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Brand Building Guide : How to Build a Brand in 2023. With 4 Tips You Do Not Want to Miss

by Kopal Manglik

If developing your brand is part of your 2023 business goals, you’ve come to the right spot. We are particularly excited this year as COVID is finally in our rear-view mirror. To say that the last two years have changed the way we do business is a vast understatement. The pandemic has forced us to rethink how we live, work and do business. Now more than ever, it is essential to connect with your audience on a mental, emotional and core - values level. By consciously providing empathy and care during this crisis, companies can build a foundation of goodwill and long-lasting emotional connections with the communities they serve. This major shift can be a bit overwhelming, especially if you are creating a brand from scratch. 

While we already have a detailed guide with the steps to help you build a brand, in this article, we will discuss top tips to navigate your brand in 2023 and beyond. 

Know your audience

A quote we love that truly defines businesses is "A brand is not what you say it is, it's what they say it is." Therefore, knowing one's audience lies at the root of any brand's growth. It is what enables successful marketing approaches, expands brand value, and eventually increases an organization's profit margin. However, "understanding" is not a destination. It is a journey. It involves ongoing analysis, modification, and alteration. So how exactly do you begin to understand your audience?

First, the basics. Run the demographics and come up with a persona. Be specific and use existing data. Can you run a survey for your audience? Does your website capture information like age, gender or location? Once you have the foundation, it's about taking it a step further and getting to know what drives your audience. The key desires and expectations of your target market. You need to put yourself in their shoes - uncover how they think, how they speak, and what they want. Only then can you begin to create your brand voice.

Only when you start to care, do they care.

Showing empathy, delivering empathy

Now that you have an understanding of your audience, it's about communicating that you understand their struggles, challenges and goals. Whether you are a new brand or an established one, in 2023, leading with empathy is going to be incredibly important. It is no longer sufficient to just provide a product or a service. Think about exactly how your offering is going to help your audience. To build relationships and loyalty with customers and also differentiate from your competitors, you need to be able to show that you care.

A great example of a brand showing empathy is eBay. During COVID, as many small businesses were struggling, they increased their support to sellers by reducing and eliminating some fees. It is a step that has been appreciated by sellers and buyers alike, and has overall increased the brand's value. But how does a small business with a limited budget show empathy? 

Start with the pain points and try to create solutions to cater to them.  Are they looking to learn more about the area you specialize in? Share engaging content to help them understand the area. Or, do they feel disconnected from others? Find ways to connect your community - through social media or IRL meet ups. It doesn't only need to be struggles but can also include aspirations For example, do your customers want to feel exclusive and special? Create a premium tier of subscription with personalized offerings. Empathy starts and ends with understanding your consumers needs and is key to building a strong brand in 2023. 

Tell a story - connect emotionally

Creating an engaging story about why your company exists is key when creating a successful branding strategy. It should capture the essence of what makes your business unique and explain how it can benefit customers or solve their problems. Modern consumers do not just focus on product features, they look for a connection, and experience that they can relate to. For those familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, today’s consumer, if their other needs are met, are looking for belonging, esteem and self-actualization. 

Emotional branding and storytelling - the process of creating attachments between customers and brands by becoming memorable and evoking an emotional response. A study found that when a customer is emotionally connected to the brand, they become more valuable to that brand by 52%. The best way to attain this is through storytelling/ Narratives, especially familiar ones like a hero's journey or the three act structure, let you pack in a lot more emotion and can help viewers feel inspired and connected to your brand name.  

Plus, it makes it easy to remember! If the brand story and brand personality resonates, your customers are not only likely to remember but perhaps even share with their friends and family, creating word of mouth! A great example of this was AirBnB's ad about a person exploring Paris. Her problem "I always imagined there was just one Paris." draws in the customer as they have probably experienced the same thing, and then through the story are able to find the solution.  The final Call To Action, “stay in over a million homes around the world" fits perfectly with the story and is memorable. Ultimately, a strong storyline forges deeper and more authentic connections with your audience and customers. 

Live Your Values

In recent years, customers are looking for companies that align with their values, and this is even more so in 2023.  Due to greater awareness living in a post-COVID world, the audience cares about putting their money where their mouth is. Don't take it from us, recent research has even confirmed that! They found that if a consumer finds your values attractive, they identify with your brand identity AND there is a greater likelihood of them taking action - i.e. purchasing your product or service!  

With issues such as climate change, race and gender equality and LGBTQIA+ rights at the forefront, sharing your genuine values can help find the right audience and then help convert.  For quite a while, ROI has been the primary factor in most corporate decisions (customer acquisition, products sold, etc.), but nowadays there is a movement towards intangibles . The Covid-19 emergency is quickening that shift and requiring companies to discover authentic methods for interacting with their clients. 

But, with greater awareness, customer savviness has also increased. Consumers will support brands that show authentic concern, and they can easily spot those that put on a false front. So, define your core values and propositions and then communicate them. One successful example is TOMS. Since the beginning, they have put being socially-responsible as part of their mission and communicated that successfully. They have driven brand awareness and brand loyalty through the simple assertion: buy TOMS and help people in need. They invest ⅓ of profits for grassroots good. 


It is evident that brand building in 2023 requires a lot more mental, emotional and value-based connection. It all starts with knowing your audience so be sure to do surveys, IG polls or general data gathering to understand who is consuming your content and why. Additionally, empathy-driven and emotional branding is on the rise. It’s therefore essential to communicate with your audience, hear their needs and respond to them. Storytelling is a great tool to help create that initial connection. Finally, don’t just speak your values, actually enact them - people can tell the difference and they will move on if you aren’t aligned. 

To help you get started we have an ‘Understand Your Target Audience’ workbook. Just drop us an email to get your free copy!

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