In today’s market, businesses are facing heavier competition than ever when it comes to capturing consumers’ attention. From social media to traditional advertising to word-of-mouth, everyone is looking for the best way to be remembered. If you want the best chance of staying at the forefront of your audience’s minds, there’s one important thing to consider: branding.
No matter what type of business you’re running, branding is an essential marketing tool you’ll need in order to continue to grow. But often there’s one question on business owners’ minds… What really is branding and how do you accomplish it?
To put it simply, branding is the process of assigning a set of specific elements to a business that distinguish it from other companies- shaping a distinct perception in consumers’ minds. In order to develop a successful brand strategy, it’s important to follow these helpful tips!
1. Cater to Your Target Audience
2. Create a Branding Guide
3. Integrate and Strategize
Cater to Your Target Audience
The first thing to think about when developing a brand for your business is your target audience and how you want to be perceived by them. It can be easy to make the mistake of accidentally marketing to the wrong group of people who won’t buy your product or service. That’s why you need to first decide who you’re selling to and what they’ll best respond to.
It is important to research how to perform effective targeting, but finding these groups of customers can be a complicated task. You can read more in-depth articles like the following to help get you started: How to Find Your Target Audience. To put it simply, a target audience can be decided by many factors such as age, location, interests, profession, and income to name a few. Once you’ve narrowed down your audience, you’ll want to brainstorm keywords about your business’ identity that your target group will identify with.
For example, if your target audience is made up of business professionals some key terms that align with those values could be efficient, innovative, reliable, and streamlined. If your target audience is teenagers, your ideals may revolve around very different terms like modern, colorful, fun, and young.
Defining keywords like these to describe your brand identity is a great way to set goals for your public perception. Using these initial terms will also help to solidify your image and guide the next steps for your marketing strategy.
Create a Branding Guide
After you’ve decided how you want to be viewed by your audience, you have a base to build on. You can now start to define key brand elements according to your new image.
First, take your keywords from Step 1 and ensure that they are reflected in your company’s mission statement and slogan. This will help to align your company’s core values with your desired image and convey that to the audience.
Many businesses choose to design (or redesign) their company color palette, fonts, and logo to better align with this desired image. These new elements along with others are often kept in an official “branding guide” in order to promote brand continuity- the reliable imagery, messaging, and tone across platforms. For more information on creating a branding guide, you can visit How to Create a Brand Guide or other articles outlining the components you’ll need to include. Going forward, it’s important to make sure that all materials are designed according to your branding guide. This will be important in order to continue to promote a consistent image with the public.
Integrate and Strategize
Once you’ve built a brand guide based on your business’s core image and ideals, it’s time to integrate. Proper integration is important to positioning yourself in the mind of the consumer.
When developing an integration strategy to merge your existing business and newfound brand, you’ll need to go back and utilize Steps 1 and 2. The first focus of your strategy should be based on using the brand guide elements in the design of your company’s website, social media accounts, business cards, marketing collateral, and eventually digital marketing ads, TV spots, and more (as discussed in step 2). You’ll want to make sure that your designated colors, fonts, and logo are visible in all your content.
Doing this will be helpful to create a uniform style throughout all the materials you produce, and will also make your audience start to view your company according to your desired image. Keeping a consistent image is very important for potential customers because it also helps make your brand more easily recognizable. If your brand is easily recognizable, customers are more likely to think of it over competitor brands when shopping.
Once you’ve implemented the brand guide, it is important to use these newfound tools to create, tweak, and execute your marketing plan. Altering your strategy to better fit your new image is a crucial step to ensuring your brand supports the rest of your marketing goals.
While these helpful tips are sure to kickstart your brand development, these 3 steps hardly scratch the surface. Here at MediaScape Advertising, our marketing experts can help build in-depth strategies to create and maintain an effective branding strategy! Learn more here and contact us today to get started.