The wise man builds his brand upon the rocks

Teachings from Jesus on how to build a brand from scratch

We know what you are thinking… Biblical references? Really? Yes it is a little old fashioned, but Jesus absolutely got it right when he encouraged people to build their house upon the rocks.

When discussing challenges that founders are having with their brand, we have discovered that the same one appears over and over again. New entrepreneurs often attempt to build a brand on shaky foundations. They get a logo, choose some colours and think that the work is over. Little do they know that this superficial start to their business is leading to inconsistency, breaking the trust of potential customers and having a huge effect on sales.
Josh Eckstein 1Wbyx Mvv9Y UnsplashJosh Eckstein 1Wbyx Mvv9Y Unsplash
There is a lot more to building a brand than meets the eye. Like any other aspect of your business, you need to implement some kind of strategy if you want to be successful. With more challenger brands on the market than ever before, you need to do as much as you can to stand out.

At Studio Unbound, we always start with the groundwork, guiding you to find your own brand DNA, essence and identity, and create consistency across all channels. We believe that if you want to build a solid brand, you need to do it from the foundations up.

Here is our guide to starting your brand the right way.
Build A Branding Start Up
Build A Branding Start Up 01

Do the groundwork - get to know the competition

Before you begin designing your brand, you need to conduct market research and find out if anyone else already has a similar product in your sector. There is no point trying to build a brand in an already saturated market. There are numerous ways to conduct research on your competition. You can find competitors on the shelf in supermarkets and local shops or online through a simple google search. These are some examples of the simplest ways to conduct market research. If you have a bigger budget, you may work with a research agency who can provide an in depth analysis of the sector you are entering.

In order for your brand to have any success, you also need to identify an audience with a need that isn’t already being met. If you are wanting to provide a product that already exists, then you need to do it in a new way or in a way that targets a different audience. You can explore your audience’s needs by joining or creating closed facebook groups or through conducting monkey surveys within a trusted demographic of friends or family members. Surveys can help you find out valuable information such as: what brands your audience currently buy, why they buy these products and what kind of products they wish were in the market.

The purpose of this research is to help you refine your ideas and discover your own niche within the current market. By understanding your competition - what they are saying, who they are talking to and what their price point is, you will be able to refine your own product and cater your branding towards your target audience.

It is essential to have all of this information before diving into creating your brand.

Uncovering your brand DNA - how to share it and who to share it with.

If you have conducted your market research thoroughly enough (remember, Jesus is watching), you will have a solid underpinning with which you can begin to build your brand.

What you need to do:

Find your brand DNA:
In order to do this, you need to clarify the values that are driving your business. Why did you start this brand? What do you stand for (or against)? What can your brand bring to the world that no other brand can? If taken seriously, these core values will drive each branding decision and will provide you with an unshakeable foundation upon which to build an honest and genuine brand.

Decide how your product will be sold:
Do you plan on selling directly to your consumer (D2C) from a website or do you want to have your product on a shelf in a retail store? These decisions will affect what you prioritise within your branding strategy. If you are planning on selling directly to your customers, you will need to have great web content, whereas if you are selling in retail stores you will need to prioritise packaging and ensure that your product stands out on the shelf. Either way your audience is short on time, so you need to deliver your message in a clear and concise manner. What is the key message you want your audience to remember?

Commit to your relationship:
Teens? Grandads? Mums? Horse riders? The Olympic Curling Team? Whoever your audience is, it’s important to commit. It is often tempting to sit on the fence and try to appeal to everyone. Now there are a number of reasons you shouldn’t sit on the fence. For one it’s extremely uncomfortable. Secondly, in a world where the consumer is more skeptical than ever, a consistent and genuine brand voice is crucial. If you try to target everyone, you end up breaking the trust of your clients or worse, getting lost in the sea of other vague brands trying to appeal to too many people at once. In the words of Sudha Murty ‘If you try to please everyone, you will please no one.’

By sharing your brand in the right way and to the right people, you will be able to create a trustworthy image built on more than just aesthetics. Finding your Brand DNA is all about understanding the values that underpin your business. If you don’t understand yourself, how can you expect your customers to understand you?
Build A Branding Start Up 02
Build A Branding Start Up 03

Don't be two faced. Be consistent.

Once you have worked out who you are, how you wish to be perceived and by whom, it is time to use this information to make strategic branding decisions. Make sure that everyone involved in your business understands your brand goals. It is important to stay consistent across all of your channels and at every point of contact with your customer. It is no use implementing your strategy on only one channel. One customer might engage with your business across many different channels and any inconsistency will make your brand seem ungeniuine and untrustworthy. From your social media, to what is written on your packaging, to your email marketing to your video advertisements, it is important that your brand stays true to itself.

Don't build your brand upon the sand

This is just a quick summary of what you might want to consider before creating your logo and choosing your colour palette. We get it, that stuff is wayyyy more fun. But if you want your brand to do more for you than just look good, it is well worth spending the time reflecting on the points made here. Ultimately, we hope that you will choose to be wise and build your brand upon a solid foundation, knowing who you are, how you want to be seen and how to make decisions that make your brand you.

Do you know someone who is building their brand on the sand? Share this article with them and save them a lot of misery.
Build A Branding Start Up 04