A Strategic Guide To Brand Development
Brand development can sometimes be thought of as confusing, expensive and an overall difficult process. Some even believe that it should only be established during the early stages of a business. But this is certainly not the case.
While it is true that brand development should be included as a key aspect of your business’ beginning, it can and should be worked on overtime. You should revisit the process whenever you feel it needs more refining.
Brand development doesn’t need to be expensive or involve a grand undertaking in order to make a good impression, all that really matters is that your business is somewhat unique and offers value to the audience you are looking to serve.
Some useful questions concerning brand development are: what does my brand represent, who is my target audience and what value does my brand have to offer?
What does my brand represent?
This question may seem like an easy one to answer, but oftentimes businesses don’t really want to think about it. This is because a business will naturally evolve and change over time, meaning who your organisation is today may not be who it once was when it was established or who it may turn out to be in the future.
There is a natural progression that occurs when businesses seek to improve and become more efficient while appealing more to their target market. These changes are all examples of growth and each one speaks to a measure of success. So it’s important to remember that the brand should also reflect these changes accordingly.
Which brings us back to having a clear definition of what your brand stands for and what value it offers. This is crucial to figure out, as you need to have an understanding of what your business is all about in order to communicate it’s value to others.
People should be able to identify what your brand aims to represent at its core. Successfully answer this question and it will automatically influence everything else in your business.
It’s hard to succeed if you are missing the purpose of why your business does what it does.
So start by asking yourself:
- What motivated you to start this business?
- Is there sufficient demand for your business’ product or service?
- Why should your audience trust your brand, specifically?
Who is my target audience?
An effective way to check for this is to create some buyer personas. Buyer personas are fictional characters that represent your ideal clients. Doing this will allow you to get to know your ideal audience inside and out. Think about the problems and challenges they may be facing, their decision-making process and what might prompt them to seek out your products or services.
Start off with a few buyer personas. The purpose of each buyer persona is to assess different facets of your audience. Also, consider that they might be in different stages of the buying process. Cover all angles and get to know the specifics. This will assist you in later developing a brand that speaks exactly to your ideal clients.
Buyer personas are great because they enable you to segment your target audience, letting you reach the right people at the right time with your messaging. It also makes your marketing efforts a lot more effective. All it takes is a bit of work, in the beginning, to discover who these ideal audiences are.
But how do you go about finding these ‘ideal’ people? Well, start by looking at your existing customer/client base and begin to gather information. From there, analyse their behaviour and group them into different personas.
When you have finished gathering all the information from your personas, use it to develop a brand style guide. This guide will assist others in understanding your business’ brand voice, look and feel so that they too can deliver consistent messaging that is in line with your brand.
What value does my brand have to offer?
Lastly, when developing your brand, answer the question, what does my brand offer? Start off by analysing your existing buyer personas and look hard for what they might find appealing about your offering.
In other words, what is it that motivates them to buy a specific product or service from your business? Then make a record of every purchase motivator for each persona. Use these motivators to carefully craft your marketing messages, speaking to each persona directly. This is paramount to your brand’s success.