Starting a business? Here are the Steps to Develop a Successful Brand
Laying the foundation for a successful business starts with developing a solid brand position and strategy.
I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, and so often, we go about the process of creating a brand backwards. You say — “I need a website, so I need a name and a logo. What should it be?” In reality, creating a website should come much later.
That’s ok — that’s why you’re an entrepreneur. You’re a proactive self-starter who gets ish done. But if you do a bit more work up front, you will save yourself so much time, effort, energy, resources, headaches — and heartache.
“If you do a bit more work up front, you will save yourself so much time, effort, energy, resources, headaches — and heartache”
So, what should you be doing, you ask? Here are the steps you should follow.
Do your research
Figure out where your business fits in
Develop your brand
Share it with the world
Step 1: Do your Research
Before launching your business, you need to understand your market, your competitors, and your audiences.
Look online. Research the hot topics in your industry. What are your competitors doing? What products are they offering?
Talk to people — the kind of people that would be buying your products/services. What do they have in common? What are their wants and needs? When and where do they look for information about the type of product/service you offer?
To figure out where your business fits into all of this, you need to understand the existing landscape first.
Step 2: Figure out how your business fits in – and can stand out
Ok, now that you’ve done your homework on your market, it’s time to think about the gaps and opportunities you can leverage.
What do you have to offer that’s distinct? And I don’t mean that just in terms of a superior product or service — what sets you apart could be your values and how you relate to your audience.
Your brand position and messaging should match what you offer with what your ideal audience is looking for. Truly great brands focus on not just selling a great product or service, but on developing a relationship with their audience and connecting with them on a human, emotional level.
“Make sure there’s demand for what you’re offering before you invest a lot of time, energy, and resources into creating anything”
Step 3: Develop your brand
Once you know what you want to focus on and what makes you distinct, it’s time to put all the pieces together.
Now that you know what your business is, you can create a visual identity and marketing collateral to match its true purpose and values. Choose your business name, develop a logo and visual identity, and create a website.
Step 4: Share it with the world
Hopefully you’ve already been sharing and testing along the way, making sure you have a viable brand and product.
But now that you have all your visual assets and a website, it’s time to officially launch your business.
Design a marketing plan that will reach your ideal target audience(s) where they are when they are thinking about what you offer. Your messaging should reflect where they are in their thinking at that time, and what they’re looking for (provided it’s what you offer).
The best marketing isn’t about selling someone something they don’t need. It’s about helping someone find what they’re looking for.
“The best marketing isn’t about selling someone something they don’t need. It’s about helping someone find what they’re looking for.”
Need help getting started?
Download our free
Brand Health Checklist
Get your free Brand Health Checklist. It’ll give you an idea of all the individual steps you should take.