Who am I?
As background to who I am, I ran a brand consultancy for 22 years and won many awards for my work, but I became disillusioned with the way we had to sell studio time that I didn’t always feel was necessary in order to allow the business to thrive. There was so much focus on creating the logo, we forgot many of the more important things that really mattered to create an actual brand.
If you want to create a brand then you need to follow some basic rules. These are incredibly easy and logical, but over my many years of building brands for others, I’m now able to share all of the secret tools I use to make life much, much easier and create brands without help or support from brand consultants.
This will be a step-by-step guide to the tools and techniques I use to create a brand from scratch. If you want to read some of the background to branding, you can get a copy of the Blaggers Guide to Branding on Amazon here http://geni.us/FtVD
1. Understand who your customer is
In all my years as a brand consultant, this was by far the most useful insight I ever worked with. Without a really clear picture in your mind of what your customer looks like, you can’t expect to deliver a product or service that meets and exceeds their expectations.
Conversely, if they are alive in your mind, you are more able to think like them, get inside their head and start to make decisions on what they would do and how they would behave, all of your decisions become far more logical and consistent. I’ve always used a checklist of questions, to begin to build this picture and I call it my Audience Profiler.
Here are the questions:
Real Age/living age
How old do they act – they could be older in years, but young at heart
Where they live
City/country/suburbs, house type, mortgaged/rented
What they drive
Car type, big or small old or new or do they use public transport
What they watch on TV
Saturday night specials, cable channels, box sets or serious sprts fans
Where they go out
Into the city, theater, local pub, cinema, dinner, or local pub
Where they work
Do they work, full time, part time, managerial, clerical or blue collar
Where do they holiday
US, Europe or adventure holiday. Package or independent travel
Kids, empty nesters, married, divorced or singles
What they eat
Cook from fresh, ready meals, eat as a family or alone on the hoof
What they dream of doing
Do they dream of being more creative, retiring early, writing their own book or painting full-time or whatever?
Who they look up to
Who are their heroes? David Beckham, Nelson Mandella or Donald Trump (or who is their hero?)
Other brands they hang out with
What would they wear, who would they ‘like’ on Facebook, Apple or Dell, Bon Marche or Abercrombie & Fitch – ie how aspirational are they?
What is their favorite book
What would they read more than once and what did they read growing up?
What is their default music
What do they listen to in the day, or in the car alone?
How do they buy? – Are they a bargain hunter, research and buy, or impulse purchaser?
What matters to them
Causes, issues, passions or fears And what do they want to be seen as mattering to them
Now visualize them. Who do they remind you of?
Get inside their head and consider things from their viewpoint
What would you call him or her?
Give them a real name that suits them to finally bring them alive
2. Create differentiation for your product or service
Without differentiation, you are a me-too product and that means you can never charge a premium price. I’ll show you how to create differentiation, what works and what you can use to make your own products or services, one of one.
3. Brand values
Values can shape and control every decision you make on behalf of your brand. Get them right and it’s easy, get them wrong and it’s too bland to be of any use. I’ll show you what works, give you the tools to create and manage them on an ongoing basis.
4. Plan a name using SEDO
These days, most new brands will be challenged, purely because they can’t get the domain name they want. SO I have a new approach, which is reverse branding. Start with an idea for a name, then turn to SEDO to see what is available and what you can buy within your budget. In a recent exercise in this, where I set up a new brand from scratch, I bought a four-digit domain name that was over 20 years old for just $150. Most of the others I was looking at were in excess of $10,000.
5. Buy a domain from GoDaddy
GoDaddy is my preferred domain registrar. They make it easy to manage all of your domains in one place and renewals are very easy and sensibly priced. I have used others, but love these guys. I’ll take you through their auction process and what to look for in a good domain.
6. Create a logo
In the old days, you had to go to your local design agency if, like me, you aren’t a designer yourself. Now there are a few options that offer really sensibly priced logo design that is every bit good enough to make you stand out in a crowded marketplace. I’ll take you through this line by line and show you what to look for in a logo that works.
Logojoy is an artificial intelligence design tool that allows you to create literally hundreds of designs for a logo. The system is so clever that the more you tweak the designs to get closer to what you like, the more the system learns. It’s still only as good as the information you put into it, but considering design is a completely subjective area, it allows you to test and experiment with different designs to find something you’re completely happy with. Here’s a guide to using Logojoy. If you want to try it completely free for yourself, then you can do that here.
7. Add social media platforms
The market for social media platforms is very full. I can take you through all of the ones I use and how. I’ll go through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Instagram. There are rights and wrongs to all of these and I will show you the ones that really work.
8. Use a robot follower for Instagram and Twitter
WIth social media, using automation sensibly will be like having a virtual assistant working for you 24 hours per day. From a standing start, one of my Instagram accounts already has 3,000 followers with a 15%+ engagement rate. They are genuine, engaged followers and happy to have found your site. I’ll give you all the rules and who you exactly how to set it up for success.
9. Build a retail website using Shopify
With Shopify, it’s easy to get a site live in a day. The free templates are superb and most of the hard work is done for you. Out of the box, you can have a fully working HTTPS Secure site that looks great, has an efficient and safe payment portal and delivers content fast. There are many other platforms out there and I’m happy to talk about them, but I’ll show you how to do this in detail – even if you’re a beginner.
10. Adding product from Ali Express and other drop shipping sites
There are loads of drop shipping sites out there and many of the suppliers on there just aren’t good enough. I’ll show you how to decide the good from the bad, what products work, what software to use to import product and how to make it look great.
11. Ongoing marketing
With all of this in place, you need to get your marketing going and then keep it going strongly. I’ll show you how to do this. All of the hints and tips and completely specific advice about how to market on the different channels for the best results.