When it comes to success in business, especially in the beginning, there’s nothing smarter than building a strong brand. Your brand is what represents your company or image – it’s a promise to the buyer about the product or experience they’re purchasing and how they will feel when they use it. It’s important to build a strong brand not only to define your company from the rest out there, but also to create an experience for your customer that will keep them coming back again and again. Strong brands contain several key elements that lead to their success – here you’ll find 5 elements you can use to build your brand into a strong one.

Identify your target audience

Before you can truly build your brand into a strong one, you have to identify your target audience or the person who will most likely be buying your product. Once you’ve figured out the type of people you’re looking to sell your product or service to, you can start to develop the message that will be the base of your brand. If your target audience is millennials, you’ll want to cater your brand to fit the millennial image and keep it laid back. Maybe it’s someone more specific, like new mothers and you’ll develop a brand that skews toward families. Whatever the target audience you decide on, it will help you shape your brand into a success.

Brand promise

Now that you’ve figured out whom you will be marketing your product or service to, you can develop a brand promise. This promise is the message that speaks to them and tells the target audience what you can expect from you product. Think about one of the brands you are loyal to, like Coca-Cola, their brand promise is that when you crack open a cold coke, you’ll find a refreshing and delicious beverage.

Memorable logo

A memorable logo is central to your brand identity design, and is the piece of your brand identity that people will be the exposed to the most often. When your brand is really a strong one, people will see the image and instantly think of your company. Brands like Nike are known around the world – someone sees the “swoosh” on a pair of shoes and they know exactly who made them. You want to create a logo that is distinctive and represents your company and brand well, and it may even require you to bring in outside help from a graphic designer or artist.

Develop core brand values

It doesn’t matter what you’re selling, the values of your brand and thusly your company are something that will be important to setting yourself apart from the competition. Clearly define what guides your decision making and this will allow you to create a strong brand while also creating the strong basis for building your company and training new members who join you. These core values are what your brand seeks to embody and will allow you to capture new customers who share in these values.

Find your voice

All of the things I mentioned before this are important, but none of them are quite as important to finding your brand’s voice. All of the other elements won’t matter unless you find a way to have your brand speak. This involves finding the personality of your brand – is it more playful or professional? To make these kinds of decisions, it will help to refer back to the first step and your target audience. Finding the fit between your audience and your voice will allow you to shape your brand into a truly strong one.

Once you’ve tackled the difficult elements above, you’ll be well on your way to creating a strong brand for your organization. If you really spend time developing your brand strategy you’ll have an arsenal of crucial tools to build your business into a successful one.