With everything going on in the world, it may seem hard to know how to build, let alone ensure your brand development is on track. And as you sit there contemplating everything deciding how to either arrest a fall in revenue or capitalise on new opportunities you may find that you start to second guess yourself. Working from home, (in ISO as has become the catchphrase) comes with inherent issues (and advantages) and one of these is that you don’t have the ability to bounce ideas off co-workers as easily as you do when face-to-face. In fact, you may find that as you start figuring out how to pivot that questions and issues start to cloud your mind and, because you don’t necessarily have a team around you to discuss things through like you would at work, you may find you are getting confused which direction to take.
WHAT should our logo look like as we evolve Does it need to change?
WHO are our target market now?
HOW should we position our business with the target market?
ARE we evolving?
WHAT differentiates my brand from the competition?
There will be plenty more of these and answers that seem to be just beyond your field of vision. The key is to take some time out and look at your brand development plan.
At Three Piece Marketing, we understand some of the skepticism surrounding brand development and marketing. After all, it is challenging to connect the dots between the people you are targeting and the product you are offering and at times people think it is as easy as having a great product and a solid offer. But the reality is it is more complex – customers expect end-to-end service which means you need to consider how your brand is perceived at all touch points, not just in the lead up to purchase. Given this, we wanted to give you an easy-to-follow guide to help you build your brand in what is likely to be one of the more challenging years you are likely to face.
#1 – Determine your brand’s purpose.
When you get down to the very heart of it, what is your brand all about? And no, it’s not just about the product or service that you’re selling. It’s who you are as a company and what great accomplishments you wish to achieve. There should always be at least one lofty goal that drives you forward in every decision you make as if it is too easy to achieve, you will never truly stand out.
So, ask yourself why you exist as a business. What makes you different from similar enterprises? What problems do you solve for your customers and, most important of all, why should people care?
Once you’ve figured out what gets you up every morning to do what you do, then you can start making plans for your brand development marketing. Make sure you have a story you can tell to your customers so they know what you stand for. IF you don’t have a story…. Why would they want to engage you?
#2 – Identify your target customers.
The whole world can’t be your client. Trying to keep up and deal with all the different customer profiles would drive your marketing and sales teams to distraction. Instead, you need to keep a narrow focus on those who would derive the most benefit from what you’re offering. Remember, the customer needs to be at the centre of all you do.
Get specific and find out details about the lifestyles and behaviours of your primary consumers. Determine why they look to buy from your industry and build a buyer persona that lists the characteristics of your target demographics. Determine their ages, locations, genders, incomes, and education levels.
Then, discover the motivations and pain points that compel them to take action. For brand development, Internet marketing can be a vital tool. So make sure your analysis takes into account usage trends including sites visited, social media, key influencers etc. Take all this information into account when formulating your marketing strategies.
#3 – Find out about your competition.
When you’re just starting out and you take a look at your more established competitors, you may feel you could never catch up and reduce the gap between their businesses and yours. But herein lies the key to success. You can learn from the mistakes they’ve made.
Study the competition and what worked for them, and pay special attention to what didn’t work. Their failures can provide you with invaluable insights that would be useful for your marketing brand strategies development. Create a spreadsheet that helps you compare the different aspects of each competitor’s brand identity, then note their success rates. Pay special attention to the quality and consistency of their messaging, and how customers respond to their marketing efforts.
#4 – List the qualities that are unique to your brand.
Once you’ve done your research on both your target customers and competitors, it’s time to identify what makes you different in the market. This difference should clearly set you apart from your competition while making you attractive to clients.
Don’t just focus on the apparent features of your products or services. Instead, determine the value that you offer in terms of experience. How will your service or product make things better for your customers? Why should people choose you over another business? Your responses will help determine the best way you can position yourself in your chosen industry.
After you’ve answered those questions, you can begin executing the rest of your brand development strategies marketing plan.
#5 – Define your Brand Identity
This part can be the trickiest (which is why we offer it as a current component of our portfolio) but it is definitely the most rewarding for your brand. Determining (or for established businesses, refining) your brand identity and as part of that your tone of voice ensures you have a platform for consistency, accuracy and delivery.
Ensure you interrogate yourself and your brand values thoroughly, so that what you get is not just what you want, but who you actually are. Involve others from the company where you can so you get a truthful and holistic view.
#6 – Create your messaging strategy.
As part of your brand identity you will define your tone of voice. You will have also, as part of this process developed a list of things you excel out, identified pain points and know what you want to do. The intersects of these areas becomes your marketing opportunity. Now it comes time to craft the right messages for your target audience.
Make sure you are keeping your messaging simple, that there is value for a customer and that you can back up what you say. Consistency, is the key to success – especially when it comes to brand development.
#7 – Create a content marketing strategy.
In the digital age, content marketing is shaping up to be more efficient than traditional marketing when it comes to increasing a company’s visibility and reputation. It’s because this branch of marketing makes use of educational content in order to attract and nurture leads. It provides value right away, so potential customers become more receptive to a brand’s efforts to make a connection.
When that connection is established, it becomes easier to build the trust needed to develop a relationship with a prospect, turning a potential customer into a loyal one.
#8 – Create or revisit your website.
Having your own website is one of the most important brand development tools you can employ. It is also a massive proof point – a destination where your audience go to find learn about you and what you offer. It also serves as a repository for the online content that you will use to engage your audience and improve your search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts.
You might be wondering if you really need a website when there’s social media. You can definitely post content on your accounts, but think about this: Do you really want to exclusively rely on a third-party platform you have no control over?
By all means, establish a social media presence. It’s great for reaching out to and interacting with customers. But having your own website is vital because it helps to establish your legitimacy and brand identity.
#9 – Create a marketing toolkit.
Develop other essential marketing tools for your business. These can include brochures, customer presentations, sales sheets, pitch decks, infographics, videos, etc. The information contained in these materials should highlight both your key offerings and brand identity. Make it easy for your sales teams to use and share these tools when interacting with clients.
#10 – Keep working at it.
The hard part’s over, right? You’ve already got your brand name, logo, tagline, website, and toolkit. You’ve done all your research and you know all about your customers as well as your competitors. Don’t take it easy yet. There’s still more work to be done.
This is where you keep close track of what’s working and what’s not working with your plan. Is your target audience responding favourably to your messaging? Is there any confusion about your brand positioning? Are you seeing successful results from all your efforts in building your brand?
Develop a system that will help you track the implementation of each stage of your plan so you can identify what aspects need to be adjusted in the future. Tracking will help you formulate better strategies that will, in turn, make your brand stronger.
If you would like any help with your overall brand development, or a specific item listed above, we’d love to have a chat. Send us an email and tell us a few details so we can get started.