Branding Tips for StartUps and New Businesses

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By now, most people know that the number one secret to success in business is effective branding. You have to get your customer to fall in love with your brand for life and become loyal to it in order to ensure long-term success. Businesses must make their customers feel loved, heard, understood and valued.

Jennifer Love, co-founder and CEO of NibMor,, a highly successful, multi-million dollar wholesale chocolate company based in New York and business trainer, offers the following tips for getting your core consumer to help you build your brand:

• Study your competition and observe who is buying from them. This will give you a starting point for who your consumer might be and what their habits are.
• Study trends and economic indicators. This will tell you what is changing in the industry and how you can set yourself apart.
• Engage in focus groups. This gives you the ability to ask your potential consumer what is important to them.

Bring your consumer to life by creating their life story. Start by giving your consumer a name, describe his/her physical attributes, where does he/she go to have fun, what does he/she do for a living, what are his/her struggles, what magazines does he/she read and so on. Get so detailed in creating the story of your consumer that by the time you are done, you feel like he/she is a real person. Then, when making decisions in your business, go to your consumer character and ask him/her what’s the desired answer.

Once you’ve created the story of your consumer, find real-life people who closely match your consumer character and make them brand ambassadors in your business. Meet with these people several times a year to check in about what’s going on in their life, what’s important to them, and how a product like yours can make the quality of their life even better. By doing this, you will be so intimate with your consumer that they will completely fall in love with you for life.

Building that brand is so critical to your business success and understanding the above can be so helpful. But take it a step further. Ask yourself these critical questions:

1, Will my product sell? When you have taken the above steps and learned all you can about your customer, you will know exactly why your consumer is dying to purchase your product. That research pays off.

2. How can I make decisions about what style, size, flavor, color or packaging of my product? You know exactly what style, flavor, color and size your consumer wants because you have done your research and they have told you. What makes life easy or fun or them. You have personally identified them and their living habits, thus enabling you to build your brand with that in mind.

3. Where should I spend my advertising and marketing dollars? By knowing where they spend their time, what magazines they read, where they shop, etc., you best know where to invest your money. Why waste money on marketing that doesn’t reach your audience?

4. What posts, conversations and stories to tell on social media? You know exactly what interests them. The stories that make the hair on the back of their neck stand up or the conversation that gets them fired up. By doing this, you then make sure to post more of those things.

Don’t spin your wheels wasting time and money and possibly putting yourself out of business before you really give yourself a chance to be in business. Know your customer and add that knowledge to all of your branding.

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