put that into pictures, fonts and colors.
No matter what keep things clean, as simple as possible, easy to read, understand and visually tell what it is. Place it on white and black backgrounds. Save it in high definition and/or vector images to be seen in print, online and imagine what symbols or emblems you can pull out to use as stand-alones.
What are your fonts going to be and do they all correlate with each other as well as match your brand’s identity? Our favorite way to portray a brand’s personality begins with the psychological effects from a brand’s colors followed by the emotional appeal pictures or fonts evoke and obvious through our words and messaging.
Every time you publish something on social media, it should be branded.
Every time you do an interview or write, it should follow the rules in your brand book.
Every time your brand serves and delivers to customers, there should be traces of magic and loads of brand consistency. You know how important consistency is? We’ve made it a step all in itself.
Decide how often you will send out an email or publish a blog then make your audience aware of what to expect.
Consistency breeds brand awareness. As vague as that sounds, the more consistent a brand is with their branding and their strategy of showing up, the more likely a customer is to know, like, trust and buy from you.
It’s not just showing up on the same days and times, it’s not just posting every day but it also doesn’t detract or wander away from the core brand strategy, values and foundation. The deepest foundational pieces of your brand are what’s in your core whether you ever verbatim put that out into the world or not. Create themes and posting pillars from your business and repeat this process every month to build brand consistency.
Look at the most popular days and times for your audience on your social media platforms and aim for your biggest ticket items on those days. Every other day post under the goals of Entertaining, Educating, Engaging or Promoting.
The psychological effects of consistent brand messaging is too important to pass up. Never be stagnant. Don’t put your social media strategy on the back burner because you get busy. Have a promotional plan so you know what is coming up and use our Content Toolkit to generate fresh ideas (that is, if we’re not currently managing your social media).
Lasting Brands Leave Room To Grow.
Consistency is important but once a year doing a brand check-up is just as important. What has your audience responded poorly or well to? Adjust your strategy.
Is your audience growing in age, changing in education or family dynamics, or possibly a different gender than you once assumed? There are no more helpful or valuable sources of information than previous buyers and business insights on your accounts.
The most successful businesses know when it’s time to adjust their plan and grow. They understand the shift that’s needed and how often or sparingly to adjust their brand (ie: Freeform). They’re humble enough to realize what could be improved and lean in to that improvement. They’re smart enough to seek feedback and listen to constructive criticism. Build your business structure and systems in a way that you’re able to grow your team as well as your offerings.
Leave room for possible new business avenues and entry points in your business. If your broad goal is to create bouquets for local businesses and spread happiness through creativity know that you can reach your brand’s mission and expand to new opportunities while staying consistent in your branding. For this florist, that was not only creating and delivering flowers to local businesses but also offering experiences with friends and families, lessons on building a bouquet and hosting romantic tea parties. Be open to trying new things, learning and redirecting.
Think about the companies who have pigeonholed themselves into branding themselves into a featured product. Without stories sharing their Why they’ve stuck themselves in a box that, should they ever choose to crawl out of, it would be pretty difficult to get people on board. It takes a smooth and consistent approach of slowly immersing and turning your audience’s attention to the new picture to make things successfully work.
If you want to be irreplaceable you must become irresistible. Starting with your Why, identify your Who, Niching down, showing up consistently in style and being consistent in your brand are a surefire way to get you there.
Let us know in the comments what you liked the most or what you struggle with the most.
Have a question for me? Let’s talk.