how to start branding your business
(in 5 simple steps)
Not to be dramatic, but the fact that you’re looking for help with how to start branding your business is a BIG, HUGE, MASSIVE, EXCITING sign that you’re absolutely on the right track! As a brand strategist I believe your brand is a crucial component to your success as an entrepreneur, and the sooner you start branding your business the more effective, marketable, and fun it will be. And yes, I am prepared to die on this hill so it’s a good thing I brought a flask.
Disclaimer to this post: branding is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. There are no quick fixes to building a strong brand. While you can hire someone to guide you through the process, no one can build your brand for you. The vision, concepts, and perspectives MUST come from you in order to be genuine – and a genuine brand is an effective one.
So I encourage you to take your time thinking through these steps. Let it be messy, embrace the process, and be proud of yourself for just sitting down and doing the damn work. Let yourself go deep. Don’t shy away from your big ideas. And most importantly: be prepared for your brand to grow, change, and evolve. Ready? Let’s get into it!
how to start branding your business:
Step 1: Determine which problem your business solves and why that matters in the grand scheme of the world.
Yeah, the whole world. I know that sounds like a giant undertaking, especially if you’re in a luxury industry, but honestly simplicity is okay! Think about the straightforward solutions in your own life that make you a happier person – a supportive mattress that gives you better sleep. Magnetic phone chargers that prevent you from having to find the port in the dark. Waterproof hiking boots that keep your feet warm and dry. It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking, it just has to be straightforward and honest.
(In your brand strategy, this is your purpose and philosophy.)
Step 2: Determine how your business is solving this problem.
At first this step might seem silly or obvious ‘cause the “how” is just with your products and services, right? But any problem can have multiple solutions. The beauty industry is a great example of this – one company sells lipstick, another sells facials, another sells custom nail art, but at the end of the day they all sell the same solution: confidence. So don’t be afraid to get specific about how your products and services solve a problem, whether directly or indirectly.
(In your brand strategy, this is your mission.)
Step 3: Define who you solve the problem for.
Who are they? Who do they want to be? How do they feel now? How will they feel after their problem is solved by you? The “ideal client avatar” gets a bad rap, but the most important advice I can give you as a brand strategist is your brand isn’t for you. It’s built by you but it’s built for your customers, so you have to understand who they are. Hint: demographics can be helpful, but psychographics are infinitely more informative!
(In your brand strategy, this is your ideal client profile and target audience.)
Step 4: Figure out how you solve the problem differently than everybody else in your industry and why your way is better for your ideal client.
This step is critical to having an effective marketing plan, because the truth is you don’t have to scream louder than everyone else with your content. You just have to say the right words to the right people in the right way in order for your message to be heard!
(In your brand strategy, this is your value proposition and positioning.)
Step 5: Breathe some life into your business by figuring out what makes it (and you, if you’re building a personal brand!) interesting.
What’s going to get people excited about what you’re doing, beyond just the obvious facts about what you sell? Becoming absolutely magnetic to your target audience starts with giving your business some soul.
(In your brand strategy, this is your personality, voice, and story.)