When businesses talk about a brand, there are several things that come to mind. Does the logo represent the business does well? Is it catchy and easy to remember? There is so much that goes into brand planning. From the name and logo to the specific products and services offered. But, don’t stop there. An expertly developed brand encompasses all areas of business. It is consistent, unique, and never stagnant.
This is more than simply a logo. Perception is reality when it comes to your brand identity.
- Brand – How your target market perceives your business. It is extremely valuable, often, more valuable than the individual goods or services offered.
- Branding – This is the marketing and Public Relations involved in shaping your brand. This is how you can ensure your customers have the highest perception of your business. It is how you can start to position yourself as an industry leader.
- Brand Identity – This is a collection of your brand and branding efforts. It is the result of all your work to mold how the public perceives your business.
Creating a strong brand identity:
A strong brand identity is more than simply what the business does. It is far more in-depth than the name of your company.
Mission statement – Why did you start your business in the first place? The answer is more complex than to make money. Were you trying to help people? What problems were you looking to solve? Identify what makes you work so hard every day to grow a business you love.
Values – Your values guide how you conduct business daily. They are very important to your brand and affect how the public perceives your company. For example, let’s say you run an organic food company. How do you make sure that you are working with vendors who operate in line with your values? What standards do you hold them too? How do you make sure you are hiring employees who share your values? Consistency is key.
What kind of personality does your brand have? Your customers will impact the personality of your business. Who is your target market? Is your brand identity one that appeals to your target market? You can develop this in your branding.
How to develop a strong and profitable brand:
Your brand is alive, and development of it doesn’t stop when you are in the black. Your reputation is the strongest aspect of your brand. It will determine how visible you are to prospects. It will also determine how willing people are to do business with you. But, how does one develop and nurture their brand?
- Start with your strategy – This is where your marketing plan comes into play. Will you be growing organically? Or do you plan to extensively advertise? Where is your target market? What avenues would be effective to reach them?
- Identify your ideal client and get to know them – Not every customer is a good fit for your business. Trying to be everything to everyone will alienate your target market. You need to zero in on getting those customers who will be most profitable to your business. What do they want out of your company? What problems can you solve for them?
- How will your position yourself? – Why should your customers come to you instead of the competition? Why would they want to buy from you instead of your competitor? Your brand and values can help your customers feel confident doing business with you.
- Don’t stop developing and growing: A profitable brand is always growing and developing. It isn’t stagnant. You should always be tracking the success of your brand, and ways to continuously improve. Be sure to track how well your plan was implemented. Were there hiccups that could affect the results? The results may differ depending on the implementation.
Your brand is one of your most valuable business assets. Protecting and nurturing it is vital to your survival. It is so much more than a name and logo. It guides how you conduct your affairs on a regular basis.