Let’s get started with creating a profitable brand from scratch, especially if you’re in the service business. Gaining the right traction might seem like a daunting task when you’re first starting out as a brand, No worries by the time you’re done reading this article, you will be well on your way of creating a empire!
In a crowded market where services are similar, branding is more important than ever! just throwing up a logo and name isn’t going to cut it nowadays. Your branding elements have to be on point, remember that your brand is how people are going to perceive your business. When people see your brand, they will first notice the visual aspect, then wording. If your brand has a message, that message may or may not signal to an emotional feeling for the person looking at your brand. Creating a powerful first impression will make or break your branding methods.
These can include aspects in your control and some not in your power. Branding is surprisingly similar to how people have their own individual styles, faces, and names that they communicate with, this will leave an impression on others even when they are not in the room. Similarly, your business has a voice, reputation, logo, message, products, and names, among other things that influence how clients perceive it!
Having a strong brand can have several benefits, especially if you are running a service business which include:
Creating an Emotional Connection – When customers share the same beliefs and values, you can differentiate your brand, which leads to higher sales.
Create Advocacy and Loyalty – When you have a strong brand, your business can become recession proof. This means you can still sell your services at reasonable prices when your competitors have to engage in price wars to attract customers.
Ease of Access to Markets – With a well-established brand, you can easily access markets and extend or introduce and sell new service offerings to people already familiar with your business.
1. Determine Your Target Audience:
The first step in your branding is to determine your target market. Rather than target a vast audience, go narrow so that you can craft a clear, compelling, and energetic message.
This will also help define your audience, making it possible to tailor your services and brand message to that market. You may have to refocus and fine tune your target audience if you don’t get it right the first time around. To determine the target audience, you will need to conduct a free market analysis. The analysis may include reading news stories and case studies about the industry. The activity will help you narrow down the target market by aspects such as common trends, demographics, and interest.
Questions that you may ask during this time include:
Who is the target audience?
How will you attract them to your service?
Where do they congregate?
Who is competing for the same audience?
What image would you like to portray about your brand?
What is the age of the demographic?
What is the average income level of the group?
What they like or dislike about current offerings in the market?
Once you have answers to these questions, you can draft a statement indicating the target clientele you want for your business, and how you are going to fulfill their needs.
2. Develop A Mission Statement:
Trying to fulfilling the needs of your target market is your overall mission. It would be best if you crafted a “why” purpose before entering a market with a product offering. The client needs to know what you believe and why you are offering a particular service.
For instance, Amazon asserts that it strives to be the most customer-centric company on earth. They live up to their mission, and if you have ever had any interaction with their customer service, you know that they take this vision very seriously.
Another good example is Nike, who lives to bring innovation and inspiration to every athlete. They also assert that everyone with a body is an athlete. This has made Nike be associated with anything about “sportswear.” In the contemporary world, having a mission is more critical than ever as Gen X and millennials favor an emotional connection with a brand they like to purchase from.
Showcasing your purpose and what you stand for will also be useful in dictating the direction your company takes. It will help develop strategies that are geared towards satisfying the needs of your clients, which will help the business grow.
3. Research The Competitors:
The competitors in the industry can give you a lot of data on how you should be branding your new service business. While you should not be imitating the exact strategies of the big dogs in the industry, you can modify and customize their approach on a smaller scale.
Studying the competition helps determine points at which the competition is doing well or aspects in which their strategy is weak or failing. You want to differentiate your business from the competition so that the client chooses you over them.
Always be thinking of how you can stand out by studying how others built out their brand image to become the big players that they are. Pick a few competitors (no more than 5) and chart out their branding strategies. You can include franchises and big-name brands as well as small businesses that you will be competing with when you are starting.
Some questions to ask during this process include:
Is the competition consistent in how they portray their brand across the different channels?
In what ways is the competition marketing their business offline and online, and is it useful?
What is the quality of the service offering?
Do they have social mentions and customer reviews on sites such as Yelp?
4. Create A Unique Value:
Your brand message is critical to help the target audience understand the services you provide. It helps them know the transformation and support they can get by getting served by your business. A comprehensive brand message also takes the client through the process of how you are going to help them or meet their needs.
For instance, a brand message could be something like “I like to help men get that classy masculine look that will help enhance their professional and social lives.” Such a brand message could also be a social media bio or elevator pitch.
Of critical importance, it tells potential customers, clients, and followers who you are and what they can expect when they buy your services. In addition to having a brand message, one of the most important aspects of branding is having a unique value proposition. You need to have services, products, and benefits that are unique to your business. By offering something that no one else offers, you stand out, and everyone that needs that service will have to come to you.
Focus on the benefits and qualities that make your company unique rather than just rehashing and including services. Find something that will improve the client’s life or provide significant value. Some examples may consist of being more transparent, providing more hygienic services, charging less for care products, and providing fast and efficient service. An excellent example of a unique proposition is Apples “Think Different” slogan and the brand message of clean design and ease of use of their products.
5. Design Your Logo:
The logo is likely one of the first things that people think of when they think about building their brand. The logo is critical given that it appears almost everywhere the company is and as such is a vital cog of your branding efforts. The ideal logo should be one that is scalable, easily identifiable, and unique. You have to take into account that the logo will appear on your social media profiles, browser tabs, fliers, letterheads, and all manner of documents and marketing materials.
Contact a designer who will design a unique logo that can be easily scaled for small screens, and that will work even with black and white documents. It would help if you also created a catchy tagline to accompany your brand message and logo.
This should not be something complex but something descriptive and brief that you can put on a business card, website headline, or Twitter bio. You can always change your tagline over time and go for what you think represents your brand best. Some examples of great slogans that are catchy and short but make an excellent impression include:
“Just Do It” by Nike – adopts customers mindset
“Women’s fashion boutique” by Aritzia – literal description
“Red bull gives you wings” by Redbull – A metaphor
Here’s A Video Explaining The Types Of Logos To Create & How To Make Them Iconic:
6. Integrate The Brand:
The brand needs to be reflected and visible in as many places and mediums as possible so that the client can hear, see, and read about the business. This means that you should have your brand message, slogans, logos, and tagline on the product packaging, service advertisements, business cards, social media pages, office and everywhere the client can see it. You need to ensure consistency all over the digital platforms from your website to your social media pages and fliers. Use the same colors, photography, logos, and fonts all across your properties. In the modern world, the website is one of the most important portals for branding, and hence, you need to ensure that the personality, message, and voice of the brand is most influential there.
7. Strategies to Establish the Brand Identity:
A brand identity is not built overnight, and if you are building from scratch, it will take time before you are established. There are several strategies that you can put in place to strengthen your brand and grow awareness. In the Internet age, some of the most effective ways of establishing brand identity are by using social media. Social media channels such as Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Facebook can be great avenues to build your brand.
Here’s A Video Of Social Media Influencer “Gary V” Explaining The Value Of Branding:
You can answer client queries and provide customer service on Facebook and Twitter, provide tutorials on how to use your services and products on YouTube, and spread great images of your newest haircut or styling offerings on Pinterest and Instagram.
Another way of establishing brand identity is by engaging the services of PR firms to get placement in print and television interviews, mass consumer publications, and journals. A great content marketing strategy that could involve creating great content about developments in the industry or breaking news could also get your business noticed and build brand equity.
8. Analyze & Refine the Brand Identity:
While consistency is important for branding, it does not mean that you must remain unchanging forever. Microsoft has changed its logo more than four times and is still going strong. To stay competitive, you need to refine and fine-tune your branding strategies over time. This ensures that your business is delivering not only on what the company stands for but also responding to client needs.
In the contemporary marketing world, you can always test out new branding strategies through digital advertising. Digital advertising allows you to collect data, which you can use to refine your product and service offerings and at the same time, improve the brand to reflect those changes. Some of the effective ways to test out your brand messages include social media campaigns, email marketing, and paid advertising, which can provide valuable data on how to tweak your messages.
Brand building is one of the most important things to do when you are setting up in business. Building from scratch can seem like a complicated process though it can be done. When done right, it can be one of the most effective ways of gaining a competitive edge over other businesses in your locale, and even beating the big brands and franchises who are not doing it right. A solid brand building strategy can transform a small startup into a major player that everyone wants to get their service or products from seemingly overnight.
By developing a consistent brand message, you can make your business unique and easily recognizable, which makes for loyal clientele who will always want to buy from you. This is the formula recession-proof companies are made of!
Building a brand image is absolutely essential in the barber world. People need to know what your all about, and creating a brand is by far the best way to do it!
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