15 Sep 2023

How to Build a Brand

Firstly, what is a brand? A brand is the perception, knowledge and impression a person has of a company, their products, service and overall experience. These perceptions are created through the story you tell, your vision, values, products and services you offer.

Building a brand requires defining and communicating your brand’s message. It also requires translating this message into channels that your consumer will interact with. A lot of research, brainstorming, insights and data is required when building a brand.

In order to develop a successful brand, you should cover the following steps:

Know your brand
Knowing your brand helps to define what market your brand belongs in, what customers you should be targeting and how to differentiate your brand from your competitors. If you don’t know who or what you brand is, how are your customers meant to know? Ask yourself the following questions to ensure that you are being clear about what you want to build. The questions are as follows: who is your brand, what do you do, who do you do it for, why are you doing it, how are you doing it? If you can answer these few questions, then you are well on your way.

Know your customer and your market
You can’t build a brand without knowing who you are creating your product or service for. A lot of research and data is required to define where your brand fits in the market and which customer you need to target. This research will provide you with insights into what your customer’s needs, wants and preferences are so that you can ensure your brand’s message resonates with them and your service or product satisfies their needs. Your customers should be the center of your brand as they are going to determine the success.

Know your competitors
Through the research of your market and where you are positioned, you should come across other brands in that same market. They will often share similar goals and ideas as you, and maybe even similar products or services. It is important to research and analyze these competitors to make sure they aren’t getting ahead of you. Find out what they are selling, how they are selling it and who they are selling it to, to make sure you are always one step ahead of them.

Know what your brand does
It is important to know exactly what your brand does for it’s consumers, the market and in general. The goal of this is to have absolute clarity of your brand. Think about what characteristics your brand has, what defines your brand and what outcome customers will have if they choose your brand.

Know your brand’s story
It is important to know and be able to communicate your brand to others. This includes: why you started the brand, who you started it for, what motivated you, why you started it for them and what your brand’s vision is. Being able to tell your brand’s story in your own words is unique and allows others to connect to your story more. People understand others by feeling, not thinking. If customers can feel your story and the love you have for your brand, they will connect to it more. Create words that will stimulate customer’s actions, thoughts and feelings. Make them believe you are talking directly to them.

Know your brand positioning
Brand positioning is the space you occupy in the mind of your consumer. This is relative to your competitors and relies on whether the consumer thinks your brand satisfies their needs better or not. In order to have an effective brand positioning you need to do extensive competitive research and analysis, consumer research and an evaluation on where your brand fits in the market. Your brand’s positioning defines what you say, where you say it, how you say it and whom you say it to. Your positioning also affects what you produce and how you market and sell your service or product.

Know your brand’s purpose
A brand’s purpose is the reason for the brand’s existence. It also includes what your brand stands for. Your brand’s purpose impacts how you are viewed by your customers and your market. It can be the driving force behind your brand’s success. A brand purpose shows consumers that you are more than your products and advertising campaigns, you have a purpose and you’re not just about turning a profit. These days consumers care more about what impact a brand makes than what products or services they offer. They want brands to have a sense of purpose that they can connect to.

Brand benefits
These are the values that your customers experience when they use your product or service. This can either be the performance of the product or service, how it makes customers feel or what outcomes consumers experience after using your product or service. You want to ensure that your consumers are getting the best service and results. You want your customers to believe that your brand is the best and the most trustworthy.

Brand personality
Creating meaningful connections with customers is key. Customers want to buy from people not brands. They want brands to have that human connection. This can be done by the personality and tone you create for your brand. Allow your brand to embody human characteristics, emotions and attributes.

Brand tone of voice
Your brand’s tone of voice is how you express and embody your personality, values and beliefs. It is not only about how you speak, but also the words you use and how you use them. Own your verbal style and use it across all your platforms and channels.

Evaluate your brand by understanding and defining you brand’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A SWOT analysis will allow you to look at the internal and external factors impacting your brand. This allows you to keep an eye on your brand’s business environment and recognize and exploit new opportunities.

Brand messaging
Now that you have completed all these steps and have a better understanding of your brand, customers and your market you can put together your messaging strategy. Your messaging strategy can be developed for different customer segments, medias etc. You can then build and expand on these messages to talk less about your product or service, but evolve into a sophisticated matrix which predicates what you say, where, how, and when you say it.

Building a brand is a crucial step and should not be forgotten. Developing a brand forms the foundation of your business’ message and marketing. It is often overlooked to favour more visual tactics such as social media, video and influencer marketing. A lot of work goes into building a brand. Although you might not see it now, all this hard work that is invested in your brand will pay off in the long run.

Looking for an agency to help build your brand? Contact PURE on connect@purecreative.co.za to set up a complimentary 20 minute consultation. Let’s create something great together!

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