Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Your brand is important. It’s what sets you apart from your competitors. It shows your clients and customers what you stand for, and your beliefs and values. It’s crucial to get it right.
There are three core components that you can use as a blueprint for your brand strategy.
- Purpose: Why are you in business? What are the specific needs that your clients want you to fulfill?
- Consistency: Define what enables you to provide your goods or services.
- Emotional impact: What will help you to forge a connection with your customers
As well as defining and understanding these components, you also must determine other things, such as who your target audience is, who you are competing against, and your USP.
Creating a brand strategy is one of the most difficult steps you will take as a new business owner, but it’s also one of the most important ones. Let’s take a look at some of the things that you need to think about.
Think about why your branding is so important
While customers want and need good quality products and services, they are driven by much more than that. Your values and business culture will resonate with them more, as will your commitment and take on current and societal issues such as sustainability. 64% of global consumers say that they would buy from or boycott a brand depending on their stance on certain issues (Edelman 2019).
Think about how you can define your brand
By defining your brand, you can create the starting blocks for the rest of your marketing strategy. It acts as a yardstick for everything from your office design to selecting fonts for your business stationery.
Think about who your target audience is
A good brand is a focussed brand. Defining your target audience is vital and will further boost the effectiveness of your brand strategy.
You need to know exactly who your target audience is. You can do that by asking the following questions of them:
- How old are they?
- What income bracket do they fall into?
- What jobs do they have?
- What are their interests?
Think about what your brand objectives are
As well as defining your target audience, you also need a clearly defined set of brand objectives.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are you offering your target audience?
- What do you want people to feel about your brand?
- What do you want people to say about your brand?
Think about the obstacles that may stop you
Before you start the process of building your brand strategy, you need to perform a thorough analysis of the market. This will allow you to identify any potential obstacles that may be in the way. This is known as the market conditions and can be the difference between success and failure. One such very current obstacle is the ongoing COVID-19!
Think about your identity
When we talk about branding, this is pretty much the first thing that comes to the business owner’s minds. As this post explains, it is not the whole concept of branding, but it is a crucial component of it. People need to see your branding on product packaging, stationery, marketing materials, and so on and recognize who you are straight away. It is the face of your business. It needs to represent your core values, and it also needs to be consistent. Color schemes, font types, and graphics need to have thought put into them. Play around with some different designs – ask a professional graphic designer to help you if necessary, and work with a focus group made up of your target audience to garner feedback over your choices.
For many business owners, particularly in the early days, brand strategy is not viewed as necessary enough to spend time and financial resources on it. It can be seen as confusing and, as we said above, often thought of as playing around with pretty designs. The tangible benefits are not always immediately apparent. However, if you try to operate without having a clear brand strategy in place, you will lack purpose and clarity, and this will be obvious to your customers as well. Without a purpose and defined brand, you will not stand out from your competitors, and that’s a dangerous way to run a business.
Spend some time thinking about who you are and what you want your branding to represent. Remember, you are your brand; let your personality and your values shine through.