Branding is how your business communicates its marketing message, values, and purpose to its audience. Of course, there are many definitions, but understand that everything you do or don’t do will impact your business. In other words, branding is more than a logo and color schemes; they’re part of something greater which builds your corporate identity.
Some businesses dedicate a significant amount of time to building their brand, laying out how their employees should interact on their social media channels, or talking with clients.
Remember that everything you do should represent your mission, vision, and values. Explore why you need a branding strategy and how it helps you grow your business.
Why does your business need to develop a branding strategy?
Creating a clear, compelling, and memorable idea of your brand in the minds of your audience takes time. Still, it’s a way to help your audience envision a positive image of your company.
Plan your branding carefully and ask your ideal customers if they understand your message. Sometimes, people may get the wrong impression about your business. For example, they might think you sell candy instead of auto parts, impacting your sales. This is why naming your business correctly with the correct design elements is crucial to help your audience understand what you do.
Essential elements of branding:
- Logo design
- Color schemes
- Mission statements
- Products or services
- Business naming
- Promotional material
- And more!
Steps to develop a branding strategy
Now that you understand the importance of your business branding, let’s review the steps you’ll need to follow to ensure a unique and memorable brand strategy:
- Business branding audit
- Buyer persona
- Mission and vision statement
- Identify and analyze your competitors
- Audit media campaigns
- Brand style guidelines
- Consider other guidelines to follow
Business branding audit
If you want to review your current business branding situation, make sure to make an audit about all that your business does to communicate with customers. Then, make a list of questions and ask your employees and clients for help.
These are some questions you could ask:
- What comes to mind when you see our logo?
- What comes to mind when you receive an email from your coworkers (personnel)?
- Are we communicating the right message to our audience on our social media channels?
- Why do you think we’re offering product or service X instead of product and service Y?
- Why did you choose to do business with us? What made us stand out from our competition?
We’ve discussed the buyer persona in previous entries, and we’ll discuss this marketing instrument again.
The buyer persona is a fictional representation of your ideal buyer. It helps your team members align with the company’s goals and answer crucial questions like “are we focusing on the right target?” “Are we delivering the right message?” “Are we creating the right ads and content?”
If you didn’t develop a buyer persona in the past, build one to understand who your potential clients are, what they’re looking for, and what they are doing to solve their problems.
Mission and vision statements
These documents need to be up to date. Some may think it’s unnecessary, but it’s essential to understand the purpose of your work and why you do what you do.
Your company’s mission should establish its purpose, when it started, why it exists, and who it wants to help.
Your vision is how you see your company in the long term. What does it want to achieve, and how far does it wishes to go?
Revisit your competitor analysis
You must keep track of your competitors and track new ones. However, you might have lost track of which of them are a direct threat to your business. It would be best if you kept in mind that not all companies in the same industry as you are your direct competition. There are several categories to recognize your match but try and focus on three: direct, indirect, and replacement competitors.
Direct competitors are the ones that sell the same product or service near your location.
Indirect competitors are the ones that are bigger or smaller businesses and do not focus on the same target audience.
Replacement competitors are the ones that could replace your business entirely because they offer the same at a smaller price, with more benefits, or is more innovative.
Audit media campaigns
This step is essential to ensure your marketing efforts are performing to the best of their abilities; optimize them regularly for continuous improvements.
Each campaign will have different impacts and results; the general rule is to analyze them quarterly or weekly, depending on their performance and goals. Here are a few elements you may want to look at during your audit:
- The user experience or UX
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- The content like the copy and creative
- The target audience
- Your budget
- The conversions like clicks, cost per click, click-through rate, etc.
Branding style and other guidelines
Consistency is vital when we talk about brand guidelines.
Remember, a brand is everything, not just a logo or a color. It’s how you present your brand to potential clients, suppliers, stakeholders, or anyone who interacts with your company.
If we have to talk about guidelines, there are several documents you may want to put in place to help you reach consistency throughout all channels.
A brand style guide allows all members to understand how to use the company’s logo correctly and what brand misuse is.
A writing style guide will help all members understand your company’s tone of voice and brand personality spectrum. In other words, it enables you to communicate your brand in a verbal or written message.
A social media guide will help all members of the organization talk about the organization on their social channels with the correct use of pictures, colors, hashtags, mentions, etc.
You are about to start a fascinating journey, and that’s the path of building a business or making it shine brighter than ever. If you ever need help with your branding or additional help with your marketing efforts, don’t hesitate to give us a call; we’ll be more than happy to help you.
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See you in the next entry!