A marketing strategy, as defined by business owners, involves choosing logo designs, typefaces, and colors for their website and packaging.
Many business owners, however, do not have the time to develop and document a branding strategy because these tasks are typically outsourced to freelance graphic designers or media companies.
Strategies for creating and Promoting Brands go far beyond developing and implementing a website that catches the attention of your audience.
You will be guided through the Ways to build an efficient brand strategy for your business with this blog.
What is branding?
The brand of your company communicates your company’s values, what it aims to do, and what you can offer customers. Branding is the visual aspect of your company that includes the logo, graphics, and color scheme you use.
Your company’s voice is expressed through the words it uses and the causes it supports. Products that you sell are also an expression of your company’s voice. Together, they create your company’s overall branding. You can convert your audience into customers by presenting these things and creating a strong image of your brand in their minds.
Why does your business need to invest in developing Brand Identity and Brand Awareness?
The process of creating a clear, compelling, and memorable image in the minds of your company’s audience does not happen overnight. It requires a clear-cut plan and thoughtful execution.
With a brand strategy, you can shape the image you want your audience to associate with your company. Furthermore, your company’s actions and words will reflect what it stands for. You want your customers to understand what makes your company unique.
The goal of developing a brand strategy is to tell your brand’s story. A brand story tells your customers why you started your business, how it got to where it is today, and what your values and principles are. Customers will then be able to connect with you on a deeper level.
By doing so, you not only tell your audience about your company but also help them remember your brand. In addition, your customers feel good about supporting a brand they identify with, thus retaining their loyalty to your brand. Your brand also impacts the bottom line of your business. This is because the brands customers remember and identify with are more likely to receive support.
Steps and Strategies for Brand Development
1. Review your current marketing and branding plans
Knowing where you are now is crucial to planning your strategy.
You’ve already been building your brand since the moment your company was founded. Identifying your brand starts with asking yourself, “What is the point of my business?”.
There is a reason for your company’s existence. Simply stating: “There was no one in my area providing products similar to mine.” The fact that you sell those products locally already associates your brand with your desire to contribute positively to your community.
Keep track of the way you communicate with your customers on social media and through other channels. Think about how others would feel when they see your logo. Learn what your customers think and feel when they do business with you.
You can use these things to build and pivot your marketing strategy so you can continue to grow, because your customers already know who you are.
2. Develop your buyer persona
A buyer persona is a profile of an ideal target customer. Beyond demographics, it represents a real person: what they go through in a day, what they like and dislike, and which social media channels they use.
Using a buyer persona makes it easier for you to make a brand strategy that would successfully connect with your real customers since your buyer persona should represent your actual customers.
Developing your buyer persona involves studying your customer data, as well as the data of your competitors and data from market research. Use all this data to target your customers successfully, and then make sure you’re the best company that they could come to for their needs.
3. Determine your business’ mission and vision
Your company’s mission and vision state what your company is now, and what it aims to be. They guide your company to make sure your actions and goals are all aligned and going in the right direction. These two statements are part of your brand’s unique value proposition.
Your vision statement shows your customers your goals and helps them decide if they want to help you achieve them. It should be a bold statement about what your company can be in the future.
A vision statement describes what your company hopes to be. This statement provides the direction for your company. It provides the long-term goals your company wants to achieve through what it’s doing now.
Your mission statement explains what you offer to them, and what you’re doing to achieve the goals in your mission. A mission statement describes what your company currently is. It explains what your company does, how it does its business, whom it helps, and why they do it all. This statement is short term, as it only outlines the steps your company is taking to achieve your long term goals.
The mission and vision statement work hand-in-hand to condense your brand in a few words. They should be clear and comprehensive enough that your customers can read them and know what your brand is.
4. Be clear about your “why.”
Before promoting your products to your customers, you have to think about why you set up your business in the first place.
The “why” of your company is the purpose of every action you take in your company.
61% of consumers want brands to take a stand for causes they believe in. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to change the world. But your company’s purpose needs to reflect who you are and what you contribute.
5. Identify and analyze your competitors
Your competitors are the other companies who can satisfy the needs of your target customers. The most obvious competitors are grouped into three categories: primary, secondary and tertiary competitors.
- Primary competitors
Primary competitors are those companies who sell the same product as you. These are also called direct competitors because when you both sell the same product, the majority of your customers will only choose one or the other to satisfy what they would need from your companies.
- Secondary competitors
Secondary competitors are also called indirect competitors. These companies do not sell the same product, but they sell a similar product that can also satisfy the needs of your product.
- Tertiary competitors
Tertiary competitors are the least of your concern because they only sell products vaguely related to your brand.
After identifying these competitors, it’s essential to analyze them. In developing a brand strategy, what’s important to take note of in competitive analysis is how they present themselves to customers, and how customers perceive them.
Take note of your biggest competitors and see what they’re doing right, and what they still aren’t doing. Some industries have best practices already in place, so following those best practices can be an excellent foundation for a long-lasting, effective brand strategy.
Always be comprehensive when scoping out your competition. Check out their advertisements, social media, and customer service. This will lead you to some ideas for your brand, and maybe inspire you to create unique strategies of your own.
6. Audit your current branding and media campaigns
It’s best to be aware of where your company currently lies with your customers and potential customers. Brand positioning is how your company stacks up to your competitors in the minds of your customers.
When it comes to brand positioning, it’s all about how your customers think you can solve their problems better than the other brands out there. Before they find out if your products can solve their problems, they have to be interested in your first, and that’s where brand strategy comes in.
One of the first things to audit in your current brand strategy is your brand’s consistency. Your brand’s message might be clear to you, but if you don’t relay that message to your customers consistently, your brand won’t stay in their minds at all.
The best way to improve brand consistency is to pick a simple message for your company’s mission and vision and center all your branding efforts around it.
This message should and will be the core of all your branding efforts. Your brand’s aesthetics and your brand’s voice should be set to support this message. It’s also important to know what the public thinks of your brand.
Using social listening, your company can find out what people on social media say about your brand. And with 49.5% of the world’s population on social media, there’s a lot of data to sift through. So you won’t miss any relevant conversations about your brand.
With social media becoming one of the best places to advertise your brand, keeping up with your competitors and your customers on all the different platforms can help boost your sales and your loyal customers.
7. Develop your brand identity
When customers think of your brand, a clear, distinct, and unique message should pop up in their head instantly. Your brand identity is that message. It’s a message formed by your brand’s name, logo, tone, tagline, and everything else you’ve put out for your audience.
This identity sets the tone for your brand, and a consistent effort to reinforce this identity just makes your brand more influential in the minds of your audience.
You have to make your brand identity strong enough to your audience so that when they see your brand’s logo — or even just something related to your brand — they instantly think of your brand.
Develop your brand centered around what you want your audience to think your brand is.
Sometimes called a brand style playbook, this details all the dimensions and specifications of your logo and other visual branding elements.
It should be prevalent enough that when a customer of yours sees it, they instantly know that it’s your brand, a brand that they love and trust.
8. Set-up your website
Business owners have to make their website attractive and usable for their customers now more than ever. That’s because it increases the direct sales you get from consumers researching your product.
Having a complete website that informs your audiences of everything you want them to know about your brand is an advertisement in itself. Keep in mind to follow the best website practices to make a great branded website. This includes using great photos, keeping a clean and straightforward site, and making your website accessible on mobile.
Of course, to build a website, you have to have a website host that keeps your website up on the internet for your customers to see.
9. Develop your content marketing strategy
The reason for putting out content works is because 88% of consumers research a product or service online before they make a purchase.
Other reasons to do content marketing include its low cost, the increased visits to your company’s website, and better search engine results. Of course, the type of content your company produces should depend on your company’s content marketing strategy.
For example, case studies are useful for content marketing agencies because they creatively showcase their work. They get to tell their audience a story, but also advertise their services while they’re at it.Develop your content strategy so that you can always regularly update the content you put out. This ties in with the consistency your brand needs to establish a strong brand identity.
10. Track and monitor your brand strategy
Once you have a brand strategy up and running, and you see it influencing your customers’ buying decisions, it’s essential to keep track and monitor the performance of your brand.
You need to measure how aware audiences are about your brand and the value and accessibility they have with your brand.
You also need to see how emotionally connected they are to your brand and how they differentiate your brand from your competitors. These factors make it easy for you to see if your brand strategy is working, and if you need to make any adjustments.Make sure your marketing strategy has a good ROI, so that you know if the branding strategy you’re implementing is working. Gather as much data about your customers as you can, so that you can further hone your branding strategy to get the perfect fit for them.
An effective brand strategy can help you build a solid presence online
Having a concrete, well-researched, and adequately managed brand strategy can bring your company more customers and ensure your company’s growth. The strategy serves as a blueprint of your company’s success, and investing in your brand strategy will pay off once your company gets closer and closer to achieving its vision.
Your brand strategy can also affect other decisions in your brand. Whether it’s in purchasing, distribution, or the making of a new product, your brand strategy makes your brand run more efficiently and increases the likelihood of success.
Make sure your brand is the first and foremost name amongst the other companies offering the same products as you. Take these steps to create a good brand strategy and watch your company leave your competition in the dust.