Building a Brand
Building a Brand Webinar
We are all in an industry where we get to make our own rules, learn from others, and create a brand of our own. We thought, why not share what we've learned when building our brand from the ground, here at NoiseAware? That is precisely why our Head of Growth, Christine Myer, and our Marketing Manager, Madison Perry, decided to host their first-ever webinar. Shout out to them for making something so nerve-racking, look so easy!
In cased you missed it, here is a little summary, containing all the main takeaways.
Lets quickly introduce them:
Christine Myer (some of you might still know her as Christine Saba, but she recently got married, woohoo!) was the first employee that NoiseAware's co-founders Andrew and Dave brought on board. She was the first to design what NoiseAware's brand is today. Not only did she help build a website and create a logo, but she brought Madison on board to help develop her ideas into a reality.
Madison Perry became part of the NoiseAware team two and a half years ago and morphed the brand into a company that people love. With both of them not having any experience in building a brand before, it was a lot of trial and error. Let's see how they did it!
Step 1: Determine Your Target Audience
First of all, you have to find your target audience. Who should buy your product, and why/how is it helpful for them? A useful tip in defining your target audience is building out personas that describe your target audiences.
Personas will give everyone at your company an idea of what type of customer you're looking to address. You might even want to name your personas and put an image behind them as well as filling them with character traits. That way, people within your company can refer to them internally, keeping your company more brand-aligned. To keep the audience fresh and inclusive, make sure to reevaluate your personas at least once a year. Them you can include the new developments and changes that might have occurred within your target audience. For example, a persona that we used to throw around here at NoiseAware is Vacation Rental Val.
Step 2: Find Your Company's "Why"
The next step, when it comes to building a brand, would be finding your company's "WHY." Why exactly do we exist? Why are we doing what we're doing?
There are a lot of helpful resources out there, such as Simon Sinek's book "Find Your Why" to help you navigate through this process. Once you found your brand's "why," communicate it within your company and make it part of your internal brand. You want to make it crystal clear for everyone at your company. By doing that, you will assure that your "why" is always in the back of your co-worker's minds. Discovering your "why" gives employees a purpose for going to work every day. Would you want to work for a company that didn't get you excited about its mission? When communicating with customers and presenting your "why" to the world, you want that simple statement to leave an impression.
Again, you want to make sure to revisit your "why" yearly to see if that statement still pertains to the direction your company is going or if it needs to be changed in a new direction. Something we do here at NoiseAware is sharing customer success stories and how our sensors help an STR host to protect their property and guests. Those stories are why we exist, and everyone in our company deserves to know that their contribution helped our customers. We also will share them with some of our customers to show them why our sensors can help them. We care so much about your success!
Step 3: Research
Do your research! Start by looking at other brands in the industry and what they are doing. What approaches that they use, do you like them, and why? Then, figure out how you can borrow a few of these ideas and create a concept for your own. Use your imagination! It is exciting when you can build off of others and make it better. Take risks and do things that others are not doing to help your brand to stick out!
NoiseAware is a Smart Home Sensor with a focus on Noise Monitoring, so when we did our research, we looked at other smart home devices out there. Most of the brands were pretty clean and had a very professional appearance. While we liked that, we also wanted to make sure to stand out. We decided to keep our brand clean with a mix of fun, bright colors. Our bold brand started with the Chubbies shirts our company wears during photoshoots and conferences. Wearing these colorful, loud shirts makes us stand out against the crowd, which creates a more relatable and friendly atmosphere. Who wants to always talk business in suits and ties, we sure don't. We are part of the vacation rental industry, so we want you to feel relaxed when talking to your friends at NoiseAware.
Step 4: Be Different and Stand Out
We cannot say it often enough, "be different and stand out!" You do not want to be like everyone else in your industry. Put your twist on things that help you make your company unique and stand out. Don't follow what is most popular. For example, there are a lot of articles out there that suggest you send out an email at 2 o'clock on a Tuesday because it is the best time for opens. If you adopted this tactic like most people, your emails are going to get drowned out with all of the other emails sent at that time. Stick out and send out your emails at different times, to keep things fresh and have customers pay more attention to them.
Something else fun we did at NoiseAware was making poker chips as business cards during a conference in Las Vegas last year. We still have people talking about them a year later! They said that they told their friends about how creative the idea was. Now our business has reached more people and given us a stronger brand recognition.
Another great example would be investing in some high-quality t-shirts, who cares if the extra soft shirts cost three extra dollars per shirt, it will be worth it. Everyone loves our NoiseAware shirts because of how comfortable they are. People still wear shirts that we created when the company first started. We like to give out shirts because our team wears them continually, and they are an easy way to get our customers talking about NoiseAware.
Step 5: Logo and Tagline
"What is your brand going to look like?" The logo and tagline are such a vital part of the brand-building process. You want to invest in a great logo right off the bat. Your brand's logo serves as a face for the company, so you will want people to recognize it immediately. The logo is going to be something that you want to stay consistent throughout the lifespan of your company. Spend a lot of time making sure that you and your company love the logo before displaying it to the world! One of the first things we did here at NoiseAware, was hiring a great graphic designer who helped us create our logo. It is an investment, but it is totally worth it!
The same goes along for your tagline. Having a tagline will communicate what your company is about in just a few words. Our Tagline at NoiseAware is currently "Privacy-Safe Noise Monitoring Solution." Taglines are more adjustable to what your company needs to portray for that year. Try not to change it every month, or people are going to get confused and forget which tagline to associate with your company. We just recently reevaluated our tagline, so that it fits our changing target audience needs. We recommend tweaking it on a yearly basis if needed.
Step 6: Brand Voice
Your brand voice is the way you speak to everyone internally and externally. At NoiseAware, we want people to think that they are talking to a friend, rather than the typical company to customer interactions in the smart tech industry. Again, do your research and learn from companies that you look up to. Once you develop your brand voice, you want to make sure to keep it consistent throughout your company. Keep all emails, messages, social posts, demos, calls on brand by consistently auditing everyone's work. The more feedback you can give, the better the brand voice will be.
We are big fans of Chubbies (as you already know) and the Skimm. These are two brand voice that we took into account while creating our brand voice. Both companies have a witty brand voice that hooks the reader to keep reading the content. We love that about them! Always make sure to keep your target audience in mind throughout the process and think of what will resonate with your target audience. In this day and age, using gifs, memes, emojis, and things like that are more acceptable for businesses. They not only help you to attract attention, but they make you more relatable and personal. We also suggest getting feedback from your customers to help you improve your brand.
Step 7: Brand Message
The brand message is what you want to communicate to your audience. You want every interaction you have with your customers from chats, text messages, emails, social posts, and press releases to all have the same brand message. It can be helpful to do a brand audit before anything is getting published; that way, you can reassure yourself that everyone is staying on-brand. Something we recently incorporated to assist with branding was creating a brand book.
Our brand book holds everything from colors, fonts, images, terminology, and your logo, so basically everything your team members need to know when creating content for your company. The brand book has helped tremendously across the company to keep everything consistent with the public. By letting everyone in the company have the resource they need at any moment, you not only save time, but you also get an extra layer of protection for content that might get put out there before being audited. Our brand book is one of the first things that we go over during onboarding, to start new employees with good habits. We have really seen an improvement with content from those who had the brand book in the beginning to those who didn't. We highly recommend adding the brand book to your onboarding!
Step 8: Implement and Integrate
Implement and Integrate everywhere; consistency is key! The brand book serves as a great example of that because it holds all the different parts of the brand-building process. You can never be too detailed, especially with the brand book. Getting into the nitty-gritty will help you, in the long run, to keep all channels consistent. Building a brand is a company effort, but executing the brand is up to the marketing team to keep everything in line and on-brand.
So, in conclusion
Crazy ideas work! Be bold, be out there, and have fun with what you're doing! Brand auditing and a brand book will keep everything talked about above on brand. Everything is a trial and error process, so don't get discouraged if it doesn't go as well as you hoped. You will learn from it and make it better the next time!
If you want to get even more information you can rewatch the video of the webinar we hosted, as well as ask some more questions in regards to branding, best practices or partnerships by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
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