Developing your brand is an essential first step in marketing your business. Here I’ll show you how a well-planned brand development strategy can help you to position yourself in the market, understand your clients, create a brand personality and attract customers. Follow these 7 top tips for a successful strategic approach to developing your brand.
1. The big picture
The first step in your brand development strategy is to think about how your branding will fit into your overall business strategy. It’s important for your marketing vision to fit seamlessly with your business goals – so positioning yourself as an upmarket, luxury brand may not be a good fit if you are planning to sell your wares in cut-price discount stores, for example.
2. Brand discovery
It sounds almost spiritual, but the key to creating an authentic brand that really speaks to customers is to search within yourself (or your business) to come up with some important answers about your identity and purpose. Take the time to really understand where your brand is coming from, by thinking about how you see your brand, how your customers view it, and where you stand among your rivals.
3. Know your audience
If you’re going to use your brand to send a message, you need to know who you’re speaking to. Understanding the personas of your typical clients is a valuable exercise that will underpin the rest of your brand development strategy; what works well for retired mothers in the Scottish Highlands probably won’t be a winning strategy for male students in the inner city. Once you have an idea of your target customer, do as much research as you can in order to understand their needs, aspirations and buying habits.
4. Differentiate your brand
Unless you’ve discovered a genuine gap in the market, you are likely to have a number of competitors – brands that are offering similar products or solutions to your own. So, what makes you different? You need to let potential customers know why you stand out and give them a reason to favour your offering over that of your rivals. Positioning your brand in this way is an essential part of your brand development strategy; without it, how will your audience know your brand is the best choice for them?
5. Find your voice
Now that you know what you want to convey, it’s time to develop your brand’s voice and personality. This is the fun part where everything begins to come to life, from your brand name and logo to your strapline and corporate colours. Many small businesses make the mistake of skipping to this step without putting in the brand development groundwork first. But your logo and other recognisable marketing tools need to be an extension of your corporate values, not simply something that looks good or sounds snappy.
6. Communicate your message
With your brand identity in place, you can start to get out there and sell. Develop a website and social media presence and build your marketing toolkit – a resource that you’ll use when communicating with clients and promoting your brand. This could include sale sheets, videos, pictures and case studies – anything that helps you persuade others to get on board with your brand. Ensure that everything you create is on-brand and fits your brand personality.
7. Implement, monitor, adjust
The final part of any brand development strategy is to monitor your success. If something isn’t working effectively, don’t be afraid to make changes; you can’t afford to hold on to a tagline you spent ages thinking up if it just isn’t getting results. Keep an eye on your rivals to measure how you are performing within your target market; you can learn a lot from their marketing techniques and watch how they go down before trying them for yourself.
If you’re looking for some help to implement a brand development strategy of your own, why not contact me for a chat?