When it comes to building a business, one of the most significant steps during the process is creating a well-polished, securely established brand. If you take a look around, the most iconic companies in the marketplace are more than just the logo and name they put out into the world. Instead, they have a captivating brand and message that goes beyond the products or services they sell to customers.
Apple isn’t just a company that creates computers and other electronic devices. More importantly, they have a firmly planted brand centered around challenging the status quo and going against the grain. This has allowed them to go from a mere company to having a cult-like following of loyal supporters.
Snapchat isn’t just a social media app. More importantly, they represent the antithesis of social media networks like Facebook, where the privacy of their users isn’t always at the forefront of their list of priorities.
Simply put, having a strong brand voice is integral to marketing success. In this article, we will discuss why having an excellent brand matters in today’s marketplace more than ever before, along with how to create an unforgettable brand in the eyes of both your current and prospective customers.
Why Branding Matters
In addition to the reasons we opened with above, the main reason that having a memorable brand is more important than ever is due to the level of competition in the business world. Today, consumers have an unprecedented amount of choices when it comes to who they give their hard-earned money to. As a result of this, having a great product or service just isn’t enough anymore. You also have to be likable, or at the very least, unique.
This is precisely why many people choose Lyft over Uber as their ride-sharing app of choice. It isn’t necessarily because Lyft’s product is better than Uber’s. Instead, it’s because they have an easily identifiable brand voice, even personality, that is much different than Uber. Lyft is fun in the places where Uber is boring. Lyft is lighthearted while Uber largely seems to take themselves very seriously. Lyft is socially conscious while Uber occasionally misses the mark in that area.
Today, the amount of options available to consumers is truly endless. Make the choice that much easier by having a brand that is different than your competitors. Sally Hogshead, serial entrepreneur and author, wraps up this principle perfectly with her quote on standing out over your competitors in the marketplace when she said, “different is better than better.”
How To Create and Master Your Brand Voice
Now that we know why it’s so important to establish a memorable brand online and beyond, here’s how you can create one for your own company.
1. Describe Your Brand in 3 Words
The first step in creating a legendary brand is boiling down your company’s “personality” into three words, preferably adjectives. This exercise makes you think deeply regarding what your company stands for and represents, and it will make the more detailed steps that follow much easier.
2. Create Buyer Personas
Identifying your target audience is paramount to success when it comes to marketing. Yet, a problem that commonly arises with only having a target audience is that your brand messaging ends up taking a generic, all-encompassing tone as opposed to the tone your most loyal customers would like to hear most.
This is where buyer personas come in handy. Creating a buyer persona is a useful exercise where you create a fictional character based on the attributes of your ideal customer. From there, you tailor your marketing materials to fit that specific character’s wants and needs. For instance, if you are a beauty supply company, you might create a buyer persona similar to the following: Stacy, the ambitious college student from Louisiana, who is 21 years old and whose interests include health and wellness. Now, instead of composing social media updates and blog posts as if you were writing for a more general audience, pretend you were writing directly to Stacy.
This will help keep your focus sharp and cause your copy to resonate more strongly with your target audience because it will seem as if you are speaking directly to your buyer persona.
3. Personify Your Brand
Now it’s time to hone in on who your company is at its core. To do this, try personifying your brand. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to get started:
- If your brand was going to attend a cocktail party, what would they wear and how would they interact at the event?
- How would your brand talk if they had a voice?
- What song would be your brand’s go-to karaoke song?
By these types of questions, which are normally reserved for humans, you will be able to have more clarity and come to a better understanding of who your company is on the deepest level.
4. Create a Brand Do's & Dont's Document
This document is extremely helpful, and best of all, it’s simple to create. A do’s and don’ts document is just a list of what your brand can and cannot say on social media, within blog posts, in YouTube videos and beyond.
For instance, if Disney created a do’s and don’ts document, something that would be obvious to add to their don’ts section is “no cursing or foul language”. On the other side of the spectrum, a company like Vice or Spike TV may have cursing and foul language in their do’s section. It all depends on what kind of company you are building.
Branding is one of the most important things you can do when creating your business, yet it isn’t always clear how to go about developing a brand. Instead, many gloss over branding entirely, or believe it’s not important enough to spend a lot of time and energy on. To put your business in the best possible position to succeed in the marketplace, start by implementing the tactics used in this article. Good luck on your journey.