So what exactly is brand, and is it really that important to create a brand strategy? Yes! Your branding should underpin all communication, messaging and presences of the business; your brand is your sounding board.
Your company’s brand will inform a lot of decision making – from whether or not the tagline for your next ad is right for the company, whether your new product looks like it belongs to your company, or if your social media posts reflect the business’ values.
Developing a strong brand is no easy feat, it takes a lot of research, vision boards, writing and rewriting, to reach the perfection you are looking for, and even then, your brand may need to evolve with time.
This article will help you on your road to creating a brand strategy that reflect your products, services and values.
Know your target audience
This is one of the most important parts of the branding process. If you don’t know your target audience how will you know what they want?
Demographics are just one part to knowing who your target audience is. To really understand how to create a brand that will resonate with your target audience, you need to connect with them on an emotional level. To connect with them on a personal level, you will need to understand them on a personal level.
When researching your target audience understand what drives them to make decisions, what they are passionate about, know their perspectives on events and industries that relate to your product or service. Understand the highest priorities for your clients – is it the quality of the product, getting the best bang for buck, is it a combination of both, or is it doing good wherever they can.
Understanding all of this information as a whole will allow you to create a brand that connects with the audience you are trying to target.
Conduct market research
Market research is a great way to gather feedback on what your audience is thinking, whether your product or service is viable amongst this group, and how you can tailor your brand to speak to the main concerns and needs of your target audience.
Research your competitors
Your competitors (especially those who are successful) can provide you valuable insights into what works within your industry and amongst your target audience. Take note of how your competitors communicate with their audience, what type of imagery they use, and what their main selling points are.
His information will help you to analyse what works with your audience and what doesn’t. Take note of campaigns that have done well for your competition, and campaigns that have not done so well. Learn from these successes and failures.
Find what makes you unique
If you know who your competitors are so does your target audience. You need to show your target audience what makes you the more appealing option. This is done by finding the uniqueness of your brand.
This could be your impeccable service, the charitable element to your company, the quality of your products, the unrivaled customer experience that leaves your customers feeling special. Find what makes you unique and amplify this throughout your brand.
This point of difference will help you stand out from your competition. It will make your company more appealing.
Understand your brand purpose
The purpose of your brand is to reflect the personality of your company; the way you look, the way you talk, the quirks that make your company, your company. It is the impression that you leave on anyone who comes in contact with your brand.
This impression will reflect in the way that people talk about your brand. The words they use is a reflection of your brand purpose.
A strong brand purpose provides consumers with obvious benefits, is unique to your company and difficult for your competition to imitate, and is flexible enough to be applied to a wide range of products/services and markets.
Define your brand objectives
Brand values should not be mistaken for marketing objectives. They are two different things. Your brand values are deliverables for your brand. What do you want your brand to do for your company?
These deliverables can include:
- An increase in brand awareness
- Increasing loyalty to your company via your brand
- Becoming an industry leader within the next 12 months
Know your voice
How you speak is a reflection of your brand. Your tone of voice should accommodate your target audience.
There are many elements to consider when creating your tone of voice. Here are a few factors to consider when building your brands voice:
- What is your personality
- Does your voice encompass your brand values
- Does your voice entail social jargon or colloquialisms
Brand strategy should be in everything
Your brand should be reflected in every area of your business. This includes internal and external communication. Every message, image, marketing campaign and PR release should reflect the brand that you have created.