Sunday, July 18, 2010

Start Up Sunday series Week 7 - 6 Steps to Better Branding

Welcome to Week 7 in our Start Up Sunday series - today we'll be talking about branding and detailing the 6 Steps to Better Branding.

So what is a brand? Well, it isn’t just your logo, your strap-line a colour or your ever so pretty packaging. These are representations of your brand.

Branding is your connection to your customer. It is the personality of your business, key to generating sales and should be at the centre of your marketing strategy.

In order to develop an effective brand there are a 6 things you should know inside out:

No. 1 - Your Competitors:  Watch them and analyse them. Social media is great for helping you do this. Follow them on Twitter and "like"  them on Facebook.
  • How does their pricing compare to yours?
  • What marketing do they do?
  • What is their product or service offering?  
No. 2 - Your Marketplace:  Looking at your marketplace will help you determine how to brand your product/service.

  • How much is the market worth?

  • What are the underexplored areas?

  • What are the best selling ranges, products or services?

  • Can you identify any niches or gaps in the market? 

No. 3  Your Customer: What do they want? Know as much as you possibly can about them. Get under their skin, listen to them, understand their lifestyle. 
  • Are they cash rich and time poor or watching the pennies?
  • Do they have children?
  • How do they spend their time? 
  • How much do they spend with you?
  • What channels are best to reach them? 
  • Where do they buy from?
  • What search terms do they use on Google? 
  • What magazines and newspapers do they read?

No. 4  Your Product or Service:  What exactly are you selling? Sum it up in a simple message. What makes you stand out from competitors? Cheaper, better quality, customer service? Once you have researched and understood all of this data, then you can start to decide the look and feel of your brand.
5  Your Tone of Voice:  Establish a tone of voice to use across all your communications. Serious and business like, fun and lively, knowledgable and approachable, you choose what suits your brand. If you sell face to face you should be able to carry this across then too, so pick a style that you personally are comfortable with. If you are selling bank accounts your tone of voice will be very different to selling baby clothes. What’s right for you?
Use your communications to spell out the benefits and features of your product or service. For example, a feature of myroo skincare body butter is that it is deeply nourishing and moisturising. The benefit for the customer is softer, smoother skin.
6  Your Style: Develop the visual aspects of your brand, your font, colours, logos and so on to match the output from all your hard research. So if your target market is high end don’t go for lurid colours, if it’s mainly men, don’t choose pink. If you are going for a vintage look, avoid over contemporary fonts and so on.
If this is all a little mind boggling and your business can afford it then it can be well worth spending some money with professionals to help you create your brand identity.
And finally, a little caution, there’s no point in spending time and money developing an image that you can’t live up to. Choose branding that feels honest to you, then aim to always deliver what you promise, maybe a little more, and you won’t go far wrong.


  1. Yet another excellent article - really good. Branding is soooo important if your brand is to be seen and remembered thereby increasing the possiblity of repeat custom (assuming you have a great product behind it of course!)

  2. I completely agree with everything Celine has said. Thats why I am looking into changing my corporate identity and branding at moment.
    Feel like I need to get a stronger, more prominent image of P and P out into the wedding and events marketplace

  3. Thanks Celine. Glad you enjoyed it. And you're right it is a very important part of running a business.

  4. Great article! I think it's really important too, if I had the money I'd definitely pay for a professional to come and sort me out! x