So you've started a business, congrats!
Starting a business is either one of the most insane things you’ll do, or a really hard test of your character (but with a chance to change your life and hopefully align more with your life purpose). This of course is happening during a global pandemic whilst moving all your business interactions online from the “comfort” of your own home. When you kick off your business, you pour your time and energy into your dream and work ridiculously hard, more driven than you’ve ever been! It often feels like the list of things to do never ends, but luckily every day working on your own business is incredibly rewarding.
You’ve usually got a million things to do, but you can basically do them all yourself, just add it to the list right? With the many tools and guidance you can find on the internet, you can give them all a go to save money when it’s tight. You might think “my brand is just a reflection of me”, which is great because you are also great – but the key to connecting with your audience is to really find out about what kind of brand they want to be interacting with and build the brand with them in mind.
It’s gotta feel right, right?
Brands that feel natural and less like an impersonal exchange of money/product give people a richer experience and one they enjoy, so will continue to engage with. Of course, they will tell their friends too and so on. This shareability is important for your brand, as word of mouth recommendations are and have always been the most valuable form of marketing.
A good brand can create its own community online and in real life, but the experience needs to feel organic and authentic to turn your customers into brand ambassadors. Think about the brands you love interacting with. Do you know why you enjoy the exchange? Do you feel like your needs are met through the whole process and was it nice to complete?
Every brand element counts
From the tone of voice in the copy, to the user experience of the website, or great customer service you’ve received – if it feels authentic and there is clear value to both parties, everyone feels great after the purchase is over (small happy dances for us of course)! Consistency across all brand assets, across every touchpoint, ensures its authenticity. This is the brand in the eyes of your customer.
So if the key for your brand to cut through to your customer is authenticity, how can you build this into your brand?
Well, the good news is that you can be creative and even a little courageous when it comes to your brand identity. Your brand values can be expressed in many different ways such as visually or tonally in your copy. If for example, you have an online store selling eco-friendly products to new mums, you could create a brand that looks like your competitors or whatever is trending.
You understand your customers’ values that align with your brand values and thread that through your brand elements. These values could be eco-friendly and high quality – which could translate as a friendly tone of voice, earthy colours, educational content and high quality styling in your imagery.
Is my brand OK or could it be better?
Now you’re probably wondering where your current brand sits on the scale of poor to excellent branding. We know its a lot to consider whilst getting your business cranking, especially after covid, so we’ve pulled together a few questions to answer when you’re working or evolving your brand:
- Does your brand have a clear brand purpose that is threaded throughout your website and social media channels?
You want your users to FEEL what you do, feel a connection with your brand like it’s a new mate, then follow through to completing a key website goal (buy, book, contact etc) because they trust your brand and feel content with following through.
- Does all communication from your brand directly engage your customers with a consistent voice across all assets?
People take notice of information that’s created solely for them because it feels directed at them. If your brand is built for your audience from the early stages, it will grow to know your best customers by communicating and evolving with them.
Fluff, buzz words, filler or anything that doesn’t feel authentic will see your prospective customers dropoff and throw your message into the river of other brands fighting for your attention all day, every day.
- Is your brand easy to remember and does it grab the attention of your target customer, triggering their instinctual responses (an instant wow, cool, yes!!)?
In a sea of brands, be the one that stands out because you understand your customer on a deeper level and aren’t afraid to be 100% authentic. This understanding helps shape your brand, better communicating how your product or service fits into their lives, making it a no-brainer for them to have your brand in their lives.
Essentially, your brand should feel as authentic as a real human being and one that your customer wants to get to know! This authenticity should shine through all brand assets and communication you have with your prospective customers.
If you are currently at square one with your branding, start with identifying your brand purpose (watch Simon Sinek’s video on WHY to help you) and establish your brand values. This should form the foundation of your brand story and help build authenticity into your brand from the beginning.
So, what next?
If you’re stumped on where to go from there, why not give us a call and see how Mayo can bring a little extra sauce to your brand. We will walk you through the steps needed to create a brand that stands out online and IRL. Set your brand up to win from the get go!