Your brand serves as the solid groundwork for your business. With a well-defined brand in place, your business is set up for continuous growth. A carefully thought-out brand can make a significant impact when marketing and expanding your business.
But here’s the catch: if you approach branding haphazardly, you might not get the results you’re hoping for. A brand that’s pieced together over time can look disjointed to your audience and potential clients.
Instead of hastily sketching ideas and creating visually appealing designs, let’s explore a different approach. By following these three simple steps to build an intentional brand, you’ll set the stage for significant growth in your business.
Step 1: Establish a Strong Brand Foundation
We start with brand strategy because it forms the bedrock for everything else in our process. Think of it as the heart and soul of your business, shaping your target audience, positioning, and messaging. While you may already have a business strategy and a marketing plan, the brand strategy bridges them together.
Let’s break down these terms in a simple way:
- Business strategy: This is like the big picture, outlining your business’s vision, mission, and long-term goals.
- Marketing strategy: Think of this as the hands-on, action-oriented side of things. It’s about promoting and selling your products or services effectively.
- Brand strategy: This is the glue that brings your business strategy to life. It’s how you express and communicate the essence of your business, including its values, uniqueness, and why customers would choose you over others.
So, together, branding is like the language that speaks about your business, expressing what makes it special and why it matters to your customers. It all starts with a solid brand strategy.
Let’s Take a Step Back
One common mistake I often see entrepreneurs make is jumping straight into marketing without first defining their brand. Now, when I say “brand,” I’m not referring to just logos and graphics. I’m talking about the foundational strategy of your brand. Design is undoubtedly crucial for business growth and success, but it goes beyond aesthetics. It’s also about the strategy behind that design and how you visually connect with your audience.
Without a solid strategy, even the most beautiful brand and website won’t serve you well. So, before you invest your time and energy in designing your brand and marketing your business, it’s essential to start here. This way, your designs and marketing will be more meaningful and effective.
Step 2: Time to Build Your Brand Identity
Once you’ve got your brand strategy all sorted out, it’s time to dive into crafting your brand identity. This identity has two main sides: the visuals, like your logo, color palette, typography, and photography style, and the voice, including your tone, manner, voice, and communication style.
Now, a common mistake is to rush into this part because it might seem easier than nailing down the strategy. But in reality, you could end up spending a lot of time and money creating a beautiful brand that doesn’t quite hit the mark with the right people.
Without a robust brand strategy in place, you’re navigating without a map. It’s the strategy that guides your identity creation. Instead of picking fonts, colors, and styles based on trends or personal preferences, you make these decisions based on who you’re trying to reach, what you’re trying to say, and how you want to build your brand.
The strategy sets your brand’s direction and goals, and your identity is how you start bringing it to life. When your brand design is rooted in a solid strategy, you can trust that it will effectively convey the intended message while looking visually appealing. It’s the best of both worlds!
Step 3: Crafting Your Effective Marketing Strategy
The final piece in your brand-building is to express your brand to the world through marketing. This is where the magic happens, as you reach the right audience, generate more leads, monetize your products and services, and position your brand perfectly.
Now that your brand strategy is crystal clear and your brand identity is looking sharp, it’s time to bring it all to life through your marketing efforts. This is when you create your website, dive into email marketing, and prepare other materials that will boldly represent your brand strategy using its visual elements, completing the process.
Some folks might be tempted to rush into creating a website because they think an online presence is a shortcut to success. While a website is undoubtedly crucial for an online business, simply throwing one together won’t work wonders. I’ve been there, trust me.
Your website serves as an extension of your brand identity and is your primary marketing tool. It’s where you lay out your brand strategy clearly and succinctly for your audience. In the early stages, a simple website can get your business started, but it’s only a starting point. As your business grows, you’ll need to bring everything together, align it with your brand strategy, and work cohesively to help it thrive.
The same principle applies to all the marketing materials you create for your business. You’ll achieve far better results when you craft these pieces with a solid strategy behind them. It’s the secret to success!
The next time you think about your brand and are scared of it, just remember that it is more straightforward than it seems. While creating an intentional brand takes a lot of time and thought and shouldn’t be thrown together, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming and daunting, either.
When you build your brand in this order, you can create a brand that lasts and grows with your business more effectively. Suppose you skip around and piece it together randomly. You’ll likely end up with an inconsistent and confusing brand that you’ll struggle to grow because there is no clearly defined foundation or connection between it all.
Now that you know the process for building an intentional brand, it’s time to get to work. Here’s what you need to do now:
- Evaluate your current brand
- Clarify and strengthen your foundation (check out this workbook)
- Elevate your online presence and visuals
- Establish a solid marketing strategy to execute for growth