There is more to building a brand than a logo or website. Yes, those are important, very important, but to best achieve your business vision, you have to have a plan – a brand blueprint to know where to start and how best to get there.
Building a brand is like building a house. Like the fairy tale of The Three Little Pigs, the pig who took the time to build his house out of bricks had the best foundation to out-stand the huff and puff of the big bad wolf.
Many businesses go wrong by not building their brand with a good plan. They can tend to get distracted by shiny objects or move with reaction and not a plan (the huff and puff).
Below are 5 steps that can help you build a strong brand…
Step 1 – Brand Review
Where is your brand right now?
To do this, collect all of the branding, marketing and online (web, social media, etc.) materials you are currently using. Spread them out together on a table.
How do they look?
Do they reflect the company you are now or are they outdated and stuck in the past?
Do you have an identity problem – does what you have been using have many different design styles that make your company appear disjointed as if they are from more than one company?
Step 2 – Build a Foundation
This is where you start building your brand to reflect your business – not the business you once were or one that reflects your competitors. It will give you the footing from which to build upon to match your blueprint and not a decoupage of outdated or non-reflective branding.
This process will help you to gain clarity about your brand and will help you communicate to:
- Your Clients
- Your Vendors
- Your Partners & Affiliates
In essence, by building a foundation, it will give you stronger connection, save you money, get better results and more (and better) leads.
To build this foundation you will need to define:
- What is your business personality and style?
- What makes your company different than others in your industry?
- Who is your client – what do they want, need and desire? And, how do they feel after they have worked with you?
Step 3 – Look Towards The Future
Where do you see your business going in 1, 5, 10+ years? Don’t be afraid to dream large.
Knowing where you are going gives you the tools to know how to best get there.
Thinking that far ahead may be unthinkable, but making that plan (or dream), will help build the blueprint to reach your goals.
Step 4 – Make a Plan
You will use Step 2 – Build a Foundation and Step 3 – Look Towards the Future to create the plan that is best for you. This will be the plan that is best for your business. Put in writing, where you see your business in 1, 5, 10+ years.
What branding pieces, website and online presence do you need to get there? How do you want your business to appear? Who will you be working with?
Step 5 – Design Your Brand Identity
This is the step to build your visual brand identity. The step where a designer works with you to design your business brand identity (the visual image) that helps you connect to your clients and ideal potential clients.
Your designer will use your Plan to pull together all of your branding, marketing and online presence to reflect your unique business – a business that takes you into the future with materials you are proud to distribute and designs that will relate to your clients, and get your phone ringing.
By taking these steps, no matter how small or large your company, it will help you to focus on your plan and not get distracted by the shiny objects that can appear – keeping you on track to achieve your business goals and dreams.