During the past few years of various lockdowns and restrictions, many found themselves losing their jobs or opportunities and being short of money. The country was hit hard and many were encouraged to support small businesses more than ever. This could’ve gone one of two ways, but this worked as a lightbulb moment for many. All of a sudden, an influx of people started thinking with a business mindset, imagining being self-employed and having a new sense of security.
We are all guilty of brushing off our dreams, believing they’re out of reach or you could never live that life, students especially. We are guided down this path of secondary education to higher education to land us in a job that will last us 45 years, then retire. But what if we all just tried to start a business, even if some failed, so many would succeed and we’d learn a lot…
Here are the five top tips for building your very own brand, as a student!
Do your research…
At the time, you may feel you know everything about your audience, but don’t cut any corners. Many find themselves clouded with their own visions, forgetting what consumers want. Learn about who you are targeting, looking into everything from when they shop the most and their financial situations! Don’t be shy to ask your consumers what they’d want… collaborating your vision with the consumer’s wants/needs will lead to a happy manager and a successful business.
You should also consider your competition, what do you like about their brand? How are you going to stand out against them? What do they have that you don’t? Tackle the hard questions early on so you aren’t wondering in the future where it may have gone wrong.
Consider your brand values…
What does your brand stand for? What does your brand support? What do you want to be known for?
Your values shine through as time goes on, and it helps you decide your next move sometimes, For example, if you have a great business collaboration, does that business have the same values as you? Some companies value ‘honesty’ highly with their consumers, building trust and a loyal support system. Other values could include ‘integrity’, ‘diversity’ or ‘accountability’.
Names, logos and slogans…
Many find themselves rushing this part of the process, as it is the most creative but it is super important to think deeply about names, logos and slogans. This could be the make-or-break of people remembering your brand. Play around with names and logos, you may find a logo you love works better with a name you aren’t so keen on. Sleep on the name/logo/slogan, deciding if it really is right.
Something to consider when coming up with names, logos and slogans is researching. Can you get a domain name with your business name or is it taken? Does the slogan remind you of another brand? Ask people who you trust for their opinions. I’d add that when making a logo, I’d have a small version (e.g. the ‘A’ for The Student Aspect), and a larger version, so one could be your cover image and the others a feature image. This keeps it fresh and versatile.
Decide your aesthetic
Deciding your aesthetic is when it starts feeling real. Often, especially in the food and café industry, if it looks nice, it will sell. Of course, it needs to taste nice too for longevity, but if you sell something that looks aesthetically pleasing, many will share it on their social media, acting as free advertising.
Decide what your website and social media content will look like, will it all follow a similar format for continuity, or will it be seasonally inspired, e.g. Christmas aesthetic followed by a Valentine’s Day-inspired look? Finding something that aesthetically ties into your brand will be so important.
Cover all platforms
Before you launch your business, cover all platforms that your consumers use. This will give people a greater understanding of your brand, as well as reach a larger amount of people and make you look less like a scam in the early days!
Finding out what platforms your consumers use should be one element of the research you conduct. Using Instagram reels or TikTok sounds will increase your chances of reaching a wider audience.