Creating a Strategic Brand That Sets You Apart
By: Justin Flack
Have you thought about your business’s brand lately? With how quickly things have been changing over the last few years, unless you’ve done much work on it recently, it is probably worth revisiting. Your brand is a critical part of your business, especially when it comes to attracting prospective customers and maintaining current clients — meaning it’s crucial to get it right. It should resonate with your target audience and, above all else, drive results.
A brand is more than logos and colors. It is the sum of all the experiences that people could potentially have with your organization. So, let’s talk about how you can take our brand strategy process and apply it to your organization’s brand?
Look at your current brand
You can’t start if you don’t know where you’ve been or ultimately where you want to go. Begin by conducting a brand audit. Go through your existing marketing elements, brand information and website content. Get your executive team together and go over your goals for the future. Discuss who you are in the eyes of your target audiences and your competitors. Conduct focus groups, surveys and find out what people are saying about you on social media.
Create customer personas
Once you’ve gathered all the information you need to begin, analyze what you discovered. Create three detailed customer personas: your primary audience, your secondary audience and a tertiary audience. You may have more than three. The goal is to be specific and narrow in order to minimize spreading your marketing dollars too thin. Dig deep: give them names, personalities, hobbies, beliefs, personal lives, jobs and families. Identify their traits, what they like and how they make buying decisions. Knowing exactly who they are makes it easier to market to them.
Nail down who you are
What’s your “why”? When creating an effective brand, you must be able to define why you do what you do. Your “why” statement is the soul of your brand. Once you’ve established your “why,” use it to identify how to connect with your audience. What features do you offer and what are the emotional benefits — in other words, what pains are you alleviating for them? List these out and focus on the benefits when choosing your marketing messages. Decide on a brand personality that correlates with your benefits. Are you trustworthy? Funny? Knowledgeable? A mix of all three? Choose several personality traits you can employ when writing content and advertising.
Give it a makeover
Does your logo say what you want your customers to know about your brand? If not, put together some mood boards to find relevant colors, styles and ideas to create a company “look and feel.” Pinterest is a great resource for this! If creating a logo is outside of your skillset, look around for talented designers who can bring your vision and brand identity to life. The visual identity you establish should communicate who you are to the personas that you established in the previous step.
Reveal your new look
The final step in re-imagining your brand is to share it with the world. This can be tricky and needs to be planned carefully. Start by setting goals. Then, sit down and identify the marketing tactics and channels that will help you accomplish them. These could include traditional media, social media, digital ads, social media, newsletters, public relations and beyond. Prioritize these efforts and accomplish them as budget and bandwidth allow.
The most important thing to remember is that you need to stay consistent in your message and design. This process can be long and arduous and we are always here to help you navigate it so get in touch with us and let us help you build a brand that people will write songs and legends about for generations to come!