Developing your brand is a continuous journey of interacting, learning, and growing relationships with your customers. A formal definition of brand development is “the process of improving a brand or improving customers’ knowledge and opinions of a brand.” We like to think of it in one of two contexts: creating a new brand or refreshing an existing one.
However, you look at it, developing a brand is a layered process. Below are ten high-level strategies you can use to create a strong brand with memorable marketing campaigns.
1. Apply Your Business Strategy to Your Brand
Your company’s overall business strategy is the base for your brand. If your business is well established, then you have that strategy, along with company mission and core values already in place.
Put that strategy to work! Build from those core values to establish your brand. Find common themes or key qualities from your company’s core values that apply to your brand.
Find Your Niche
What is your brand’s specialty? What makes it distinct? Where does it fit in the market? Whatever the answer, that is your niche.
Developing a brand relies on your company’s ability to make the brand memorable. And it will be memorable if it’s recognized for “that one thing” that sets it apart from the rest.
2. Be Consistent
Once you have defined your brand and know your niche, stick with that identity. Be sure that all your marketing material is consistent with your brand.
Create Unified Messaging
Every ad, every campaign, and on down to every Facebook post should be cohesive. In other words, all messaging should be unified and recognizable regardless of the platform.
More than just sticking your logo on everything (though that’s part of it), you should be sure all your communication is consistent.
Consistency leads to brand recognition. And, brand recognition is what builds customer loyalty.
Create a Style Guide
You can build brand consistency by developing color schemes and a style guide for written text, images, video, and any other media you will use. To your customers, the effect is seamless.
Your design team may have to pause to create a guide but will thank themselves later when they are able to produce consistent brand materials that pass the quality inspection quickly.
3. Identify Your Clients
Having a strong brand means appealing to your client demographic. To do this, you need to know who your clients are. Your team should consider things like age, online status, education level, and other things that relate to your products or services.
One way to identify your client base is to create an ideal client avatar. This may sound a little too Sci-Fi at first. But the more detailed you can create this profile, the better. Once you have a complete picture of who your clients are, you can shift your advertising message to them directly.
Research Your Target Client Group
Research helps you find and define your target client group. You will discover your target client’s preferences and priorities. Then you can anticipate their needs and tailor your marketing language towards those needs.
The result is that your message, and your brand, resonate with them. In other words, your brand finds and connects with its intended customer.
Tap Into Your Customer’s Emotions
Customers aren’t always rational. Customers are people, and people are often driven by their emotions. Find a way to connect your brand with your customers on an emotional level.
There is a psychology behind this rationale. People have a desire to build relationships, to feel connected to others. If your brand can create a sense of community, then you will create a strong brand with a strong customer base.
We all want to belong, and there’s no reason why you can’t create a community around your brand.
4. Develop Your Brand Positioning
Brand positioning is another term for market positioning. Creating your brand is one thing. Positioning it is another.
How is your company or product different from others? Why should potential customers choose your brand? Where does your brand fit in? The answers to these questions set up the brand’s position in the market.
Taking the time to craft a positioning statement crystallizes the brand. This isn’t a tagline or sales pitch. It’s a home base for your internal team as they develop the brand.
It should be realistic and practical. You should be able to deliver what it promises. But you can also gear it towards future goals for your brand.
What Brand Positioning Is NOT
Branding and positioning are not the same things. Positioning is just a small part of branding.
Your brand results in your marketing message plus all the ways people encounter your brand. Every touch point with a customer is a chance to wow them and leave them with a good feeling about themselves as well as your brand.
Remember, positioning is a tool for your company to use in all marketing endeavors.
5. Develop a Messaging Strategy
A messaging strategy converts your brand positioning statement into messages to your target audience(s).
Your core brand positioning is the same for all your messages. But you can tailor it as needed.
Perhaps your target audience contains people from different generations. If so, you can tailor your message to the more mature customer, and again for the younger customer.
If your brand appeals to young and old alike, why not market to both directly?
6. Brand Development by Brand Name, Logo, and Tagline
Your brand and your brand name are not the same things. But, your name, logo, and tagline are how you will communicate your brand from here forward.
Also, choosing your brand’s name and symbols isn’t a simple decision. Ultimately, the name, logo, and tagline must be accepted and adopted in the marketplace for them to be successful.
To get to that point, however, you’ll need to spend much time on design, especially on the logo. You’ll need a great designer for sure.
Considering all the time and effort that goes into developing the brand and the perfect logo, it makes sense to give the same consideration to the tagline.
A tagline is a short phrase that accompanies your logo, but it leaves a clear footprint. It should capture the most important thing you want customers to remember about your brand…. and then stick with them.
7. Develop a Marketing Strategy
Your brand strength is driven by two things, reputation, and visibility. Increasing visibility will only get you so far. Though, doing so without building your reputation will result in failure.
A way to accomplish both goals is content marketing. In fact, content marketing pops up many times during brand development.
Content marketing increases visibility and reputation at once. Quality content marketing attracts customers but also builds your reputation by building your credibility.
It is also one more way to make your brand relevant to your target audiences.
8. Build Marketing Collateral
Your marketing assets include all your marketing pieces. You may use some print products like brochures, though most collateral products will be digital. These include those brochures as well as sales or information sheets, and videos.
Video may be product overviews or reviews, an overview of services, product demonstrations, and so on.
Anything you use to meet marketing objectives is an important component of brand development.
Develop a Brand Website
Perhaps the most important brand development tool is the website. It is the place interested customers will go to learn about your products or services.
If your website gives the wrong message about your brand, prospective customers may choose to move on.
Remember what we said about content marketing? Your website houses most of your marketing content. That content becomes the epicenter of how you speak about your brand.
9. Remain Flexible
This may sound counterintuitive, but brand identity, consistency, and cohesiveness all mean nothing if you can’t keep your brand relevant as times change. That’s right, you have to keep consistency as you adapt to the changing world around you.
Your development strategies should be flexible to adapt to industry changes. Flexibility may seem contrary to the concept of consistency.
Think of it this way. Consistency sets the standards for brand development. Flexibility just means you can make adjustments along the way to draw customers and set yourself apart from the competition.
Your brand’s core identity and positioning statement remain the same.
10. Implement, Measure, and Make Adjustments
A solid strategy has to be implemented to be realized. Its success also needs to be measured and tracked. You should track both the implementation of the brand development as well as the results of that launch.
Was it implemented as planned? Did it meet projected goals? Does it need to be adjusted?
After the plan was put in place, what were the results? What kind of feedback did you gather to explain strengths or weaknesses?
Your first marketing campaign is a learning opportunity to make the next one even better.
Questions About Brand Development?
Brand development is about developing a brand identity and building customer relationships at the same time. The concepts are simple, but realizing them is not.
If you have questions, or if we can help you with your branding strategies, please contact us.