It’s non-negotiable; your company needs to have solid branding in order to succeed. There are entire masters degree programs dedicated to this aspect of business. Thankfully, Amber Williams, founder of the Copymastery coaching program, returned to our webinar series to offer our community a targeted approach to creating a narrative for their small businesses. She encourages entrepreneurs to think of their entire brand identity as beginning with three foundational building blocks: people, purpose and personality.
Maybe you started your business because you had an amazing idea for a product. But when you begin building your branding, the product actually isn’t your focus. “What we should really be asking ourselves as brand builders is, who do we want to serve?” says Williams. To understand your customer base, you have to really understand who they are and what problems they need to solve. “Deeply understanding your people is going to inform the products and services that you create,” she explains.
Williams shares that she had to learn that lesson the hard way. She recalls developing a coaching program that she was so excited to launch–and no one signed up. “It’s because I created a service that I thought was nice, but I did not have enough conversations with my people to understand what they wanted.”
Even for product-focused businesses, purpose is a key part of their brand DNA, and its importance will only continue to grow. Williams’ presentation cites research from the Harvard Business Review that indicates customers are speaking with their wallets more and more. “Our brands are now competing on purpose, because the conscious consumers of today want to purchase from brands who reflect the values that they have,” Williams adds.
“There’s got to be an underlying social or emotional goal as to why we are in business,” she continues. What do you want your customers to feel? Inspired? Empowered? Williams offers a great way to find what your purpose is. “Take a minute to remove the idea of your product and services from your head. Ask yourself, on day one of my business, why did we start?” Understanding your purpose will influence which wholesalers and affiliates you work with.
A great brand is a story that’s never completely told.
The last of Williams’ three Ps brings the first two together. “Personality is how your understanding of your people and your commitment to your purpose is expressed,” she explains. “It’s about embodying the personality that you want to attract.”
You attract those potential customers with a clear brand voice that you support with fonts, colors and images. Though Williams focuses on the written aspects of branding, she does understand that colors speak to customers about the kind of company you have. For example blue, commonly used for tech companies, signals authority and purple means luxury. Williams recommends COLOURLovers, a free tool that entrepreneurs can use to help them create their business’ color palette.
Of course, your brand’s personality can evolve over time. As Williams says, “A great brand is a story that’s never completely told.”