In today's interconnected world, the premise of brand-building gets increasingly broader and more hazy. You may be familiar with the term "brand," but do you know what it takes to build one?
Building a brand is a journey of self-awareness, conviction, and finding yourself in your business. Whether you're a CEO, a marketing expert, a freelancer, or even a regular joe, if you want to make an impact, you need to get your branding right.
Every business name and logo you see today is a product of labor-intensive branding.
The business card you received at that executive function didn’t just appear out of thin air. Someone put immense thought and heart into its design before deciding to hand it out for the world to see.
As an entrepreneur, building a brand for your business is a never-ending effort. But know this: The companies that invest in establishing great brands have a substantial competitive edge.
While the rewards are sweet, the journey to get there rarely is. But we want to change that.
Branding can be fun, quick, and easy with #BrandInMinutes
With our Brand Plan, it’s simpler than ever to #BrandInMinutes with our collection of professional branding templates and tools to help you launch the brand you’ve dreamt of for so long.
The only way to understand the impact of having a #BrandInMinutes is to take a dive into the stories of entrepreneurs who have had to make it happen on their own.
And Patrick McCann of WeTryTires is the perfect example of this.
We spoke to Patrick about his journey in building his brand for WeTryTires.com.
Hopefully, his inspiring story can motivate new entrepreneurs, such as you, to take the leap and get your businesses out there.
1. Tell us about your business.
The business is WeTryTires.com, a website dedicated to being the best online tire resource on the internet.
The business started with me and my buddy Michael exploring ways in which we could indulge in our passion for cars.
In particular, I find great joy in maintaining and fixing up cars and giving them a second chance at life.
While working on cars, I usually find the cars I'm working on need new tires.
For people with no knowledge of cars, it can be difficult to distinguish between the huge number of tires available, and in the beginning, I questioned whether there was any difference between them or whether they were all the same.
As I have learned over the years, the right set of tires makes an enormous amount of difference to your vehicle.
They are, by far, the most effective way to spend your money to improve almost every aspect of your vehicle.
With this, I knew that there would be lots of people out there wanting to know the answers to everything tire-related.
So we took the step and started WeTryTires.com where we began sharing everything we had learned and continue to keep up with everything new about tires.
2. Was it (emotionally) challenging to take the first step?
Taking the first step always takes courage and a small leap of faith. We did a huge amount of research into preparing ourselves for the industry we were going into.
We created a step-by-step plan so that we knew exactly what we wanted to do before we started. This makes it easier to take that first leap and to see the route to results and success.
WeTryTires.com is not my first business venture. I started my first business when I was a teenager and made every mistake imaginable. The experience and lessons I learned from that business made taking the first step in a new business much less stressful as I knew exactly what to do this time around.
Taking the first step in my first business was extremely challenging, and for anyone wanting to start a new business, I would recommend making sure you can have someone else there working with you.
Having someone to bounce ideas off of and work on problems with in the beginning is extremely valuable. Working alone in a business can be extremely stressful and lonely.
3. When did you know that you were ready to take the leap?
Ultimately, I believe that there is no “right time” for things in life, and if you wait for the right time, it will never come.
Once you make a realistic plan for your business and how it is going to work, you just need to believe in yourself and your vision and take a leap of faith. You have to have confidence in your abilities that you will make it happen.
4. How did you go about building a brand for your business?
Our first step was to do some research among some of our favorite automotive brands, tire brands, and other online sites. This gave us an idea of what was already out there and how we could make our brand uniquely different from the competition.
We began by answering all the basic questions everyone has about tires to help as many people as possible. We wanted to make sure that we could answer these questions in a way that everyone could understand.
5. Talk us through your logo design process. Did you use a designer or a logo maker?
Since we know that the average person does not interest themselves hugely in the details of their car or tires, we wanted to keep the branding fun and light-hearted to keep our site approachable and the information accessible to all.
Knowing this, we ended up with our mascot, “Tyrone,” who we felt reflected us and the feel of the site. We used a designer who helped with the logo design. We then finished him off with the “wonky” box border design, which was the finishing touch to help give him a light-hearted feel.
We found while doing our research that certain colors were much more commonly associated with the automotive niche than others. This guided us when we were designing the logo, the overall brand, and the layout of the site.
Me and Michael then sat down to pick a font that we liked and looked good with the brand name.
6. Was the process haphazard and time-consuming?
While it may not be the most productive task in terms of producing results at the start, it is an extremely important step to establish a brand identity. The process did take a lot of back and forth discussion, and we may have spent a little longer than we had hoped on it, but we are both very happy with the final product.
7. Do you wish you had someone just do it all for you?
I don’t think so. For us, we wanted to be hands-on and involved with every step of the process, as it is not only our own business but also our passion project.
The brand is ultimately built upon both of us, and while we could have outsourced it all, no one else will ever be able to fully replicate and understand our vision without at least a small amount of input from us.
As I have learned from my first business, it is vital that you are involved and know everything about your business inside and out. Completely leaving someone else to design your logo, which is such a large part of branding your business, is the first step to having an incohesive brand.
8. In your opinion, how important is it for a business to build a credible brand?
When it comes to the long-term success of a business, branding is everything.
Most of the time, you will not be the only person offering that particular product or service. This means that to have the repeat business and engagement that you will need to survive, you will be relying on your branding.
Building a credible brand will reassure first-time customers that they are in the right place, and when they receive what they are after, they will begin to build trust with your business. This trust that they then build with your brand from receiving quality information or products will ensure that they return to purchasing from your business in the future.
This is why having a strong brand identity is almost more important than the service or product you are offering. If the branding is strong enough, you hope that they will also spread the word about your business to others.
9. How did you get your first customers?
Our first customers were local friends and family who have always known that we are car experts. They have spread the word around for the past few years now, and we often get people messaging and asking us questions about particular issues with their vehicles or what the best tires are to buy.
With the site, we have seen this only increase, and we now spend a lot of time now answering particular topics that people are requesting as well as helping people on a case-by-case basis.
The main ways we have started to spread the word about our business is through being genuinely interested in the topic and by contributing to the automotive community through automotive blogs and forums.
A tip for all business owners out there getting started is to find a way to offer value to others for free and expect nothing in return. This will quickly show others your good intentions and that you are more interested in providing value to others than just taking their money.
10. What are your future plans with respect to building your business?
With the business, we hope to be able to expand our reach, as well as take on some other qualified members of staff to help answer all the questions we receive. We plan to continue to fix up cars in the meantime, as the site and the business are expected to continue to grow.
We aim to branch out and work with leading brands on sponsorships and affiliate deals. We know that everyone wants to know what the latest and greatest tires are, and we want to be able to tell everyone our honest thoughts.
Over To You
Branding has no exact formula to it, but we do know there are a few key characteristics impactful brands have in common.
And it might be tempting to look at the successful businesses and say, “I’ll take that brand, please!” But what makes a brand work is how it speaks to you.
What makes your business authentically you? Businesses that manage to be true to who they are, what they do, and why they do it are able to create lasting, evolving connections with their audiences. This authenticity is the core of your branding.
What are you waiting for? Shine bright and #BrandInMinutes today!