Everyone wants to find security in life. Many find security in their jobs, perhaps because they believe they have achieved financial security in their position within a company. That’s great and all for the employed, but what about us entrepreneurs? How can our business provide us with the feeling of security in a competitive business environment? Successful entrepreneurs have found such security by focusing on branding. Let’s discuss how you can achieve similar success by building a recognizable brand.
What is a “brand”? Brand is customer perception. Building a brand means establishing a reputation, in other words a recognizable business identity.
The big question is, how do you create a brand? You might think that means advertising your product or creating awareness of your business. Although those things will help you make sales, they will not position you for continual success. To begin building a brand, you first have to answer a few questions.
We recommend making a list of the following questions and writing out your answers for future reference.
Consider the type of service or product you offer as you answer these questions:
- What is your “why”? Why do what you do?
- Who are you catering to? What market do you reach most?
- How has your business impacted others? How does it make people feel?
- What do you want people to imagine when they think of your business?
- What do you do better than your competitors? Or what makes your business special?
Having an understanding of your market, the market’s needs and expectations, as well as their view of your business will help you shape the marketing techniques you will use to attract more sales. Let’s further consider how you can put all of this to use through creative visuals.
Create Visual Recognition
Take Apple for example. When we think about Apple, we think great presentation and excellent customer service. Apple has cemented itself as an image of crisp whiteness, thanks to the tech giant’s use of the color in their marketing methods. The colors and images you use in your advertising, packaging, and product should be intentional. Developing a color system that identifies your brand or logo is important in creating visual recognition. McDonald’s has a brand that excels in visual recognition. Across the world people can tell you exactly who those golden arches belong to. McD’s menu may be different across the world, but the brand is recognizable internationally. Which is a great example of why your business identity does not need to be directly associated with your product. You want people to think in terms of adjectives rather than nouns.
Find Your Competitive Advantage
Apple also does a great job of continuously recapturing the smartphone market. What sets Apple a part from Huawei and Samsung? Customers will tell you they are willing to fork out the thousand dollars for the latest Apple tech because they know that Apple will provide them with quality service to ensure they have a good experience with their purchase. Apple deals with those accidental app purchases and cracked screens for customers. Apple also has physical locations to handle all customer problems. Undoubtedly, Apples’ competitive advantage in the tech market is their ability to provide better customer service than competitors. This is where question 5 comes into play. Finding your uniqueness or competitive advantage will ground your business identity. Your business needs to have a draw to maintain a stable customer base. What is that draw? Perhaps you are the only provider of dry cleaning in your area or you have the most Instagram-able cafe in town. Whatever it is, it should set you a part in a recognizable way.
Once you have found your visual identifiers, such as logo and color, and have pinpointed your competitive advantage, you are ready to project your brand to the world. If practice makes perfect, then repetition makes recall. You want your marketing message to be very consistent. As the old adage says, “it’s all in the details”. Your product, packaging, physical representation, web page, advertisement wording, and logo should all have a seamless quality that makes your business easily recognizable. Your advertisements must maintain a consistent image to solidify your brand in the mind of consumers.
Reference the answers on your list when preparing for your marketing message, this will help keep you on track and consistent. Choose colors and symbols that relate to your business and are distinct from other business’ logos. Have a good understanding of what sets you a part as a business and utilize it to your marketing advantage. Maintain a consistent image and message, so you don’t confuse potential customers. Following all these recommendations will help you on your path to gaining security as an entrepreneur.