Branding Fundamentals: What You Need to Know to Brand Your Biz Like a Pro

 

Hey Creative Boss Lady,

As you are on your journey to building your brand and wealth, it kind of makes sense for us to make sure we lay out the fundamentals of branding.

There is more to branding than logos and design, to set the standards for future interactions and engagements; your first impressions to clients must be ON POINT.

 WHAT'S THIS THING CALLED BRANDING?

In its simplest definition, it is the marketing strategy and effort to shape your business to rise to the top.

When it comes to branding, you should note that branding has been around since the dawn of time and many of the world's most successful companies are geniuses at branding. It's one of the essential ingredients of a company's success, and some factors should be looked at critically.

Some of these factors include;

  1. Knowing yourself (Who are you as a brand?)
  2. Knowing your customer (Know Thy Customer)
  3. Having a name that sells
  4. Designing your brand for success
  5. Choosing the right colors that attract
  6. Structuring your brand with systems
  7. Building out the client experience
  8. Using social media to your advantage
  9. Copywriting for effective communication
  10. Creating systems to maintain consistency
  11. Monitoring your trends and knowing your statistics

and others that we'll discuss in this article.

If you have ever dreamed of conquering the market and eventually becoming a household name, branding is that ubiquitous force that gets you there.

It takes time, hard work, and a pinch of dedication, ok maybe a bit more than a pinch- it certainly requires a lot of dedication to stay aligned with the vision of your company.

Before you take on this decision, your focus must be drawn to two very important places; where you are now and where you want to be. This is the essence of your branding strategy. Taking stock of your current branding and vision and setting a roadmap to get you to that coveted place of Branded Boss, is not a process you can take lightly. You've got to build strategically.

In it's simplest form, a brand is the combination of features that make a given business stand out, at its core, it is the EMOTIONAL CONNECTION that a company has with its clients.


The conceptual level of every brand is its most fragile state, it can make or break you, especially when you try to use every strategy and information in the playbook.

Here are a few simple priorities to take note of and in order.

  • Strategic positioning
  • Product or company name, as well as the tag line and messaging
  • Logo, designs, choice of color and graphic standards

Here are some other branding priorities.

  • Being unique in your category—for the right reasons
  • Emotional connection – capture their hearts and build a relationship
  • Establish Trust

GET CLEAR ON WHO YOU ARE AS A BRAND

Communicate your priorities.

  • What
  • How
  • Why

Your customers need to know why they should stick with you, and your prospective customers should understand why they should pick you over the lot—this is the first step in establishing an emotional connection with customers.

Ask yourself the critical questions before diving deep into investing in your brand, what you do at the onset can impact your brand for years to come. You might not get it right the first time, but that's not so bad because you get to learn from your mistakes and pick up from where you left off. Some of the most successful brands have documented failures before they rose to success. We're here to help you avoid their mistakes.


At Skills to Dollar Bills®, we teach the Attract, Connect, and Influence framework for establishing Brand Presence.  So what does this framework mean?

Let me break it down for you...

Brand Presence Framework © 2016 Skills to Dollar Bills®

 


 ATTRACT YOUR DREAM CLIENT

A customer getting attracted to your brand may have discovered you a long time ago but didn't establish a connection. This attraction could be accumulated curiosity—it was probably piqued by your logo, design, or color choice.

What first impression did your brand elements make on them? How did your brand elements make them feel? When they come into contact with you, first impressions are always crucial. This is where branding strategy and design comes to play; every great brand design creates a brand identity that perfectly reflects your brand's vision and brand personality.

What is a brand identity? It's the special sauce that makes your business (or person) unique and shapes it for the next level. Just like people, businesses are a complete and distinct body unto themselves; this is what makes them stand out among other competitors in the target market. Your identity is what people are attracted to, your personality is what makes them say, ' you know what...I'm kinda feeling this business, I want to learn more.' Your identity can be communicated with the physical branding that you design. We will discuss this a bit later on.


BUILD THAT CONNECTION

Once you've attracted a prospective client to your brand, now what? Well, it's time to make your brand personality shine to build rapport and connection. There are several forms of expressions representing a given business in their target market, such as slogans, catchy jingles, and signs.

Define who your brand is and allow the rest to flow from there. Consider your visuals, tone of voice, and language—these are all important to brand personality

According to Jennifer Aaker, there are 5 dimensions to brand personality. Sincerity, Ruggedness, Sophistication, Excitement, and Competence. We won't go into detail about each in this article, but we want you to think about what your brand's personality is and how you can ensure that you design your client's experience around your personality.

 

If you're having a hard time defining your brand personality and where you fit in, you should do a deep assessment of your brand; who are your ideal clients, and what pain points are you relieving for them? What are the attitudes of customers? What are your brand's core values? Who are your potential allies? Who are your competitors? And how do you perceive your own brand?

These are the things that help to define brand personality and helps clients relate a bit more to your brand. Once you are able to establish this connection it becomes easier to communicate with your audience. 

Copywriting is one of the essential marketing strategies every business and entrepreneur has to master or pay attention to. You have to know how to connect at the heart level with your audience. Your copy sets the right tone when engaging with customers—customers don't like to feel that they are being engaged by a robot that is solely interested in making profits but rather a human being that speaks on an emotional level and understands them.

Great copy helps with building the brand experience for your prospective customer. Copywriting can't be discussed without User Experience (UX). This covers everything from the customer's interaction with the products and services that the company provides to the satisfaction of customers and keeping the products and service topnotch and useful. If a customer had trouble with one of the products or services, how fast do you or your company address the issue or come to their rescue?

3 Things to Consider When Building Your Brand:

In branding, there are a few things that should be considered to achieve massive success. Start by defining yourself and what you offer, focusing on the target market, maintain consistency and persistence, and get readjusted with changes that happen from time to time without losing your brand DNA.

Be sure to think brand experience all the way and how customers and future customers feel when they come in contact with your products or services.

There are three main aspects of branding that, when taken into consideration, can be used to send the right message to customers.

They are the physical, emotional, and social aspects of branding.

As we discussed earlier with Brand Identity, you need to attract your audience. The physical brand is all about everything you can see and/or touch. The physical should entice their senses. The physical brand helps you start strong and on a solid foundation; if you are new to this, the name and logo you choose for your brand are the most critical—more like naming a newborn baby, the vision and core values that are associated with your brand, your website (or landing page) and business cards, are great starts for good first impressions.

The emotional brand is the feeling that resonates with your presentation and presence. This aspect should capture their hearts. Once you finally figure out what makes them tick or stick, you win. Congratulations on establishing a connection. Deepen the connection to establish brand loyalty. It works better when you stop seeing your brand as just a brand and more like a person with an essence and internal qualities that need to be manifested externally. 

And finally...

The social brand is about people's impression of your brand, what they are saying about it, and if your brand can live up to its own standards. When done correctly, all three aspects working together in unison can propel your brand from unknown to sought after.

If you are a personal brand, your appearance (colors, style, clothing) will matter, especially if you are regularly in the public eye. 

Let's not leave out the social media strategy for a tight and robust game. Getting these aspects together will surely make you stand out as the winner that you are.


ESTABLISH TRUST TO GROW INFLUENCE

Once you have the main branding components in position, there are some other things you should focus on next—it is crucial to make consistency a habit and stay true to your brand values and promises in all communications. Hard as this may be, inconsistency quickly leads to broken trust. If your audience loses trust, well, you know the rest. They're not likely going to be ready to stick with you, much less, purchase from you. 

 Alright, so now that you know Branding is really about setting yourself up as a distinct and powerful force in your industry, what steps will you take to attract, connect with and ultimately, gain influence with your audience?

Not sure where to start? Take the brand journey quiz to find out how to start making your mark with your brand. 

Click here to Take the Quiz

 Let's get busy building your brand and creating wealth!

Talk to you soon,

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