Your company’s brand is your most valuable non-tangible asset. Developing a strong brand is essential to a company’s success. Brand strategy is a plan that encompasses specific, long-term goals that can be achieved with the evolution of a successful brand — the combined components of your company’s character that make it identifiable. A well defined brand strategy affects all aspects of a company’s business, from consumer needs to the competitive environment. It is much more than just a logo and tagline.
The three things every brand needs to define are:
- What is your brand’s objective?
- Who are your customers?
- How does your brand define long-term success?
The success of a brand can be hard to measure, since it is about measuring how successful your company is at exuding a certain personality. Brand sentiment is difficult to qualify, but it’s the most important metric for a brand strategy. So how do you go about developing your brand?
Overall Brand Strategy
Consider your overall brand strategy. You want your brand to be well differentiated as well as strong. You have to think about what type of company do you want to build? How will you grow? Being clear about where you start and where you want to go will form the road map of your brand strategy.
For any brand strategy to be a success, you need to identify your target market. Your target client is not ‘everyone’, which is what a lot of small business owners think. Research has shown that firms with high growth and high profit focus on having clearly defined target clients. If your target audience is very diverse, then your marketing efforts will be necessarily diluted, as you cannot market to different audiences in the same way. Narrow it down, and you’ll see better results.
A brand positioning statement is typically 3 to 5 sentences long, and captures your brand’s essence. How is your brand different from others? Why should a potential client choose you over the competition? That is your brand’s positioning.
Create The Right Content
The content you put out there relates directly to how people perceive your brand.
Content marketing is particularly important for any company operating in the Internet age. Content marketing increases visibility and reputation, both of which are necessary for your brand’s strength. You can use content to make your brand relevant to your target audience.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but if there is a single most important brand development tool, it is your company’s website. It’s where all of your target audience goes to learn about who you are and what you do. While a prospective client may not choose your services or products solely based upon your website, it is a possibility that they will rule you out based upon it, if it sends the wrong message. Your website is also a place for all of your content to live. Which means that the content becomes the focus of your SEO efforts, bringing people to your website.
To keep up with the competition in today’s fast paced world, you have to remain flexible to remain relevant. This doesn’t mean you have to change what’s working, but if you find that your marketing or brand is not connecting with your customers as well as you thought it would, then flexibility allows you to be creative with your branding. The biggest companies in the world have been known to change their logos and colors. You could do the same. New packaging, new website, you can make a lot of changes and still be consistent in your message. Take the opportunity to engage your followers in new ways.
Finally, implement, track and adjust your brand strategy. It is very important to track the implementation of your brand strategy. Too many times, brand strategies get developed but not implemented, or implemented then put off. Tracking will ensure that you’re ticking items off your branding checklist, and results are being registered.