How to develop an effective brand strategy.
When people think of a company’s brand, a logo or mascot – maybe even a tagline – is typically what leaps to mind first. Whether it’s large golden arches, mouse ears, a surprisingly smooth-talking gecko, or even a simple phrase like “Just do it” or “Have it your way,” these things are often used to immediately identify a company’s brand. What you may not realize is that these elements are only a few parts of a much bigger marketing and branding equation.
Branding isn’t just a logo, mascot, or slogan. It’s the promise that you make to your potential and continuing customers based on who you are as a company and what you represent. It’s the “why” behind all of your major and minor decisions. How do you develop this brand? Honestly, it takes tons of marketing finesse and expertise to optimize a company’s full potential, but we’ve managed to break it down in a 15-point brand strategy process:
Define Your Strategy and Purpose
The first step you’ll need to take is to define your overall business strategy, which means that you must figure out where you want to take your brand. Whether your company offers products or services, you’ll want to decide your long-term goals such as franchising, expansion, or simply profit growth. This will help you define your brand by allowing you to use a more targeted approach.
Audit Current Branding Strategy
Before you begin developing your brand strategy for the future, you need to take stock of where you stand now. If your business is a startup, then this actually refers to step one. But if you’ve been in business for a while, go back to your original business and branding concept and ask yourself if you’ve achieved your branding goals. Regardless of the answer, consider all of the facets you’re currently using such as marketing campaigns, social media, etc.
Develop Your Buyer Personas
Simply put, buyer personas are profiles that you’ve created of your company’s ideal customers. These potential customers what consists of various attributes such as age, gender, location, household income, daily activities, social media platforms, causes they support, and why they may be in need of your product or service. By knowing and understanding your target audience, you’ll be able to more effectively create a focused marketing strategy.
Research Your Buyer Personas
Knowing what your ideal target audience looks like is only the first part of the buyer persona process. Once you’ve created their profile, you need to go out into the real world and virtual world to research their activities, which will allow you to understand their perspective, anticipate their needs, and create marketing initiatives that resonate with them. To keep up with changing trends, you should do this in every quarter.
Discover Your Company’s “Why”
The “why” of your company basically refers to the reasons why you created your business in the first place and serves as the purpose for every action your business takes. As a business progresses, many owners realize that their original intent might have been misguided because they didn’t full understand the industry or what they were up against. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with changing the “why” as you get a better handle on your brand.
Identify All Type of Competitors
In order for your brand to compete in the marketplace, you must identify your competitors. Once you’ve done that, you can analyze how they present themselves to their customers and how those customers perceive them as a business and a brand. You will want to focus on all three types of competitors:
- Primary — Also known as direct competitors, these are the companies that sell the same product or service that you do.
- Secondary — Also called indirect competitors, their product or service may not be the same, but it fills the same needs.
- Tertiary — These companies sell products or services that are only vaguely related to your brand and are the least of your concern.
Identify What Sets Your Apart
One of the most important aspects of growing your brand is setting yourself apart from your competitors. Perhaps your products offer a unique attribute that make them a better choice or provide a specific option that a competing product does not have. Or maybe your services have a unique spin on them such as being environmentally friendly or solving a problem in a more effective way.
Audit Current Branding Campaigns
Take an in-depth look at where your branding campaigns and media campaigns currently stand. Consider your brand positioning, which is how your customers view you in relation to your competition. Also, check to see if your brand’s message comes across loud and clear, which will allow you to maintain your brand’s consistency. Keep the ideas that seem to be working and either throw out or alter the rest.
Revamp Your Brand Identity
Now that you’ve conducted loads of research, it’s time to put all of that into action. This is the point where you’ll either develop or revamp your brand identity. In addition to deciding how you want potential customers to view your company and brand, this is also the point where you’ll tackle designs and changes to your company’s name, logo, mascot, and tagline, as needed.
Redesign Your Business Website
Your company’s website is your most powerful and effective brand development tool. Not only will potential customers use your website to learn about you, but many of them will judge you very harshly if your site doesn’t meet their expectations. Plus, a well-designed and well-utilized website will act as the central hub of your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts.
Revamp Your Social Media Strategy
At this point, your social media presence is as much a part of your business as anything else. The most effective brand strategy is one that uses multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, YouTube, and others depending on your company’s personality and buyer personas. This will allow you to broaden your reach and communicate directly to existing and potential customers.
Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
The content that you put out in the world is instrumental in building and maintaining your brand. The content on your website and any postings you make, such as blogs, are the most important part of this. You need to develop a content marketing strategy that properly utilizes search engine optimization so that people searching for your type of product or service will be drawn to your website.
Monitor and Track Brand Strategy
Now that you’ve followed all of the steps above and have taken your brand out into the world, it’s time to see how it all shook out. You’ll want to focus on how your company is performing in terms of return on investment (ROI), customer conversion, and other details that will tell you how your brand is being viewed. There are many different types of online tracking resources to assist you with this task or you can opt for a professional marketing company to do it for you.
Make Adjustments and Start Again
It would be great if your brand strategy worked stupendously right out of the gate. That may happen, of course, but it’s also possible that you’ll need to make adjustments here and there, whether it’s to your website, content, or perhaps even your logo or tagline. You may require just a few tweaks or a complete overhaul in order to reach your brand strategy goals.
Contact P3 Agency to Develop Your Brand Strategy
The marketing gurus at P3 Agency have been helping businesses develop their brand strategy for many years through web design in Clearwater. Even though we’ve broken down the steps involved, the truth is that branding must also be customized to a large degree. That’s precisely what our team of marketing experts will do for your company’s branding efforts, along with developing a full marketing strategy unique to your needs. If you have any questions or would like a free, no-obligation quote, call our amazing team at (800) 515-9422 today to schedule a free marketing assessment.