Brand = Minimalist You. Your brand is how your customers define you and that’s something you should be dictating and managing, not allowing to happen ad hoc. Whether you are looking to develop a brand from scratch or are looking for some basic ways to define it more effectively, consider the 6 steps outline below.
1. Personality: Character and Values
Start by outlining the essential values of your business. What core ideals are you built on? Who are you as a business? Once you have a list, revise it several times to find the best description of your business. Remember, your brand is a minimalist version of your business, so don’t expect to be able to cram a plethora of concepts into a small package. Keep it simple and focused.
2. Choose Your Words
From your value outline, write metaphors, slogans, taglines, and vocabulary that define and set your business apart from the competition. Creativity, clarity, and focus in the words of your business will drive the brand later. This is critical for helping guide the design and message. A brand tells a story – know your own story and how you want your customer to perceive it.
3. What Do You Offer?
Customers need to know what products/services your business offers. The clearer the description and promise of service—without vague terms such as quality, experienced, or trusted—the more likely customers will see how your business could fit into their lives. You only have a few seconds to make an impression and articulate your value and offerings. Make sure the customer knows exactly what you do in simple fashion. If they’re interested, they’ll research further.
4. Target Customers
After doing research and knowing your business, define your target customer. If you sell shovels and find out that men between the ages of 30-45 with an income below $60k/year will buy your shovels, build your brand to fit that perfect customer. Often you will have multiple customer groups and this is where sub-branding comes into play. You may need to position certain products and services a bit differently. The key is to understand that ideal customer so you know how to craft your brand message.
5. Customer Definition of Your Brand
In order to build up the credibility of your brand, let your customers speak for you. Use actual customer quotes about your business to evaluate and guide the branding process. How does customer opinion shape your brand? New customers are more likely to believe in your brand if the core customers convince them with their dedication and belief in your brand.
To know how customers perceive your brand, you have to have some conversations. This is where social media and surveying your customers is critical. Get feedback. It can be awkward to reach out to an unexpecting customer, but that’s what it takes. This feedback can be used to both fine-tune your efforts and also influence other customers.
6. Visual: Color, Fonts, etc.
Create a simple, meaningful, and consistent visual experience of your business for your customers. Think about the colors, shapes, and mood you want customers to see and feel in order to understand what your business represents. When you design a logo, consider that your logo represents the brand, but it does not define the brand, your business does. But your brand’s visual representation is critical for streamlining marketing efforts. The more consistent your brand is visually, the more likely they are to recognize it.