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16 Essential Brand Building Strategies to Grow Your Business this Year

A photo of an alarm clock together with a calendar

Your big brand doesn’t just happen. It’s not a fluke.

It’s the result of using brand building strategies consistently over time.

But what should you focus on first? And how should you go about getting things done?

In today’s post, I’m sharing sixteen ways you can whip your brand (and your online business) into shape. Take this list, and use it as:

  • Your to-do list for the upcoming new year
  • Your growth plan for the near future
  • Your motivation to get the items mentioned done, once and for all
  • Your reading and resource list to learn more about areas you struggle with

The first area of focus for your brand building strategies is (as always) design.

Because before prospects interact with your words, they see how you’re presenting your business.

brand building strategies visual brand

Your visual brand building strategies

Your visual brand is the way your business appears to the outside world. Because — after all — appearances make up our first impressions.

Your visual brand is the first thing prospects perceive about your business.

And if we make a bad first impression, we may not get the chance to make a second impression. So let’s get it right from the start!

1. Choose two colors

One of the easiest, fastest brand building strategies that establishes a visual style for your business is when you choose two brand colors.

Why two? Two colors are easier to remember than three, four, or five. They make an immediate impression, and are easier for you to implement, too. (When looking for a color to use, you’ll be choosing from a list of two options only.)

For help finding the two main colors that work best for your business, take a look at this business color resource page.

2. Choose two fonts

Once your prospect see your overall visual presentation, they’ll begin reading your words. And the “voice” your words will speak in is established by the fonts you use to display those words.

Use a formal, classic, serif font? Your business will be seen as well established and conservative.

Use a casual, friendly, sans-serif font? Your business will be seen as contemporary, friendly, and open.

For more on choosing the best fonts for your business, take a look at my typography resource page.

3. Use images wisely

Our culture has embraced visuals by necessity. With so many words to understand and process, visual communication provides a much-needed cognitive break.

Using visuals to communicate means implementing them on every page of your website, and wherever you are sending out brand messages on social media, in email marketing, and in print.

It’s not as complex as you might think. For more on using visuals for your business, take a look at the visual marketing information here.

Related: What is Visual Content Marketing?

4. Be visually consistent over time

Many of us are make grand plans for our brand building strategies early in the year. We dive in to them in January and our optimism runs strong.

Then we get busy. And we lose focus. And we forget what our brand building strategies were aiming for.

The only way to make a dent with your visual brand is to make the decisions mentioned above, and apply them consistently over time. Choose your colors, find the best brand fonts, and grab some strong images. Use them next month, six months from now, and two years from now.

Resist the urge to redesign. Stay the course and give your visual brand a chance to sink in and be remembered.

Related: Wondering How to Define Your Brand Personality?

brand building strategies verbal brand

Your verbal brand building strategies

Your verbal brand is the way you talk about your business.

What you say matters — every word counts.

It’s the words you use to explain what you offer, and what makes your business different from your competitors’ businesses.

5. Choose a compelling business name

It’s not easy to find a business name you can live with, especially if you’re just starting out.

You find a name you think you’ll like, but — chances are — your business changes over time. You may find your original name doesn’t work anymore.

That’s why I recommend you don’t get too specific with your business name. Let your tagline (see below) communicate the specifics instead.

For more on naming your business, check out this post.

6. Use a tagline that tells your story

Your tagline is the short sentence that follows your business name. It shares additional information about what your business offers.

And it’s one of the most underused pieces of marketing copy ever.

Your tagline can make up for a multitude of sins.

  • Business name too general? Get specific with your tagline.
  • Hard to tell who your business serves? Speak to them with your tagline.
  • Your main selling point not coming across? Shout it out with your tagline.

For more on writing a tagline that works for you, read more about taglines here.

7. Find a brand promise that explains what you stand for

Your “brand promise” is a short statement that serves multiple purposes. It is perfect for:

  • The Home page on your website
  • A way to introduce what your business does at networking events
  • Explanatory text on social media profiles

Your brand promise is a longer, more in-depth version of your business name and tagline.

8. Write these things down, and use them consistently

For your verbal brand to make an impact, you’ll need to apply these words in the same order, in the same way, every time you talk about your business.

Sound boring?

Get used to it! Because for your particular verbal brand to be remembered, you have to say it the same way consistently over time.

Let’s say that again: for your particular verbal brand to be remember, you have to say it the same way consistently over time.

Make it a habit: Consistency one of the most important brand building strategies you’ll use. Craft your words carefully and start using them consistently today.

Related: How to Fit a Powerful Brand Style Guide on a 3-Inch Sticky Note

brand building strategies man on computer

Your marketing plan

Here’s where things get interesting.

What you do with your time is what leads you to success.

We’re going to look at putting actual tasks on your calendar that will attract the kind of person you want to attract to your business.

9. Know your ideal customer: they’re the reason for your marketing

Hopefully you’ve got this one figured out: your ideal customer is the person you most want to reach with your offers.

He/she is that person who needs and wants your services or products offer. And, they’re will to pay for them (an important point some forget).

Sometimes, over time, your idea customer shifts. So if you’re a little fuzzy on who you’re aiming for, take the time to be sure you’ve got a crystal-clear vision of who this person is, and what motivates her.

Related: Your Marketing Elimination Diet: How to Lose the Dead Weight and Find Your Best Customers Now

10. Decide on your main marketing focus

Your brand building strategies will change from quarter to quarter and year to year. That’s why deciding on your main marketing focus is an ongoing process.

Before you set out to conquer the next few months, spend some time creating an action plan template to help you meet your most-important goals. Do you want to:

  • Increase profits?
  • Generate X number of leads?
  • Sell more units or hours?

In the next step, we’ll be covering small short-term goals. For this step, think BIG.

What major goal would you like to accomplish by the end of the next three-month period?

11. Plan three more goals

For this step, I want you to think about smaller goals that may help get you to your large goal.

What are the big to-dos on your list? Those projects that may take many days or weeks, but which are necessary to grow your business?

Take some time to write these out. Aim for things you can get done within the next three-month period.

12. Create tasks and deadline around these goals

Now that you know what you’re aiming for, it’s time to chunk down your goals and attach deadlines to them.

Be realistic: how long will it take to get these things done?

Sit down with your calendar and spread them out over the weeks and months ahead. Assign plenty of time to each item. Plan to get sidetracked and delayed (because you know you will) … but plan to get them done.

brand building strategies woman courage

Your courage to act

Isn’t it fun to think about brand building strategies?

If you’re reading this (and especially if you’ve gotten this far), you probably enjoy educating yourself. And that’s wonderful.

But, if you don’t get beyond educating yourself, thinking, and planning, you won’t get very far.

Have the courage to take action — today.

Because in the end, progress only happens when you have the courage to act on your plans. That’s what this section is about.

13. You don’t have to “know it all” to make progress with your brand building strategies

Part of what drives us to learn more is this feeling like we’re not quite “good enough” to put our business offerings out in the world.

Once we’ve mastered ____ (fill in the blank), then we can start.

And what tends to happen is that once we have in fact mastered ____ we discover a whole new level of things to learn.

Rather than focus on learning more, spend your energy finding the people who need what you offer right now.

It may not be perfect. It may not be what you want it to be in the future.

But someone, somewhere, needs exactly what you offer.

Spend time finding them. Listen closely to how they talk about their needs. And refine your offer so it fits them perfectly.

14. You don’t have to have a perfect plan

Almost as fun as educating yourself is planning, which we’ve talked about here.

But you don’t have to have a “perfect” plan in order to make progress. And you don’t need to implement all of these brand building strategies to move forward.

Actually, the perfect plan usually unfolds as the result of taking steps. So again — taking action is what gets you where you want to go.

15. You have to find the courage to take the first step

That first step is a tough one. But for every successful business you come across, someone took that first, courageous step.

They didn’t know ahead of time if it would work. They may have been afraid they’d fail completely.

But they stepped forward, despite their fears.

You can, too.

16. Know that you’ll stumble and make mistakes.

Embrace mistakes: they’re part of the process.

As we’ve talked about here and elsewhere, building a business is an iterative process.

You’ll stumble, and you’ll make mistakes: guaranteed.

This is part of the process. It’s the way business works!

Set out on the journey knowing you’ll experience great triumphs, and days of great learning. (Because isn’t it better to call failure “learning?”)

Which brand building strategies should you start with?

Go through this post again. Use it as a checklist. Of the sixteen brand building strategies listed here, you may not need to tackle all of them.

Decide which brand building strategies you’ll work on. Click around on the resources here to learn more.

I’m cheering you on!

Pamela Wilson

Pamela Wilson is the Chief Marketing Officer at DCS. She’s the creator of the Offer Accelerator Program. Learn more about Pamela’s content marketing books, and read reviews of the tools used to run this site.
Pamela Wilson coaches people in midlife to build profitable online businesses
I’m Pamela Wilson

In 2010, at the age of 45, I started this site and grew it into a business that offers freedom, flexibility — and consistent revenue.


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