5 steps to building a brand

From your company culture to your packaging, your brand dictates how you present yourself to the world. Here’s how to build a memorable one.

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Nike, Apple, and Coca-Cola may all sell different products, but they have one crucial thing in common: a strong brand. They all have ingenious marketing campaigns, consistent visuals, messaging and marketing.

Branding goes far beyond sticking a pretty logo on your products. It is the public-facing essenceof your business and tells customers about your company culture and purpose.

You’re going to be competing against hundreds of other businesses that probably have similar product or service offerings. Your brand’s identity and personality needs to resonate with your target audience.

If you’re unsure of where to start when defining your brand and what it stands for, read on. . We’ve broken down the essential steps to creating a brand so that you’ll have the fundamental building blocks needed to get you market-ready.

Step 1: what makes your brand great?

Branding is so much more than your company’s styling guide. It’s all about embodying the values your brand stands for through consistent and clear messaging. This signals to your audience that you’re not hopping on trends, but that you have a robust mission that guides what you’re trying to achieve with your business.

A good brand can also be spotted from miles away if it has a unique selling proposition. For instance, if you were a coffee brand, what new take are you offering on coffee, one of the most popular drinks in the world? Have a unique take on your industry or address a gap in the market in a creative way to help your brand stand out. The last thing you’ll want is your company lost amongst your competitors.

The culmination of consistent messaging will help you establish a strong brand identity that is instantly recognisable to the average person on the street. This strong and consistent branding will foster trust among your potential and current customers as they know exactly what they’re buying into before clicking the ‘purchase’ button.

Honest, high-quality branding is more likely to lead to positive reviews as well because your customers are getting exactly what they see and aren’t being misled.

Step 2: what makes your brand recognisable?

Brand recognition has three pillars: brand awareness, brand recall, and brand preference. So no matter how beautiful your branding looks on your website, or how poetic your mission statement is, none of it will matter if you’re not using the right pillars to foster brand recognition.

However, the foundation of these pillars is the establishment of a deep connection between your brand and your customers. You’ll want to trigger positive responses when your customer engages with your brand (think how a football fan feels when they see their team playing). This emotional connection will give you a competitive advantage in the future, as you’re establishing a relationship rather than just engaginging a transaction.

Now that we understand the foundation, let’s unpack what each pillar does:

  • Brand awareness: this is how aware people are of your brand and what it stands for. This is fostered through clear and consistent messaging as well as finding ways to give your brand visibility among your target audience.. The key here is to understand where your target audience spends their time, such as social media, traditional advertising, or Google search. How would they run into you for the first time?
  • Brand recall: this is how easily your brand is remembered, particularly when placed alongside a list of competitors. Ingenious marketing, taking a stand, and driving your unique selling point are a few ways to create a memorable brand. Chances are, if customers remember you once, they’ll do it again and subconsciously come to you when they’re looking for the products or services you sell.
  • Brand preference: this is the last frontier of brand recognition. This is where customers now actively prefer your brand over others. Naturally, the prerequisites for preference are your customers being aware of and recalling your brand. If your branding is consistent, it’s more likely customers will prefer what your brand offers over your competition.

Step 3: ensuring customer brand loyalty

Customer loyalty is when your customers come back to your brand time and time again because they trust you’ll deliver.

However, nurturing this loyalty takes time and effort. In fact, 88% of consumers say it takes three or more purchases to build brand loyalty. Therefore, you want to make sure those three purchases are up to standard so that customers stick around. Here are a couple of ways to do this:

❤️ Get personal with your customers: leverage the data you have of their buying habits and create a sales pipeline that will ease their way down the funnel. For instance, give them personalised recommendations as they’re browsing so they can easily and quickly find what they’re looking for. This will help enhance their shopping experience, making it memorable enough to come back the next time.

👐 Launch customer loyalty programs72% of global customers feel loyalty towards at least one brand or company. Launching a customer loyalty program is a great way to encourage repeat purchases. The rewards could be discounts, referral programs, freebies, or exclusive access to your products.

💅 Become a brand influencer on social media → influencers are great at making themselves recognisable on social media because they understand and engage with their target audience to ultimately create a sense of community. You’ll want to try and do the same with your brand. Share behind-the-scenes snippets of your brand and products. Interact with your followers by doing live videos and responding to their messages. In essence, try to humanise your brand by showing that it’s approachable and managed by real people.

Ask for feedback: whether it’s through customer reviews, surveys, or focus groups, ask for feedback. No brand is perfect and being responsive to suggestions shows you understand that improvements can be made. It also shows you are genuinely looking after your customers.

Step 4: marketing your brand

Marketing is all around us and it can be difficult to understand which channel will suit your business best. Here’s a couple of outputs to consider as you’re designing your branding game plan:

  • Digital marketing: also known as online marketing, digital marketing is all about promoting your brand on the internet. This includes email marketing and ads. You can invest in a CRM platform to leverage your consumer data and understand how you can tweak your digital campaigns to drive conversion rates.
  • Content marketing: this is all about establishing your brand’s authority within your industry. This could be blogs or guest posts or anything that shows how knowledgeable you are about trends affecting your customers. This is a great idea if your marketing strategy isn’t overtly in-your-face. LinkedIn is a great avenue for this sort of marketing.
  • Social media marketing: this is all about establishing your presence on the likes of Instagram and TikTok, and leveraging all the tools the platforms have to offer to make a sale. This can range from user generated content to TikTok memes and selling your products directly on the app using social commerce.
  • Public relations: beyond customers, it’s a great marketing strategy to also entice journalists. Pitch them news about your business, results from surveys you’ve conducted, or any other coverage that can help build your thought leadership.

Step 5: avoiding branding mistakes

At this point, you should have a pretty solid idea of what makes a strong brand. However, there’s some common pitfalls that brands experience when designing their branding strategy. Here are the ones you’ll definitely want to dodge:

Not having a clear brand identity: this translates to just going with the tides of trends and not being anchored to a clear brand mission or purpose. To customers, having a brand that constantly changes doesn’t inspire trust and, if anything, it drives them closer to the competition.

Not being consistent with your branding: one day it’s blue, the next it’s red, one day you’re all about this value, and the next day you’ve done a complete 180. This makes customers feel dizzy as they try to keep up with what your brand is supposed to be. Make sure all your marketing channels reflect the same brand values and style so that you can make yourself as recognisable as possible.

Not listening to your customers: customer feedback is a goldmine for constructive criticism. If you simply brush it aside, it tells your customers you’re actively ignoring them and that you don’t actually care about their wants or needs. While you want your branding to be cohesive, you want to make sure your offering is responding to what buyers are looking for.

Not being innovative: There are new technologies, ideas, and trends making their imprint in our digital world every year, and if you’re letting them go over your head,your brand will eventually become stagnant and lose its appeal.

Top tips for building a brand

  • Understand your USP and make sure to consistently show it in your marketing
  • Stick to your values – don’t just jump on random trends as they come and go as customers see right through you
  • Nurture customer loyalty with personalisation and rewards
  • Make branding a daily exercise of your business operations


Your branding tells the market who you are as a business. With so many companies out there competing within the same industry, it is paramount that you leverage your uniqueness and make a name for yourself. Knowing how to master your branding will make you memorable and consistently bring you return customers.

Although it is a process that will take some time to construct, it is one you definitely want to get right. The buildings that survive earthquakes are the ones with the strongest foundations. The same logic applies for businesses and their branding.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is the difference between a brand and a logo?
    A logo is just a quick visual queue to identify your business while a brand is the identity of your business. Your brand includes your logo, your mission, your purposes, and the values that make up the identity of your business. This is something that should remain consistent.
  • What are the different types of brands?
    There’s four main types of brands: personal branding, corporate branding, product branding, and service branding. The one you’re most likely to encounter as a small business is product branding.
  • How much does it cost to build a brand?
    It will depend on the marketing channels you want to have a presence on and how much you want to do in-house. Generally, you’re looking at an approximate cost of £4,000 to £15,000, accounting for freelancers, designers, and other branding resources.
Written by:
Fernanda is a Mexican-born Startups Writer. Specialising in the Marketing & Finding Customers pillar, she’s always on the lookout for how startups can leverage tools, software, and insights to help solidify their brand, retain clients, and find new areas for growth. Having grown up in Mexico City and Abu Dhabi, Fernanda is passionate about how businesses can adapt to new challenges in different economic environments to grow and find creative ways to engage with new and existing customers. With a background in journalism, politics, and international relations, Fernanda has written for a multitude of online magazines about topics ranging from Latin American politics to how businesses can retain staff during a recession. She is currently strengthening her journalistic muscle by studying for a part-time multimedia journalism degree from the National Council of Training for Journalists (NCTJ).

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