Brand development is about harnessing your company’s professional public image and taking steps to maintain that image long-term. Brand development is essential to ensuring that your brand remains relevant and distinguishes your company from your competitors. It is an ongoing process of adjustment and improvement based on customer interactions and measurable data, as well as observations about the changing landscape of your industry.
Keep in mind that your brand has little to do with the actual product or service you provide. Instead, it is the face of your organization. It reflects your personality, your core values, your company culture and your relationship with consumers. These are the building blocks upon which you should develop and refine your brand. Below, we look at effective marketing strategies to help you launch a successful brand identity in the marketplace.
Consider Your Overall Business Strategy
Most marketing strategies are governed by an overall philosophy or approach. It is here that you begin to build your brand. Consider why you are creating a brand and how you want it to define it. Ask yourself these four questions:
- How will your brand fit into your overall business strategy?
- How does your strategy align with your business objectives?
- What tools will you need to communicate your brand?
- How will you position your brand in the market?
Identify Your Target Clients
Whether you are launching a new business, improving your marketing efforts or rebranding, reading your audience is paramount to a successful branding strategy. There are several ways you can identify your target market.
First, look at your current customer base. Look for common characteristics and interests among your clients. Second, research who your competition is targeting. Either find better ways to attract their customers or find a niche market that they are overlooking. Last, analyze the benefits and features of your products or services. Do you provide solutions to common problems in the market? Do you have a product that people need?
Research Your Target Clients
Now that you have identified the target market, it is time to deconstruct your demographic. Consider the following characteristics of your buyer persona:
Creating a consumer profile allows you to become more familiar with your core customers. You can focus your brand on people based on their buying decisions, activities, interests and day-to-day tasks. You can also use psychographics (why consumers buy your products) to pinpoint why clients are choosing your products. Psychographics highlight factors such as behavior, lifestyle, values, attitudes and personality.
Develop a Messaging Strategy
Brand messaging refers to the underlying value proposition you convey and the language you use in your content. It also includes the tone of voice you use when delivering your message. It’s what makes buyers relate to your brand by inspiring them, persuading them, motivating them and ultimately making them want to buy your product.
Product positioning, key benefits, brand pillars, value proposition, audience and tone are just a few items you need to consider. Together, these elements create a full messaging framework that guides your marketing strategy across every piece of content and every channel. Everything you create internally and externally should be able to map back to your overriding message.
Develop Your Marketing Collateral and Design Elements
Marketing collateral is any material used to promote your company’s products or services. Marketing collateral may include:
- TV or Radio Ads
Anything you can use to communicate your company’s brand message is considered marketing collateral. The type of marketing collateral you utilize depends on how far your prospects are in the marketing funnel. Some prospective customers might be ready to commit to your product while others are just exploring options. You need to address each group with different strategies that are appropriate to where they are in the buyer’s journey.
Develop Your Digital Marketing Channels
While marketing collateral is still relevant, digital marketing has taken over as the most powerful form of branding. While you are refining your marketing collateral strategy, you should also be utilizing all digital marketing channels such as your website, social media pages, email campaigns, search engines, apps, instant messaging and backlinks or landing pages.
Developing a powerful content strategy can reinforce your brand and messaging. Also, it is crucial to create content that connects with your audience across multiple platforms at once. You can repurpose content as needed. However, you also need to generate new content on an ongoing basis (blogs, web pages, social media posts).
Build Your Brand Identity Toolkit
A branding toolkit is made up of core elements that strengthen and reinforce your brand identity. Elements may include:
- Logo: A logo in a variety of colors and sizes
- Tagline Device: A supporting brand asset used alongside the logo that is usually either emotive, descriptive or both
- Color Palette: A range of colors synonymous with your brand
- Typeface: A set of fonts for both the logo and supporting copy
- Tone of Voice and Descriptions: Guidelines on the language you should use to create the right personality for your brand
- Imagery and Illustrations: A visual range that provides the right impression to those who encounter the brand
- Patterns and Devices: Shapes and patterns taken from a dissection of the logo
- Templates: Standardized formats for any regular forms of communication, including newsletters, presentations, reports, etc.
Your brand identity toolkit helps your organization effectively and consistently build and protect your brand through all forms of messaging and communication. It is packed with resources and guidelines so that every person involved in your brand uses it as intended.
Implement, Track and Adjust Your Strategy
The final step in your brand development strategy is implementation, tracking and assessment. While this step is last in the process, it is only successful if your initial steps are planned and executed correctly. For instance, you can’t measure what you don’t define. So, make sure you define your objectives, goals and targets in the beginning. This gives you something to assess and adjust as you go.
You also need to identify which metrics you are going to use to assess your brand strategy performance. For example, in content marketing, you may use metrics such as unique visitors, page views, search engine traffic, bounce rate, conversion rate or inbound links to determine how well your website is doing. All of these metrics are measurable and give you detailed data.
Branding Services for Your Business
At Lucid, we provide a wide range of marketing tools that help you expand your market reach while targeting the customers you want. We deliver measured results that reflect your brand and help you reach your goals. To find out more about our branding services, call us at 850-760-0478 or fill out the quick contact form below, and we will be in touch.