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The terms “brand” and “business” are often used interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings. A business is an establishment that provides services and/or products to consumers (B2C) or to other businesses (B2B). A brand consists of the name of the business, its logo/symbol, and other visual and abstract elements that distinguishes it from another, similar business.
However, creating a brand identity isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Here are some steps to take in creating a strong and powerful brand identity.
Do Some Research
Before you can start a business, you have to do some research, starting with your competitors. You have a business idea, but it’s more than likely that you’re not the only entrepreneur with this idea, meaning that you have some competition. Do a search of the industry you’re in and see which companies (both large and small) come up.
You also need to research your target market— and researching your competitors can give you an idea of what your target market looks like. Check the social media accounts of your competitors to see what their customers (who could also become your customers) are saying and how they interact with that company. This type of research only scratches the surface, so you should also do some more in-depth research to get a full picture.
Choose Your Focus
Studying your competitors and their customers can also give you an idea of what the focus of your business should be. Your focus ultimately becomes your business’s personality, and this personality helps you develop a brand identity. When choosing your focus, ask yourself these questions:
- What’s your claim or positioning statement? This should answer what you’re offering and to who, and what makes you different from the competition.
- What are some adjectives that you would use to describe your business? Make a list of words that you would want your customers to associate with your business.
- Can you come up with any similes, metaphors, or concepts to describe your business?
Come up With a Business Name and Slogan
Although your brand is more than just your business’s name, it’s still an important part of your overall brand identity. Your focus and brand personality should help you come up with the perfect name for your business, if you don’t have one already. Your business name could be a made up word, a literal description of what you sell, and combination of words, an acronym, or a metaphor.
A slogan isn’t necessary, but it can really help solidify your brand identity. Good slogans are short and catchy, but they can also be simple. Stake your claim, come up with a metaphor, or write a literal description.
Design Your Logo
After creating a personality, business name, and possibly a slogan, you have all the inspiration you need to create your logo. Choose your colors and fonts carefully, as they can communicate certain feelings and ideas towards your consumers. Your logo can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be— but it should also remain in line with your brand identity. Different types of logo styles to consider include:
- Abstract logos
- Emblem logos
- Icon logos
- Mascot logos
Apply Your Branding Everywhere
Once you’ve done all of the above, you’re ready to apply your brand identity to everything. Of course your business name and logo will be on your business cards, uniforms, storefront, etc. It should also be applied everywhere online, as you should also work to create a strong online presence. Your branding should be seen on your business website and across all of your social media platforms.
The branding of your business can also be used for recruitment. Professional advertising recruitment agencies can help you tweak your brand identity to market it towards job seekers. This is known as recruitment marketing, and it’s one of the best ways to attract the best talent to work for your business. As a successful business owner, you should marketing towards your consumers and towards potential employees— because you need both to keep your business afloat.
A strong brand identity helps create brand awareness, which is what is needed to help you make money. A strong brand identity will also help you attract the best candidates for employment, which will also help you make money. The most successful businesses have created an identity that resonates with their current customers, potential customers, and also their employees.