Brand is a way consumers think about a particular product. Today market is flooded with competition and every brand wants to stay ahead in the race to reach the pole position so that the promises they make are delivered to their respective consumers.
Brand development is nothing but to maintain the continuous flow in terms of quality, value and trust that consumer finds in the company. Brand development has following 4 phases:
Brand strategy– How to take your brand into the market? Making brand communications more effective.
Brand Identity– It communicates the company’s vision and mission via Brand. From beginning to end, making brand more memorable.
Graphic design– Differentiates from the competitor and shape consumers’ perception positively.
Brand management– Just like a stock portfolio, managing the investment done by the company in the brand.
How is it done?
The following is the Brand Development Strategy
- Consider your overall business strategy.
A strong, well established brand will help grow your firm much easier. But what type of company growth do you want? Are you planning to grow organically? If your overall business strategy is the basis for your brand development strategy, then that’s the place to start. If you are clear about where you want to take your firm, your brand will help you get there.
- Identify your target clients.
Who are the clients that need to be targeted? If you say all of them then it is worth pondering. Studies have revealed that high growth, high profit firms are focused on having clearly defined target clients.
The narrower the focus, the faster the growth. The more diverse the target audience, the more diluted your marketing efforts will be. So how do you know if you have chosen the right target client group? That’s where the next step comes in.
- Research your target client group.
Firms that do systematic research on their target client group grow faster and are more profitable. Further, those that do research more frequently (at least once per quarter) grow faster still.
Research helps you understand your target client’s perspective and priorities, anticipate their needs and put your message in language that resonates with them.
It also tells you how they view your firm’s strengths and your current brand. As such, it dramatically lowers the marketing risk associated with brand development.
- Develop your brand positioning.
It is time to determine a firm’s brand positioning within the professional services marketplace.
How is your firm different from others and why should potential clients within your target audience choose to work with you? A positioning statement is need of the hour and captures the essence of your brand positioning.
It must be factual and real, as you will have to deliver on what you promise. It must also be a bit aspirational so you have something to strive for.
- Develop your messaging strategy.
The next step is a how to convey the message to the target audience. A target audience typically includes potential clients, potential employees, referral sources or other influencers and potential partnering opportunities, to name a few of the usual suspects.
While your core brand positioning must be the same for all audiences, each audience will be interested in different aspects of it. The messages to each audience will lay stress on the most relevant points.
Each audience will also have specific concerns that must be addressed, and each will need different types of evidence to support your messages. Your messaging strategy should address all of these needs.
This is an important step in making your brand relevant to your target audiences.
- Develop your website.
A company’s website is the single most important brand development tool. It is the place where all the audiences look for information such as what you do, how you do it and who your clients are.
Prospective clients are not likely to choose your firm solely based on your website. They may well do an in-depth research of what type of company you are and what all are the brands that your company possess and their standing in the market.
They may well rule you out if your site sends the wrong message. Further, a company’s website will be the home to a firm’s valuable content. That content will become the focus of your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts so that your prospects, potential employees, and referral sources will find you and learn about your firm.Online content is central to any modern brand development strategy. Click To Tweet
- Implement, track, and adjust.
This final step in the brand development process may be one of the most important. Obviously a winning brand development strategy won’t be successful if it is not implemented.
One might get surprised at how often that happens. A solid strategy is developed and started with all the good intentions but then reality sucks. People get busy with client work and brand development tasks is put aside and possibly forgotten.
That’s why tracking is so important. It is strongly recommended that tracking should be done for both the implementation of the plan as well as results. The question is did the strategy get implemented as planned? What happened with the objective measures, such as search traffic and web visitors? How many new leads, employee applications and partnering opportunities were generated? Only by tracking the entire process one can make sure whether you are drawing the right conclusions and making the right adjustments.
That’s all. The above are steps for brand development process to drive growth and profitability of a prospective firm.
Why is brand development important to a small-business owner?
The following steps will show why brand development is important to a small business owner.
- Branding Improves Recognition
One of major components of a brand is the logo. Think of how we instantly recognize the golden arches of McDonalds or the simple, but powerful eagle of the USPS. As the face of a company, logo design is critical because that simple drawing will be on every piece of correspondence and advertising. A professional logo design is simple enough to be memorable, but powerful enough to give the desired impression of your company.
- Branding Creates Trust
If a particular brand is professional in appearance then it leads to credibility and trust. People are more likely to purchase from a business that has a good branding in place and is well established and also genuine.
- Branding Supports Advertising
Advertising is another big thing for a brand to develop further. Both the medium chosen and the area targeted for advertisements builds a brand. Too narrow an advertising focus, leads to too much risks for the company and this results in losing their ability to expand into newer markets. Too broad a focus and the company fails to create a definable impression of the company in the minds of prospective customers.
- Branding Builds Financial Value
Companies who shares are traded on a stock exchange are valued at as many times the actual value of the company. Much of this value is due to the positive branding of the company. A strong brand usually strengthens future business. Whether a company is in the position to borrow funds for expansion or rolling out an IPO, being perceived as more valuable will make the process advantageous for the owner of the company. The greater a company’s devotion to build its brand value, the better the financial return from its efforts.
- Branding Inspires Employees
Many employees prefer they should work for a decent and recognizable brand. When employees understand the mission and vision of a particular company and its brand then they are more likely to feel the same pride and work with zeal in the same direction to achieve the goals that have been set for them. Having a strong brand is like turning the company into a flag the rest of the company can rally around.
- Branding Generates New Customers
Branding enables a company to get repeat business. Would it be possible to tell somebody about the new shoes of a particular brand in a showroom if one couldn’t remember the brand? As the most profitable advertising source, word of mouth referrals are the best thing one can do in order to promote a brand to variety of customers but it is only possible in a situation where your company has delivered a memorable experience with your customer.
The most profitable companies, either small or large, have a single thing in common. They have established themselves as a leader in their particular industry by building a strong brand.
What does brand development include?
Brand development includes developing the brand from scratch with the help of industry experts and professionals involved in brand development process. Before a firm develops a brand, it has to conduct an in-depth study about the market, its competitor’s brand, customer reaction and how far it will go in developing the company strategy.
Brand development is no overnight process and it requires lot of study and patience and knowledge about the niche market in order to develop a successful and sustainable brand which will be remembered forever.
To conclude I would like to opine that brand development is a must for every firm, small or big, in order to get a foothold in this competitive and crazy world or world class brands.