Part Two of our new web series is here – Developing Your Brand Identity – The Importance of Powerful Branding
This week, The Fastnet Agency founder Sarah is giving you her top tips about developing a robust brand identity that really helps your business succeed.
We’re not just talking colours & logos here, this is digging down into the super valuable stuff, including…
• how to create a brand for your business if you don’t really have one
• linking your brand to your mission
• the importance of brand key values
• how your brand relates to your target audience
It might sound simple but get this wrong & all your other marketing efforts could go to waste.
Scroll down for the transcript if you prefer to read rather than watch, and as always, feel free to share this with any small business owners you know who may benefit from our top tips.
We’ll have a new episode each week, which will appear here & on our YouTube channel (if you subscribe there you won’t miss one).
Got questions about anything in the video? Drop us a line or give us a call at Fastnet HQ.
So you want to build your brand, but you don’t feel like you’ve got a strong brand identity. In this video we’ll work through the exact steps you need to go through in order to develop a really strong brand identity, and a quick tip; this is not going to be about logos.
So for the best advice on how to grow your brand quickly, subscribe to our videos and hit the bell as well, and that means you’ll get notified every Thursday when I post a new video. So I’m Sarah, I’m MD of The Fastnet Agency, and we use these exact formulas to help our customers to grow their brand and grow their business.
So we do this day in, day out, and we know all of the tips and tricks it takes to build a successful brand, and now it’s your turn. So when I refer to branding to most people, they literally think I’m talking about, like a logo and maybe a colour scheme.
Some people say, well, it’s something to do with tone of voice. But actually, a brand is so much more substantial than that. If you really want to build a successful brand, you’ve got to have a few key things underlying that brand that will mean your customers really buy in to you, they buy in to your products, they buy in to your services, and they become loyal customers, and that is essential to building a successful brand. So I’m going to outline the eight key elements that I think are essential to building a successful brand. So Number One is that your brand needs to have a mission.
Now, quick tip here – your mission cannot just be to ‘sell more stuff and make more money’ because your customers will not buy in to that. Your mission has to be a bit of a higher cause… The reason… the overlying reason why you set up your business in the first place. So, if you watched my last video you’ll know that actually, a key element of finding your niche & building your business is about solving a problem.
So, if you’ve looked at solving a problem, what was the problem that you were looking to solve? What is your bigger mission? So it might be that you’re looking to rid the world of plastic coffee cups, and therefore you’ve developed your own coffee cup that will replace them that is sustainable, washable and all the rest of it.
It might be that you want to get rid of plastic bottles… I don’t know why I’m on a drinks theme here, but I happen to be so let’s just go with it. So it might be that you want to rid the world of plastic bottles as well, so you’re looking at reusable water bottles. It could be anything you like, but it needs to be a mission and reason why you get out of bed in the morning, & something that’s bigger than your business as a whole.
Ok No.2, you need to have a target audience. Now, if you watched my last video, I went into this and quite a lot of detail, but you need to know who you’re selling to, it’s a key part of the brand and I know I mentioned it earlier, but I’m going to keep reiterating this, you’ll find this in quite a lot of my videos.
You need to have a target audience. You need to know who they are and you need to know what they’re looking for.
So, Number Three, you need to have a focus… and your customers need to be able to buy into that focus. What are you trying to achieve because, actually, if you can make this obvious to your customers, if you can communicate this, people will buy into your journey and will want to help you get there.
So maybe your goal is to become the biggest UK whatever within the next five years… Well, great, make sure that that is part of your brand and that you talk about that, how you’re going to achieve that and what your goal is, because by having that target, that specific focus, to your business, you will find that you have a much stronger brand & you have clients that really buy into that whole idea.
So just quickly… I mean, how much thought have you put into developing your brand? Is it something that you spent ages on? Is it something you haven’t really given much thought to? If you’re a bit further along in your business, you know, how successful has your brand been? Have you had to revisit it or is it something you put a lot of thought into at the start and you’ve worked with it for a number of years?
I just.. I’d love to know your experiences, and I’d also love to answer any questions you might have – so pop a comment in the box below and let’s get a conversation started.
So number four – you need to have your own USP. Now you’ll hear the term USP banded around a lot in marketing, but it is actually quite important, it’s not just another term. So this is your Unique Selling Proposition.
This is what makes you unique from your competition. By understanding exactly who’s out there in your marketplace, understanding exactly who your competition is and where they fit within the sort of matrix of your product, of your brand, then you can understand exactly what your USP is and how you fit into that.
And if you watched my last video all about niching and targeting, that exercise and you can go back and have a little look at that, a pop video at the end to refer to it, that will give you a lot of help in terms of making sure that you understand exactly what your USP is.
Okay, Number Five. You’ve got to have some brand key values. You’ve got to have some things that you just make sure are a key fundamental part of your business and this isn’t just something that looks good on your website, by the way, you have got to live to these values, it’s a really important part of building your brand.
But the good thing is that by having these values, it gives you loads of opportunities to talk to your customers in different ways about different viewpoints. Things that underpin these values. So actually, by having those key values, it means that you can expand, you know, the sort of content you’re putting out in order to address that, it makes life more interesting for you and your customers. But it’s a really key point of trying to build a brand which is a bit bigger and wider than yourself & that engages with an audience.
Okay, Number Six, and I think this is really important, and I know a lot of business owners shy away from it, and it is that, it’s just being shy, but you’ve really got to own your brand story. Every brand has a story, everybody has a reason as to why they set up their business. Everybody has a reason as to why that brand exists, you know, behind every single brand there is a really fascinating story, and your brand is exactly the same.
But people buy from people, they don’t buy from corporates, you know, deliberately. They don’t make a conscious decision, to buy from faceless companies.. they might do if it’s convenient, & it’s the cheapest price, but really what people buy in to is other people.
So if you’ve got a story behind your brand and you communicate that story with your customers that will make them more loyal, it will make them buy in to you as a whole, it will make them super fans and we call a super fan, you know, that fan that will basically buy anything from you.
You bring the latest whatever out & they’ve bought it because they love what it is that you do. So a key part of developing those super fans is making sure that they understand you, they understand where you’ve come from, they understand the pain points that you’ve got to get here, because, let’s face it, it’s not easy building a brand, and they understand where it is that you’re going.
Ok, Number Seven – I’ve deliberately put this towards the end of my list, Your brand identity. Now, this is where we look at things like logos and colour schemes and tone of voice and all of these things that we initially relate to with the brand, that actually kind of comes, as far as I’m concerned, fairly low down the list in terms of building a brand. So, yeah, I mean, you obviously need to have all of this in place.
We’ll move on to the consistency as our next topic, but you know, it needs to be consistent. Needs to be used everywhere. You need to have some rules around it. The most important thing with doing this is it needs to be able to relate to your customer and your product. The number one reason why a brand doesn’t work is not about the exact colour you use, or the exact logo use… it doesn’t really matter.
The key reason why brands don’t work, in my experience, is because what it kind of says on the tin, your initial kind of reaction to it, what your kind of brand identity looks like is different to what your actual offering is. So the obvious ones with this, the ones I see time and time again, is a really high- end, high-cost offering branded in a way makes it look relatively cheap, because what that means is that people that are looking for something cheap look at that and think, ‘Oh yeah, that will work’ and then realise the price and drop away.
And those people that are looking for the higher-end offer think ‘Well, hang on a minute, that’s not high end product’… it could well be, it’s nothing to do with the product, but the brand puts them off. And it also works the other way around as well, you know, I’ve worked with some clients that, you know, I actually have a fairly low-end offer, but they have a high-end brand, and again it works in exactly the same way where people sort of think, ‘Well, hang on a minute, there’s a bit of a discrepancy here’, you know, it just doesn’t relate.
So I think that’s your number one thing, that you’re going to make sure that your price points reflect your brand, & also all of these other elements that we’ve mentioned about brand values and so on also come into that kind of branding identity piece.
But I wouldn’t put a load of emphasis on it, you know, your brand will evolve with time in terms of its actual looks and characteristics, and that’s absolutely fine. The key thing is getting the other points nailed first.
So that leads me onto my final point which I know I have just mentioned, but its consistency, consistency, consistency, consistency. Now consistency has got to be throughout everything. If you’re saying to your customers you’re gonna turn up every day on social media, then turn up every day on social media, you know, if you’re gonna be publishing a video once a week, publish a video once a week, you know, put out blog posts weekly, put out posts at a certain time…
A lot of the algorithms that work online in terms of our marketing platforms really like consistency. They rank consistency quite high in terms of who to promote and who to push, it’s exactly the same with Google, with Facebook, with Instagram, with YouTube.
The consistency is really key from an algorithm perspective, but it’s also really important in terms of your clients, you know, it builds a trust to know that you do the same thing day in, day out, making sure that you’re always there & you’re always turning up, and also in terms of consistency, of how you present yourself.
So try to be consistent in the way that you speak about your brand, your brand’s tone of voice, try to be consistent about the way your brand looks. Because what that will allow people to do is to instantly identify your brand with what it is you’re saying or what it looks like, what it is that you’re doing.
So it’s really important to make sure that you’re consistent. In fact, I ‘d say, out of all of the eight points that we’ve just mentioned, if you’re going to say you know one thing that is gonna make a major difference to your brand, I would say consistency.
And actually, it’s the thing that people do the least of. So I hope that’s given you some ideas about how you can build your brand. I’d love you to subscribe to our videos – just hit the button to do that. If you ring the bell as well, then that means that you get notified every Thursday when I post a new video.
And, you know what? I’d love to know, you know, how you’ve got on with this exercise? Whether you’ve done this exercise before? have you got any questions? Are you stuck with anything? So pop us a comment below and let me know all about that. So if you found this useful, then I’ve done this video just over here, all about building your customer avatar. So, yeah, I hope you find that useful. Thank you for watching.