Updated: Apr 19
A powerful brand doesn’t start in the field or in the production area.
It all starts in a quiet room with just you, your ideas, a trash can full of scratch paper, and a great deal of research.
A successful brand doesn’t come to life in a single day. It takes a lot of work, grit, and time to build something that doesn’t only stand out, but soundly defeats your competitors so no doubt is left in your customers’ mind.
Long story short, it’s not for the faint-hearted.
But if you’re decided and dedicated to building your personal brand, following these first steps will be the key to your branding success.
Last month, we talked about finding your ideal customers, your brand fundamentals, and how you should position your brand in the market. We also talked about how you can start implementing them into your own brand, but if you need a refresher, you can visit this link here before we discuss the next three elements in building your brand.
Today, we will dive deeper into understanding your brand. These will be the key to making sure your brand stands the test of time and attracts your ideal customers.
Despite our growing tendency to depend on technology, it is still human nature to connect with other humans. Use this to your advantage by creating a personality for your brand that your ideal customers can understand.
The more customers relate to your brand, the more they will trust you. 90% of people will almost always buy from a brand they like compared to a brand they don’t know, so by tapping into the psychology of your ideal customers and speaking their language, you will ensure their loyalty.
So, how should you create a personality your customers will like?
Simple: speak their language. Throw out everything you learned about speaking in a formal manner and talk to them like a human. Understand the things that drive your customers and show them you know what they’re going through.
Can you imagine how your brand will grow?
Brand Architecture is a system that helps your consumers understand how the brands within your organization are all related to one another. Laying this out in a clear and organized manner, will reinforce your brand position and make marketing your brands easier.
There are three types of architectures:
In this model, subsidiaries have a close relationship with the parent brand and their fellow subsidiaries within the company.
A good example of this would be Apple. Apple has various products that are closely related to the parent brand: iPhone, iPad, MacBook, all stand alone as strong products within their markets, but they are all very closely associated with their parent company, Apple.
A hybrid model consists of only one or a few brands having a close relationship with the parent brand. These products are associated with the main company but have their own distinct qualities.
A popular example of this is Coke. There are various brands that live under the umbrella of the Coke parent company, such as Fanta, Dasani, and Sprite. These brands are widely known as subsidiaries of Coke, but these brands operate and are largely recognized as individual brands.
House of Brands
Here, all sub-brands are independent of the parent brand, as well as any other brands in the same company. Each brand operates and is recognized as its own company with its own products.
This can be seen with Mars. Mars owns Skittles, M&Ms, and Snickers, but not many people know that these brands are under one company. They are often marketed as their own brand with their own unique strategies.
If you aren’t sure of the type you’re aiming to grow into as a brand, we recommend starting with a Branded House set up. This is the easiest form of growth once your brand begins to expand.
Naming your brand may seem simple, after all, it’s just a name, right?
Naming your brand is a crucial step in building your business, but sadly, it is a step that many prospective business owners take too lightly.
Remember that your brand’s name will stick to your brand for as long as it stands, so changing it will not be easy… or cheap. Luckily, there are steps you can take that will make the process faster and much more effective.
Your brand name should be:
Meaningful - Your brand name should have a unique value proposition that quickly communicates what your brand is. A trick I often use is to consider what your brand stands for when you think of a name.
For example, some brands, like Disney, Aston Martin, and Boeing, are named after their founders, while some brands, like Amazon and Dunkin’ Donuts, are named for the products and services they provide.
Distinctive - Your brand name should be unique. Naming your brand something too similar to an existing brand can cause confusion and may even be illegal in certain states.
Future-Oriented - Make room for your brand’s future growth! You may want to add on services or products to your brand, later on, so make sure the name isn’t too specific in a way that could limit your growth.
It wouldn’t make much sense for a company named Donuts’ Galore to offer burgers on
their menu, for example.
Ownable - Choosing a name that no one has taken ownership of is important if you want to trademark your brand’s name.
Visual - Since they are easy to remember, brand names with visual connotations are an edge over the competition. Companies like Wooly, Dropbox, and Grab, all have existing associations in your customers’ minds. This will be an advantage when you create logos and other visual aspects of your brand.
Modular - This will allow you to build extensions. Businesses grow and people change their minds.
What you want for your business 5 years from now may be different from what you want right now. Prepare for this by giving your brand a name that is able to go with the mold your brand forms over time.
Positive - Lastly, your brand name should evoke feelings and pose impressions on its audience. Emotions drive purchase decisions so make sure they’re positive.
Now consider these elements in relation to your brand’s fundamentals. Do you have a brand that will stand the test of time? Let me know in the comments below!
Building a brand is a difficult endeavor so if you’re struggling with the process, join my Facebook group here!
I’ll personally help you slow down and work through each step individually – this will help you clarify where you should go with your brand.