Top 5 tips for new business owners beginning to build their brand.
Branding is a crucial step that will take any startup from being just an idea to be a viable business. Above all, branding gives your idea/service life. It gives you purpose, vision and a name.
Branding should never be overlooked and every new business should dedicate time to complete it to the best possible standard. Because if you rush the process and dislike the finished product, re-branding can be costly in both time and money. It may result in you losing your existing customers.
Read my tops tips which will take you through the necessary steps in the correct order. They are designed to guide and prompt you on all CTA actions for your new business.
Research. Find your niche in the market.
Step 1 is crucial. Why launch a product if there is no demand or why launch a product in a saturated market? Most importantly you need to find your niche in the market because this will ensure the highest success rate for your product/service.
Below are 4 tips, questions you should ask yourself when finding your niche in the market:
- You need to listen to data and demand. This may seem obvious, but you need to check that there is actually a demand for your product.
- Does your product/service have a high search figure monthly?
- How active are the audience and market?
- Is this trend in demand set to stay?
- Ask yourself, what is no one else doing that you can deliver or what product/service can you take and do better?
- What is trending right now in the market? If you choose to follow this trend you will need to deliver your product/service right now, so be aware of the speed and urgency required for this trend.
- Ask yourself, what are your strengths? I would recommend any new startup to stick to what they know if this is their first business. It means you are in a position to react quickly and provide an excellent product.
Research. Find your target audience and define your consumer persona.
Step 2 is essential for every brand. If you don’t know who your target audience is then how are you going to ensure that everything you’re doing fits their needs and desires? By knowing your consumer personas as a result you will understand their demographics, their personality, their wallet size and then you can cater your message and brand to match.
- Defining your target audience starts with your vision. Ask yourself who is your product/service targeted at? What problems/needs does that consumer have and how can you meet them?
- What is the personality of your consumer? You really need to know what makes them tick; what drives them.
- To confirm your research, you could survey your target audience, asking them to give feedback as to if they like and would buy your product/service.
- Once you have completed your research, create 3-4 ‘fake’ characters (consumer personas) for your brand to focus on. This is a great method brands use to help focus the design of their product, branding and support targeted ad campaigns.
- Your consumer personas should cover demographics, job role and title, marital status, interests, family, career ambitions and salary.
- It also helps to name these personas and give life to your target audience.
Consumer personas will also grow in importance when you move to market your brand. Furthermore, by having clear personas, this will focus your ads and your ad criteria. Therefore through using a focused targetted approached you should see higher engagement on less spend.
Research. Learn from your competitors.
Step 3. Through completing an in-depth competitor analysis, this will help to inform your product and service choices which in return will build your brand DNA. Moreover look at your competitor’s product, service offer and social channels and find what they are doing well at, as well as what they are not doing. In short, this research will then present the opportunities for your brands to fill.
- How socially engaged are your competitors? Find their social media posts with the highest engagement and study them. What makes them good? Learn from the copy, content and type of post.
- What are your competitor’s sale successes?
- What items are out of stock?
- What items are their flow lines?
- What items are tagged as best sellers?
- What items are they heavily discounting?
- What are your competitor’s product successes?
- Which products have the highest and best reviews?
- Which products have the highest engagement on social media?
- How are they breaking boundaries?
- What are your competitor’s service successes?
- Free delivery.
- Free returns. Etc
- Learn from any mistakes they have made. Read the news, listen to your network, study their activity and it will become apparent.
Consumer personas will also grow in importance when you move to market your brand. Having clear personas will focus your ads and your ad criteria. Through using a focused, targeted approach you should see higher engagement on less spend.
The most important use of competitor analysis is to summarise your learnings and to create an action plan for your product/service, taking on board the opportunities presented. Most importantly you need to use this research to refine your idea and improve it, ensuring you take on the competitive edge.
"Consumer personas will also grow in importance when you move to market your brand. Having clear personas will focus your ads and your ad criteria. Through using a focused, targeted approach you should see higher engagement on less spend."
Validate your ideas vs your research.
Step 4 you need to validate your original ideas vs your comprehensive research. Try to reduce your ideas down to the final 1-2. Validating questions are; How easy is it to produce? How much profit will it bring me? Etc. Create a pro’s and con’s list to aid this step.
Step 5 you need to gain feedback from the market about your ideas. A top tip for new businesses is never rely on just your own opinion, this will only create a product you love. Firstly ask your audience and market for feedback, as they will be the ones buying your product/service. For instance, this can be done through a quick campaign/ad or a soft launch on your social channel or simply by asking friends and family for feedback.
Tip – there is no point is asking for feedback if you don’t take the advice on board. So be open-minded and adapt your product/service to the feedback received.
Step 6 now you have decided on your product/service you need to write your brand’s vision and purpose statement. Consequently write a paragraph, focusing on who you are, what you stand for and your product/service. This will refine your idea and move you into the final stages of branding.
Above all validation is a step that shouldn’t be overlooked. Validating your idea confirms that there is an audience and demand for your product. Moreover, these steps also help you, as the business owner, to endorse your vision and eliminate any doubts you may have had.
Step 7 is all about getting creative! My fashion consultants advice is to use an agency for this step unless you have previous experience in branding. Branding is crucial in the success of your business, as it is your face, your tone of voice and your global recognition. Certainly, I would recommend that this is a step you invest in and secure the advice of an expert. As you have already completed the research you can present your consumer personas to the agency and this will help reduce their cost.
My branding tips are:
- Be original.
- Think outside the box, but only if that speaks to your target audience. If you are staying mainstream, target your audience’s interests and focus your branding to catch their attention.
- Ensure you remain relatable to your customer.
- Less is more. Don’t over complicate your designs. A lot of fashion brands use 2-tone colour palette, a simple/clean font choice and a letter logo.
- Don’t rush this step. Be 100% sure you are happy with the final product, as branding will represent your product in everything you do.
Carley Johnson Fashion Courses will advise fashion brands on how to find their niche in the market, by thorough research and once completed, how to then validate and brand your product and service offer.