What Every Entrepreneur Should Know About Branding
WHAT EVERY ENTREPRENEUR SHOULD KNOW ABOUT BRANDING
Let’s start extremely basic, shall we? I’d hate to dive right in, and be chatting it up about branding, if you have no idea what a brand even is. So, what is a brand?
Here’s my homemade definition:
A brand is an identifying mark, product, image, or personality.
Having said that, one of the first things you should understand about branding is that you are a brand. It doesn’t matter if you have a business/trade or not. You represent something and that something is how people label you.
Whether that something gives off a good or bad vibe is a different story.
The good news?
You are in total control of your brand. Regardless of how people see you right now, you have the power to change your brand. You can alter your image or message (or both) to reflect whatever you choose.
If you are interested in learning the basics of branding, keep reading. In this article, we are sharing branding tips for entrepreneurs to build a solid brand and position yourself as a leader in the market.
Branding tips coming atcha in 5…4…3…2…1…
Here are some of the main things every entrepreneur should know about branding.
Decide on what you want to be known for
Create a brand experience for your clients
Build an emotional connection between your brand and your customers
Claim your name
Develop and Image
Have fun with it
Below are more in-depth explanations of each item.
Decide On What You Want to Be Known For
Your brand, simply put, is what you’re known for. And consistency is key in building a brand. To be known for something, you have to do that thing over and over again. You can be known for using a certain word, tone, color scheme, pattern, font, design, etc. Choose the elements of your brand that will remain consistent, and rock hard with it.
Remember, you have control over your brand. So choose wisely the things that will make up what will shape people’s perception of you and what things and ideas they will associate you with. If you want to play it smart, you should craft a brand message, develop a plan, and build from there.
Create A Brand Experience
When building a strong brand, you want to spend time on creating an experience for your clients or customers. There are millions of businesses offering the same products and services to consumers across the world. If you want to stand out and be the brand that people choose to engage with, you have to make them feel something.
How can you make people feel emotionally attached to your brand?
In order to create a brand worth attaching to, you have to know a few things first. Check out the list below.
A clear brand message
A cohesive design/theme
An appealing color scheme
A consistent brand image
Once you have these things in place, you will be better able to create a brand experience for your customers. To ensure that you and your team are consistently presenting a clear message, design, etc. to the public, you should have a brand manual that everyone uses at all times. If you need a brand manual, click here.
You have to reach people on a subconscious level, to cause them to have an emotional response to your brand. When you effect someone subconsciously, they react naturally, instinctively. To drive it home, people don’t think about how they will respond to the stimulus you’ve designed. They only know how they feel in the moment. Achieving the goal of effecting people on a subconscious level might sound complicated, but it’s very simple. Let’s break it down.
When a person walks into a building, her brain is collecting information to determine how she will feel about what surrounds her. Some examples of this are listed below.
If the building is dark, made of concrete and metal, she may feel uncomfortable, afraid.
If the building is brightly lit and colorful, she may feel excited, energized.
If the building is mostly white, with ambient lighting, she may feel comfortable, relaxed.
All of the examples above deal with the look of your brand.
Now, let’s add sound to the equation.
If the dark, concrete and metal building is playing loud, heavy music inside, it may cause a person to feel anxious.
If the bright and colorful building is playing light, upbeat music inside, it may cause a person to feel happy and carefree, playful.
If the ambient, white building is playing soft music, it may cause a person to feel calm.
Are you starting to get an idea of how you might control your environment to evoke certain emotional responses?
You can take things a step further and add smell. In some situations, you can even add taste to the experience. Just remember that everything matters: the materials you use, the strength and color of the lighting, etc.
The above examples are for brick and mortar establishments, but you can create an environment online as well. You can control the look and feel of your website and social profiles. Music used to be common to hear on someone’s website, back in the day. Now, it’s more acceptable to use a certain style of music in your video content. You can find fun ways to create a brand experience for your customers.
A Great Example of Brand Experience
One company that comes to mind when thinking about great brand experience is Southwest Airlines. If you have ever flown with them, you know their flight attendants (and pilot) are hilarious and pleasant to fly with. Aside from creating a recognizable brand, the airline has mastered creating an experience that their customers never forget. That experience is the thing that causes millions of people to navigate to their site first to search for flights.
Let’s take a look at some other factors that make up a great brand.
Claim Your Name…and Look
We can’t stress this enough. The name of the game is consistency. Not all of your customers are on the same platform. So, you should make it as simple as possible for people to find you online. Your name and social handle should be the same on every platform.
Your brand image should look similar on each platform. Similar is the keyword here, because different platforms call for different formats. So, as long as your logo, colors, and overall feel remains the same, you will be successful in branding yourself online.
Have fun with it!
Building a brand is serious business. But don’t let that stop you from being 100% authentic. Your brand is an extension of yourself. Have fun with it. Make it your own…after all, it is yours.
Also, don’t let all of the rules for building foundation scare you into thinking you can’t do this. You have full creative control in building your own business. The branding tips in this article are for entrepreneurs to use as a guide, not as the law. If you take the advice written here, you will be sure to set yourself up for success.
These are just a few things we’ve used to build successful brands. The brands that took our advice have grown exponentially in a short span of time. In fact, one brand generated over $12M in just one year, as a result of using the tips in this guide.