Setting up a business can be simple, but without strong roots your passion project soon-to-be full brand can wilt and wither pretty fast. Create a brand for your business is a key part of the set-up process – and it’s more than just creating a logo for your store.
We’ve broken down the areas you need to include in your brand strategy, to help you get started on a strong business plan.
Get to Know Your Brand
Your Vision / Mission
If you’ve already started your store, take a look at your data, as well as any notes you took before starting up. If you’re brand new, think about this:
What is the objective of your brand?
You might want to create a spider diagram to showcase what you want your brand to stand for, what you hope to offer people and the community and why – plain and simply – your brand exists.
All of this information will then go into your Mission Statement or Vision.
Who is your brand for? This is where data can help. Whether you’re brand new, or have already nabbed a few orders, you can find more information about your target audience from your competitor’s data or just brands you look up to.
What the demographic of your audience? What are their habits and interests? If you think you have more than one target audience, create multiple segmentations.
Why are you different? In 2020, it’s pretty tough to find a completely new and never-seen-before business idea. So what makes you different from your competitors? Why should a customer choose you? Find your angle and own it.
A huge trend for 2020 and beyond? If you’re looking to target millennials, you’ll need to do some serious work to showcase your ethics and morals as a brand. Millennials are on the lookout for brands that reflect their own views of the world. So if you want to reach them, you’ll need more than free delivery and cheap prices.
Make your brand stand out by offering a killer returns policy with ReturnGO. Not only can you avoid the time and costs it takes for returns, but you can also offer your customers store credits in exchange for them donating the item to charity, returning it at a later date, or even keeping it. You gain a repeat customer, while they see your brand as a caring and sustainable brand.
The Fun Bit
Once you’ve got all the detail out in the open, and have a better idea of who your customer is, it’s time to figure out what’s going to attract them to your business. And, how you’re going to portray yourself as a brand.
Your brand identity – or brand style guide will be a strict document detailing the aesthetics of your brand. It’ll show any new comers or design agencies you work with how to style your creative. It’ll feature your logo, website colors, fonts and tone of voice. Basically, it’ll tell you how to present yourself to your customer.
Typically, business stick to two or three colors for their style guide. You can research into color psychology if you’re not sure, or stick to a simple monochrome pallet with one additional pop of color. Think about brands you follow; what colors are they using? How many colors are they using?
In a similar vein, you’ll want to stick to just a few fonts too. Something that looks like your tone of voice on a page. If you’re an urban street style brand, you’re not going to be looking at curled calligraphy as a main font. Instead, you’ll probably look at capitals, squared edges and keep it straight to the point. If you’re an elegant fashion brand for older women, then maybe something with a French curl might be the perfect suit.
We’d recommend using two to three fonts: One for headers, another for standard copy and another to just for safe measure.
Now you’ve got your colours and fonts sorted, it’s time to get your logo sorted. Remembering your target audience and your aesthetic, you can find a ton of free tools online to help you create a logo.
If you’re a baking company, what kind of visuals are you going to want? Do you want lifestyle shots of your cakes, or are blank backgrounds going to do the trick? Having a style guide for assets will ensure that no matter who creates your photos and shots, they’ll know exactly how to present them.
Again, whether your drafting out copy to agencies, or want the team to work together on it, you’ll need to set clear boundaries on where you’d like the tone of voice to go. Are you a funny and playful brand, or is your product more serious? Use competitors to read up on the type of voice you like and make it work for your brand.
With all of this guidance and information, we’re sure you can get to work creating a beautiful website that’s perfect for your target audience.
And once that’s done? It’s time to get marketing
Although your marketing strategy might change and be updated throughout the years, it’s good to have a basic plan.
What kinds of marketing do you think will resonate most with your target audience? Are they chronic social feed scrollers, or do they dabble in a postal coupon? Understanding how to attract and engage your customer can be a trial and error task. But putting in place a few email marketing plans and creating a social media content calendar is a good place to start. If you’re lucky enough to have a designated marketing staff member, they can also write up blog posts, create videos and find new ways to incorporate your brand into content.
You’ve probably seen the huge increase in influencer and affiliate marketing options for business online too. We’d recommend not going overboard and throwing huge sums of money into influencer marketing while you’re starting out, but finding a few, loyal brand ambassadors to market your brand could have a great impact on your business. Brand ambassadors are great for advertising new features or upcoming offers.
With just a few things to think about, now’s the time to get yourself prepped and ready to launch your store. We’ve provided a quick overview into what to include in your brand strategy. Don’t overthink it; you need to leave room for your brand to grow and change in the future.