Has your company lost sight of who it is, and where it is going? Could it be experiencing a brand identity crisis? If this is the case, a brand development plan could be just what the doctor ordered.
The Building Blocks of Brand Development
Brand development is the process of improving a brand or customers’ knowledge and opinions of it, according to the Cambridge Dictionary. This process, from research to implementation, reinvents the way a brand is marketed to its potential customers.
Thorough research in the beginning of the process creates a better understanding of your company, its competition and target customers. This enables marketers to focus their efforts on potential customers who are most likely to buy a company’s products or services.
Without developing target audiences, the brand development process will lack the direction it needs to achieve its goal. Developing buyer personas, semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on market research and real data, is a powerful inbound marketing tool, which can be used to better understand a brand’s customer base. The insight will inform and influence the branding or rebranding strategy.
Determining what makes your brand special transitions into the positioning of your brand.
Defining and Positioning Your Brand
In order to define and position your brand, understand first where it currently is and where it is going. It’s okay if at this juncture your company does not know the answer. By answering a series of simple questions, a clearer understanding will emerge.
Brand Questions Worth Asking
- What are the expectations of your customers?
- What are the main products and services your company offers?
- What is unique about your brand?
- What is your company’s philosophy?
- Why should customers buy from your business and not competitors?
Once your company knows itself a little better, it’s time to move towards brand positioning.
Brand positioning is a means for your business to gain a competitive advantage by differentiating itself from its competitors.
Building Brand Personality
After you define your brand’s identity, the next step is to build a personality for your brand. Simply put, a brand personality assigns human characteristics to a business.
If you develop the proper tone of your brand, it will help you to better communicate with your target audience.
Is it light-hearted and fun? Or studious and serious? The answers to these questions influence everything from the color scheme of a website to the style of the logo.
Creating a Brand Promise
A brand promise lets your potential customers know what to expect when they frequent your business. This promise is a description of your company’s value to your customers. By fulfilling this promise, companies build customer trust that can be transformed into repeat business.
Planning Creative Development
Now that your brand’s identity has come sharper into focus, it’s creative development’s turn to drum up new customers. A branding strategy which communicates the essence of your company can increase the name recognition.
Now better than ever before, inbound marketing vehicles, like a blogging or social media marketing, can articulate the benefits your brand delivers to customers. Finally, consistency in every platform develops invaluable brand recognition that can result in sales now and into the future.