1. Know your "why".
I really resonate with inspirational speaker Simon Sinek's idea that people don't buy your product or service (your "what"); they buy your big purpose (your "why").
Lots of entrepreneurs start a business because it seems like a great revenue generator. They are very clear about their "what" but often unclear about "why" they are doing it. If you don't know your "why", it will be impossible to establish customer loyalty and create a long-lasting successful brand and business.
Steve Jobs pushed his developers and designers until the smallest details were perfected. His big "why" was to create impeccable, top quality products for clients and "revolutionize the way people work, communicate, and live their lives."
2. Know and connect with your target audience.
I'm very inspired by the example of Coco Chanel, who created her collections exclusively for modern, emancipated women who were ready to change. She was leaving behind those who wanted to conform to old norms and traditions.
She was a daring woman who wanted to establish new fashion rules (pants, flap bags with chain straps, and little black dresses, etc.) that went against the fashion traditions of that period. Starting with the way she carried herself and through all of her collections, she showed what kind of women she wanted to work with and create for. She knew her target audience perfectly and was not trying to be everything to everyone.
3. Create a stunning visual representation.
One of the most powerful aspects of any business is visual representation. It's proven that we form an opinion on whether or not we like the brand within seven seconds. Your visuals are the very first contact you have with your clients that either establishes positive feelings and trust or turns them off. If your potential customer doesn't connect with your visuals (i.e., your brand), you lose them, and it becomes nearly impossible to sell them your services.
A great example of highly appealing visual representation is the luxury jewelry company, Van Cleef & Arpels, which personally makes me want to buy everything they offer!
4. Be consistent.
Being consistent with your branding is another key aspect of good branding. Make sure that your main color palette, logo, business cards, website, emails, social media accounts, advertising material, and any other visual components are coherent and match the overall brand.
My favorite meditation app, Headspace, is doing a fantastic job at that. Their app, website, animations, and marketing materials are all cohesive and aligned.
5. Create unique stories of your brand.
The brand loses its purpose if people don't understand what is behind the brand. Visual branding on its own doesn't have much value. It has to be permanently fed by actions — it only comes alive when there are stories happening behind it.
A great example is Elon Musk, who is always creating stories and events that reflect his values. When a new product or service is about to be launched, we already know that it will carry his values (entrepreneurship, innovation, vision, impact) and will be done in a certain manner. By creating stories regularly, you show your clients which values are behind your actions, and people then transfer these values to your product or service.