Kickstart Your Branding Journey: A Beginner's Guide

Where to Start with Brand Building

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Key Takeaways:

Discover three questions to lay the foundation of your brand. 

Learn some effective exercises to help you strengthen your brand. 

Gain tips for maintaining your brand and evolving it to adapt with changes in the market, technology, and your target buyers.

A brand is so much more than just a color or an icon. It’s about your company’s personality, promise, and experiences. But where do you start with brand building? Let’s dive into the essentials of creating a brand that resonates with your audience and stands the test of time.

A brand is so much more than just a color or an icon. It’s about your company’s personality, promise, and experiences.

3 Key Questions to Begin Brand Building

Building a brand starts with answering these three introspective questions:

  • Who are you? This is about your business’s identity.
  • What do you stand for? This is your brand promise.
  • Who is your audience? Understanding your target customers is crucial.

Simon Sinek’s The Golden Circle concept is a great framework to use. Start with your “why” (your purpose), then move on to “how” (your process), and finally “what” (your results or what you create). Even if you’re not awesome at the “how” part of business, you must have the passion of the “why”. Otherwise, you won’t attract the customers or team you need to grow.

Even if you’re not awesome at the ‘how’, you must have the passion of the ‘why’ if you want to grow your brand.

An Exercise to Establish Your “Why”

Write out your business values. What matters to you as a business owner? What drives you? Why does it matter? Are these values unique to your business or industry? This exercise helps in laying the foundation of your brand’s ethos.

Your Brand Needs to Connect with Your Target Customers

Creating buyer personas is an essential step. Understand the demographics of your target audience, their challenges, and identifiers. Once you’ve defined your buyer personas, align your brand’s “why” with their goals and challenges.

An Exercise to Help You Define Buyer Personas

Access our free Personas downloadable. Once you’ve worked through it, it’s time to connect these personas with your brand’s “why”. Ask what your brand can do to help these personas achieve their goals and overcome their challenges.

Brand Design and Voice

Your brand design and voice should flow naturally from your “why”. Remember that authenticity greatly contributes to differentiation. Be transparent about how you’re different from other brands. When thinking about your brand’s voice, aim for clarity and conciseness. Adjust your tone and word choice to fit your target persona.

Two Exercises to Help with Brand Design and Voice

  1. Game of Opposites
    Determine your brand’s personality by playing the Game of Opposites. Is your brand classic or modern? Playful or sophisticated? This exercise helps in defining your brand’s unique characteristics. Struggling to come up with adjectives that might clarify your brand’s identity? Leverage AI tools to generate a list of opposite adjectives that could describe your brand. 
  2. Brand Board
    Use tools like Canva or Pinterest to create a brand board. Include what you like from other brands, words, style, colors, ideas, inspiration, and fonts. This visual approach helps in staying focused and inspired about your brand.

The Importance of Creating and Maintaining Brand Guidelines

Brand guidelines ensure consistency. They should include logo usage, colors, fonts, imagery & video standards, brand story, mission/values/positioning, voice and tone, and word choice preferences. These guidelines are essential for everyone involved in your brand, from employees to external partners. According to recent research from Statista, only 30% of respondents reported that brand guidelines were widely recognized and utilized within their organizations; 15% said their organizations lacked brand guidelines. 

The Essentials of Monitoring and Evolving Your Brand

Once you’ve established a strong brand, it’s vital that you constantly monitor and tweak it as the market and your target customers change. Here are five tips for doing just that: 

  1. Embrace New Technologies
    Incorporating AI into your brand strategy is crucial for staying ahead. AI enhances personalization and keeps your marketing strategies fresh and effective. It’s about using technology to maintain your brand’s relevance in an ever-evolving digital landscape.
  2. Reassess Your Target Audience
    Market dynamics shift, and so do customer bases. Regularly re-evaluating your target personas, such as transitioning focus from Millennials to Gen Z, ensures your brand continues to resonate with its audience.
  3. Blend Digital and Physical Experiences
    The “phygital’ approach” – merging physical and digital experiences – is becoming increasingly important. This strategy offers customers a comprehensive and engaging brand journey, crucial for modern marketing.
  4. Stay Aligned with Market Trends
    Adapting to market trends is key to brand longevity. It’s about evolving your brand’s expression while retaining its core essence, ensuring it stays connected with current and potential customers.
  5. Gather Feedback for Continuous Improvement
    Actively seek feedback to refine your brand. Understanding how your brand is perceived from various perspectives guides its evolution and keeps it aligned with customer expectations.

Step Up Your Branding Game in 2024

Need help building a brand for your startup? Not sure where to begin with modernizing your brand so it stays relevant to current technologies and target buyer preferences? Invest in a TTG mentor!

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