From Idea To Execution
So, you’re ready to launch your own brand, but where do you even start?
We understand how scary, daunting, and exciting it can be to get your brand off the ground, and while you might be feeling overwhelmed with competitors, strategies, and an information overload, there are key things to focus on in the early stages of starting a business that we know about because we’ve helped businesses do it before.
Here are our top 5 tips for starting a business and the areas you need to focus on first.
1. BRAND STORY
In 2021, storytelling is everything. You could have an identical product to someone else, but the story behind that product and why you’re selling it is the difference between someone shopping with you or going to your competitor.
Ask yourself why you are selling the product you’re selling. Are you trying to create change in the world, solve a problem your customers have, or maybe it’s something more personal, like wanting to carry on a family legacy by selling a product you used to make as a child with your grandparents. Whatever this story is, it matters a lot. It is how your audience connects with your brand and products on a deeper level and it influences every decision you make about your business.
By identifying your story, you also identify your USP (Unique Selling Point) as this is tied very closely to your brand story. For example, if your brand story is centred around sharing a family legacy, your USP might be that each product is handmade and unique using ancient techniques passed down by generations.
Your brand story and USP go hand in hand in influencing the type of imagery you use, how you speak about your products and even the materials used and how you manufacture. For example, for the brand mentioned above, they would want to use imagery of their family and the techniques used to make the products. They would need to practise what they preach and ensure their products are handmade ethically, and they would need to ensure they are using materials that would have been available generations ago so their products are authentic.
Focus on the story first and everything else will come a lot easier.
2. BRAND IDENTITY
So once you know your brand’s story and USP you should have a clearer idea of what that brand looks like. This next step is where this comes to life and becomes official, your brand identity. But what is brand identity? It’s who your brand is, what they stand for and how that is communicated visually, verbally and written.
First, you need to cover the basics, you want to make sure the name you have chosen is free. Ensure you check business name availability and trademarks to make sure you’re not going to get into any trouble. Then from there, you can work on setting up your brand guidelines.
These guidelines outline your logo, colours, fonts, imagery, and tone of voice. Having a strong brand image that is easily recognisable will go a long way in ensuring your brand stands out and stays in the minds of your customers.
3. HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT
The next step is one of our favourites, content creation and photography. High-quality content builds trust with potential customers and elevates your products.
But what makes something high-quality? To be honest, there isn’t just one thing! It’s a mix of equipment, lighting, styling, editing and creativity. Most of which takes years of practise, but the most important is being born with the eye for content creation. Most people these days can take decent images on their smartphone, but to create a truly beautiful image that stops the scroll takes skills that just can’t be taught.
Professionally lighting and high-quality lenses are always going to win over a smartphone camera. And creative styling that tells your brand story is what is going to get your content noticed.
So what types of content creation do you need? First, creating strong campaign images that tell a story that can be used across ads and your website, as well as engaging content for social media channels is essential to get your new brand noticed. Then as well as these more styled images, having clear e-commerce images of your products is a must so potential customers can see the products properly when deciding to purchase.
Our professional photography services cover everything from product photography to social media content, campaign images and more.
4. SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
Social media is your most valuable marketing tool in 2021. It enables you to connect with your audience and tell your brand story. But posting for the sake of posting without a strategy in place can do more harm than good to your business.
Having a clearly defined strategy that outlines who you are targeting, what content pillars you will be focused on, and a calendar of key dates will help ensure your posts have meaning and add value to your audience. Having a social media strategy ensures you’re communicating your brand story clearly and effectively, and also gives you the ability to track progress and refine your messaging.
Social media platforms also have powerful tools available for paid ad campaigns that can be the key to growing your account and driving sales to continue to scale your business.
So where do you even start when creating a social media strategy? With all of our clients, we start by deep diving into their business to help them refine who they are, their competitors, target market and goals, then we outline a strategy to suit. From there we create all of the content needed, including images, videos, stories, hashtags, and captions. This is all planned a month in advance working off a marketing calendar then scheduled so it is ready to go while we plan for the next month. We also do monthly reporting to track progress and ensure the strategy is getting results.
If you don’t have a social media manager, we highly recommend creating your social media posts in advance. Or read more about our social media management services if you’re ready to hand off this to someone else.
Now that you’re clear on who you are, you’ve got engaging content and high-quality product images that are catching eyes, and you’re set up on social media to direct traffic to your site, you need to make sure your website is up, running, and easy to use.
Your website must be visually appealing and be in line with your brand guidelines, but it is also important that the site is easy to use for potential customers. User experience (UX) is incredibly important in today’s eCommerce driven world, and you can easily lose buyers if the site is taking too long to load, or it’s just not clear and easy to understand.
Make sure your website not only looks appealing but is designed to make sales as easy and quickly as possible.