Too often, we fall into the trap of thinking a brand is something we create from scratch.
We craft our ideal brands and then try to force our organizations to fit into them.
And that’s where all the power gets lost.
The power of a brand comes from how authentically it represents who your company is already. Building a brand is an exercise in uncovering what’s already there, not creating something new.
That’s why we use the word “building”: Your foundation (your business) is already there. A brand just builds off of it, growing your company to its full potential.
3 Steps to Build an Authentic Brand Strategy
So, how can we do this? There are three steps you must take to build an authentic, powerful brand through digital marketing and social media strategy:
1. Write your brand story.
“You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.” – Henry Ford.
Stop making your brand about who you want to be and emphasize who you are.
The first step to building an authentic brand strategy is to figure out who your organization is (so existential, we know).
Personify your brand. The goal of a brand strategy is to connect with your audience through digital marketing on a personal level, not just a professional level. No one resonates with a sales-y, stuffy corporate persona anymore. Emphasize the human element of your brand by writing down your brand story.
Start by asking yourself or the organization founder:
- Why did you start your business? Think beyond money, fame, or material things. What is the purpose or “why” behind it all?
- What setbacks or experiences led you there
- How can you relate to your audience?
- How does your business serve its customers?
- What are your business’ core values?
- What is your vision for the organization?
- How does your business contribute to the world?
- Even more, what is your vision for your customers?
Incorporate this messaging into your digital marketing and social media strategy.
2. Make your audience the main character.
You have your brand story. Now it’s time to address the main character: your audience.
The founders, marketers, and employees are the authors of your brand story, but the
‘plot’ should center around your target customer, the protagonist.
It’s all about them, not you.
Center your story around them. We emphasized this by asking how your brand strategy relates to, serves, and contributes to your customers.
From here, it’s your job to empower your customers to defeat the antagonist: the problem your product or service solves. Your brand should empathize with this problem and perfectly position your offering as the solution throughout your digital marketing.
3. Align your efforts accordingly.
Now it’s time to align it all. The most important aspect of authenticity is integrity: putting your money where your mouth is. Market, serve, and grow in line with your brand’s values. Be consistent here in your digital marketing, social media strategy, and even within your company’s culture.
As you build your brand to uncover who your company truly is and align your vision with reality, your brand will resonate with your customers effortlessly –– a true ‘happily ever after.’
Have any questions about how to build an authentic brand? We’re all ears.