How to Start a Brand and Build Your Business in 2021 [Part 1]
It's 2021 the year you're going to launch a new brand, start a new side project, or take your existing brand to the next level. Well, in this video, I'm going to outline a few things to think about before you start your brand or define your brand or change it up. And also the steps that you need to take in order to build a strong foundation that your brand can grow.
Hi, and welcome to weekly brand tips brought to you by Elements, Brand Management, weekly videos, designed to help you unlock your brand's potential. So you can stand out from the competition and create impact. Please subscribe using the button below this video, and if hit the bell notification, you'll be notified every time a new video drops. Now starting a brand or redeveloping existing brand isn't something that's easy and you'll no doubt.
Have some questions in your mind. Like, how's it going to look?, how am I going to resonate with my audience? How can I create a connection with my audience? And how should it make people feel? Now this is part one of a two-part video series. So watch out for that one. It will be coming next. And I'll put a link in the description below when that video is available. And here are some things to think about to get your brand off to a great start in 2021.
So what is a brand? Well, we created a video on this that you can see here. But essentially a brand is a person's gut feeling about a product service or organization as Marty Neumeier puts it. So it's how your brand is perceived.
By your target audience through all the touch points that your audience comes into contact with, whether that's logo, whether that's your website, your social media, your sales team, your marketing team, all these things build up to create this perception of what your business is and that is your brand. When building your brand, you need to make sure you are crystal clear on the following. Who are your target audience? And we've done a video on this previously. I put a link in the description below, but the most important part of building your brand is understanding who your target audience is or that ideal customer is because if you don't know that, how can you develop and build your brand so that it resonates with that audience. Now later on, you can flesh out and have multiple audiences or segments that you target. Things like entry level customers, high-end customers, aspirational customers, your sweet spot.
But initially what you want to do is you want to understand who your target audience is, the core target audience, and be a hundred percent clear and focused on who they are as individuals, as people, what their hobbies and interests are, and really define that because that is how you start that's the core of what you're going to be targeting towards. Initially as you start your brand. So who are they from a demographic point of view? So how old are they where they live? You know, what is their title? If it's B2B, what is their business title, their job title, you know, they're business owners, they're marketing managers, their creative directors make it, make a list of these points, the demographics, you know, education level, that kind of thing, and flesh it out. So you have a list of all the things that your ideal target audience is. So you have a real clear idea of who they are then think about who are they from a psychographic point of view. So what are their hobbies and interests, what things they do in their spare time, what are their beliefs and values? What things do they get behind? You know, where do they hang out online? What channels do they use what social media channels do they use frequently? Do they have any language that is around their tribe, their culture, that, that they are part of.
So if it's the surf community, you know, they use different, there's different words in there that you can use in marketing and things like this to, to tie into that audience, you know, are they new mums? Is that there's a different way to talk in that example, are they business owners, you know, what language do your tribe use? Where do they hang out? How do they interact? What things, what other brands do they use? So think about outside of your particular category, you know, are your particular audience that you're going after your target audience? Do they use Audi? Are they Apple users? Do they drive BMWs? Do they have sort of SUV's what is the audience and what do they like and how do they use their spare time? You know, what their hobbies and interests. So flesh out the psychographics, that's a really good step to take next. So now you want to think about what other brands could they use as sort of yours.
So who are your competitors? And go online, have a look, your competitors, have a look on social media and see where your audience is hanging out or your potential audiences hanging out. Have a look at the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram comments, YouTube comments, have a look on your competitor pages and see what some of the things are being said. You get a really good idea of how they treat their customers. You also get a bit of an idea about how they position themselves, and you also might see some things in there, which give you an idea of where they're falling short. You can also find groups on social channels, you know, in Facebook or LinkedIn that are related to your particular industry, that you're going to be launching your brand in or your brands already in. And that you're sort of revamping.
Look at those groups, join those groups, interact with those groups, be a part of it, you know, be part of the community. Don't just sit back and lurk, you know, you want to be involved. You want to help where you can, but you can also have a look and see some of the things that they're talking about in those groups.
And you can also, um, do polls and surveys in those groups and ask them questions. You know, what brands do you currently use in the space that you're looking to go into? What problems do they have with those brands already in that space? Step number two, who are your competition? Now you should have a list from the previous question of a few competitors that you looked at, but you want to expand it. So you want to have, say five direct competitors, two to three indirect competitors that you can look at a bit more deeply and understand them a bit better. A quick example of direct versus indirect competition. Direct would be McDonald's versus burger King. They both serve burgers to hungry people.
Indirect competition would be McDonald's, Domino's and a local supermarket. They all serve hungry people, but they serve them in different ways. Now for each competitor, you want to do kind of a surface audit. So you want to look at their social media channels, their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, wherever they are. You wanna look at their website. You also want to have a look at Facebook ad library.
It's a great resource. And what you can do is you can type in any brand name in that, and you'll be able to see what adverts they are sort of promoting on Facebook, or Instagram, which is a great thing to do, because what you can see is the adverts that they are promoting to your shared audience. So if you're looking at competitors, you can see what they're putting out and you can also see by some of the reactions on those ads, what is kind of working, what messaging might be working, what. Images could be working. So it gives you a sort of an overview of some of the advertising space in your industry. And when looking at these places, the website and the social media and the different places that these competitors show up, you want to take note of a few things.
So firstly, what are they doing well, and be objective with this. Don't just dismiss them because they are competition. Give them a bit of respect in this regard. What do they do well? As your competition.
So you want to make a little list of these things. Write these down. So have the competitor's name at the top, and then what do they do? Well, write some things down. What don't they do? Well, where do they fall short? What are their weaknesses? Where are they vulnerable in, in, it could be customer service.
It might be the way they deliver their product. It could be, um, Their website isn't as good as it could be stuff like this, whatever it is, make a list of a few things they don't do as well. Next. How do they visually portray their brand? How is the logo portrayed? What colors they use, what fonts they use, make notes of all these things. And also. Is it good? Does it, does it look good? Is it impactful? Is it memorable? What they're doing? So make notes, all these things next you want to look at, how do they talk to your shared audience? You know, how do they speak to your audience? What are they saying in their messaging? How are they portraying themselves in that messaging to your audience? Make note of this.
If you can pick a theme from the messaging, if you can work out what they're actually trying to say from the messaging, that's a really good. Uh, sort of word or a couple of words to write down, because these start to give you an idea of how they've positioned themselves as a brand or the attributes they are trying to hook themselves onto as a brand, make note of their positioning. So like we just talked about on the previous step, if you can work out the positioning, there's a few tips on that.
I'll give you in a minute, but one of the things to think about is what did they state claim to in the market? Are they eco-friendly? Are they the cheapest? Are they the most efficient? They're the most innovative in your space? Make a note of what you think they are position themselves as if they're not doing anything that's a win for you, but if they are, what are they trying to stake claim to in that market? Lastly, do you see any commonality between these competitors so that they use similar sort of colors, fonts, tone of voice messaging? Are they positioning themselves similarly that he will go after the eco-friendly that he'll go after the cheapest. Have a look and see if, if they are portraying their brand. Similarly, because this will give you an idea of where there is a gap or a way to come in and be a bit of a disruptor. So if you look at things like Gillette and dollar shave club, that was a business model disruption.
So the sort of shaving industry with Gillette and other razor brands were not based on subscription. Dollar shave club came in with a subscription model into that industry and shook it up because they saw a gap. They saw how they could differentiate.
And change things up a little bit. Now, when I said earlier on about how you can check a brand's positioning, there's a really a good tip on this. If you look at social media and you look at the bios of your competitors, they only have a short amount of characters to actually write in their bio, who they are as a brand and what they do. So if you look at the website and look at the hero message at the top, they should have put in there what their brand is all about or their message to their audience. If they haven't, it's a win for you, but that will give you an indication of where to start. So they will start giving you an idea of how they position themselves.
But when you go to that, they're sort of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, their social media bios, because you only have a certain amount of characters. What you tend to find is brands are trying to be more succinct with what they're doing. So what they'll do is they'll put in almost the short positioning statement to a point in their bios. So it gives you a really good idea of what they're trying to achieve. Now, an example of this is recently we did an audit for a company.
I won't say what industry it's in, but all the competitors in our industry, but pretty much going after the same attribute in their bio's for this particular category. So they were going for the simplest in this category. It was an app we were looking at, and I won't say what category it's in because we're still working with a client, but. The positioning for all the other competitors there.
Most of them, 80% of them were going after simplicity as they're kind of attribute, they were hooking themselves onto in that market is the simplest app to use for this it's really intuitive. And that was great. But the thing is there was a big market already for the client we were working with in in-depth analysis of this particular thing and complex kind of statistics. In this industry.
So there was, there's a big demand for it because they've already got a site where people go to, um, and, and want that kind of data. So if you've got an N a whole category where everyone's going for simple, but your product is more in depth, that's quite a nice foil to what's already there. So that's just an example of what we found out doing a similar type thing with some competitors. Comment below with a yes. If you're looking to start a brand in 2021 or to relook at your brand and take it to the next level in 2021. And if you have any questions relating to this, put them in the, uh, in the comments below and I'll do my best to answer them in the comments.
But also from the frequently asked ones, I'll make a video. What makes you different? So, you know, your audience, you know, your competition and you know, the gaps in the market where you potentially can challenge, how are you going to package up your brand? So that it's differentiated from everything you've been looking up. We actually have a video on differentiation strategies that are put another link to in the description below this video, which goes into a lot more detail, but think about your audience and think about the research you've done on those, what their problems are. Where they want to head to. So what's their aspirational identity and what things aren't being met for that audience currently by your competition.
What were the things your competition was falling short on? So if you look at the list we made earlier on and the competitors and the things that they were falling short on, we looked at the visual side of those brands, you know, was there a theme or was there a lot of colors being used by these brands in your category of the competitors? Are they all the same as the messaging similar. Think about that and think about, it might be an opportunity to create a subcategory as well. Um, Asahi dry did in that category, in, in the beer category, they, they made a dry beer. And if you get the book relevancy by David , it took, goes into these case studies and a lot more detail, but they, they, by creating a sub category created more relevancy, there was more demand for a new particular.
Uh, type of that product. So it wasn't just bare anymore. It was a dry beer and they create urgency and a lot of demand for that particular type of beer.
And this is also what Domino's did by taking their 9% share of the market to 15%, by creating a subcategory based around order innovation and pioneering the way in the pizza category with apps. Order tracking that you can do on your phone or online. You can also use your smart speakers, things like Alexa and Google to, to track your order. You can even just from the car, if you've got Alexa in your car or one of the sort of voice assistants in the car, you can actually use them and ask them on the way to Domino's where the pizza is or how far through the process is. And by doing this audit innovation as part of the subcategory of the pizza category, what they did.
Was they revolutionized it, but they also created a demand for that kind of service. You can differentiate in pretty much every part of your brand or business. So you can differentiate from the colors, the fonts, your tone of voice, your brand personality, your strategy, your marketing way, that you deal with customers, your onboarding process, your packaging, anything you can think of, you know, your business model is Gillette and dollar shave club. The way they differentiated anything you can think of, you can differentiate. With, so what you want to do is you want to have a look at your competitors like we did out of, right? And you want to look at the areas where you can differentiate from them in a way that's meaningful, makes sense to your brand and also connects with your audience is going to make the experience for your audience that much better. You're not just differentiating to be as different as possible.
There needs to be a weight of strategy behind it, which is why we did the previous, looking at your audience and your competition. It wants to make sense. With your brand. It wants to make sense in differentiating from that competition, but it also wants to resonate with your audience. So don't go too far. Don't differentiate for differentiation sake unless it's warranted.
What are you hoping to achieve? I'll put a link in the description below our previous video actually went over how to set. Uh, goals and objectives for your brand. And what it will do in that video is it talks about your ultimate brand vision, but it also talks about how you can set out your next 10, five, three, one year milestones, and then building the task and objectives each year to reach those. So it's a good video.
I'll put a link in the description below. It's really useful to go through that and yeah. Out your, your brand's vision, but also the milestones you're looking to achieve. And in that video, I talk about a couple of examples of brand vision, but there's also this one from Tesla to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. So that's, Tesla's brand vision and it's quite a lofty goal, but it's one that is achievable, especially with a mind like Eagle Musk. It's something they can work towards every day.
You know, that's something that you can have on the wall. You can think about as a brand vision and everything you do can be geared towards it. It gives you a qualifier and a filter as well for your business. If that's your vision, if anything that you are doing as a brand or a business, doesn't align towards that, you can get rid of it. You can not do it. If something comes up an opportunity or a partnership that isn't in line with that, then you know what to say.
You know that to keep on that focus. Is is the key thing to building that brand. So brand vision wants to be lofty. It wants to be dreaming big, but it wants to be tangible.
It wants to be something that is in the realms of possibility and it wants to feel compelling. It wants to pull you and your team towards it on a daily basis. It must be something that is, can rally that cause inside you build up that excitement and that empowerment make you want to go to work every day to achieve that vision. You then want to set up your mission statement or.
A focus statement about how you're going to achieve your vision. So here is Teslas that ties into that vision statement to create the most compelling car company of the 21st century by driving the world's transition to electric vehicles. So you can see how by having a mission statement that says to create the most compelling car company in the 21st century, by driving the world's transition to electric vehicles directly ties into their vision statement of to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. Tesla is a big company with different departments and different things that they're doing. And that particular mission statements was for the car side of it. And that plays into the ultimate vision.
But you can also see that the brand vision can incorporate other things like additional mission statements for other departments that would still work towards that ultimate goal for that brand and behind all of this, the fuel that drives your brand. Is your brand's purpose or the reason for being beyond making a profit. So in a recent interview, Elon Musk, he kind of went over what the Tesla purpose was or the fuel driving a Tesla to achieve that brand vision. And he said an interview on CNBC that Tesla's purpose is accelerating the switch to sustainable energy. And that really fuels everything they do as a brand. It propels them towards their vision.
It also helps them achieve their mission on daily basis and it filters through everything they do. Now. You also want to set some brand values. Now these are kind of directives, um, mission centric, directives that help you to achieve your mission on a daily basis that help you to get to your vision.
So they are things they are. The rules, if you like, of how you are going to live out your life as part of that brand. So as, as you're representing that brand, what are the rules? What are the objectives? What are the directives that you are going to live by? So for example, a creative is potentially a value, but you wouldn't use the word creative, you use something like a creative mindset.
It needs to be something that. When somebody reads it or hears it, they can action that. So if you said to somebody, one of our brand values is creativity. That's kind of a bit ambiguous and a bit open-ended, but if you said, part of our brand values is to always have a creative mindset. That's a bit different that says problem solving.
That gives somebody an idea that in a situation they are able to be a bit more autonomous and understand how they can act, which will then. Help to build that mission and develop that brand towards that vision. So remember to think about your brand objectives, goals, your vision, your mission, your values, building out this brand platform is crucial to your brand success.
It lays out a foundation for your future brand that you're going to have for the lifetime of your business. So it's worth getting it right. It's worth doing it. Now in part two of this series, we look at how you can develop your brand from the platform we've built today.
And the research we've put in and how we can start to build out that brand and actually turn it into a real life flesh and blood 3d existing thing in the real world. This video is gonna be released next. So if you enjoyed this one and you're keen to find out how to continue to develop your brand, then hit the bell notification below and hit subscribe. So you'll know when this video gets released. So now you've got a bit of an idea of how you've built out your brand platform. And you've got some of your sort of objectives set.
You've done your research on your brand. If you want to start taking that further and you want to take it a bit quicker than waiting for the second video, or you want to go a bit more in depth on this subject. Uh, we've actually got a course we've put in place. Which is for business owners and startups who are looking to either start a brand in 2021 or redevelop that brand and take it to the next level. And I'll put a link below this, in the description below.
Um, it's a, it's a new course and it sort of takes you through that whole process of developing your brand. It's all about building a brand and launching your brand. So if you're interested in that, the link is in the description below. If you've enjoyed this video and you'd like to see more. Videos come out weekly and they're designed to help you unlock your Brian's potential seeker. Stand up from the competition.
And create impact, have a great week, catch up soon and keep those brands unified.