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Brand Building 101: How to Build a Successful Brand Online

Brand Building 101: How to Build a Successful Brand Online

March 31, 2022

Is it really possible to build brands that consumers love? Yes, it is. Look at brands like Denri Africa or  Malika Kenya they’ve figured out a way to do that. So today, we’re welcoming you to Brand Building 101! We’ll give you some tips to refresh your online marketing strategy and build a memorable brand online. 

For newbies, you’ll have an idea of where to start. Stay tuned!

But first…

What is Branding?

It’s not just about having a logo or name that distinguishes you from other businesses. Branding is creating a personality that highlights the cornerstone of your brand's DNA. 

When we talk about Coca-Cola, you can already picture the face of their logo, the colour, font, all the way to the enjoyment you’ll get drinking a cold bottle of coke on a hot afternoon. We even remember the different slogans they’ve used in their campaigns. We can Taste the Feeling. Their focus isn’t just the product but the brand. It’s not just a soda but it brings friends and family together, encourages sharing, brings happiness and puts smiles on people's faces. 

As a brand, you should aim to deliver unique and positive experiences that people talk about and want to invest in. 

Now onto the big question…

How do you build a successful brand online?

It all boils down to these 6 steps. 

Know your target audience

You are creating a brand to speak to someone. The more you know about your audience, the better your marketing. Be as specific as possible as it’s the only way you'll discover the most effective marketing platforms to get to them. It will also determine your brand voice, design, tone, and content types. 

Here is how to go about it.

Examine your current customer base: What do you know about them? Their age, location, what they love about your brand, their interests, etc. Look at your lowest hanging fruits or people that can easily buy your product. 

Examine the competition: Who are they targeting? What’s their location? Do they have an underserved market area you can take advantage of? 

Create your buyer’s persona: Now create a profile of what your ideal customer is like. Be specific on their demographics and psychographics. Their age, location and gender. Dive into their marital status, profession, income, values, personalities, hobbies, interests and lifestyle. 

Before moving forward, it’s important to get this figured out. But, as you continue with your business, you’ll have more chances to learn about your audience. Run customer surveys and make use of the analytics you get from your marketing campaigns. 

Create your brand position

You can’t be everything to everyone. Especially when you’re just starting out. For instance, you can’t focus on high-end luxury bags and budget-friendly bags at the same time. Make a decision on how you’ll enter the market. The best way to do this is by having a positioning statement. This statement doesn’t have to be on your website or social media pages but it helps you know your unique value proposition. 

A positioning statement can be something as simple as, “We are an African accessories company selling unique handmade jewellery to customers in/who…” This helps you know your selling points, promise to customers, brand voice, and even the marketing campaigns to run.

For instance, with handmade products, you’ll use a more artistic and welcoming brand voice, have more vibrant colours, etc.

Be authentic

Sometimes we confuse originality for authenticity. Being original is being different while being authentic is being yourself. There is nothing wrong with being different but sometimes brands strive for originality so much that it ends up looking fake hence putting people off. 

For a long time, we’ve believed the ‘fake it till you make it’ adage. But we’re in a highly-connected digital space where businesses can’t make it without being authentic. Faking it has resulted in trashed brand reputations, anger, and a lot of distrust of online brands. The internet-savvy customer today won’t let you exaggerate about your product looks or what it would do. Customers now crave authentic yet engaging, transparent, and genuine businesses. 

Pick the right social media channel

It’s so tempting to jump on every social media platform out there and start posting. After all, you want to be online, right? Yes, you can open accounts on different platforms just to secure your name if you’re not sure what platform to focus on. But after you’re sure what’s relevant to your target audience, focus on those channels. 

Also, ensure your visuals are on point. Have your graphics well-coordinated, the brand colour swatches, the fonts, etc. There are thousands of businesses out there so make yours grab the attention of your target audience. And consider video. Video production can be time-consuming but hey, the results are worth it.

Check out our previous post on social media marketing for small businesses to get an idea of the platform you should pick for your brand. 

Tell your brand story

One of the most effective tactics to engage and reconnect with new and existing customers is through storytelling. Stories make an emotional connection with your audience. They get to understand the ‘why’ behind your brand and it makes them want to contribute to making a positive impact. Look at Coca-Cola for instance, their video marketing campaigns tell stories of spreading cheer and comarandie. 

Encourage reviews and user-generated content (UGC)

Customer reviews and testimonials help you gain the confidence and trust of new customers who haven’t interacted with your brand. Reviews and UGC help your brand to build trust. It’s a way to promote your business without creating the content yourself. It’s free marketing. 

It’s never too late to revamp or start creating your brand online. If you can’t do it yourself, you can hire affordable freelancers on Fiverr or Upwork to do it for you. 

Good luck!