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I'm the creative and founder behind K Made Design Co., and I’m here to help you transform your brand and website into your greatest assets, that build your reputation for you and a community of hyper-loyal brand advocates!
Hi, I'm Karlie!
As we entrepreneurs leave 2022, it’s good for us to take some time to evaluate our business’s year and prep for 2023. Which means each of us should take some time to consider how we’re going to effectively brand ourselves this new year. Take a look below at my top seven tips I’ve gathered to create the entrepreneur’s ultimate guide to building an effective brand in 2023!
But wait – before we get into how to build your most effective brand for the upcoming year, let’s get the basics out of the way: What even is branding? “Branding is the process of creating a strong, positive perception of a company, its products or services in the customer’s mind by combining such elements as logo, design, mission statement, and a consistent theme throughout all marketing communications. Effective branding helps companies differentiate themselves from their competitors and build a loyal customer base” (Oberlo).
In other words, creating an effective brand means creating an experience for your audience. People often view branding as one or two logos, and maybe a color palette. While those are very important components, it actually goes a bit deeper. Building a brand focuses how you want your audience to experience your brand, what story you want to tell, and how you want your brand to be perceived.
The most effective brands are the ones that take the time to develop who they are, what they do, and why they do it. Humans are emotional buyers – they purchase from brands that they like, know, and trust. Knowing the foundation of your brand’s values lets you appeal to potential customers that share those same values.
As we begin 2023, people are becoming more skeptical of businesses than ever. People are constantly looking into the values of brands. How they run their businesses, how they treat their employees, if they are eco-friendly, if they are transparent with their ingredients, etc. Companies like Aerie are being praised for their body positivity and inclusivity, while companies like Balenciaga are being exposed and burned for their careless behavior and child exploitation. In the midst of society’s “cancel culture,” it’s never been more important than to develop worthwhile brand values and execute them effectively.
Once you have your brand’s emotional foundation, it’s time to take your brand’s visual identity more seriously. If you really want to excel in 2023, it’s time to come to terms with society’s visual requirements. This means taking the time to craft logos, colors, typefaces, icons, patterns, photography, and more. There is a significant difference in success between companies that are appealing to the eye versus those that aren’t. And for those that are, oftentimes that’s still not enough.
When it comes to effective branding, brands need to consider more than if their logo “looks cute” or is trendy. The most effective brand identities are the ones that do market research and design with your target audience in mind. That’s why it is almost always recommended to partner with a professional brand designer at this stage (like me!). Brand designers are experienced in crafting effective brand identities that bring the most success for their clients.
For example, I take my clients through a whole foundational brand strategy and design direction process before we even touch the design phase. It’s extremely important for me to conduct enough research on your target market in order to create a brand that will appeal to them. If you don’t take this portion seriously in your business’s strategy in 2023, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Like I said, humans are emotional buyers. The brands that have the most success are the ones that take advantage of appealing to their audience’s emotions. When writing your website copy, try to spend a little less time talking about yourself and your own brand, and a little more time talking about your audience. Identify their struggles, show that you know how they’re feeling, and how working together can bring value to their life. In 2023, there are just so many businesses out there, you want to make sure you’re tugging on your audience’s heart. People buy from companies that they are moved by.
One of the best ways to create emotional copy that appeals directly to your audience is working with a professional copywriter. They will be able to take a deep dive into the values and vision of your business, what makes it stand out, and how to speak towards your specific audience. If you’re in the market for a phenomenal website copywriter, I highly recommend Kaylan at Bushel and Bunch – she wrote my website!
Everyone knows that influencer culture is rapidly on the rise. Have you ever stopped to think about why this form of marketing is so effective? According to the American Marketing Association, “64% of marketing executives indicated that they believe word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing” (Forbes). Even more staggering is that “92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising” (Forbes). Because many of us feel so close to the influencers we follow on social media, we often consider their opinion like a friend’s or a family member’s. So how do you take advantage of this new form of marketing?
Utilize testimonials, reviews, and even affiliate marketing! Never underestimate the power of good testimonials about your services or raving reviews about your products. When was the last time you made a big purchase without reading some reviews first? With my business, for example, I made sure to always gather testimonial content at the end of my client projects. Not only does this give them a chance to voice any constructive criticism if they have any, but it also gives me insight about what they loved about my services.
Then at the end, I always ask if they would like to join my referral program. Meaning, if they suggest me to a friend of theirs, they’ll get rewarded for that referral with $50! That way, they are even more incentivized to talk to others about my business – and they’re literally doing the marketing for me! Using a referral program as a service provider can be a game changer. I highly recommend setting one up as soon as possible!
If you want to know more details about how I run my referral program, I’ve put together an entire post that will walk you through it and how to create your own. Click here to read it!
You can’t set up your business for the most success possible if you don’t even know who you’re trying to reach. Your brand values, purpose, mission, and identity should all be determined while considering your target audience. How else will you know how to appeal to them most effectively?
In 2023, there are now more consumers than ever before. It’s absolutely crucial for you to determine who your target audience is, and get as specific as possible. To get you started, as yourself these questions:
If you’re wanting to have an effective brand that stands out in 2023, you need to first take a deep dive into who you need to stand out against. Meaning, don’t be afraid to spy on your competitors a little bit. Take a look at their products, services, reviews, website, social media, etc. See what they’re doing, what they’re not doing, what’s working for them, what’s not working for them, how their audience is responding, etc. By analyzing these things, you’ll be in a better position to differentiate yourself from your competitors. Then, you can market yourself as a better option for your target audience.
I’ll be the first to admit it – social media just isn’t my jam. And that’s okay! There is more than one way to build a successful business! And if Instagram isn’t your thing, then Instagram just isn’t your thing. However, it is 2023. The height of the digital age. It would be a big mistake if you ignored social media altogether. Almost all of the up-and-coming generations are using social media, and we need to stay in the loop.
Does this mean you need to slave over Tiktok dances and bend over backwards for Instagram trends? Nope! Find a platform that you love and works for you, and step on the gas. I’d recommend finding one social media platform that you love to interact with and use it in a way that won’t burn you out, and then maybe take up a second platform to use occasionally.
Personally, my absolute favorite is Pinterest. The fact that all of your content is evergreen, and never gets tossed away by the algorithm, makes the effort I put in much more worthwhile. With Instagram, on the other hand, your posts are pretty much irrelevant 24 hours after posting them. So far, my strategy is to focus most of my time and efforts on Pinterest, while posting to Instagram once or twice a month. However, I still try to regularly show up on my stories. Potential clients often look to Instagram first, and I want to make it clear that I’m still hanging around. Plus, the connections I make on Instagram make my heart full!
As we begin 2023, I hope you’re able to find this guide helpful when planning for an effective brand. If you’re looking for a little bit of help – look no further! Just click here to fill out my quick inquiry form, and we can get to work setting up your brand for success!
Feeling overwhelmed, conflicted, or intimidated by the thought of branding? You're in the perfect place. I’m Karlie, and as the creative behind K Made Design Co., I breathe life into brands for visionary entrepreneurs like you every day. My role is to spotlight what makes you distinct and then propel you to stand out in your industry.
Your reputation is pivotal, and I’ve heard through the grapevine that the quality leads you're seeking are scrutinizing yours. A piecemealed brand does no justice to your meticulously crafted client experience, services, and business structure. It’s time to align your external brand image with the exceptional quality of your services.
Photos by Lindsey Morgan Photography
Design by yours truly
Copy by B&B
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K Made Design Co. is a design studio developing iconic brands and websites by creating one-of-a-kind identities that spark bubbling conversations, create lasting impressions, and empower business owners to step into the role of visionary so they can lead, expand, and define the future of their companies.
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