Today, the hottest entrepreneurs are talking about how businesses need to build great brands in order to be successful. What is a brand? Usually, people can identify a brand by its trademark logo, however this barely breaks the surface of how business branding works. For businesses, a brand is defined by the perception of their customers. In order to influence this perception, businesses need to clearly explain their brand’s purpose and values. Here are practical branding basics that small businesses can use to start developing their own brand:
Define Your Brand and Create a Mission Statement
What is your brand and what is its purpose? These are important questions to consider because if you don’t have an idea about your brand then how will your customers understand it? Determine your brand’s purpose and explain why your target customers would be interested in it. Then put this all together in a mission statement that will explain the objectives of your products or services.
Example: Rhonda owns an online business, Rhonda, Inc., that creates e-courses and various digital goods for women who want to learn how to make an income through arts and crafts. She wants to build her business brand to gain more customers and sponsorships. Here is her mission statement: Rhonda, Inc. is dedicated to helping creative women in making extra income through DIY products. We provide video tutorials, print worksheets and other resources so our students will be able to build their own profitable arts and crafts businesses.
Identify Your Target Market
A business that tries to appeal to everyone, appeals to no one. You need to find the group of customers that will most likely buy from your business. This is essential because your brand is going to be perceived by these people. They determine if your brand is valuable or not. Things to consider when identifying your target market are age, gender, race, income level, and lifestyle.
Example: Rhonda is trying to market her brand to middle class women who are in their late 20’s to mid 40’s. These creative women love to express themselves through their clothing, accessories, and household decor. They view arts and crafts as a fun hobby but believe that they have enough skills to sell their work.
Determine Your Brand’s Personality and Values
Think of your brand as your business in human form. It’s a three-dimensional representation of your businesses with special characteristics and traits. David A. Aaker created the Aaker Model to categorize the top five brand personality dimensions:
Excitement: carefree, spirited, youthful
Sincerity: genuine, kind, family-oriented, thoughtful
Ruggedness: rough, tough, outdoors, athletic
Competence: successful, accomplished, influential, a leader
Sophistication: elegant, prestigious, pretentious
Your brand’s values are a set of principles that your business feels is needed to build relationships with your customers. The list of brand values to choose from are endless but please pick the top five values that you believe best represents your business. Pro Tip: Don’t go crazy. Make sure that your brand can live up to your values.
Example: Rhonda decides that her brand’s personality will be sincere, exciting and competent.
Sincere: Rhonda, Inc. wants to provide an honest service to aspiring creative solopreneurs so they can get extra income to support themselves and their family. We also give full access of our community of craftswomen to answer any important questions and use their experience to help students through economic and personal hard times.
Excitement: Rhonda, Inc. uses the most innovative technology and marketing strategies to promote creators and their businesses.
Competence: Rhonda, Inc. trains students and subscribers to be the next hottest industry influencers in crafting, home decor, and fashion. We provide them all with the necessary tools to successfully lead their businesses.
Creativity: Rhonda, Inc. values creativity, customer satisfaction, and innovative collaboration. Rhonda, Inc. understands that artists and designers need to express themselves through their work. We support their imagination by providing them with necessary tools to build their next creation.
Customer Satisfaction: Rhonda, Inc. values the satisfaction of our students so much that we provide content to fill the individualistic needs of our clients in every stage of their business development. We refund any unsatisfied requests.
Innovate Collaboration: We believe that creatives work best with other creatives. We encourage collaboration to create profitable products and informative content for our online training courses.