10 Key Brand Development Tips You Need to Know About
Developing a successful brand is no small feat. Click here for 10 essential brand development tips to help strengthen your business.
Branding your company is one of the biggest tasks you’ll ever have as a business owner. If you hit and miss with your brand, your company will suffer for it. So it’s not something you want to take lightly.
Unfortunately, a lot of new business owners didn’t take marketing in college and are winging it on their own. There’s a lot that goes into brand development, which makes hiring a professional marketer a great option.
But even if you decide to, it’s still good to know what it takes to develop a great brand. So here is a quick guide to give you a better understanding of the brand development process.
1. Identify Your Target Audience
It doesn’t make sense to develop a brand without first knowing who exactly your audience is. You have a great product or service, but to whom should you market? That’s the million dollar question.
Some business owners make the mistake of thinking on the scale of Wal-Mart – having a product for everyone’s needs. But even if that’s the case, you still need to break down your customer groups.
Even Wal-Mart has a specific audience they’re targeting – anyone who’s living on a budget. So you won’t find upper-class people here very often, if at all.
It’s a good idea to go deeper than just selecting the gender and age group of your audience. The more specific your customer groups are, the easier it will be to market to them. Your brand will need to revolve around attracting these people.
This includes determining their behaviors, buying habits, lifestyles, family size, marital status, education level and tech-savviness. These are just some of the factors you can use when creating customer profiles. Once you have this setup, you can develop a brand that relates to your audience.
2. Create Your Brand Mission Statement
Now, your mission statement is what’s used to express what your company stands for. What is it you’re passionate about that you’d like to convey to your audience?
Maybe it’s to provide the utmost customer satisfaction, even if it means going over and beyond. In this case, you could create marketing content that showcases how your business has done just that.
The purpose of your mission statement is to keep your business in line with its vision. This way, you don’t go off track when creating your marketing content.
3. Use Other Brands in Your Industry as Inspiration
If your brainstorming sessions are turning up blanks, try taking a look around you. What are the other companies in your niche doing with their brands?
While you don’t want to copy what they’re doing, you can use their tactics as inspiration to find your own method of branding.
The idea is to research these brands to determine what they’re doing right and what they’re doing wrong. Knowing what the other companies are doing will also help you to differentiate your brand so that it stands out.
For example, find out their weakness and try to capitalize on it.
4. Make a List of Your Key Qualities and Benefits
So what is it that your brand has to offer to your customer base?
Write down a list of all the qualities and benefits you think your audience will love, or those you’ve already proven they enjoy about your brand. Maybe it’s your pricing models, delivery system or customer service.
If you’re offering benefits that can improve the lives of your customers, then this is worth noting. Just make sure the benefits and qualities you boast about are actually of value to your core audience.
5. Develop a Logo and Tagline
The logo and tagline used for your company should represent your brand.
It’s a good idea to hire a creative agency to work on creating your logo. This will be placed on everything, so it needs to be good. A professional will take the time to ensure you get a unique and timeless logo that’s ideal for your company and its market.
6. Create a Voice for Your Business
Now, this should be fun to do – creating the voice and tone of your business. This should be representative of the vibe you want to give. Are you looking to portray your company as professional?
Are you looking to portray your company as professional? Or maybe you want to come off as quirky and funny. There are many different voice styles you can use – just make sure to choose one and stick to it. For example, you can go with a voice that’s friendly, promotional, conversational, informative or service-oriented.
7. Make Your Elevator Pitch
Here, you want to create a one or two sentence pitch that sums up what your brand is all about. Yes, this is very tricky, but not impossible to do.
It’s not so much a tagline, but a brand message that defines the key aspects of what your company is, what it offers and why your customers should care.
So in a sense, this is your chance to connect with your fellow people on a human level. In other words, it should evoke some type of emotion, whether it’s happiness, excitement, contentment or inspiration.
Just think of it as the short description you have on your Twitter or Facebook profiles. TOMS chose a great one for their social page: “Improving lives. With every product you purchase, TOMS will help a person in need. One for One.”
8. Showcase Your Brand’s Personality
You’ve got a voice, a logo, and a message. Now, it’s time to allow your brand’s personality to shine. Personality is a major component in the brand development process.
This will humanize your company, making it connect with your audience. There are different ways you can pull this off:
- Showing behind-the-scenes videos of your business
- Sharing real stories and experiences from past customers
- Using a conversational first-person voice in communications (I and you)
- Being quirky in how you describe your services and products
9. Brand Development Is in Everything You Do
Your branding never stops – you have to continuously build your brand. And with all the marketing and communicating you have to do as a business, this should be simple to do.
For example, the design of your office, the marketing materials you create, the scripts your customer and sales team use and your social media pages should all resonate with your brand and its message.
Even your website should have the proper voice, personality, and message displayed in the content.
10. Don’t Go Against the Grain
Once you’ve established the look, feel and sound of your brand, you need to stick with it. Staying true to your brand is simple when you really understand what it’s all about.
So make sure your employees are trained in what it is your brand stands for. This way, they can continue on delivering the consistency a brand needs to be authentic.
Build a Better Business with Brand Development
Your company won’t make it very far without branding. It’s what makes you stand out in a competitive marketplace. And if you play your cards right, you could end up with a solid following of brand advocates and fans.
I’m Aaron Vick, a consultant who helps startups launch to success. I’ve worked with numerous entrepreneurs in various industries. If you’re looking for advice for the branding of your business startup, contact me.