Having a business that stands out from the crowd can help you generate engagement and sales, but with so much competition out there, how can you attract consumers to your business over others?

Creating a strong brand is so important as it can be the difference in your target market choosing you over another similar product or service.

Branding can seem really daunting, especially when giants like Apple have huge marketing budgets to spend time and money building a strong reputation, but they had to start somewhere, right? The secret to branding can be broken down into FOUR simple steps:

1. Define your brand

Having a product or service to offer consumers is great but it’s only the start when building a strong brand. With so much competition out there, you need to have something that will make you different – this is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Have a good think about your business and how it is different: this could be that you offer great service, your turnaround time is super quick or your quality is a step above everyone else. Whatever it is, once you’ve found your USP stick with it! Building a strong brand is all about Trust – this is what makes your customer choose and stay loyal to your business – and to build trust you need consistency.

2. Make a plan based on your USP

Once you have your brand identity and USP you can start to organise your business. Sticking to your USP will make your business trust worthy, which in turn creates and keeps customers. Think of it this way, you wouldn’t keep going to a restaurant with a reputation for great service if you were served by a grumpy waiter. The best way to stick to your goals is to have a plan in place. Start by writing a business plan which will explore your core objectives and goals, who your target market and competition is and what your sales, marketing and operational plans are. Once you have this you can plan a calendar of how you will action your ideas.

3. Communicate your USP and your brand

Create a marketing plan… and stick to it! A marketing plan will ensure you are using the correct tools for your market. Explore your options on social media (Facebook and Instagram are a great place to start!) and once you have chosen the platforms for your business, keep your brand consistent over your channels. Use your colour palette and logo throughout so your brand is instantly recognisable. Social media platforms are a great way to create and develop advertising campaigns at low cost – so make sure to include them in your marketing plans!

4. Consistency is key!

As I mentioned before, to build and keep a strong brand you must have trust from your customer. A great way to build trust is to make sure everything about your brand is consistent – from the quality of your product or service, to the way you present your business online – if this is inconsistent your customer will not know what to expect from you and chances are they will go elsewhere. Over time the trust you create with your customers will turn into loyalty, and this is integral in building a strong brand.