1. A Mission Statement
“We sell great products” is not a mission statement.
A company’s mission statement should contain all of your business’ key beliefs, goals, and values. Making sure that it is clear and obvious in the way that your company does business is key. This is the foundation of your business; without a mission statement, your brand is lost. If you still need to write yours, this article from Entrepreneur.com is a good place to start.
2. Brand Ambassadors (Your Employees)
Don’t misunderstand, the CEO of a company should 100% embody the brand of any company.
However, it shouldn’t stop there. Ideally, your company’s brand should trickle down from top to bottom, empowering your employees to be brand ambassadors as well. The more brand ambassadors you have, the more your brand awareness will spread.
3. Something Unique
What sets Starbucks apart from Panera? Or McDonalds from Burger King?
In other words, what makes you different from all your other competitors providing similar products and services. Whatever it is, make sure it is easily identifiable in all your business’ content.
A well designed logo is a good place to start when it comes to being unique. Need one designed for you? We can help you out.
4. A Buyer Persona
Who is your target audience? Are you marketing in a way that would resonate with them?
You don’t need to market to everybody. A suit supplier like Men’s Warehouse has no need to market to preteen girls looking for cute outfits. Developing a buyer persona, or an ideal customer profile, will save you time and make marketing more efficient in the future.
Think about who your ideal customer is and what sort of demographics they fall into. Are they male/female? How old are they? What are their interests? Goals? Hobbies? These are all things to consider.
5. A Unique Story
This is where your mission statement comes to life.
Your brand’s story is the who, what, why, where, and how of your business. By developing your story, you are also developing relationships with customers who resonate with it.
Yes, you want them to visit your store, go through your site, and comment on your posts. But at the end of the day, people are interacting with people.
How do you want others to interact with your brand?
The more human you are as a company, the more loyal your customers will be. This is an advantage that small and local business have that huge chains maybe don’t.
What personality traits do you want to be evident in your brand? Is it excitement? Honesty? Toughness? Once you find what characteristics work, use them to guide your company’s brand style.
7. Your Voice
Imagine that your brand is a friend. What would he/she sound like?
Now, we’re not saying to implement podcasts with your marketing (although it would not necessarily be a bad idea). Your brand’s voice could be as simple as how your respond to comments on your Facebook posts, or reviews on Yelp.
The most important part about your brand’s voice is consistency. So, try not to change it too drastically from platform to platform. Very rarely does this work out. (Wendy’s roasting people on Twitter was an amazing and viral exception)
8. Your Look
This one is a bit more straightforward compared to the previous concepts. What you want to consider for this one is “when my customers think of me, they see X.”
If you have a brick and mortar facility, think about what sort of interior design you want to present your visitors. If you are an e-commerce business, think about things like color schemes, font choices, formats, etc.
Of course, things like logos, graphics, and photos also come into play here. Be creative!
Having trouble? Hire a graphic designer who’s willing to create materials that enhance your brand awareness.
9. A Memorable First Impression
So you’ve followed steps 1-8 and are ready to put yourself out there to the world.
In the business world, first impressions can be a make or break situation. How your customer interacts with you the very first time can be the difference between them becoming loyal fans and followers, to turning away and never coming back.
Think about how you communicate with customers.
When they visit your site for the first time, are they greeted with a discount code? If they walk into your store, are your workers courteous and helpful?
This step can either be the most difficult one to get right, or the easiest (depending on how well you executed the previous steps).
Your company’s brand is not one of those things that you can “set and forget.”
It is always something that should be reinforced within your business, especially as you think about scaling your business and hire more workers.
Remember – you don’t need magic to develop your brand. You just need insight and honesty.
For more branding advice, feel free to visit MGEMS Marketing and receive a free business assessment!
What are some key elements of your company’s brand? Let us know in the comments!