Prepare to Create a Winning Brand

The Brand Creation Process

Why do you choose to buy the products you do from the companies you do? Even seasoned branding consultants might find that question challenging to answer. The reasons are emotional which often defy description in English words.

Designing a brand that evokes prospects emotions is a challenge, but there are smart people who know this stuff. You might be waffling on whether to contact them. Perhaps you just need to do the preliminaries before you search for a branding consultant. After all, you have to know the experience and talent you’re looking for in a branding company, consultant or other expert.

Most business owners don’t believe the consultant will really understand their business, customer and marketplace. That is an issue. So, you need to know the details so you can guide the branding process.  And if anyone says to you, “go with your weirdness”, okay you might want to avoid them. A brand has to match the market’s view.

And branding is a fascinating topic with many dimensions. The point to make that is even if you do SEO, content development, video, or paid social media campaigns, a poor brand could ruin all your efforts and budget.

While digital marketing agencies offer to provide brand development, it’s better to learn more about branding first then contact a genuine branding consultant. Agencies try to muscle in on these services, but their forte is IT, advertising campaigns, and web design, not branding. Letting them do it is inviting trouble.

The goal is a sustainable lasting brand. Screenshot courtesy of US Chamber of Commerce

Branding for Small Business

Small business is competitive yet your competition may not be developing a smart brand. Their weakness is your opportunity. The technology and economic landscape is constantly changing, which is what confuses attempts to build a brand.

However, by immersing yourself in this important project, you’re moving things forward so you can find the right branding consultant for you. They can advise you and help create a sustainable, powerful plan. This research will help you choose the right brand consultant.

Still Lots of Work to Do

As you can see from this website’s design and navigation, AI-Marketers.com doesn’t have a developed brand as yet, at least not a formal one. You can infer it from some of the marketing service pages and blog posts you’ve read. Your content is a big communicator of your brand.  However, the digital market is changing in 2022 and I’m growing myself, therefore I’m still uncertain as to what the branding should be. It’s a tough decision and it’s wise to take time to get it right with a branding expert.

Building a business brand image has to take in a few considerations. What we offer now may not be in demand soon. And what will be in demand is not quite formed as yet or we haven’t opened that door yet. Software and technology too keep evolving quickly. It’s a moving target and we must aim carefully.  A branding guru understands the static and dynamic elements.

A good branding scheme will help generate more credibility, polish, and trust. Don’t worry, I’ll get there. I’ll be sharing the same journey as you, as we move forward to creating a laser clear effective brand. And learning a lot of valuable insights in the process.

What Other Small Businesses are Doing

Gord Collins Mountain Biker
Gord Collins Mountain Biker @ Snowmass Bike Park, Colorado

If you’re into mountain biking, you might be aware of the major mountain bike brands. Many of these companies are small businesses, however a few are multinationals. There’s big money in the sector with lots of customization and after sales service, parts and merchandise opportunities.

Many of the mountain bike companies attempt to carve out a customer niche through colors, video experiences, suspension systems, customizability, but what would you say would be most relevant to you about the mountain bike you want to buy?

Orbea is an exciting new mountain bike brand. This image shows they are focused on the most exciting thrills of mountain biking and how mountain bikers are unique mavericks. They distance themselves from ordinary.

Major Brands Show How Vital Branding Is

The Visual Capitalist shares thoughts on the most loved brands and the loyalty of their customers.  Brands create loyalty and repeat sales. Let this inspire you to develop yours.

The most beloved brands
Infographic courtesy of The Visual Capitalist.

A Brand is a Very Creative Product

Although I offer a thorough digital marketing audit, branding is beyond its scope. It’s because branding isn’t a digital thing with text and code. It’s a right-brained topic (visual identity) built with concepts, images and symbols that convey emotion, very similar to advertising. It’s tied to customer’s emotions and their perception of value.

And before you hire someone to create your brand and build the marketing campaigns, you’ll certainly want to have a branding consultant do the research and offer insight into what your symbols, fonts, colors and even website layout should be.

Your UVP and branding are almost the same thing. Your brand represents/conveys your relevant, personalized, unique value proposition to the audience in an attractive fashion. It’s a creative process to determine how to convey your brand message so it gets your unbeatable UVP across clearly.

After you establish your brand and brand strategy, you move on to plan your content and map out your funnel strategy. The web designer should know all of this before they build your website. Building the wrong website, content, and style could be disastrous to your lead conversion process.

Tips For Creating An Awesome Brand

Here’s a few tips to help you prepare to work with a branding guru.

  • learn more on your target audience, ask customers questions, and find relevant market info online
  • consider the characteristics of current customers and the ideal customer — their profile
  • focus on the kind of customer that is qualified and appropriate (not being all things to everyone)
  • think about how you’ll differentiate your value offer and how it is better than competitors
  • consider your unique value proposition and how it matches perfectly to that audience
  • visualize the features and benefits they will enjoy from your product/service
  • prioritize all the key qualities you have and benefits you’ll offer
  • consider what in particular makes your product/service stand out as valuable and what the key benefits are
  • rehearse what you’ll tell your branding guru about what your UVP is and what your company can do
  • consider how your brand will be conveyed in marketing pages, blog posts, social media posts, and videos

Andrew Gazdecki of MicroAcquire and Gazbranding.com has had some experience with building startups and nurturing them to be acquired. He offers some tips on building brands for startups.  Andrew is big on the brand story and if the goal is to sell, you have to be mindful of the values/perception of investors instead of only customers.

tell stories that excite your customers and align with their goals.

What Does the Branding Consultant Do?

The branding consultant will create a brand strategy (and a brand story) which will cover band discovery, competitor research, target audience, brand voice, and the brand message & story. Hopefully it will be one that will grab attention yet still be tasteful. Small businesses must try harder to generate trust and credibility.

Don’t do this yourself. It’s way beyond a business managers talent to create this creative connection with the audience.
Only then, would you take the creative brief and look for a sensible design agency. It’s important to get it right because it’s something that must grow but still have a long life.

When you’re researching your unique value proposition to find a way to differentiate, remember that you could go head to head with your top competitors. Your top competitors have positioned themselves directly around the customer’s wants and beliefs. Don’t differentiate yourself in a way that makes you an outlier, just for the sake of being different.

Focus on What the Market Wants, Not What you Need to Sell

Your brand should be built on strengths and values that the market wants. Smart business people zero in a value proposition and brand that can’t be imitated. Businesses offer a unique array of products and services that others can’t deliver on.

That’s how you build a monopoly in your market, where you won’t have competition. Smart managers say “competition is for losers.”   A brand is all about uniqueness that eliminates competition.

Hire people who love your industry whether it’s sports equipment, hotel accommodation, laser eye surgery, software, marketing services, financial advice, or real estate sales. The proof is in the pudding. Read their blogs as that’s the heart of the joy of their business — the topics, emotions, people, and events of your industry.

It’s the same for your branding consultant, SEO expert, content strategist or AI digital marketing specialist. That special caring and enthusiasm is a key component that may transcend all the technical benefits they offer.

I hope this helps you feel more confident of your journey into powerful, effective branding. To get you started, you might consider buying the digital marketing audit to generate ideas, insights, and strategies.

I’m looking forward to working with you when you’re ready.

Find out more about AI Marketers digital marketing services.

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