You must know what a brand is and what it is not.
- It is not a logo or product;
- It is simply the perception of your business in the mind of the consumer.
- It is a promise.
- A promise of that is meaningful and valued by the customer. A promise, that sets you apart from your competitors.
You must assess and know what’s going on in your industry and its market place. To do this, you can create a department or a team that will note opportunities and threats that may be facing your company.
You must know your position in your industry using parameters like assessing the way you do business, handle your customers, your products & services and the messages that you want to – and are able to deliver consistently to your customers.
Compare them to that which exists with competition.
Develop a list of your strengths and weaknesses.
The steps above are basically developing a SWOT Analysis (strength, weaknesses, opportunities & threats).
To do this exercise effectively you need to involve a team of employees at your company or employ the services of a business consultant.
You then can discover your current brand. Based on results from step 2 and 3, you can determine where you are today. This is critical in developing your brand strategy. It is the time to pull up your vision & mission statements for review. Then, with a clean idea of your target audience evaluate the following points.
- What is your company’s specialty?
- What are your products & services and define their qualities.
- Find the core values of your products & services.
- What kind of people does your products & services attract?
- What does your target think about your current brand? Conduct a survey. Find out how your customers feel about your business.
- Define what you want your brand to be. Now you know where you are, find where you want to go. What vision of your company do you have? What do you want it to become?
Branding starts with goals. You must to have aspirations. Come up with clear objectives of what you want your company to be in the next 2, 5, & 10 years. Your brand has to be authentic and relevant. You must know what your customers want and how to offer it to them.
Create the new realm in which your company exists. This helps your customers navigate easily within your company and gives structure to your company and organizes the identity of different products, messages and other elements.
Communicating its department, division and units as well as products, services all with the objective of adding value to the brand.
Now, present your new brand. Present it consistently; instill it in all your products and services including packaging, logos, corporate culture, website, business premises, and adverts. (Redesign your logo if necessary). Build the message into everything your customer sees and hear before they have any direct contact with your company. Make sure your company literature reflects your brand values.
Make sure your staff understand these values and believe them. Their attitude/behavior will influence the success of your brand. The power of your brand comes from how known and exposed it is. Spend what is necessary to get your message to your target market. Manage your marketing so that it makes a consistent impression of your desired brand image into the mind of your target customer.
* Consistency builds brands
* Create a single impression for your business
* Project a consistent look
* Project a consistent tone in your communications.
* Project a consistent level of quality in product, services and everything that represents your company.
Every employee is a steward of the company brand, they should carry it well.
“Your customers’ notion of your brand is formed from his or her first experience with your company, products or services. Every customer interaction is a chance to enrich the brand” – Michael Di Frisco.
You can now go ahead to integrate your new brand strategy into all your marketing and communications, and soon your marketing efforts will soar.
Be consistent: Don’t change your brand image unless you are sure that it no longer works for the market. (By then you might as well be changing your business).
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