If you are thinking of starting a business, this article is for you.
As a brand and marketing expert my business was built on branding to achieve sustainability. When new clients inquire to work with my agency, Monika Freeman Studios, we interview them and do an audit of their existing brand first. This is so we can ensure that they have a trustworthy brand already, or that they are ready for us to help them build a trustworthy brand. Oftentimes people are emotionally invested in their businesses that are not currently delivering results, or an idea of what they want their business to be. A big part of building a profitable brand is removing any emotional attachment from what you think you want to create to what your audience actually needs.
There is a difference between what you want and what your customer needs. Without customer loyalty your business will not convert and without conversions your business is just another idea. So first things first, take your emotions out of your business plan and brand building.
In order to build a profitable brand, you most first create a sustainable and authentic brand. Your brand should be built on a strong foundation with a clear mission statement, brand pillars and core values. To do this you have to establish who your brand is for, why they need your products/services, how you plan to deliver these products and or services differently from your competitors, and what your business needs to achieve those things in order to be profitable. We suggest getting as niche specific as possible and studying your competitors. You don’t need to copy your competitors or compete with them, however you need to create your own individual brand voice, identity, and branding in your market.
Once you have established a clear mission statement and vision, and identified your target market and customers, you need a strategy to market your offering and mission consistently. A lot of people think the first step to building a profitable brand is website design and creative direction, however, if you have not identified who your service and/or product is for you cannot build your website, write copy for your website, or market you brand accordingly. Without the core fundamental values of your business, designing a website is like throwing spaghetti at the wall and waiting to see what sticks. This is why it is crucial that you first establish your specific niche, target audience, mission and values to build your brands voice and personality. This will help you attract the right consumers and/or clients in the initial stages of building your business.
When you don’t start from the core of your business and instead you work backwards by designing a website without and values or pillars, you attract the wrong customers and/or clients and eventually your business fails.
Think of your business as a person. Who is she or he? What do they represent? What do they speak like? What are they passion about? What makes them standout from someone else? Humanizing your brand helps you build your online storefront and brand persona. It also helps you stay consistent in your delivery and brand pillars. On average you should have 4-5 brand pillars. These brand pillars should be clear on your website and in your marketing strategy and social media posts. They help you create consistent content daily, weekly and monthly.
Your brand pillars should lead you to a Call To Action (CTA) that interests your customers and/or clients or potential customers and /or clients causing a reaction to buy, inquire, engage, follow, etc. Your brand is not meant to be a one size fits all and doesn’t need to appeal to everyone. Stick to a specific target audience. As your brand grows so will your audience and ultimately your audience will decide for your brand who you should be marketing to.
Building a sustainable brand is not something that can be rushed to make a quick buck. It should be intentional, thoughtful, and done with careful due diligence. Good things take time. From our experience, anytime we tried to build something without a foundation too quickly it never succeeded. If you are new to building a business or you are making tweaks to your business, prioritize a strategy. Think of your business as a house. Build the foundation and then build up. Each piece deserves a process and projected timeline.
The fun part is designing your website and taking beautiful photos and videos to market your new business/brand but don’t rush your website just to launch your brand. Just like you wouldn’t buy a house that was beautiful on the outside but had a cracked foundation, you won’t sell a product or service with a pretty storefront and a cheaply built product or service.
By focusing on your core brand elements you can create a profitable brand that will stand the test of time. To build a quality brand means you have to also build a valuable product/service. Study your niche, thoughtfully build your brand, and make sure you’re reaching your audiences pain points by understanding their needs and buyer personas. Nothing was built in a day. Take your time and build your business right the first time so you can ensure a profitable brand and longevity in your business.