How to Build a Brand Part 1: Identify Your Audience

Building a brand that catches the attention of consumers and moves its way to the forefront of a particular industry is no easy feat. Starting at the ground level when creating a brand can seem daunting, so we’re breaking down the steps on how to build a brand, promote it, and integrate it into every aspect of your business. The branding behind your service or product is the business’ personality. Today’s savvy consumer has no time for bland brands, so it’s time to create an experience.

Define your Target Audience

Before you can craft your message, you must know to whom you’re speaking. Your brand carries its own voice and tone. To create a brand voice that will be effective in driving sales, expanding your email contacts list, or becoming the market leader, you must have a clear understanding of your audience.
From where they spend their time online to how they speak, when you understand the specifics of your target audience, you can tailor your message in a way that immediately registers with their personality.

A Tale of Two Razors

To help you develop a sense for a brand’s voice, let’s look at two companies. Both offer grooming and shaving products for men, but the target audience for each brand is completely different.

The Art of Shaving promotes the “Ultimate Male Grooming Experience” with master barbers at luxurious barber spas. The website’s language and imagery are sophisticated, promoting products derived from “the finest botanical ingredients.” With razors priced at $200 and electric shavers just under $400, The Art of Shaving seeks to reach men who want a supreme shaving experience and are willing to pay a premium for the exclusive products.

Harry’s, conversely, offers shaving and grooming products in many of the same categories as The Art of Shaving, but are designed for men who want “a great shave at a fair price.” In fact, the founders of Harry’s openly state on the website they “were tired of overpaying for overdesigned razors.” The most expensive razor on Harry’s website is $20. The language is simple, straight-forward and the photos look like they could have been taken in your bathroom.

The brands sell products that serve the same purpose, but each has identified its unique target audience and crafted a voice, tone, and visual elements to connect with that audience. Whether you’re launching a startup, managing a small business or growing into a large company, you must do the same for your brand.

Build Your Brand Through Research

Defining your target audience will require research. As you build a profile for your ideal buyer, take note of:

  1. Obvious customers. Be aware of the customers to whom you could most easily sell. For the founders of Harry’s, the low-hanging fruit were those who wanted a quality shave without paying inflated prices for marketing jargon.
  2. Market leaders. Know and study the established brands within the market.
  3. Customers’ language and interests. Recognize how your customers speak, their interests, and the words they use

By understanding your easiest-to-reach customer, biggest competitors, and the language used by your target audience, you’ll be able to better develop your brand’s mission. In Part 2 of How to Build a Brand, we’ll delve into your brand’s mission, benefits, and how your target audience decides if they want to form a bond with your brand.

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