When it comes to business, many people often confuse branding and marketing mixed up, so for those who don’t already know, branding is what defines you as a business, whereas marketing is simply telling people about it. There are so many parts of branding which makes it a little confusing for businesses just starting out. Often, people believe branding costs a fortune, but this isn’t entirely true, you can still create a great brand on a budget, you just need to know how. It can take some time to get it right, but once you do, you will see that your business is bringing much more leads.
Building your brand is an essential part of your start-up business and the development for growth. Branding is the foundation of your brand voice, values, identity, and awareness of your customers. Due to the number of tools and resources readily available, building a brand is now not that expensive and doesn’t take all of your time to get started. In this article, we will go through some of the steps you can take to define your brand without a large budget.
Know Your Mission
If you don’t what you are trying to achieve, then how are your potential customers going to resonate with your core values and goals? You need to set out what you want to accomplish with this brand and be as clear and as accurate as possible. If you and your team don’t know what you are offering, it is going to make it extremely difficult to tell your customers.
For beginners, this can be difficult, so we can break this down further for you by letting you know the core factors that you need to focus on. Here are some things you should consider:
- How are you creating value for your customers?
- What types of needs and wants are you aiming to appeal to?
- What does your brand represent or stand for?
- What will encourage people to make a purchase?
- How do you stand out from your competitors?
These are all fundamental questions and should not be rushed. Think hard about these and go back and forth with your ideas to see if everything ties in well with each other. When they do, you will have a good idea of your brand identity.
Define Your Target Audience
Knowing your audience is another essential piece of information that you are going to need before doing any real business. You are going to need to define your audience for a number of reasons, one is to help your brand resonate with them as well as for using the right language and tone for your audience when marketing. One of the best methods to define your audience is by creating buyer personas. These are semi-fictitious representatives of your ideal customer and their values and characteristics.
Before creating any visual content, you need to be able to define your audience as you need to understand how you want to be perceived by your customers and who they are. These personas help you to understand the challenges that these groups may face and how your business can solve their issues. Here are some elements to consider: Age, gender, education, tools they use on a daily basis, needs, goals, family, and much more. When you understand these factors will show you how to convey your message, and how to market your brand and will help to understand what motivates them into buying or using your service.
Spy On Your Competition
Gaining a competitive advantage is key to business growth and success. The only way you are going to be able to obtain that advantage is by spying and creeping on your competitors to see what they are doing, what they are doing differently, what niches they are in, how they position themselves, and much more. This is an essential part of creating a strong brand strategy that will help you to make more informed decisions from the mistakes that your competitors have made. Competitor analysis doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, as there are many free tools out there that can help you with your research such as Moz, Google trends, Pingdom, and much more.
Update and Optimise Your Competition
If there is one thing that will kill a brand it is a low-quality website that offers a poor user experience. Bad user experience, poorly written content, out-of-date information, unattractive designs, and hard-to-use websites are all factors that are going to leave potential customers going elsewhere for what they need. Your website serves as your online business card, your shop front, and a platform for you to connect with your users. Ensuring it is optimised for search engines and is easy to use is not hard, and you can do a lot of it yourself.
Rethink Your Logo
Creating a logo that you are happy with is essential to your business, as this will be with you for many years so design it right the first time. It is one of the main factors that people are going to see that is associated with you with your brand recognition. We’re not saying that you can never change your logo, but don’t rush into it and put any old logo on your site. Instead, think about how it will look against your competitor’s logos and how it will portray you.
When designing a logo, print it out and place it somewhere that you will see it a lot for a week. If there is anything that annoys you about the design, it’s back to the drawing board. If it is a logo that doesn’t portray your personality or values, then it’s also back to the drawing board. If you are struggling with this design, it is best to speak to a design agency for some of the best talents in the UK. If there was one thing that you should spend money on is your Logo.
Keep at The Forefront of Innovation In Your Industry
You never want to be left behind when it comes to innovation or business trends, so it pays to always be one step ahead of the game and industry. This means that you need to be constantly evolving with your brand and keep innovating new methods, products, services, and everything else that is going to keep you ahead of your competitors.
The world is constantly evolving and new methods and techniques are discovered regularly, this is exactly what you need to be doing, finding new methods of doing your business, new platforms, and much more. If you are struggling with innovation, there are many resources out there that can help you tune your thoughts for innovation.
If you are wanting to create a brand and grow it, then one thing you need to ensure is that you are consistent across all platforms and channels. Consistency is the fundamental factor that is going to build relationships with your audience. Having consistent branding provides trust and a layer of transparency to your business as people understand what they should expect from the brand which is what they need when deciding what brand to use. This doesn’t happen overnight though, it takes time and hard graft.
Due to this not happening straight away, many feel disheartened because they aren’t seeing instant success. This is because you first need to establish the brand and keep its voice and tone consistent across all channels so that people are familiar with you and your work. Whilst you are waiting for the business to pick up, ensure that you use this opportunity to measure brand awareness through various methods such as paid social, organic social posts, and keeping your site well optimised.
Start A Brand Blog
If you are struggling to get people to your site through organic methods, then having a blog on your website is a fantastic method of gaining more traffic. This isn’t to say that you should write about anything, but create blog posts that are relevant to your industry and relevant to your target audience and personas. This will in turn help to get picked up for smaller key terms that people are searching for. For this to work as part of your inbound marketing, you need to ensure that the articles are well-optimised, have headers, it should be easy to read, and that none of the information should be copied from other sites. Use the information to create your own relevant blog.
Having a limited budget can sometimes feel overwhelming and can cause a lot of stress, but the truth is you don’t need a huge budget, you just need some simple steps to guide you through the process. Expensive tools are not the way to go, the best method is putting in your own hard graft, learning what’s working and what isn’t, and having some patients, because it will come, you just need to have some trust in your own abilities.