Brand Strategy: Effective Basics
Whether your business is small or large, commercial or B2B, brand strategy is one of the most important aspects to your marketing strategy. Branded effectively, your company will have an edge over your competitors and create loyalty and trust between you and your clients. But really, what do we mean when we say branding? Think of it this way, branding is the promise you are making to your customer. It is the consistency that allows your customers to know what to expect from you and your products.
Create a Brand Strategy
The first step to creating an effective brand for your organization is to create a brand strategy. Within this strategy you are going to answer the who, what, when and hows of your organization. Who is your audience? How are you planning to deliver your messaging? How will you distribute your message to reach your target audiences? What resources do you have such as brochures, websites, trade shows to relay your messaging? How are you communicating with your potential clients?
By planning out a solid brand strategy, you are adding equity to your company. You are creating the value that will strengthen the messaging behind your products and services. In the long run, this heightened level of brand equity will allow you to charge more for your products than competitors with generic brands. For example, look at Coca-Cola compared to a generic soda manufacturer. Through the years, Coca-Cola has created a very solid brand equity foundation, which in turn has created brand loyalty and a perceived added value to their company. Due to this higher level of brand equity, they are able to charge consumers a higher price and ultimately be more profitable compared to their generic competitors.
Define Your Brand Strategy
The first steps to defining your brand may seem challenging, but think of it as self-discovery for your company. It can be time consuming, but at the end of the day it will help your company grow and become stronger. Some things you may want to first look at when defining your brand include your mission statement, the benefits and features of your products, what qualities you want associated with your company or what perceptions already exist about your company.
This is your time to do some research! Get in the minds of your customer. Talk to them. Conduct surveys to see what they know (and don’t know) about your company. Don’t assume they know anything. Instead, find out for sure what they know. This task can be tedious and overwhelming, especially for a company without much marketing experience. This may be a good opportunity to sit down with a marketing firm, such as B63 Line, and discuss strategies to define your brand so you can properly positioned in your market space.
Get the Word Out
Once your strategy is in place and you have defined your messaging for your company it is time to start promoting yourself. Here is what to do:
- Develop a Great Logo – Use your logo everywhere! From letterhead to newsletters, websites to vehicles, you want your logo to be a defining image of your company. Typically, consumers need to see a product around seven times before they remember it properly. Think about this with your logo. The more your consumers see your logo, the more recognition they will have so that when they need your product they will remember you, not your competitor.
- Pinpoint Your Messaging – What key messages do you want to relay to your customers? Think of it as an elevator speech. If you are stuck in an elevator with a stranger and they ask you about your company, what are the key messages you want them to know. Limit this to just a few key points and make sure everyone in your company is aware of the messaging so there is consistency across your entire company.
- Create Brand Standards – Consistency is key to a good brand. To ensure your employees are all providing the same results, create brand standards for all to follow. This will be anything from the colors you use for marketing materials to logo placement to wording for certain areas. This doesn’t have to be an elaborate document, just clear, concise and easy for all of your employees to follow so that your brand messaging stays consistent.
- Integrate Branding into Everything – Your brand will extend to all aspects of your company. From your service calls to techs in the field, your e-mail signatures to advertisements in trade magazines, you want to ensure the branding you created is consistent in all avenues of your business.
- Be True to You – If you are marketing your company as the oldest, most reliable company and then not answering your phones or returning calls, your customers are going to take note. Whatever you choose to be, make sure to follow through and consistently be true to your brand identity.
Need help creating a brand strategy to really stand out amongst your competitors? B63 Line can help! Check out our list of branding services here. Contact us today!