A brand is more than a logo or a website; it’s the spirit of your entire business. It affects how people remember you, and how they spread your message to others. The brand is without doubt one of the most important things to get right for any company.

The question is: how do you get it right?

Keep reading for the five steps to building a successful brand…

1. The name counts

Everything follows from the nature of your business. Whatever the name, it should be relevant to the service you’re offering. Especially if it’s a service and not a product. That’s not to suggest that zany names don’t have their place from time to time, but going in too pun-heavy or too off-the-wall can damage the credibility of your brand. 

Think about how the public view your particular industry. If you’re a creative agency then of course there’s scope to play around with more ambiguous titles, because creativity is ambiguous and hard to define. If, however, you’re a solicitor, then there’s an expectation for the name you operate under to be more clean cut and traditional. No surprises, because people don’t tend to welcome surprises from solicitors. 

2. Logo is brand

Most of the time a logo is closely linked to the name of the business and/or the service being offered. Above all, though, a logo needs to be recognisable. You want people to know your business from the logo alone, which in turn creates brand awareness and a sense of trust. Aim to be distinctive and simplistic.

Remember that wherever your brand goes, your logo goes too. It’s a badge that you, your employees, and your marketing materials carry around at all time; therefore it needs to be strong, relevant, and, most importantly, memorable.

3. Know your audience

Who is your audience? How old are they? Are they of a specific gender? You need to be clear about these things early on, because your brand must speak to the right audience in order for its proposed message to resonate.

Take the follow example: if you’re aiming at a young market in the digital landscape, you probably won’t want to settle on a brand that displays the traditional, old-school qualities that you might associate with an established financial institute, because the message it will send to your audience won’t be “We understand who you are and what you like” but rather “We really have no clue who you are or what you care about”.

4. Watch for competitors

Scope out the competition. See what others are doing and figure out what approach works best in your particular industry. It’s not about imitating anyone. If your company designs phones and computers then you probably aren’t going to name it Pear and package all your products in white boxes.

This is more about researching what style of approach wins your target audience over. You might find that the aesthetic of your most successful competitor’s brands are very authoritative, or you might find the exact opposite. The point is to get out there and see who’s sinking and who’s floating. Then jump in and do your best to float.

5. Inject personality

Your brand’s persona is one of its major driving forces, and it can be the difference between a customer choosing to do business with you or your closest competitor. Tone-of-voice is one of the most important ways of communicating this personality across all forms of media. It needs to be absolutely consistent with every other aspect of your brand. If you’re a young and vibrant company, talk with a young and vibrant voice. It sounds obvious, but when rushing out a marketing document or blog post it’s easy to default to generic salesman jargon territory.

Everything visual is the face of your brand, everything written down or spoken is its voice. It’s your job to make sure they match up.

Look at any successful business, in any industry, and you’ll always notice one thing: they have a strong brand. It really can make the difference between minor, moderate, and major success for a company, so it pays to give it your full attention.