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Building a brand: part one

September 29, 2022
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Matt
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What is a brand? 

Now that is the million-dollar question. 

Seth Godin said it best: “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.” 

Branding is a concept that’s often thrown around but not thoroughly understood. Being intangible, a brand is difficult to define. It can’t necessarily be measured, touched or seen. To put it simply, a brand is a way of identifying your business by creating a public identity to differentiate it from competitors. 

Take bottled water, for example. Evian, Fiji, SmartWater, Voss, Volvic. They all sell the same product. So what makes them different? The branding. Each brand appeals to different types of consumers because of how they make them feel. 

Now think of a brand you love. A brand you always go back to. A brand you have a connection to, an affinity for. 

The question is, why do you go to it? You’ve probably chosen this brand because of the way that it makes you feel. You trust it. You connect to the brand's ethos. You may even just like the design. There’s always a reason.

Step one: Defining your brand

In this blog post, we’ll get you started on the first step: defining your brand. Building strong foundations so you build that same connection with your customers. 

This should be one of the first things on your to-do list when creating a new business. Whether you’re looking to become the next big household name or not, it’s vital that you build a brand and not just a business. 

We get it, why do you need a brand? People know you, the person behind the company, why is it important? It feels like a big chunk of work to do before you’ve even got going. 

Building your brand correctly from the start sets your business up for the future (and a bright one at that!) It makes you recognisable amongst the sea of competitors. It makes it easy for your customers to choose you and recommend you to their friends and family. It builds trust, loyalty, and credibility. All critical things. And with this loyalty, you can introduce new products or services because you already have an audience who trusts you, the problems you solve and your products. 

Starting out with a blank canvas can feel like the most difficult part but it really doesn’t have to be. The best place to begin is by defining your brand and the way it is externally presented. There’s no right or wrong way to go about this. Sit down and work out what type of image you want to portray. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and think about how they would perceive your brand at the first experience or contact. 

It sounds simple but putting it into practice can be a challenge. To get those cogs whirring in your brain, work through our discovery questions. Click here for the template. 

You’ll be surprised with some of the gems that come out of it. You could even ask somebody close to or within your business to fill it out too. You might share it amongst employees, investors, business partners. Even close family members and friends who have had a part to play in the start of your business. 

Next, use these answers to help define your brand, looking at your purpose, vision, mission statement, values, proposition, positioning, personality and audience. This might feel overwhelming but fear not, we have a handy little template to get you started. 

Click here to download and fill out our brand strategy template. 

Now you’ve got your brand nailed, the next stage of your new brand journey is creating a successful brand identity. Don’t worry, we’re not just setting you off to do this all by yourself. Our next matchbox blog will cover just that (it’s almost like we’ve planned it, right?!). 

Don’t want to miss it?  Make sure to follow us on social media for all the latest. 

But if you just can’t wait and need a helping hand with your branding now, let’s chat. As an independent marketing agency we love innovative, insightful, and intelligent branding (here are some examples). 

hello@ignitioncollective.com or 01295 768122

Extra resources

A person to follow

@dainwalker posts some great branding-focused insights on Instagram.

A book to buy

Click here to listen to Jo Malone talk about building her skin care and cosmetic brand with Guy Raz.

A prompt

There are plenty of people who have been in your position. They’ve ‘been there, done that’, they know the struggle. These people can provide one of the most understated resources: mentorship. 

Find somebody with a ‘success story’ that resonates with you and arrange a chat.

illustration of Matt

About the author:

Guest author:

Matt

Matt is more than just a Lead Designer; he has been part of Ignition Collective since it began. Thanks to Matt’s skills, experience, and dedication to the creative process, we can consistently deliver original and powerful ideas.

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