1. Choose your brand name.
You have less than 8 seconds to make a great first impression, and your business's name plays a role in what people will think of your brand and what it stands for. Try to make your brand name easy, relevant and memorable while clearly conveying your brand's message and purpose. Once you have your name, create the logo and work out how this will be used across different platforms such as the sportswear apparel, website, social media, storefronts etc. Trademark your name and logo to make sure you can use it and nobody can replicate your brand.
2. Evoke emotion in your audience.
Triggering an emotional response can really affect the way we remember things. How you evoke emotion in your target audience can influence if and how they perceive your brand and ultimately if they decide to purchase from you, and then spread the word to friends and family.
Try to come up with a voice, message and identity for your sportswear brand that will make your audience feel emotionally invested in your company. This will vary among companies; one brand might be more nostalgic focusing on the history of a sport, whereas another might cater to the latest technologies or performance-driven.
3. Visual identity.
Humans are visual creature and the saying "A picture tells a 1000 words" is very true. Your branding should prioritise developing a visual identity, such as choosing the appropriate colours to represent your brand. Different colours and shades can convey very different messages in the minds of your target audience. For instance, red often signifies passion and speed and therefore can grab your attention, so it might be the perfect choice for brands that want to convey a bold or fast message.
Typography is another important aspect of your visual identity. Serif fonts, for example, tend to come across as more traditional, and they are typically better suited for print. Sans-serif fonts, on the other hand, depict a more playful and informal attitude and provide good readability for digital screens.
Consider these visual factors to come up with a logo that accurately represents your brand and display it on your website and social media.
4. Align your website and social platforms with your brand identity.
Nearly two billion people purchase goods and services online. This makes your website and social platforms an important shopfront for your brand. Convey your brand identity and messaging through your website and social platforms and even newsletters should have the same focus.. Everything ranging from the design and visuals to the content and copy should align with your brand voice and identity.
Your website colours should match your brand colours, and fonts used for the body copy should complement your logo's typography. It's also crucial you address any potential readability issues. If your brand colour is black, for example, using a grey background would make reading difficult. Instead, opt for a white background or another complementary colour, and add contrast design elements to make it pop. The same goes for fonts. If your logo's font is more decorative or difficult to read, use simpler fonts for the rest of your copy.
Most importantly, the tone of your writing should reflect what you want people to associate with your brand. A casual and lively tone would work well for a brand that wants to come off as playful, whereas more serious companies should aim to be more traditional and formal online. When writing copy, think about how you would talk to a customer if they entered your store and write the copy in the same format and style.
5. Build strong social media.
A strong social media presence has become a necessity for brand building. Social media can be a very powerful platform to get your brand noticed and reach a relevant audience. Start by choosing the platform your target audience is most active on.
Once you've established the best platform to begin your marketing, it's time to make a profile for your company. Choose profile pictures and cover images that match your brand’s visual identity. You can even use your logo to keep things simple. Similar to the copy on your website, use language that matches your brand's voice in every post or caption. Also, only use images that you would use on your website. Every touchpoint the consumer sees must be on point.
6. Align your promotions with your brand's voice.
Many young businesses need to give their brand a jump-start through paid promotions. To ensure these paid-for campaigns reflect your brand, choose the promotion and channel that are most likely to help you reach your target audience.
Start by researching the behaviour and preferences of the demographic you’re targeting, such as where they consume the most content. If they primarily use social media, which platforms do they frequent and who do they follow and comments on? Based on this, you’ll be able to come up with ideas for the promotions you should run.
If you’re targeting teens and young millennials, for example, partnering with a relevant social media influencer (whose values align with your brand's) might be more effective than ads. But as a whole, pay-per-click ads may be a necessity for many start-ups. Run them on platforms that your target audience uses the most.
These are some effective strategies that can help start-ups with their brand-building efforts. It might seem impossible to build a brand with a limited budget, but as an entrepreneur or small business owner, you're able to decide how to spend your budget so nothing goes to waste. These strategies can really help put your brand-building budget to good use.
At Blue Associates Sportswear, we help our startups with a detailed marketing and brand building plan and very often manage the whole process from a blank page to a finished brand.
Get in touch for more information.