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Launching & Building a Brand For Dummies

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2022-01-12
  • Publisher: For Dummies

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Supplemental Materials

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Create a strong brand DNA—and watch it grow

These days, customers want to have a deeply felt connection to the brands behind the products they're purchasing, which means that if you're starting a business, a strong brand DNA has got to be part of your creative process from day one. And it needs to be more than just an abstract idea: to give your brand life—and a bigger chance of surviving against the competition—you need to have a standout launch strategy and a set plan for growing your brand in a noisy marketplace.

In Launching & Building a Brand For Dummies, Amy Will—who launched her first business at just 24-years-old and has been the brains behind four strong and buzzworthy brands—covers everything from crafting a powerful brand identity and planning that all-important launch to being prepared to scale up as you begin to take off. She reveals crucial lessons from her personal experience in launching five companies, as well as detailing case studies from some of the strongest brands out there, accompanied by insights and advice from successful founders and branding experts.

  • Stand out on social media
  • Create viral campaigns
  • Build on Customer Loyalty and LongevityDeal with the competition

Whether you're thinking of starting a business or are already building up your market share, memorable brand identity will be the key to—and Launching & Building a Brand For Dummies one of the secrets of—your future standout success.

Author Biography

Amy Will launched her first business at just 24 years old, and has since established four successful brands. With a Bachelor’s degree from California Lutheran University in marketing and communications, Amy’s expertise lies in SEO strategy, intentional content creation, digital community building, and strategic business partnerships.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

About This Book 1

Foolish Assumptions 2

Icons Used in This Book 3

Beyond the Book 3

Where to Go from Here 4

Part 1: Getting Started with Branding 5

Chapter 1: Wrapping Your Brain around Branding 7

Understanding What a Brand Is and Does 8

Recognizing Different Brand Types 9

Business or corporate brand 10

Product brand 10

Service brand 11

Personal brand 12

Other brand types 13

Grasping Brand Architecture Basics 13

Knowing When to Brand 14

Opening a new business 15

Promoting an existing business 15

Introducing a new product or service 16

Furthering your career 16

Becoming an influencer or a celebrity 17

Fundraising for a not-for-profit organization 18

Raising capital for your business 18

Expanding into new markets 19

Stepping Through the Branding Process 19

Step 1: Creating something to brand 19

Step 2: Positioning and defining your brand 19

Step 3: Establishing your branding goals 20

Step 4: Defining your brand’s customer avatar 20

Step 5: Creating a brand style guide 21

Step 6: Building a branded website, app, and email account 21

Step 7: Forming strategic partnerships 22

Step 8: Launching your brand 22

Step 9: Promoting your brand 22

Step 10: Caring for and protecting your brand 23

Chapter 2: Creating and Financing Your Brand 25

Deciding What You’re Going to Brand 25

Business or corporate brand 26

Product brand 27

Service brand 28

Personal brand 28

Identifying or Creating a Niche Market 29

Solving a difficult problem 30

Fulfilling an unmet need (or creating one) 31

Specializing to create a new market niche 31

Offering something unique 31

Formalizing Your Brand As a Business?  If You Haven’t Already 32

Incorporating your business 32

Registering your business 35

Financing Your Business/Brand 37

Budgeting for your business/brand 37

Creating a business plan 38

Getting grants 39

Financing with debt and equity 40

Exploring alternative financing options 41

Chapter 3: Positioning and Defining Your Brand 43

Positioning Your Brand 44

Choosing a brand positioning strategy 44

Checking out the competition 47

Identifying what makes your brand different and better 48

Identifying your place on a brand positioning map 49

Writing your brand positioning statement 50

Defining Your Brand Identity 51

Establishing your brand’s mission and values 51

Exploring your brand’s personality 53

Writing your brand identity statement 54

Naming Your Brand 56

Following brand naming parameters 57

Brainstorming brand names 58

Choosing the best brand name 58

Chapter 4: Clarifying Your Branding Goals 59

Identifying Your Branding Goals/Objectives 60

Increasing brand recognition and awareness 60

Creating an emotional connection 63

Differentiating your business, product, service, or self 64

Building credibility and trust 64

Driving sales 65

Creating Your One-Year Branding Plan 66

Monitoring and Evaluating the Success of Your Branding Efforts 66

Choosing metrics and key performance indicators 67

Collecting and analyzing data: The tools of the trade 68

Chapter 5: Defining and Refining Your Customer Avatars 69

Discovering Who Your Target Customers Are 70

Identifying your target customers 71

Gathering and analyzing data about your target customers 71

Evaluating your customers’ interests 74

Finding out where customers go and what they do 76

Describing Your Customer Avatars in Your Own Words 77

Redefining Your Customer Avatars As They Evolve 78

Putting Your Customer Avatars to Work 79

Part 2: Attending to Brand Fundamentals 81

Chapter 6: Creating a Brand Style Guide, Media Kit, and Templates 83

Creating a Brand Style Guide 84

Appreciating a style guide’s value 84

Setting corporate guidelines 86

Creating a color palette 86

Establishing typographical guidelines 89

Designing a logo 90

Specifying guidelines for photos, illustrations, and other artwork 92

Setting guidelines for voice and tone 93

Assembling and Using a Media Kit 94

Creating your own media kit 94

Targeting your media kit to your audience 95

Deciding when to send a media kit 96

Creating Your Own Branded Templates 96

Chapter 7: Building a Branded Website, App, and Email Account 99

Going It Alone or Hiring a Developer 100

Doing it yourself 100

Hiring a developer 102

Claiming Your Domain Name and Choosing a Hosting Service 104

Choosing and registering a domain name 104

Choosing a hosting service and plan 105

Walking Through the Basics of Building a Website 107

Choosing the right site type and elements to include on your site 107

Installing a CMS (or not) 108

Choosing a theme 110

Integrating your logo and other brand assets 110

Posting content 111

Making your site easy to navigate 114

Driving Traffic to Your Site 115

Making your site attractive to search engines 115

Building incoming links 116

Promoting your site 117

Using Web Analytics to Improve Your Online Branding Activities 118

Setting up Google Analytics 118

Checking out your site’s Google Analytics 120

Establishing a Branded Email Account 121

Launching a Branded App 122

Chapter 8: Writing Copy That Supports Your Brand Messaging 125

Exploring Types of Copy You Can Use to Promote Your Brand 126

Advertising copy 126

Audio/video scripts 127

Blog posts 127

Books 129

Catalog copy: Product descriptions and listings 129

Email messages 129

Press releases 130

Social media profiles and posts 130

Web pages 131

White papers 132

Deciding Whether to Fly Solo or Hire a Copywriter 133

Creating an Editorial Calendar 133

Crafting Brand-Boosting Copy 134

Maximizing Your Reach with Search Engine Optimization 136

Recognizing the difference between discovery and search 136

Strategy time! 138

Chapter 9: Building Strategic Partnerships 141

Considering Potential Benefits and Risks of Strategic Partnerships 142

Potential benefits 142

Possible risks 143

Finding and Selecting a Cobranding Partner 143

Identifying your why 144

Developing a list of selection criteria 144

Evaluating potential partners 145

Checking out successful cobranding partnerships 147

Developing and Delivering a Pitch for a Strategic Partnership 148

Determining what you want from the partnership 148

Defining your value proposition 149

Pitching your proposal 151

Building an email template 152

Agreeing on the Terms of Your Partnership 154

Steering Clear of Common Partnership Pitfalls 154

Chapter 10: Launching Your Brand 157

Planning Your Launch Campaign 157

Deciding where to launch 158

Confirming your key target audiences 159

Creating a to-do list 159

Timing your launch for maximum impact 160

Creating a launch calendar 162

Preparing incentives for initial customers 162

Choosing metrics for success and establishing your benchmarks 163

Budgeting for your launch 164

Launching your brand internally 165

Tapping the Power of the Press to Launch Your Brand 166

Deciding whether to hire a PR firm 167

Creating a hit list for press and influencers 167

Creating a brand launch press release 168

Improving Your Campaign’s Chances of Going Viral 170

Part 3: Building A Strong Brand Presence 173

Chapter 11: Creating In-Person Experiences 175

Creating a Pop-Up Shop 176

Scoping out your options 176

Planning a physical pop-up shop 178

Promoting your pop-up shop 180

Getting your physical pop-up shop up and running 180

Getting Your Products into Stores 181

Laying the groundwork 181

Identifying stores to launch in 182

Creating a line sheet 183

Preparing samples 183

Developing your pitch 183

Negotiating an agreement 184

Choosing and working with a manufacturer 185

Taking Advantage of Marketing Event Opportunities 186

Attending and participating in trade shows, conferences, and expos 186

Hosting seminars in your area of expertise 187

Hosting other events 189

Landing event sponsorships 189

Chapter 12: Blogging, Podcasting, and YouTubing 191

Appreciating the Value of Content Marketing 192

Promoting Your Brand Via Podcasting 192

Naming your podcast 193

Gearing up to podcast 193

Recording, editing, and uploading a podcast 198

Blogging to Promote Your Brand 203

Choosing a blogging platform 203

Naming your blog 204

Composing blog entries 204

Posting blog entries 206

Engaging with your readers 207

Working with guest bloggers 208

Spreading the word about your blog 208

Building Brand Recognition with Online Videos 209

Recognizing the different genres you can use to promote your brand 209

Recording a video 210

Editing your video 211

Uploading videos to YouTube 211

Creating a branded thumbnail 212

Creating a branded YouTube channel 213

Monetizing Your Content 215

Chapter 13: Promoting Your Brand via Social Media 217

Getting Started with Branding on Social Media 218

Scoping out popular platforms 219

Choosing different metrics for different platforms 224

Following the Rules of the Road 225

Optimizing your social media profile 225

Posting regularly 226

Monitoring and responding to posts 227

Choosing your friends carefully 227

Harnessing the Power of Photos and Video 228

Taking your own photos on a budget 228

Recording and posting video content 229

Hiring content creators 229

Teaming Up with Influencers 230

Micro influencer versus macro influencer 231

Paid influencer versus organic influencer 231

Saving Time and Effort with Social Media Management Tools 232

Planoly 232

Hootsuite 232

Tailwind 232

Buffer 233

Chapter 14: Email Marketing 235

Becoming a Trusted Sender 236

Defining Your Objectives 237

Building a Quality Email List 239

Composing Effective Email Messages 240

Sizing up your audience 241

Offering something of value 242

Creating From and Subject lines that grab people’s attention 243

Writing a clear call to action 244

Composing your message 245

Researching emails in your industry 246

Including images 246

A/B testing email copy 247

Exploring Email Marketing Platforms (Free and Paid) 248

Tracking Results: Email Metrics 249

Chapter 15: Boosting Brand Awareness with Paid Advertising 251

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Paid Advertising 252

Pros 252

Cons 253

Getting Started with Paid Advertising 253

Tapping the power of search engine marketing and pay-per-click advertising 254

Advertising on social media platforms 256

Advertising through popular podcasts 259

Paying influencers and other talent to promote your brand 260

Running TV and radio ads 262

Advertising in print media 263

Working with Advertising Agencies 264

Knowing when to outsource 264

Choosing the right advertising agency for your brand 265

Tracking Results 265

Chapter 16: Building a Vibrant Community around Your Brand 267

Starting with a Sense of Purpose 268

Formulating a community-building strategy 268

Nurturing shared values 269

Support a common cause 271

Creating Safe Spaces 272

Stimulating Engagement 272

Welcoming newbies 273

Asking thought-provoking questions 274

Sharing user-generated content 274

Responding to questions and comments 275

Tagging people in posts 275

Taking a poll 276

Recognizing and rewarding community leaders 276

Empowering Your Community 277

Remaining Positive At All Times 277

Part 4: Feeding and Caring for Your Brand 279

Chapter 17: Scaling Your Brand Identity 281

Surveying Different Approaches to Scaling a Brand 282

Conducting a Brand Audit 283

Recognizing the benefits of a brand audit 283

Auditing your brand 283

Creating a Scaling Plan 285

Setting milestones 286

Sourcing products at larger quantities without sacrificing quality 286

Scaling a service brand 288

Outsourcing Responsibilities to Lighten Your Load 289

Hiring the right people 289

Choosing a contractor or employee 290

Using your brand style guide for training 290

Chapter 18: Building on Customer Loyalty and Longevity 293

Identifying Your Top Customers 294

Defining criteria for evaluating customer value 294

Collecting and organizing customer data 294

Rewarding Customer Loyalty 296

Creating a customer loyalty program 297

Creating and issuing discount codes 298

Expanding your offers 300

Getting Customer Feedback 301

Requesting feedback via email 302

Conducting an online survey 303

Soliciting testimonials 304

Gathering feedback via your blog 305

Requesting feedback at checkout 305

Encouraging Customers to Share Why They’re Loyal to Your Brand 306

Chapter 19: Dealing with Competition and Other Threats to Your Brand 309

Remaining Sensitive to the Changing Needs of Your Target Market 310

Keeping the Competition at Bay 311

Identifying your competition 311

Striving to go beyond quality and value 312

Staying abreast of changes in your industry 312

Focusing on innovation 313

Protecting Your Brand 314

Registering your business with government agencies 314

Trademarking your brand 314

Defending your trademarks 318

Preventing and Recovering from Publicity Disasters 319

Part 5: The Part of Tens 321

Chapter 20: Ten Ways to Make Your Marketing Campaigns Go Viral 323

Plan for Phenomenal Success 324

Build Your Email List 325

Get Emotional 326

Compose a Catchy Campaign Slogan 327

Never Underestimate the Power of Visuals 327

Choose Media Outlets Strategically 328

Pitch Your Brand to the Media 328

Extend Your Reach with Promoted Posts on Social Media 329

Use Hashtags to Generate Buzz 330

Make Your Message Easy to Share 330

Chapter 21: Ten Ways to Distinguish Your Brand from the Competition 331

Offer Quality Products/Services 332

Deliver Exceptional Customer Service 333

Target a Price Point 334

Offer a Guarantee or Warranty (or Both) 334

Cash in on Your Good Looks: Design 335

Become a Disrupter 336

Create a Unique Brand Experience 337

Carve Out a Niche for Yourself 338

Build Community Around Your Brand 338

Be a Force for Good 339

Chapter 22: Ten Ways to Drive Customers to Your Website 341

Treat Your Website as Brand Central 342

Use SEO to Your Advantage 342

Deliver Content That’s Fresh, Relevant, and Valuable to Your Target Market 343

Promote Your Content on Social Media 344

Spread the Word via Email 344

Take Advantage of Guest Blogging 345

Engage with Your Visitors 345

Post Useful Content on Reddit 346

Recruit Influencers 346

Answer Questions on Quora 347

Index 349

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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