A brand is so much more than just your company. It is the collection of all of the choices that go into defining what you do and how you want the world to see you. It includes things as big as your mission statement and as small as your font choices.
Your brand is the sum of your parts.
We’ve previously talked about the importance of a focused brand identity and the role it plays in creating a cohesive company culture. Now we’ll delve more into what really makes a brand and help take yours from an abstract idea into something tangible and noteworthy. You’ll have to extensively answer two primary questions when developing (or redeveloping) your brand:
- Who are you?
- How are you communicating?
A successful brand is created thoughtfully, so take time to strategize beforehand, collect opinions, and seek expertise. If you rush this initial process, it will always show.
Who are you?
Who you are is way more than your product and/or service. You need to define your target market, i.e., who is your ideal customer?
No one can sell their product to everyone, so you need to pick a lane.
What makes you different or special? Why should customers choose you? For instance, if you want to be known for friendly, easy service, then in-person interactions aren’t the only factor—your website should be updated, pared down, and simple to navigate. You’ll need to do research about local demographics to figure out where you should target to grow your business as much as possible. You certainly shouldn’t aim to have just “anyone” as a customer and a price too low to attract them, but you also need to make sure you’re not seeking out high-income/prestige clients if you don’t have the quality or novelty to back up increased prices.
You also need to determine (and set in stone) your values.
What do you want to be known for? What can you really hone in on to gather up those 5-star reviews? Is it customer service, value, your product quality, a commitment to philanthropy, or even your personal stances? Your values need to be a driving force in how you run your business. Don’t waver, or they’re not really values at all.