Developing your brand can help your business in a variety of situations. Whether you’re building something from scratch or you need to freshen up your business for new appeal, your brand is where you need to start. Developing a brand that is memorable for your customers is hard work but it’s essential to good business
You’ll need to put your time and focus into building your brand and it won’t happen overnight. If you’re ready to make a success of your brand, take a look at these vital steps.
Revisit Your Business Goals
Every business has to be able to adapt to changing circumstances. That can mean that business goals change too. It can help to reevaluate your business goals periodically to make sure your business is working towards goals that will benefit it in the long run.
Before you develop your brand, you must know what your business goals are for the next five years. The more clarity you have about your business goals, the easier it will be to develop a brand that can help you meet them.
Most people aren’t going to be as excited about your brand release as you are. It’s up to you to generate that excitement. To do this, you’ll need to find your brand purpose and figure out how to make a deep connection with your audience.
The worst thing you can do is assume that your target audience will connect with your brand without any effort from you. They need to know what your brand mission is and what problems you can solve for them.
Review Your Brand
When enhancing an already created brand, it’s important to try and review it as impartially as you can. Be your own critic and measure how your brand comes up against competitors. Your brand should be unique and memorable.
In order to stand out, you need to know competitors’ stories. How are they marketing their brand? What does their brand offer? Knowing your competitors well will give you the chance to quickly spot gaps in the market you can capitalize on.
As businesses grow, their audiences can broaden. When you’re developing your brand, it’s important to think about your brand audience. You may find that you’re appealing to a whole new audience that needs to be added to your current audience.
Your brand needs to appeal to your new audience, as well as your current audience. You need to think about the appeal of all aspects of your brand to your new audience, from logos to banners, printed carrier bags, and everything in between.
Once you have identified your audience, you should be able to create an average persona that tells you more about your customers and what they want to see from your brand. When you create a persona, you’ll be able to think about common problems that arise in your customers’ lives and how you can present a solution.
You’ll be able to paint a picture demographically and use it for all of your marketing tools. This helps to more effectively market to each individual customer.
There are three reasons your audience is going to choose your business above a competitor. Firstly, they’re going to get excited about something they’ve never seen before. Secondly, they’re going to find a solution to one of their problems. Thirdly, they believe your product is better quality than the one they are currently using.
Which one of those applies to your business? What kind of differentiator can you build your brand on? There’s no point in marketing your brand until you’ve identified what makes it different to everything else.
Before you move onto the more creative aspects of building a brand, you need to narrow down what your brand stands for in one simple statement. It doesn’t have to be fancy but it does have to clarify what your business is and what it can do for your customers.
Keep it simple and clear so it doesn’t cause any confusion. Use this statement as a starting point for other aspects of branding and always come back to it when you start something new.
Your key messages are the messages you want your customers to remember and associate with your brand. These are the messages that your marketing material must be sending to your target audience. What do you want your customers to remember about your business?
These key messages can be used by professionals like copywriters, graphic designers, website builders, and more to stay in line with your brand.
It can be difficult to narrow down your brand voice, especially if you have no experience of building brand voice. This is a creative aspect of branding and it can help to ask advice from a professional. Your brand voice is the tone and feel of your business voice.
It’s what customers will expect to hear from you when they have a comment or query. Some brands go with a humorous or cheeky voice that applies well to the products they sell. Other brands like to keep things serious and professional in all dealings with customers. It’s down to you to find a voice that suits your brand and your target audience.
Visual Brand Identity
Arguably, the most creative part of building a brand is creating the visual identity. Something your customers can look at and know it represents a company they trust. It’s not just about creating a logo that works well for your business.
This is where you’ll need to stop and think about everything that visually works for you. You’ll need to choose colour palettes, typographical elements, and more to represent your brand. And, they’ll all need to work well together.
You cannot skip to this step without completing all the steps that come before it. It’s vital that you know your business and your target market inside out before attempting to design a visual brand.
Now that you have a brand voice and brand visuals, you need to develop guidelines on how to use them. Your brand may be somewhat flexible so you need to be specific about how to use your voice and visuals in marketing. For example, you may have a large logo and specific font choices for your website but these could change for email marketing.
Your guidelines should be clear and concise so you can hand them to professionals and they will be clear on how to use your branding in their work. If it’s not clear, you’ll end up being bombarded with multiple emails for clarification.
Business Marketing Materials
Once you have the visuals for your brand, it’s time to get it out there. Your customers should associate your brand visuals with your products and what the business stands for. The aim is to keep your brand in your customers memory so they know where to turn when they need a product you sell.
They are a variety of marketing materials you can choose from. These could include banners, pens, balloons, newspaper advertisements, and more. Business cards are always a winner when it comes to spreading the word and keeping on your person for an unexpected opportunity.
Website or Application Building
Businesses can’t function without websites or brands. The two need to work in conjunction with one another to be as successful as possible. It’s not easy to build a website or application without professional help.
Your brand needs to be visually complete before work can begin on a website. This may mean having several options for the same logo, a specific colour scheme, and font preferences. A professional will create a website strategy and then code the site and search engine optimize it.
Your marketing plan may include two variations. The first will be for the launch of your brand and the second will be a long term marketing plan. Your launch will be the introduction of your brand to the world.
Your long term marketing plan will need to include several marketing events that will allow your customers to get to know your brand better. This could be online events or in-person events. Keep revisiting your marketing plan to make changes where needed throughout the first year.
Measure and Response
Branding is a big learning curve for anyone in business. You will learn as you go along and you’ll need to apply what you’ve learned in each step. This will require measurement and response.
Keep tracking how your brand is applied and how your customers react. Use these findings to make adjustments where necessary so you can ensure you’re always remaining visible to the right people. You can do this with tools such as Google Analytics without the need to hire anyone else.
Brand development takes blood, sweat, and tears but the results speak for themselves. Your brand will show the hard work you’ve put in and your customers won’t forget it.