Do you remember when Harley Davidson tried to sell perfume and aftershave? It was a colossal flop. But why? The product didn’t match up with their brand building efforts.
Their brand is about steel, leather, and freedom… what does that have to do with smelling good?
Aligning your brand with your product or services is not just a good idea, it’s absolutely vital to your success. Even the big names get this wrong from time to time.
Brand building may be easier for physical products and more challenging for entrepreneurs… but it doesn’t have to be.
Follow these guidelines to quickly and effectively build your brand awareness the right way.
Have A Clear Message
What exactly do you do? The number one biggest failure most businesses make is their brand messaging.
What your business offers may be crystal clear to you, but entirely confusing to someone else.
You need to sit down and really figure out the best way to communicate to your audience exactly what you do and how it will benefit your clients.
For instance, if you’re offering “digital marketing services,” that doesn’t tell your clients much of anything. A better message might be: “Double your ROI with Facebook Advertising.” That tells me:
- What medium you’re experts in (Facebook).
- And what the benefit to me is (your services will double my ROI).
Or perhaps you’re a weight loss coach. It may seem obvious that your offer is “how to lose weight.” True, but how do you tie that into your brand?
What’s unique about your offer vs another weight loss coach’s offer? Your offer may focus on nutrition. What type? Your offer may focus on exercises. What type?
Narrow it down as tightly as you can and focus of your efforts on precisely what you do, and what the benefit to your clients are. Nothing else.
Not every company or entrepreneur will have a Tony Robbins type of personality to front your brand, but you can still create a face and voice of your brand that embodies what your product or services are about.
Think of Steve Jobs. He was the guy focused on easy-to-use, highly-designed products. That was his passion. Anything less than perfect was unacceptable to him.
Are you someone who people want to listen to and follow?
If not, that’s ok, but if you or someone in your company is a “guru” in your niche, by all means, put that person front and center to maximize your brand building efforts.
“When brand building, keep in mind who exactly you are trying to reach. Tailor your mission and message to meet their specific needs.” – Sonya Gregory, Freshsparks
Logos, Colors, and Visuals
Too many entrepreneurs and businesses make the mistake of focusing on their logo and web design before they figure out their message.
Logos and colors are very important, but only after you’ve nailed your message.
Colors can increase brand recognition by creating an instant connection with your audience. It also helps in the ability of someone to recall your brand and associate it with a feeling.
Quick, what color is the Coke logo?
Red creates excitement. Blues create trust. Blacks create authority. The psychology of choosing the right color for your brand building goes a long way.
Total Brand Building
Once your message is clear, you know your audience, and you’ve got a good visual presence, it’s time to explore all the tools available to you: social media, video, infographics, and content marketing to name a few.
Every one of these tools should incorporate your message and your visual cues (colors, fonts, etc.). Without these, your brand building efforts will be in vain.
Don’t spread yourself thin by offering too many products or services, and always be ready to describe your offer in one sentence or less.
Laying the groundwork for a powerful and profitable brand is just one of several things that all successful entrepreneurs have in common.