HOW TO GROW A BRAND THAT BUILDS EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONS
Branding is all about creating an emotional experience...so make sure you're making people feel the right emotions.
Starting a business is overwhelming. At first, you’ll likely wear many hats, lack direction and struggle deciding where to focus your energy. The thing you should be focusing on is building your brand – not just your business, I know, I know, you’ve heard that before…but what does it actually mean?
Branding is almost always the catalyst for a business’ success. Anyone can create a unique product or offer a new service…but that’s not enough. Eventually, competition will surface. To ensure continued success, you need to make sure you still have an impact on the market.
People will try your product out of curiosity or necessity…but it’s the experience they have with your brand that determines if they’ll come back. If the experience is bad, they’ll throw it away and never come back. So, create an experience that will leave people in “awe”, not saying, “nah.”
Branding is emotional. Every time people think of a brand, it triggers some kind of emotion…so make sure yours triggers the right ones. Your goal is to create an emotional connection between your brand and your audience, ultimately inspiring them to take action. When you leave an emotional impact on your audience, you become memorable.
Here are 5 steps to take when building your brand:
1. Develop a brand strategy.
A brand strategy is essential, and creating one is the very first step you should take. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of using energy and money to pay for a catchy logo, a cool domain name, a fancy website or extravagant packaging.
Don’t get me wrong – those things can definitely be worth investing in, but they shouldn’t be the first thing you spend your start-up money on. Instead, you should determine your target audience, your values, and your identity…all of which play key parts in your brand strategy.
2. Create a brand identity.
Branding is an experience – it should evoke an emotional response in people. Brand identity is what you see visually, and ultimately creates instant brand recognition. Your brand identity includes elements like logo design, tagline or slogans, and color palettes. From symbols and fonts to colors and messaging, your visual identity should complement and reinforce your brand.
3. Stay cohesive and consistent.
Like almost anything in life, consistency is key. When you’re consistent, it’s easier to establish brand recognition, increase trust, and build brand loyalty. Plus, a cohesive brand identity will make your business look more professional. When you consistently use the same colors, fonts, and tone of voice across all channels, you’re creating a memorable brand that people will recognize at a glance.
4. Find what makes you unique.
Even if you sell the same product or offer the same service as someone else, use your branding to uncover what makes you, YOU. Start with your brand story – how did you get started, and what inspired you to start? Why are you doing what you’re doing…besides, well, making money?
People want to get a feel for what it might be like to do business with you. Crafting a story around your passion and commitment is an opportunity to show potential customers why you’re unique – and will ideally activate empathy and attract loyal clients.
5. Make your client the protagonist of your brand.
This is crucial. You can have the best working product, a catchy name, and awesome packaging…but if you offer a terrible experience, you won’t gain loyalty. People will try your product once, but they need to feel they’re the protagonist of your brand…not your product.
The experience surrounding a business is what keeps people coming back – so it’s not enough to make an awesome product and skimp on the experience or the service. People will always remember how you made them feel because branding is emotional. Think of how many times you drove just a little bit further to get to a restaurant – not for better food, but for a better dining experience. You’re willing to make the trip because you love the way they make you feel.