How did Kanye West sell out a plain white tee at $120 a pop in one day? Why does Charmin toilet paper have over 68K followers on Twitter? And why in the world are so many men attracted to Old Spice’s deodorant line containing scents like ‘Wolfthorn’, ‘Bearglove’ and ‘Lionpride’?

The answer lies in the power of branding.

According to one of our favorite marketing gurus, Seth Godin, a brand is “the set of expectations, memories, and stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

Consumers have minds of their own, and they cannot be lumped into one all-encompassing category. There are some consumers who will shell out for an everyday item, like a plain white tee, despite a 6,000% markup, whether for convenience, status or otherwise, while others are thriftier in their purchase decisions or favor products that align with their values. Some consumers are drawn to imaginary scents and make-believe characters on a product label that is dripping in masculinity, while others are swayed by emotional branding, like Coca Cola’s happiness campaign or Dove’s true beauty ads.

Branding begins with identifying your audience, then capitalizing on their preferences.

Charmin embraces the intimacy of its product and created a comedic edge to its brand. Otherwise, it’s just toilet paper. Men’s deodorant brands, like Old Spice and Axe, emphasize masculinity in their branding to appeal to their target audiences. Kanye West capitalized on selling his own image and lifestyle through his clothing line.

Although Kanye and enterprise corporations might have household names, celebrity status or deep pockets to propagate their product, we know that what you have to offer far outshines a plain white tee or something to wipe your bum with … and that makes all the difference.

With this free six step guide we outline six simple steps to help you boost your brand — no matter how big or small. Learn how to identify and capitalize on your target audience through the power of branding. Follow each of the steps below to unlock your business’ branding potential:

  1. Step 1: Identifying Your Target Audience
  2. Step 2: Crafting a Clear Brand Message
  3. Step 3: Creating Your Brand’s Identity
  4. Step 4: Establishing Your Marketing Strategy 
  5. Step 5: Identifying the Right Marketing Platforms for Your Brand
  6. Step 6: Measuring Your Marketing Impact
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