A Beginner's Guide to Building A Brand... The Right Way
If you are in the digital space looking to start a blog, ministry, or organization, I’m sure you have heard about the importance of branding. Branding is more than just having a cute logo, or a well designed website. While those things are integral and important to defining your brand, it’s the foundation of your brand that will sustain your business, ministry, or organization.
As a consumer, apparel, and retail studies master’s student, I have the opportunity to analyze and understand how successful brands are built. A brand consists of elements such as a name, symbols, designs, and commonly held beliefs that are understood by your audience. A stand out brand is one that tells your mission and story with a strongly innovative and consistent message.
"A stand out brand is one that tells your mission and story with a strongly innovative and consistent message."
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With that being said, the foundation of your brand begins with your message. So before you start to pick out your favorite colors, fonts, and even your website, I want you to define the essence of your brand.
The essence of your brand should consist of these components: Your why, your value, relevancy, positioning, and marketing.
Your "Why" (What are your reasons and the meaning behind your brand?)
What is your purpose for wanting to create a brand? Money cannot be the only driving factor. When you are in the infancy stages of creation and you’re not making any money, you need to have a purpose that will sustain you. Do you want to build a brand so that you can one day take the leap into entrepreneurship and create a freedom based lifestyle? Or maybe you went on a missions trip and were disheartened by children not having the resources they need for school so you decided to create a non-profit brand to support them with educational resources. Whatever your story is, this will serve as the core of your brand.
Your Value (What do you have to offer?)
Your brand’s value is what you will be delivering to your audience. It’s not about what’s valuable to you, but what is valuable and makes sense to your ideal person. Ask yourself what can you promise to deliver on a consistent basis that no one else can offer. Will it be exceptional service, high-quality products, experience-based events? Brainstorm how you will create a valuable experience for your audience.
Relevancy (How will your brand remain relevant over time?)
If you are planning on build your blog or business on a trend, I need you to stop right there. Your brand must be able to transcend the trends and evolve with time. A brand doesn’t need to be trendy; it needs to be sustainable. When creating a brand, it’s important that it has the ability to move forward and grow with your audience. That goes along with creating a brand that is fresh and innovative. Keep up with the times and constantly make sure that you are growing and adjusting your brand to make it memorable.
Positioning (What is different about your blog, ministry, or business?)
Nowadays, everyone wants to start a blog, ministry, or business. How will you stand out? The world doesn’t need another Heather Lindsey, Aimee Song, or even Beyonce! Be you and figure out how you can position your brand to stand out. The blogging and business world is very saturated. It’s best to zero in and find a niche to focus on. It’s okay to be inspired as long as you don’t imitate.
Marketing (How will you promote your brand?)
In order to market your brand, you need to have someone to market it to. Who is your target audience or customer? What are their interests? What social media platforms are they on? These are the questions that you need to ask yourself before you take to social media. Once you have defined your ideal person, you need to create your marketing strategies. It’s not enough to just throw a blog post up or a Facebook update. To properly create brand awareness you need a strategy. How will you market and promote your brand? Identify which social media platforms you need to be on to get the word out. You must be intentional on how you will reach your target audience with your brand.
The key to building a sustainable brand lies in your foundation. You don’t want to create your mission statement, start a blog, or even promote anything until you figure out exactly what you are offering and who it’s for. Trust me, using these tips will help prevent you from having to backtrack in the future, especially if you are looking to eventually make money off of your brand.
Need a little more direction? I’ve created a mini guided workbook to help you jumpstart your brand. Click the button below to download your free branding guide. (Please Note: If you're subscribed to my email list, this guide is available in the Resource Closet)**
Are you building a brand? Tell me your “why” in the comments below.