Before you get ready to take your brand out and show it to the world you must figure out what its wearing. What is your brands style? Is the current style working or do you need a new wardrobe? As you get ready to put on and show out on this new branding journey there are a few things to take care of. Get ready to discuss brand goals, brand identity, assets, and the importance of your brand in the business plan.
First let’s determine your brand goals. This means focusing on one, a few, or all the listed:
Create emotional connections
Convey distinguishing attributes
Achieve brand preference
Brand awareness is making sure that as many people as possible know that your brand/company exists. This is done by heavy marketing. Utilization of tools like Facebook post boosts, Instagram promotions, or influencer partnerships build brand awareness.
When creating an emotional connection, you must get creative. Figure out what appeals to your audience. It may be telling your story transparently or openly donating proceeds to a cause of your choice. Whatever way you decide to connect with your audience emotionally, it must be authentic. Customers can smell a fake from miles away.
You convey distinguishing attributes by blowing up what you do better than the rest. You do this by comparison pieces in your marketing that show how you go an extra mile compared to your competitors.
You achieve brand preference by sweeping your customers off their feet. Going above and beyond in caring for the customers. This way they won’t feel the need to buy any products you sell to them from anywhere else. Make your customers feel you love them, and they will love you back.
Take some time to assess your current brand identity and assets.
When evaluating your brand identity there are questions you must ask yourself:
What do people like or dislike about your brand and your field?
Do they trust you?
What five key messages can you boldly declare about your brand?
What five words best describe your brand?
Write down the answers to these questions. I suggest typing them out. Get a few people familiar with your brand to answer the same questions. Once this is done you should have a good sense of what your brand identity is. Does it line up with what you want your identity to be? If yes then you are preparing now to improve your brand, if not then its time to do some rebuilding.
Your name, identifying elements, core message, dominance in the market, and relationship with key customers make up your assets. Take some time to write your assets down as well.
Your name explains itself but google search your name and see if what you see is in line with your brand. Identifying elements like your logo, tagline, color scheme, and packaging should be consistent everywhere. Your core message should be clear and concise. Can you pitch your purpose to a stranger in under a minute? If not, your brand needs some work. Your dominance in the market is how you rank against everyone else in your market. Do some research on your competitors and see how you measure up. Do not compare yourself personally but take note of how your brand looks next to others and what ways it stands out or falls short.
Your customers are your driving force. How is your communication with your customers? Are you prompt to respond to comments and messages? Do you interact with your customers on social media? Are you quick to fix errors in product delivery and product quality? Ask yourself all these questions and answer them. Your yes’s and no’s will let you know what you need to improve on.
The brand in your business plan is important. What is your budget? Are your branding expenses a part of your budget?
You already know that money talks and can be the difference between great exposure and great fail. Do not let money discourage you. There are ways to build a brand with little to no money, but it will take the leg work. Do figure out your budget so that you know up front what you have the resources to do concerning your brand.
How much time and expertise are you willing to commit to? Time is what you need if you have no money. Expertise is what you need if you can not grasp the branding concepts on your own. Do you need a team?
How far will your brand travel? Some brands are local while others are in an international market. This determines whether you can do your branding yourself or if you need to hire a professional. There is no way you can have an international brand competing in a global market with a DIY Canva logo…. It is just not going to cut it.
Make room in the budget for each development phase
Brand strategy and Positioning – How are you going to fit into your market?
Creating Identity Elements – Quality of logo, business cards, branded products
Implementation of Strategy – How much will you spend on advertisements, and Networking opportunities?
Now that you know your brand goals, identity, assets, and an idea of your budget in the business plan, it becomes clearer to see where to start with building or bettering your brand. I cannot express enough how important it is to write down the answers the questions presented in this post. If you need more guidance in putting on and gearing up to brand feel free to contact me. I have plenty more questions that can get your wheels turning in the right direction toward better brand.
Until next time...... Happy Branding