Building a strong influential brand starts with creating a solid foundation for success. From short-term goals, to long-term dreams, your brand’s foundation is the base on which the most important decisions for your business will be made.
In this post, I will teach you how to create a brand foundation by helping you find your brand’s core values and vision, and then, how to use those elements in your brand messaging to help you attract clients that resonate with your brand voice.
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Find your brand’s core values
Before you do anything you need to know your brand’s values. Without a clear purpose behind your brand, you have no voice, no words to stand behind that will grab and hold people’s attention.
Your values could also be described as your purose, or more common, your “why.” But, I like to describe it as the core of the brand. It is the essential part of your brand. It is the heart.
When you are building your brand, creating your message and honing in on the unique value that you provide, your core will be the driving force behind all of your major decisions. You will know it’s the right choice for you when it is in line with the purpose your brand stands behind.
So how do you go about finding your core brand purpose? Here are a few questions to ask yourself that will help get you closer.
What do you most value in brands that you engage with? Is it trust, innovation, decisiveness? Often, the things we value most in the people we do business with are essential to our own values. I value expertise in brands I do business with because it provides me with the opportunity to learn and grow. In that way, I want to also provide my clients with valuable information to help them grow as entrepreneurs. This is one of my core values.
Another question to ask yourself is, what do you want to provide most to your clients? Whether you are product or service based, you didn’t become an entrepreneur just for the fun of it. You have value to bring to your clients. Where does that value most present itself? If it’s the quality of the ingredients coupled with the science of the recipe, perhaps your core value is excellence. Your clients know they are getting the very best from you.
Make a list of words you feel describe your brand and think about which ones or closest to the core of what your business is about. Then, take those words into a thesaurus. You will find a word that captures the essence of your brand in a more clear way.
Once you have identified your brand’s core purpose, start to craft your vision.
DEFINE A CLEAR LONG-TERM VISION FOR YOUR BRAND.
Much like finding the core values of your brand, knowing your brand’s vision is a vital part of creating your brand foundation.
If your core is the innermost values of a brand, the vision is the direction it takes. And, while your brand’s values are centered around what you stand for, your brand’s vision is centered around what your brand wants to accomplish for its clients. It is the mission that drives your decision making.
Infusing your brand with a clear vision gives you the conviction to stay on your path and make the best decisions for your business. For instance, if you are thinking about making a big investment in your business do research into the companies or products you are considering working with. If they have great work, but they are working from a completely different set of values they will not be the best fit to accomplish your long-term goals.
To discover your brand vision, think about what goals you want your business to accomplish. How do you want to serve your clients and what outcome do you want them to have when they work with you?
These can be tough questions to answer but if you start planning for the end goal in mind you will make better decisions today. Remember, whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right. Plan to succeed and you will.
When you have clarity on your brand values and your brand vision it will be time to start putting them to work as your brand message.
COMMUNICATE YOUR BRAND VALUES AND VISION IN EVERYTHING YOU DO.
Bringing your values and your vision together to communicate your message is the most important part of your brand strategy. From your email marketing to your social media posts, your message should be clear in every piece of content you produce, and I’m not going to lie, that can be tough.
Every day, as consumers, we face a barrage of different kinds of messaging styles, and brand identitys. And as entrepreneurs, building our own personal brand identity’s it may be tempting to see something we resonate with and try to incorporate that in our own brand. But, this will lead to confusion for your clients, who are also trying to figure out who you are.
There’s nothing wrong with trying new things, but be intentional.
As a consumer, I am drawn to bright, bold, colorful brands that like to cuss up a storm in their messaging. I love the courage it takes to have that kind of style, but I know I am attracted to those styles of branding precisely because they are so different than my own. As a brand, my values and vision are aligned with a more subtle, artistic element within myself, and I hope to attract clients that resonate with those values. My personal brand is stylised to represent my love of classic glamour photography, and the moods that came with it, while staying true to my passion for empowering entrepreneurs.
When you begin to create your messaging, whether it’s the copy on your website, the tone you take in your emails, or the quotes you choose to share on social media, think for a minute about whether that message is “on-brand” before you hit publish. Does it align with your core? Slowly, your personal brand will emerge and you will flow naturally through the rest of your branding process.
Starting a business comes from seeing a problem and wanting to solve it. Creating a brand comes from the passion for infusing ourselves into the business so that our clients can trust us to accomplish their goals.
When we have clarity on our core values and we understand the vision that underpins it, we can create a brand that resonates with our ideal clients and creates abundant success for our business.