Creating a brand can be a difficult process. Between nailing down your service offerings to designing your logo, being the strategist behind building a brand can be a challenging order to fulfill. We’ve all met entrepreneurs and small business owners who talk about their new site redesign for months, without ever getting around to doing it. Instead of stressing over how to create your brand strategy, try splitting it into four simple steps.
Creating a brand strategy is a daunting undertaking, rather than trying to do everything all at once, work on chunking down the actions you need to take into smaller steps so that they are each manageable.
When you tackle your branding strategy one step at a time it will be an iterative approach that can grow naturally as your company redefines itself and refines what you do in the future.
Define your vision for the future.
Start with the end in mind.
Decide where you want your brand to be in five years, ten years, or decades from now.
Then, with this mental image write down or type out the answers to the following branding plan that includes the following pieces:
- Target customer base
Who are your ideal clients?
When it comes down to it who do you really want to work with?
Are you open to any gender, any age?
Is there a specific geographic region that is best suited for your company’s products or services?
- What will your brand positioning be?
How do you differentiate from the competition?
Do you have a special niche or service offering that makes you stand out?
Will you target high-end customers, or try to undercut your competitors?
- What marketing and sales copy will represent your brand and market you to future customers?
The taglines, sales pitches, and copy that defines how your company operates is absolutely vital to the way your brand is received. Crisp, catchy sales copy that persuades your audience is one of the biggest components to your branding strategy. Keep that in mind as you review the rest of the components of this branding plan.
- What will your creative/visual branding components look like?
How will your website look–will it be professional, creative, e-commerce driven?
Will you hire a designer or have someone do it in-house?
What will your logo look like?
Are there any concepts or themes you want to tie into your design? If so, how can you leverage those in the other areas of your branding–such as in catchy taglines in your sales copy, or creative team bios?
- What is your mission?
When it’s all said and done, your brand is about accomplishing a mission. Define it!
- What is your content marketing strategy?
Will you write blog posts?
Are you going to regularly post on social media?
Can you create informational videos?
Will you leverage past client work to create case studies?
How often will you publish content?
All of these considerations are important when coming up with your branding strategy.
Test, Test, Test!
Next, you need to put your branding plan into place.
To start, you need to get as much information as possible from past clients and customers, (or future ones if you are just starting out). This will greatly improve the chances that you are able to provide what your audience is truly looking for.
Having test groups and asking questions in online forums are a great way to get input and advice, however, nothing will compare to speaking with actual customers.
Once you have some input on what your market is really wanting, only then should you begin implementing your ideas.
If you learn one thing from this blog post, let it be this: getting your market’s feedback is paramount to knowing how to serve them best!
After you’ve completed your branding strategy Follow-up with your clients and customers and get their thoughts on the new branding changes.
This is one step that most companies never do. In fact, it’s kind of a rarity to see companies doing this, which is why we want to share it with you.
The best thing that you can do after any type of branding implementation is to follow-up with your clients and customers in the next quarter to find out what they like and what they don’t.
Customers will let you know what’s working and what’s not. And if you never ask, chances are, most will be too polite to say anything.
Go back to the drawing board and improve.
Once you’ve gotten your customers feedback it’s time to go back to the drawing board and implement their advice. The more feedback you get, the more touch points you have for your reference. Bear in mind that most companies completely skip this part of the process, which is why their branding strategies don’t move the needle for their business.
If you are serious about your branding strategy, make sure to go back through the first step of the process, and come up with new answers.
Improvement is iterative, and finding success takes time.
Is this year going to be the year you commit to branding your company better?