4 Steps to Building A Strategic Brand // Guest Blog by Ronke Bee
In this Guest Blog post, our friend Ronke from The Pink Creative breaks down the 4 things your brand needs in order to strategically target your ideal audience! We hope you enjoy!!
In the past years, the criteria that can make or break a business or startup have dramatically evolved! Ten years ago, it was quite easy for new products, new social media accounts, and new service-based business to get viral online. The entire market was not nearly as saturated as it is today. Now, there is a constant struggle to stand out, not only as a business but also as a personal brand.
With this over-saturation, the consumers have become very savvy and are quick to notice when they are being sold to (and, big surprise, they aren’t into it). This arises the need to create a deeper connection with a prospect to close a sale, and makes it more important than ever to have a strategic brand!
In the words of branding expert Marty Neumeier, “Branding is a person’s gut feeling about an organization, person or company.” People want to feel something when they hear or see a brand’s identity.
In this post I’m sharing my top 4 steps to building a strategic brand, so that you can stand out to your ideal client in a saturated market!
Develop your brand’s DNA
To evoke an emotion in a consumer, you’ve got to know WHY you even want them to feel that emotion. How does this emotion make them feel connected to you as a brand?
For example, a clothing brand for plus-sized women might want its consumer to feel empowered when they come across a marketing material. Why does the brand want people to feel this way? Because they are a brand that stands up against body-shaming and believe all women are beautiful in whatever shapes or sizes they are, and deserve amazing clothes to make them feel empowered. This is the brand’s values/beliefs. This is their DNA.
2. Tell your Brand’s story
Your brand should tell a story. Why? People love stories. Stories are the number one way to create a deeper sense of connection with your audience, and give you a chance to elaborate on your brand DNA and use it to relate to your target audience.
Like I said earlier, with the currently over-saturated market, people now recognize when they are being sold to very quickly. Storytelling helps prospects create a bond with a brand, without feeling like they’re just being pitched to. An audience that relates to your brand’s story will become raving advocates for your brand, for years to come.
You can weave bits and pieces of your brand narrative into your social media posts, imagery, and even design elements (Check out my ideas on how to strengthen your brand with hidden design messages)! You want to find ways to relate to your ideal client on a human level, and not just seem like someone knocking on their door asking them to buy something!
3. Nail your ideal client avatar
(No, I’m not talking about the blue-skinned moon creatures….) Your ideal client avatar is a fictitious character profile that you create to represent your ideal client, in which you can base your brand strategy on!
I am sure we hear this all the time. Do you know your ideal client? Who are they? What are their likes and dislikes? Where do they hang out? What brands do they use daily? What is their household income? What’s their favorite thing to do in their spare time? – These are just a few of the questions you can use to create your ideal client avatar! (Check out some more questions to ask when creating your ideal client avatar!)
Once you have nailed down who it is you’re speaking to, every other aspect of growing your brand and business becomes so much easier! You’ll know how to talk to them, exactly how they want to be talked to, how to market and where to find them, and you’ll know how to design your brand in the way that’ll appeal to them!
4. Design your visual identity
Now that you know exactly who your brand is talking to, it’s time for the design part! These days, a lot of people think of branding as just being the logo, colors & fonts you use, but it is actually much deeper than that. Think about if you removed the logo from your website entirely – what design elements are left behind? Are your website and marketing materials still on brand without your logo?
The design phase of the brand building is the part where we design the items that will identify your brand visually. I usually tell ladies who are just starting their business, do not jump to right logo design, start building your brand from the top. Start by thinking about your brand, visually, as a whole! Your logo is not your brand, it’s only for identification.
It is also important to note that in this phase, it is very easy for the business owners to pick a logo or fonts that look pretty to them. You need to ask yourself, will my ideal client be attracted to the logo/font/color, or am I just picking it because I personally like it? Unless your ideal client avatar is actually YOU, then you shouldn’t be designing your brand solely to appeal to you! Yes, it’s your business, but if you don’t have clients then it’s not going to be a successful business, right?!
I sincerely hope that this post helps women out there who are just starting in their businesses to take a step back and be strategic with their brands. Starting right will help your business stand out and grow much faster. Your brand is not for everyone, just focus on the perfect few.
About the author:
Ronke is the Lead Brand Designer at The Pink Creative. She helps female entrepreneurs build powerful and modern brands. Ronke’s goal is to help women build brands that have them feeling empowered and ready to take the world. She is also a strong believer in the quotes “The riches are in the niches” as she has a specific niche in her business.