Are you trying to scale up your business? Improve your conversion rate or stand out from the competition?
Learning how to define your brand helps you refine your focus, improve your business’s reputation, and organize your thoughts cohesively.
If you want to succeed in the cutthroat entrepreneurial world, strong branding embodies an absolute must for success.
Let’s get into what you need to know.
What Exactly Is a Brand?
We hear this buzzword all the time. As it turns out, a ‘brand’ doesn’t have a single definition. Numerous variables contribute to what defines a brand.
At its core, a brand represents what the company will provide consumers. It encompasses how consumers perceive the company and what they expect from the company.
Apple, for example, has become synonymous with contemporary technology. Amazon has become famous for its one-stop online shopping. People associate Starbucks with fancy coffee concoctions.
In other words, it helps indicate what makes you unique and special- or not. Branding can become both positive or negative.
For example, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, has been widely cited for his infamous quote, “Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.”
How do you want people to talk about you? Do you want to be known as innovative and creative? Do you want to be seen as steadfast and reliable?
How To Define Your Target Demographic
Are you attracting twenty-somethings with plenty of disposable income? Or are you trying to appeal to senior citizens with health issues? Are you totally unsure?
If you don’t have a defined demographic, your brand will come across as weak and muddled- rather than clear and concise.
Start by examining your current consumers and consider the following variables:
- socioeconomic status
- education level
- marital or family status
- geographical location
Which consumers bring in the most business? What common characteristics do they share?
From there, you should also consider the psychographics your target audience shares. These include their:
- lifestyle preferences
- attitude and values
- personality types
- hobbies and interests
- behaviours and patterns
You should be able to define exactly who will ideally benefit from your product or service. The more specific you can ‘envision’ this person, the better.
Some people fear that identifying a target demographic will eliminate potential consumers. However, by trying to appeal to everyone, you often appeal to no one. It’s better to retain a few, quality consumers than turn off most consumers.
Don’t forget that your target demographic can change over time. As your business evolves, it’s common for certain consumers to turn elsewhere. Likewise, it’s common for new consumers to jump in.
How To Define Your Brand
After identifying their target demographic, many people struggle with defining their brand. After all, a brand can start as a highly subjective and abstract concept for new businesses. Even if you know who is using your products, you may not know what they think about them!
If you’re just starting your journey, consider asking yourself the following questions:
- How do you want consumers to perceive your business?
- What emotions do you want consumers to feel when interacting with your business?
- What is your company’s overarching mission?
- What are the perks of your services or products?
- What beliefs do people already have about your business?
Spend some time answering each of these questions and writing down your answers. This requires research and analysis, but it’s worth the effort.
Gain Feedback From Customers
If you already have customers, congrats! You have a treasure trove of research to dig into with these people.
Start with the basics. What kind of reviews do you generate? Any common themes with wording or tone?
Do you have multiple reviews with the same words like hilarious or inspired or even blown away? Pay attention to these words and phrases. These refer to the existing brand your current customers have identified for you.
Don’t shy away from asking for direct feedback. Brief surveys can be extremely helpful in identifying why customers like your business and what makes your products or services stand out. Providing a small incentive, like a coupon code or free gift with purchase, will encourage them to answer your questions.
Ideally, you want to identify the trends people share for your company. This means the good, the bad, and all that lies in between.
Focus On What Your Target Demographic Needs
If you want to write brilliant copy, you need to know how to write. If you want people to read your brilliant copy, however, you need to know what interests them.
You can achieve this by harnessing your brand voice. This refers to how your tone of communication and the style of your writing.
Your brand voice should be consistent and dynamic. Most of all, it should reflect authenticity. After all, nobody wants to read stale and generic content.
If you write like the rest of your competition, you won’t stand out from your competition. Unless you want to be lumped in as sounding like everyone else, playing it too safe can harm your image.
You’ll need to do your research to find engaging topics. Fortunately, you can scope out data in a variety of ways.
Want to see what your customers are reading about? Scan the competition’s blogroll! It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s one of the best ways to acquire information.
What keywords are they using? What kinds of ideas are they sharing? What articles are garnering the most attention?
Your job isn’t to steal and replicate anyone’s work. Your job is to apply principles of what’s been written and make it better. Reinventing the wheel isn’t necessary, but making the best wheel possible is.
Reddit, Quora, and niche message boards provide valuable insight into understanding your consumers’ needs and questions.
Sift through the content and keep a pen and notepad next to you. Write down any ideas that you could spin from the user’s content.
Great branding matters, but you need an excellent SEO strategy if you want people to find your business in the first place.
There are numerous free and premium keyword research tools available today. Ideally, you want to strike a balance between using a keyword with a high search volume traffic and a low competition level. Typically speaking, long-tailed keywords make it easier for you to rise in your search engine rankings.
Create Your Own Style Reference Guide
If you really want to solidify your brand, consider creating a style reference guide. This way you’ll have your own guidelines to follow when writing. Furthermore, if you have other people on your team, this provides them with easy access to staying in line with the company’s brand.
Experts advise keeping your guides around 4-5 pages. You risk skipping pertinent information if it’s shorter than that. Moreover, you risk losing your audience’s attention if it’s any longer.
Start by creating your mission statement. What does your company offer its consumers? What values and ethics does your company emulate? What kinds of people use and love your products and services?
Formatting Best Practices
Do you prefer bullet points? Should people use italics? What are your thoughts on H2 vs. H3 for breaking up paragraphs? What about reference lists and citations?
Make sure to provide a section that details how formatting needs to be done. Ideally, each article should follow the same style.
Writing Best Practices
Are emojis acceptable? What about contractions? Do you prefer writing out ‘and’ or using the &?
These details may seem insignificant, but having consistency is essential for harnessing your brand.
When used together, they demonstrate a coherent thinking style, tone, and voice. Therefore, you should jot down all the best practices your writing needs to follow.
Tone, Voice, and Branding Best Practices
In this section, you should provide concrete examples of the do’s and do not’s for your writing guidelines.
For example, if you don’t want ‘fluff,’ explain what that means. Whether your writing tone is conversational or academic, you need to define those parameters.
Do you need to avoid using any ideas or words? Should each article end with a specific call-to-action?
Final Thoughts On How To Define Your Brand
Learning how to define your brand undoubtedly requires analysis, time, and patience. However, it’s worth the effort. You’ll reach more of your target audience and maintain upstanding credibility.
Are you interested in learning more tips and tricks for optimizing your business? Be sure to check out our digital marketing services today.