Building a Strong Brand
Every brand, has value. It might be big or it might be small, but it has value. Great branding makes a company more desirable to its customers. While your company’s products or services are important, the branding makes it desirable and helps it stand out from its competition. Building a recognizable and valuable brand is part of every business. It helps consumer’s recognize who you are and helps them make a decision to purchase from you again.
Think about some of the biggest brands, Apple, Coca Cola, Google, McDonald’s, Nike. You know immediately what you’re getting when you see a product or service associated with one of these brands.
Here are 5 steps to Building a Strong Brand:
- Research Your Brand
- Analyze Your Brand
- Analyze Your Customers
- Market and Advertise Your Brand
- Refine Your Brand
Step 1: Do Research
The first step to developing a strong brand is to do your research. Determine if your brand is protectable. Is it a strong brand or is it like every other brand out there? Your brand should uniquely identify your goods or services, where you stand in the marketplace and be understood by your customers.
In some cases, this may involve a trademark search. A trademark search can determine if your brand is a weak brand or a strong brand. In some cases, you may also want to do some consumer research to see if your brand is on point with who your market is, your customers. In addition, you may want to do a trademark clearance search or a competitive investigation to gain some insight into who your competition is, including reviewing their websites; how they market their services; their brand identities and advertising strategies. All of this can be helpful when researching what brand you want to use, if it is protectable and how you may want to use it.
Step 2: Analyze your Business
A good brand establishes who you are, what you do and differentiates you from your competition. Some brands are used to establish the core philosophies of the company and may include a mission statement. Some brands are used to establish the brand’s value proposition for its customers. The brand is often the first thing related to your business which a potential customer will see. It is your first impression. It should represent who you are and what’s important to your company.
In some cases, you may want to consider what message you want to convey about your company. See what your customer’s think about your message and if it matches your company. Your brand should also be unique and differentiate your business from your competition. A strong brand can convey the essence of the company to your customers.
Step 3: Analyze your Customers
Who are your customers? What do they want to know or see? Do your customer’s expect to see something professional or something edgy and modern? What customers see or are looking for in a brand is equally important. Once you find the right brand, it will be used through most advertising and marketing channels. Your brand will become a pseudonym for your company which will be recognized by your customers. The brand will become part of the goodwill of your company which, for better or worse, will be associated with your company.
A good brand matches the message you want to convey to your customers with the message they want. A bad brand will confuse or send the wrong message. Analyzing your customers will help make sure the message they hear or see, is the right message.
Step 4: Marketing and Advertising your Brand
Once you research and choose the right brand, you will want to Market and Advertise your brand. You will want to use it on your business cards, your building and your website. You may want to use it on letterhead, in emails and newsletters when talking about the amazing things you are doing. In addition, you may want to promote it with shirts or local events occurring within your community. Events, which you share a passion for or which help tell your story.
While you want to make sure your potential customers and client’s see and recognize your brand, you don’t want the brand to lose its impact or its message. You don’t want your brand to be used so much that it no longer is recognizable as your brand. One way to do this is to maintain control over where the brand is used and how it is used. If you give up control over where and how your brand is used, it could become diluted or even worse, generic or abandoned.
Step 5: Develop Brand Strategy (Refine)
Once your brand is in use, you may want to determine if it is effective. Do your client’s understand your brand and the message it conveys. Have you protected your brand and is it still enforceable.
In addition, over time, you will want to see if your brand is still current. Does it still work? What may have worked in the 90s may not work today. In addition, your company may have evolved over time so that the message is bigger, broader or better. Customer’s change. Businesses change. A good brand strategy evolves with the changing times so that it continues to send the right message to the right people. Make sure you have a strategy in place to review and revise your brand. If you protected your brand, one time to do this would be when you are renewing it, every ten years or so. You should periodically revisit your brand and see if it still fits or if you need something else.
No matter your size, your brand has value and should be a tool and asset you use to bring success to your company. We understand brands and how they can increase the value of your company. Contact Us and let us help you develop and maintain your brand.