Steve Jobs started Apple in a garage. Sam Walton opened the first Walmart as a discount store in a small town in Arkansas. Drew Houston started coding Dropbox in on a Chinatown bus.
The moral of these stories? Even the biggest brands have to start somewhere.
If you’ve got a great business idea, it can feel daunting to get it off the ground. Yet, the journey from Point A to Point Z starts with a single step.
Today, we’re sharing how to start a brand from the bottom up. Ready to learn more? Let’s dive in.
Before you can define what makes you unique, you need to know what the current market looks like for your niche.
Begin by Googling your product or service. Which direct or indirect competitors show up? These are the peers you’ll be up against, so take the time to learn how they’re doing things.
Then, define and analyze your target audience. These are the people you’re marketing your offerings to. Not sure how to find them?
Find subreddits on your industry, and listen in on the active participants. What are their pain points, interests, and preferences? What products do they recommend?
These are the people most likely to buy from your brand in the future. Research their most active social media channels, favorite brands, and buying patterns.
Think of your organization as a person. Who would it be?
While you might not think you have time for this metaphorical exercise, it’s one of the most important steps you can take while building your brand.
Are you irreverent, direct and funny? Or, are you professional, straight-laced and formal? There’s no right or wrong answer, but take the time to understand your identity, as it will influence the rest of this process.
You can’t market your brand without a name! The same goes for an eye-catching and unique logo, tagline, and web design. To keep things simple, use a logo generator that walks you through the process, step by step.
Make sure these elements align with the image you want to project and the reputation you want others to associate you with. They should all complement each other and be congruent. This means that everything associated with your brand should look, feel and sound the same.
Over time, this improves brand recognition and recall. Imagine hopping on the McDonald’s website and not seeing those familiar golden arches!
You can learn all about how to create a brand, but keep in mind that ultimately, perception lies within your buyers. They’re the ones who will decide if you’re worthy of their business, based on their individual interactions with your company.
To this end, prioritize great customer service and analyze your progress on a regular basis. Are you where you want to be? If not, what elements can you tweak to get there?
The best things often start from scrappy and enterprising beginnings, including some of the world’s most recognizable brands.
Still wondering how to start a brand? Tap into some of the local business development resources your town offers, including your chamber of commerce. Here, you can connect with mentors who have walked in your shoes and can help you learn the ropes.
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