A brand is not just about the product itself, it is also about the way it is perceived by the audience, and the emotions and associations it evokes. Therefore, the primary goal of the company is to build the right understanding of the brand.
And here, you have two options: you can either delegate this task to a branding strategy consulting company or execute it by yourself. The choice is all yours. Anyway, to assist you in this quite challenging task, we have prepared this guide, which we hope you’ll find helpful and valuable.
What is brand development?
Brand development is a multi-step process that builds customer awareness of your services or products and sets you apart from competitors in the long run. Certainly, the logo, corporate style, and tagline are important for a company but brand identity is much more than visual elements. Hence, it is crucial to ensure that the mission and values of the firm are perceived properly.
And to achieve it, you need a brand strategy — a plan that will help your company grow and improve. Moreover, it should take into account all the aspects that will make your brand stand out. After all, each company desires to become recognizable and prominent.
Therefore, below, we will take a look at 10 steps to aid you in the design of the impeccable brand development strategy that will work.
Step 1. Define your brand
First of all, you need to clearly understand and convey the message and values your business adheres to. It is the foundation without which your business will not have a chance to survive. Accordingly, to make it properly, you should decide on the following points:
Goal. What is the purpose of our company? What do we offer?
Mission. What is the goal of our products/services? How can they help our clients?
Values. What do we believe in?
By answering these questions, you will know why your company exists and how to communicate this to current and future customers.
Step 2. Determine your target audience
The target audience is potential consumers of your product and to whom, accordingly, your attention should be paid since these are the people who will be interested in your goods or service.
There are various criteria for determining the target audience, for example:
- Financial situation/income
And this step cannot be ignored because if you don’t know to whom you are selling your products, how can you do it effectively and faultlessly? Sounds more like a rhetorical question, right?
Step 3. Analyze your competitors
In the process of designing a brand development strategy, to grab the attention of potential customers and retain existing ones, it is necessary to find out what makes you different from your competitors. Hence, in this step, you should carry out the analysis of your opponents, thanks to which you will be aware of the strengths and weaknesses they have and the marketing tools they employ. This way, you will have a full image of your niche and get a chance to avoid possible mistakes made by your rivals.
Step 4. Work on your brand positioning
Positioning is the place a brand occupies in the minds of customers. Therefore, you should clearly realize the benefits of your products or services. In addition, you should prove your value to the audience to gain their trust. And here, the formula works the following way: product = solution to the problem. In other words, the product must perform its main function well and offer special features.
Let’s say you own a brand of laundry detergent. The main function of this product is to wash clothes. But what sets you apart from your competitors, and makes you better compared to them? Maybe your detergent allows you to wash clothes at a lower temperature? Or is it a concentrated product, which is more economical? If you want to win the attention of your target audience, all this information needs to be correctly conveyed to them.
Step 5. Identify your tone of voice
How you speak to your audience is no less critical than what you say. And in the branding strategy, the tone of voice determines the way the company communicates with the audience.
There is no single pattern of the tone of voice, and depending on the market, your tone might be expert and professional, funny and witty, or warm and encouraging. The main thing is to be understandable to users. Accordingly, if new customers can quickly identify who you are and what you offer, the chances that they will make a purchase are quite high.
Step 6. Design your logo and slogan
- A logo is a one-of-a-kind symbol that includes the name of the company and your distinguishing features, that is, colors, certain components, fonts, and so on.
- A slogan, in its turn, reflects additional information about the uniqueness of your product. It is like a motto, a short phrase that is super easy to remember.
This step is important in brand development as the logo and slogan are the elements, by which the audience recognizes your product among the variety on the market. Also, the visual representation of these components affects the emotions and feelings that your potential client will experience. Therefore, you can’t neglect the production of these elements.
Step 7. Build your website
For quite a long time, people prefer to search for goods and services online. That is why, today, if the users fail to find a company on the Internet, then it will seem to be non-existent at all. And in this case, you can’t expect them to become your customers, can you?
Obviously, your site is the place where clients can get information about your company, its history, team, values, and other details. However, it’s not the end of the benefits it will bring to you since acting as your business office, which is available at any time and place, it has no strict working hours and may bring you income non-stop. Isn’t it great?
Step 8. Take care of your marketing toolkit
At this stage, you need to think over all the marketing tools and channels that you will employ to promote your brand to make it recognizable, popular, and appealing to both customers and potential business partners.
And in this task, social media networks, contextual advertising, targeted advertising, mailing lists, and many other ways may come to the rescue. Moreover, you can use offline tools such as print ads, banners, etc., but they will be much more expensive than online ones. The main thing is to make sure that the users are interested in your products and wish to learn more about them.
Step 9. Launch your brand
Now it’s time to launch your brand. Once your plan is designed and all the details are carefully thought out, the next step is to show your brand to the world. Eventually, to see whether your strategy is working or not, you should introduce it, monitor the implementation itself, and make the necessary adjustments.
However, you should remember, that a winning brand development strategy requires time to work flawlessly. Therefore, you should be patient and flexible, and in the end, you will get the product of your dreams.
Step 10. Track, analyze, and optimize
Your work does not finish with the launch of the brand. So, in order to promptly introduce any changes or modifications, you need to constantly monitor the effectiveness of your brand. Otherwise, it may be too late, and you will have to start everything from scratch.
Accordingly, you can analyze the quality of branding by ROI, audience engagement, and other metrics. And if the results are not satisfactory, then to stay relevant in rapidly changing market conditions, the strategy needs to be reviewed, tuned, and optimized.
On a final note
Whether you want to launch a new brand or desire to adjust the existing one, a brand development strategy is vital. It will help to design an action plan to achieve the company’s goals.
In this article, we reviewed the main stages and essence of this strategy. And we hope that with the information received, you will be able to create a truly efficient plan that will make your business prosperous and unforgettable in the eyes of your customers.