Branding involves more than just having or creating a corporate name and logo. Your brand sets your corporate culture and drives your business strategies, priorities, and influences your communities. The need for aggressive brand development, brand exposure, and subsequent reputation management are necessary for the longevity of your brand’s success.
Develop your brand’s message in a way that will establish your organization as the industry leader. Find a niche market that you can call your own. Create an even playing field for your brand that emphasizes your brand strengths.
To successfully distinguish your brand and create content that converts, you first need to ‘discover’ your story. Authenticity is crucial when telling your story. That is why you should ask the hard questions when developing a brand strategy. Part of this process should include obtaining as much customer feedback as you can. Use online surveys and direct email campaigns to see how your story is currently being interpreted. Finally, research the competition to determine what they are doing to share their message.
Where is your organization today?
What are your goals for the upcoming year? Are there aspects of your brand communications that are downright contradictory or even slightly out of alignment with what you want to achieve? For example, imagine your primary goal is to reposition your brand and communicate that your company is the leading technology innovator in its category. If your website does not contain an SSL and is not mobile compatible, it’s dated and most likely hasn’t been updated for a while! Your brand will come across as behind the times – a perception that contradicts the message you want to communicate.
What is the soul of your business?
Help your business re-discover its soul and develop a compelling message worth sharing. Instrumentally discover your message and the BEST way to relay it. You believe in your product and service and you know it will benefit others. Entice others to feel that same motivation that got you started in the first place. Storytelling via video infomercials is a great way to relay your message.
What is your corporate philosophy?
In a nutshell. Who are you? You have a brilliant product or service that you know people will love. But today’s consumer is looking for so much more than just a great pair of shoes or top-notch personal trainer. People want to identify with a feeling and have a positive experience with your brand. Creating an environment for your consumer experience should be a KEY component of your mission statement.
How does your brand experience compare with others in your industry?
Staying consistent with your brand through your corporate philosophy is also essential. Do you want your customers to feel like they’re at home in your quaint coffee shop? Do you want them to feel like they’re a part of an exclusive club when they join your gym? Or, do you want them to feel like they’re your one and only priority when they hire you as a financial consultant? Consider the sensory side of your business. Everything – from your logo and website to decor and one-on-one meetings – should reflect this feeling/experience.
Is your message consistent across all marketing channels?
This is especially important in today’s marketing environment. It’s too easy to get caught in adding every new and trendy marketing channel to your mix. You must first carefully consider your brands’ unique purpose, characteristics, and relevance to your target market. Don’t get caught up in being relevant on all channels. Focus on about 3-4 that you have determined contain the largest portion of your target market. Learn the ins and outs of your social platforms and use your knowledge of them to your advantage.