Everywhere we look, we’re surrounded by brands, the products and companies that have created a specific way to communicate who they are and what they sell to consumers.

But branding is more than a product or company – it’s an experience, a connection, a feeling. It’s something that can make us want to buy or interact with that product time and time again.

What is a “brand” anyway?

According to the American Marketing Association, a brand is:

A name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers.

Below are some of the most well-known and loved brands in the world. Can you identify them by just their logos?

How many of these brand logos can you name? If you need some help, see answers at the end of this article.

If you can identify any of these logos – that’s the power of branding.

Here’s how you can get started on building your own memorable brand.

1. Define Your Business

Start by evaluating your business and the products you offer. Understanding what your business does (and how you do it better than anybody else) will help you create the first building block for your brand.

Ask yourself:

  • What problem do you solve for customers?
  • How do you differentiate from the competition?
  • What makes your business special?

2. Determine Your Target Audience.

Now it’s time to understand exactly who you’re selling to.

Identifying your audience helps enhance the effectiveness of your marketing efforts to ultimately improve your advertising ROI and profits. 

Your target audience is the customers who are most likely to buy your product or service. Think about the people who already buy from you. Who are they? What’s important to them? Why do they like doing business with you?

Knowing this information will help you further appeal to more of those kinds of customers to grow your business.

Still not sure how to answer these questions? Ask your best customers. They might have invaluable insight to share.

3. Create A Mission Statement.  

Once you know what you do, it’s time to think about why you do it.

Your mission statement is an action statement that defines your why. It can be as short as a single sentence, or as long as a paragraph, but it’s meant to be a short summary of your company’s purpose. You need to state the what, who and why of your company:

  • What: The company offering
  • Who: Who you’re selling to
  • Why: The core values you do it for

Think about creating your mission statement this way:

[YOUR BUSINESS] helps [YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE] to [DO SOMETHING] for [YOUR COMPANY’S VALUES].

Your mission statement communicates why your business exists and why people should care about your brand. In time, it will become the foundation of your brand and all marketing pieces that flow out of it.

4. Create A Visual Brand Identity. 

A logo is usually the foundation for a visual brand identity. Logos can be powerful branding tools. In fact, three out of four consumers recognize a brand by its logo. Your logo is your chance to convey your personality, values, products or service in one simple, easy-to-recognize design element.

You have a lot of creative license with your logo. It can include your business name (or not), it can include a graphic or it can showcase your company’s color palette.

Whatever kind of logo you choose, remember the logos we saw earlier in this article. They were simple, powerful visuals that clearly communicated the brand without a lot of noise. Keep that in mind as you’re creating your own visual identity.

5. Determining Your Tone of Voice.  

Your tone of voice is how you communicate your brand’s personality in writing. It communicates the mood and emotions of your brand. Tone of voice is not only what you say, but how you say it:

  • Funny vs. serious
  • Formal vs. casual
  • Respectful vs. irreverent
  • Enthusiastic vs. matter-of-fact

Knowing what you stand for makes it easier to communicate with the people who want to work with you. When you understand your target audience, you can determine the most effective way to communicate with them – and ultimately create a personal connection.

6. Use Visual Assets.  

Visual assets go beyond your logo to include all the photos, graphics and other design elements that are used to tell your brand story. They help you reinforce your brand’s personality, and they can help you create an emotional connection with your audience.

To develop strong visual assets, think about what kinds of imagery and colors best convey your product or service, as well as your values or mission.

5. Put Your Brand In Motion.  

Now that you know the basics of building a brand, you can start implementing your brand across all your marketing efforts. Here are a few tips to get you started.

  • Audit existing materials. Review your current customer-facing materials, including any retail space, website content, social media posts, advertisements and packaging. Then choose what you need to update to be consistent with your brand.
  • Start small. If time, money, or resources are limited, start small and build slowly. Building a brand takes time, so it’s better to pace yourself than to rush through the process.
  • Get your team involved. Hold a workshop or team outing and get your full teams’ input or buy-in on your brand.
  • Be clear with partners. If you hire outside help to develop or implement your brand, such as agencies, advertisers and partners, make sure you convey brand expectations clearly.
  • Create a reference point. Once you have your brand set, create a style or brand guide. This quick reference can help people inside and outside your organization have a consistent reference of do’s and don’ts for your brand.
  • Remember the 3 Cs. Be clear, consistent, and committed to your brand.

Building a brand can be an exhilarating – and exhausting – process. Coyote Ridge has extensive experience in helping companies like yours build successful, long-lasting brands. If you need help getting started, contact us today.

How many did you get correct?