77% of marketers say that branding is critical to future growth. How you brand yourself will shape the way consumers view you and define your company’s place in the industry. It's crucial to set aside some time to create a solid branding strategy, so you can get ahead of the competition and increase customer awareness of your company. To help you out, we’ve laid out 4 simple steps you should follow to effectively create a branding strategy and define your brand!
1. Understand the Market and Your Customers
You cannot define your brand without first gaining a complete understanding of the current consumer market. This starts with understanding your target audience and customer base. So where do you begin to fully understand your target audience?
Do comprehensive market research to understand what consumers are expecting from brands in the industry and what they are looking for in products. Surveys, focus groups, and consumer studies are all valid ways of doing research. You should also listen to the voice of actual consumers by looking at what they are talking about on social media and other places online. A simple Google search is a great place to start.
You also have to understand the current market situation. To figure out the market, you should look at what your competition is doing. Ask yourself some questions that will give you insight into the motivations of your customers and your competitors.
Some good questions to ask yourself are: What is the competition like? What kind of brands and services are out there? How can I be different? Is there a void in the industry that I can fill?
Without understanding your competition, you won't be able to define your place in the market. If you need more help finding your target audience, check out this post about how to connect with your customers.
2. Carve Out Your Space in the Market
Now that you understand the market, it's time to create your own space to really make a name for your company. A great place to start is to define your mission statement. What is the goal of your company? How are you going to improve the lives of consumers? How are you going to change industry standards with the quality of your products and services?
By now, you should have a good idea of what your competition is like. Figure out what makes your company unique and how you are going to position yourself so that you stand out.
You should also define the tone of voice you want to adopt. Think of several adjectives, emotions, or feelings that you want to be associated with. Which ones do you want to automatically come to mind when people think of you? Here are some possibilities to get you started:
Whatever you want to be associated with, remember those words when you go about crafting your branding, marketing, and communication strategies. Make sure you stay consistent throughout all of your branding and messaging to avoid confusing your customers.
3. Create Your Image
Now that you know how you are going to define yourself, it's time to create your brand image and identity. This identity is going to shape the way consumers view you and the success of your marketing campaigns.
Of course, this starts with the name of your company. Your name will be one of the most defining aspects of your brand, so make sure that you choose one that accurately defines your mission statement and conveys your uniqueness. The same goes for your slogan. We recommend keeping it as short as possible – one to three words at most!
Let's move on to your logo. There are a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration here. Colors may not seem important initially, but the reality is that different colors convey different emotions. For example, blue conveys security, yellow conveys happiness, and red conveys passion or lust.
If you are selling a child’s toy, yellow may be a good color to show joy. If you are selling cybersecurity software, a blue color scheme may be a better choice. Some colors can convey different emotions to different people, but as long as you do your research carefully you should be able to choose a color palette that conveys your message.
The font you will use for your brand name and slogan is also important. For example, you can be bold, stylish, creative, expressive, or quiet. When choosing a slogan, color scheme, and font, keep in mind the emotions and feelings you want to be associated with, as mentioned above.
You should also consider what kind of icon or design you want your logo to include. Again, think about the emotions you want to come to mind when consumers see your logo. What kind of icon would be a good representation for the adjectives and ideas that describe your business?
4. Craft Your Marketing Plan
Now that you have created your brand, it's time to come up with a marketing strategy for how you are going to present it to your target audience.
Online marketing gives you many opportunities for increasing brand visibility and awareness. You can use search engine ads, social media ads, and banner ads on websites to increase awareness and target your customer base.
You should also focus on organic traffic. This starts with creating a content marketing strategy so that you effectively spread brand awareness. Build a website and start producing content. Create profiles on social media platforms and start sharing interesting posts. Ensure you are staying on brand with everything you post, including any text, videos, and photographs.
Offline marketing can be used in conjunction with online marketing, depending on the industry you are in. You can advertise on billboards, on television, on the radio, in newspapers, and in magazines if those are channels that would appeal to your target audience.
Throughout your advertising campaigns, there is one important word you must remember at all times: Consistency. Whether you are creating an ad on Facebook, writing a blog post, sending out an email, tweeting something on Twitter or recording a radio ad, you need to be consistent in your tone of voice, colors, slogan, and branding.
Need help with getting started with a branding strategy? The LETSDEVELOP.TV team is ready to help, just contact us today to set up a call or consultation!