How to Build a Brand and Elevate It

How to Build a Brand and Elevate It

In 2024, having a strong brand is super important for any business that wants to shine and thrive. In this article, we’ll break down how to build a brand and the essential ingredients that go into making it. We’ll also share some tips and trends to help you craft, position, and boost your very own Keep reading!

What Is a Brand? 

Many people believe a brand is just a logo and a catchy tagline, but it’s not only about visuals. Your brand embodies the entire journey and perception that customers have of your company. Everything from your images and messaging to your customer service and values influences your brand identity.

At its core, a brand is a promise to your customers. It’s about the quality, values, and experience they can expect from your products or services. It sets you apart from competitors and helps you build an emotional connection with your audience. 

A successful brand brings about positive feelings, fosters trust and loyalty, and a sense of community around one’s business. This, and not the logo, should be the ultimate goal when building a brand.

Brand Elements: Crafting a Lasting Impression

To create a strong and cohesive brand, several elements must come together such as:  

  1. Brand identity: Think of this as the visual representation of your brand. It includes the logo, color scheme, typography, and overall look. 
  2. Brand voice: Your brand voice is like the personality of your brand. It represents tone, the language used, and the style you use to communicate across all platforms.
  3. Mission and values: Your brand’s mission is its core purpose, while its values are the guiding principles that shape every decision and action
  4. Brand positioning: This is how you set your brand apart from competitors and communicate what makes it uniquely valuable. 
  5. Brand story: Every brand has a story about its beginnings and the ideas or passions that catapulted it into reality.
  6. Brand experience: From your website to its advertising and customer service, every interaction made contributes to customers’ overall experience with your brand. 
  7. Brand ambassadors: These are your employees or anyone the company hires to enthusiastically support the company and its products.. 

The Importance of Following a Brand Guidelines Template 

A brand guidelines template is a pre-designed blueprint that outlines all the essential elements that maintain your brand’s look and messaging. 

By following said guidelines, everyone in your business is on the same page, creating a unified and recognizable brand experience while maintaining your brand’s integrity.

Let’s break down what you’d typically find in brand guidelines:

  1. Brand essence: Components of brand essence include the fundamental principles that steer a brand’s decisions and behaviors as well as its messaging – which should be brief and impactful, conveying the brand’s core value to its audience.
  2. Visual identity: This section covers the brand’s visual elements, such as logo, color palette, typography, imagery, and photography style. 
  3. Layout and design rules: These tell us what the brand’s format should look like grids, and spacing.
  4. Voice and tone: Defines how the brand communicates, whether it’s formal, friendly, or playful.
  5. Usage guidelines: These are the specific rules for applying the brand across different channels like print and advertising.
  6. Examples and Non-Examples: This part demonstrates the correct and incorrect usage of all brand elements to avoid common mistakes and maintain consistency.

How to Build a Brand in 8 Steps

Whether you’re just starting a new business or looking to revitalize an existing one, following a few basic steps is crucial: 

1. Define Your Brand Purpose and Values

Before anything else, clearly define your brand’s purpose – the “why” behind your business’s existence, something that goes beyond just profits. What values and principles will guide your brand? 

2. Research Your Target Audience

You can’t build a brand that resonates without knowing your ideal customers inside and out. Research demographics, behaviors, pain points, goals, and what brands they’re currently drawn to. 

3. Differentiate With a Unique Brand Positioning

Once you understand your target audience, identify the X-factor that will set you apart from the crowd. Maybe, it’s offering premium quality products, exclusive access to specific products, exceptional customer service, etc. 

4. Develop Your Brand Identity 

With brand positioning defined, bring it to life visually through your logo, colors, fonts, imagery, and other brand assets. Everything should consistently reinforce your brand’s personality and value proposition.

5. Create a Remarkable Brand Voice

Just like visual branding, your brand voice shapes how customers perceive your personality. Is it friendly and warm or sleek and authoritative? Establish voice guidelines around features such as tone, word choice, or syntax.  

6. Craft Your Brand Story

People are drawn to brands they feel they know and can relate to. Develop your brand’s origin story. Introduce your audience to the spark of inspiration that led to the founding of your company and/or your brand. 

This story should be emotive, it should stem from your values and resonate with others so it can forge emotional connections.

7. Live Your Brand Across the Right Channels 

The success of your brand depends on living it authentically across carefully selected channels. From your website design to media presence, customer service philosophy to product packaging, reinforce your brand, especially where your target audience is.

Keep in mind that positioning a brand through traditional PR and digital channels can differ. The first targets audiences through established media channels like TV, radio, and print and focuses on press releases, interviews, and events while the digital channels target audiences through online platforms such as social media, websites, and email campaigns. 

8. Build a Brand Management Process

Even with guidelines, maintaining brand integrity long-term requires a systemic process. Establish a gatekeeper role or team to oversee all brand activities and communications before public distribution. Have checkpoints for feedback and approvals on new brand rollouts. 

Branding Tips and Trends 2024

If you want to build and elevate your brand, you need to stay ahead of the curve by incorporating current trends into your strategy. 

Here’s what’s hot this year:

  1. Raw Storytelling: Utilize transparent and authentic photography, videos, and user-generated content to capture real and raw moments. Think about Oatly and its multiple fun and catchy storytelling approaches as a prime example.
  1. Audio identity: Develop distinctive audio branding like music, sounds, and voiceovers to reinforce brand recognition.

    In RLM PR, we have been crafting distinctive audio identities for clients since 2018. For instance, for the premium podcast network Wondery, we’ve leveraged our expertise in immersive audio identity to elevate their branding and to develop a distinct, recognizable audio “image” for their shows. This unique sonic identity, crafted through music, sound effects, and voiceovers, reinforced Wondery’s brand recognition across its entire podcast lineup. 
  1. Chromatic harmony: Modern and unified looks achieved by incorporating various shades, tints, and tones of a single color.

Source: Monochrome by F61 Agency on Behance

  1. Artisanal accents: Hand-drawn illustrations, doodles, and lettering create an authentic touch.
  1. Bold elegance:  Lively aesthetics rich with colors, patterns, and graphics presented in a structured, refined manner.
  1. Essentialist chic: Here key elements are used to achieve  sophisticated and minimalist design approaches.
  1. Eco-friendly practices: Highlight environmental sustainability through natural elements, earthy tones, and eco-friendly messaging.
  1. Motion:  Captivate viewers with motion graphics, kinetic typography, and subtle animations for compelling visuals.

Wrap  Up 

Building a powerful, yet modern brand requires strategic development of all its core elements – from purpose and identity to voice, storytelling, and multi-channel presence. 

By investing in these fundamentals and staying ahead of evolving trends, you and your brand can craft an authentic and impactful message that builds a lasting and meaningful customer connection.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *