Branding, brand marketing message, strong personal brand, marketing strategy….. aaahhh all these words will make your head spin.
When you are learning about business and building a business it can feel overwhelming. I am going to bring some clarity to (I think) one of the hardest and most confusing parts of building a business or side hustle.
You ultimately want loyal customers who have a strong association or relate to you and what your business does.
Whether you want to build a big brand or you are developing your personal branding for your new side hustle there are simple and effective ways to implement what I am about to walk you through.
What Are Brand Words?
Brand words can be a few different things. But all in all brand words are singular words that YOU as the business owner use often.
Or they are the words that you use to describe your brand and how you want your customers to feel throughout their whole interaction with your business.
You may also hear brand words used as a part of your brand identity or brand personality. They are words that you will constantly refer back to when writing copy for your brand, creating products, or designing your website.
Everything you do should be done with these brand words sprinkled throughout the whole process.
Why Brand Words Matter
It might seem pointless to have words that you use in your business all the time and it might even seem restricting. But the point of brand words is that they are used as guard rails for your brand so you have a consistent message throughout your entire business.
If you are consistent in everything you do you will have a competitive edge. It will also speed up your creation process. When you don’t have to make decisions like what colors to use. What topics to talk about the content will flow out of you much easier.
You want your blog posts, landing pages, social media platforms, and all of your business assets to have a similar tone of voice and to convey the same message.
Over time your brand starts to become recognized by your target audience creating more brand awareness.
As you will find out as well when you choose powerful words to use in your small business your customers will have an emotional connection with you and that will sell all day every day.
How to choose strong brand words.
There are two important questions you need to keep in mind when choosing your own brand words.
- Who is your ideal customer?
- And how do you want your customers to feel when they interact with you?
Do you want them to feel like you are there to help them along the way or do you want to educate them to stand on their own two feet?
Is your customer a stay-at-home mom or a career woman?
Is she a small backyard farmer who likes to garden or is she a rancher who works with livestock?
Do you see how choosing these words will help you know how to talk to your customer base?
The best brand words are the ones that leave you with a thought picture or evoke a feeling. Don’t get hung up on choosing the “right words” for your brand. Do your best to find ones that feel like the brand you are trying to build and roll with it. You can change them when you need to.
I am going to give you word examples later but let’s say we are choosing brand words for a barrel racing horse breeder.
The target audience is women 35 and under. (sure there are older barrel racers but that is typically the age group).
What does that customer want? They want a fast and well-balanced horse that can get around barrels without knocking them over.
Some brand words would be:
Do you see? Your brain started putting up a picture as I started listing out those simple words to describe the brand.
Not only does a barrel racer want that of her house but she also wants to feel that way when she is buying her horse. So you would use those words to help make decisions on things like branding, extras you do for your customers, and really anything else.
The key is to not overthink it and know that they can be changed any time you feel like you have outgrown the words you chose or your brand has shifted.
Also, don’t create a huge list that you can’t keep track of. Five brand words is good but stay under 10 if you can.
Examples of Brand Words In Action
Brand words do not have to be in your brand name or personal brand statement but they certainly can be. The problem with getting too stuck on a brand name is that your business will shift and change. You rarely have the same business you started with so personally, I think you should keep your brand name flexible.
Here Are Some Best Practices To Help You Keep Using Your Brand Words
Here are some of the most effective ways I find to keep brand words front of mind so you keep using them in everything you do.
- And the best way to keep using those descriptive words in your business is to have them in your brand management system like Notion, Trello, or whatever tool you use daily.
- Also, have them in whatever tool you use to make your marketing materials like canva. Before I had a firm grasp on my brand I would have one extra page in all of my templates with my brand guide on it so I could just scroll up and get the info I needed without clicking away.
- Create a brand checklist in the place where you create your social media posts. If you write your captions out in a word doc then have them there.
Ok, let’s get into how we can use brand words.
Let’s take the brand words we found for the barrel racer breeder
Here is how you could use a few of those words in a brand mission statement for the barrel racer horse breeder.
At example ranch, we strive to raise powerful horses with a steady spirit that are ready to work. We thoughtfully partner you with the best horse possible to fit your budget and reach your goals.
BOOM!!! Perfect example. I am kind of proud of myself for coming up with that. haha.
Anyway, do you see how you can use those in your brand messaging?
You would also use those words to guide your images and colors for your branding. I would picture darker colors with images of horses in the sunlight showing strong shadows.
Do you see with these images below how they give the appearance of the brand words used above
You can also use these words to guide your brand values. These are statements that are often internal and not so much external. But they still help guide your brand’s choices.
Some brand core values based on those words could be something like this.
- We will not tolerate disrespect to staff or any of the livestock on the property.
- Ranch guests will be thoughtfully educated on each horse they show interest in.
You don’t always have to use the words exactly in behind-the-scenes statements like that but they do go around that same idea.
Here Is A List of Brand Keywords To Get You Started
Words that evoke emotion are:
There are literally hundreds of words you could use. Do a search for brand adjectives and start writing down your favorites. If they are internal words use whichever you want to use but when choosing words that you will be using externally try to stick with more common words that even a fourth or fifth-grader would understand.
Because when you get to fancy or unclear with your brand message people get confused and they won’t buy. Which is the ultimate goal of starting a business in the first place right?
Struggling To Find The Right Brand Identity For Your Brand Strategy
Let’s look at some examples of different brands and I want you to think of what comes to mind when you hear the brand name.
- Harley Davidson
- Old Spice
- Dawn (The Dish Soap)
These are common brands that make you feel something when you think of them.
Use different brands you know as examples as you start to build your own personal brand words.
Here are some other places you can go to get some good brand inspiration.
Make a list of people you follow on social media. Do they have a website? What does it look like? How do you feel when you are there?
Think about shows you like to watch. What is the consistent theme throughout the show?
I am in no way promoting this show but Look at the “Branding” of Yellowstone. brand words could be strong, and powerful, but also conniving, and strategic, breaking boundaries lines.
Then there is a show like the Canadian show Heartland. It’s downhome, caring, rustic, and heartfelt.
Go to Etsy and look at brand kits. – What is the overall feel of that brand?
You want your brand to give the customer what they are looking for but you also want to find a way to stand out and be different.
Also, keep in mind that you may like something when it comes to a brand but it may not be right for your business. Have you ever seen a shirt you thought was pretty but you were thinking inside that you would never wear it?
It’s the same thing with your business brand. You need to try it on almost like a shirt. Your brand is your “clothing” online. You want to feel good and like you can show up strongly in those brand words.
Focus on the feelings they give you and the rest will start to fall into place.