With the emphasis being made on growing brands, it is important to understand that a brand more than your logo, name or slogan, however, it?s the whole experience and perception your prospects and customers have with your company, product or service.
A well-implemented brand strategy makes it easy to define what you stand for, the promise you make, and the personality being conveyed by your brand.
As your brand strategy includes a logo, colour palette and slogan which are the creative elements that help to prospects perceive your brand right, it all doesn’t end at that.
Your brand strategy effort should enable interaction with your market
The channel of implementing your brand strategy, therefore, would include:
- The messages you deliver on your website, proposals and campaigns
- The images you convey
- A customer?s opinion of you versus your competition
- The way your employees interact with customers
What is a Brand?
The word ?brand? has been used interchangeably with ?company? missing on clarity in defining it.
To define, a Brand is an essential promise to the buyer about the kind of product or experience they are purchasing, and how they will feel when they use it.
For example, a brand name such as Coca-Cola has utilized their messages, the images and user experience in defining their brand.
Coke?s brand tells you what to expect from the experience of drinking a Coke and makes it distinct from other related products. Consider a phrase like ?have a Coke and a smile? it defines the Coke brand in the minds of consumers as an experience that will make them happy.
Why is Brand Strategy Important?
As strong brands don?t just happen overnight. There is a need to draft a long-term strategy that guides how a company does business and having room for understanding customer needs.
- The brand strategy serves as a reference in decision making. A strong brand gives the B2B customer confidence to move forward with a purchase decision.
- Brand strategy is an economical means of addressing customer concerns at scale.
- It prevents ad hoc marketing efforts that result in unclear messaging.
- It allows B2B marketers to increase margins and build loyalty with their own customer base and protects them from the competition, according to Harvard Business Review.
Building Your Brand Strategy: 5 Essential Elements
Research On The Market
As a startup investing your money in the company without doing prior market research is as good as building a house on sand.
So, first and foremost, you?ll need to do your research on the market you are planning to enter.
Market research isn?t complete without these two main components: customer research and competitor research.
Identify With Your Target Customers
In a startup venture, there is a huge tendency to appeal to every single kind of customer. This often turns to be havoc and loss of resources that could have been well utilized with well-defined target customers.
Identify with a specific target group and aim your brand strategy towards them.
A target group can be defined by two factors, that is demographic and psychographic features of your customers.
Questions to make you help define specific demographics to target:
- Age and gender of your customers
- Where they live and work
- Income and education level
- Marital or family status
- Ethnic background
For psychographics which is a bit more challenging to understand as it includes more personal characteristics such as personality,?attitudes and values,?interests and hobbies,?lifestyle and behaviour.
As a brand, the psychographics of your target customers will help in responding to your customers and the use of the product, which features of the product are the most appealing to them and how you should target them.
Get specific. Figure out detailed behaviours and lifestyle of your consumers.
It is easy to deliver your message in boldness, increase your confidence and build on the connection just after defining and identifying your target audience.
This is the foundation on building your brand is determined by the targeted audience you?re focusing on.
Your brand value proposition must be relevant to your audience. This would imply, your target audience must be first identified and clearly defined.
It?s therefore important in the process of defining your target audience to find the right balance that causes your audience to recognize that you are the brand message is specific to them.
This would require narrowing down to your channel of providing your value proposition, in order for the message to be compelling and clear.
The power of your brand relies on your ability to focus on your target audience and craft a marketing message that will convert prospects into customers.
That is why defining your target audience will help to strengthen your brand?s overall effectiveness.
Research On Your Competitors
The perception of operating with the conscious understanding of the existence of competitors is what limits most startups.
Identifying your competition and monitoring your competitors can help you see how they manage to develop a strong brand but also what they could do better.
You are able to position yourself better on the market and target the customers well against your competitors when you have a better understanding of your competition.
Your value proposition, in this case, will act as the core for your competitive advantage. Actually, it is what separates your business from your competitors.
Building on your unique value proposition or selling proposition, clearly articulates why someone would want to buy from your company instead of a competitor.
When researching your competition, look at the following factors:
- Competitor value proposition
- Channel used in driving traffic to the business
- Website traffic estimations
- Competitor results
Well researched competition scope help define your unique position within the marketplace and gives you an edge over other businesses.
Consistency In Your Marketing
As a brand consistency cannot be avoided as it contributes to your brand recognition, which helps bring loyal customers.
Media such as social media are a great platform for connecting with your existing and prospective audience and promoting your brand to a significant number of people.
Consistency in your media of communication as social media is key in promoting brand recognition. It is important to avoid talking about things that don?t relate to or enhance your brand strategy.
The perception created by your community in these platforms is important in increasing customer loyalty and the end results are often increased in sales.
As a brand, you need to ensure that all of your messaging is cohesive, in giving your brand a platform to stand on.
Creating a style guide for your brand would help in outlining how to maintain a cohesive brand from the colour palette to be adopted, the brand’s tone of voice, to the brand message to be used.
Design a Logo that Aligns with Your Brand
As mentioned earlier one of the creative element that would be used to represents your brand is a logo.
A logo an element of your brand identity toolkit is an important element in promoting audience engagement, interaction, as well as sales.
So, it makes a huge difference when it comes to the kind of brand identity and logo to be specific you choose for your brand positioning on the market.
A good logo that is effective, it needs to be:
- Simple and memorable
- Have an appropriate design for your brand and market
- Easily adaptable for various materials
Other elements that are important for your brand identity would include, colour, typography, brand voice and tone, choice of imagery among others.
It is important to find the right designer, or agency to develop your brand identity that is adaptable as well as implements the brand strategy. As a creative agency in Nairobi, Kenya we look forward to getting you the perfect solution to brand your startup.
In conclusion, you need to give be effective in creating your brand identity as it is what ties your brand and connects your brand to the prospects and customers.
Which other brand strategy have you implemented in your company or business that has provided tremendous results on sales and improved customer experience?