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April 7th, 2012
Businesses ranging from small to large are all aware of brand development. But where a lot of brand development seems to be lacking is in smaller businesses. One common misconception is that in order to have “brand development”, you need a lot of money to invest into it.
Well, I’m here to tell you that couldn’t be further from the truth. Not everyone needs a large ad campaign like Coca-Cola to stand out and get recognized. After speaking to several small business owners about their own brand development, one thing became abundantly clear: they lost sight of what the key elements behind their brand development strategy should be. While the key elements seemed so simple to them in hindsight, they all agreed that yes, they had forgotten about these simple yet imperative ideas over time.
So I bring to you a quick crash course on the basics behind brand development, starting with key element #1...
Sounds like an easy question, doesn’t it? But start digging into what your business really is and it will suddenly become incredibly complex. What makes it even more difficult is that the business you started off being has now evolved into something completely different. Evolution is a natural part of business and needs to be celebrated, but with each evolution you must make sure that your brand also reflects the changes that your business is making.
The bottom line is that you have to know what your brand stands for, and then clearly demonstrate or tell people about that. The only way to know what your brand stands for is for you to have a good understanding of the brand.
Key Element #2: Who Needs to Know You?
Or as marketers may say, “Who’s your target market?” When creating a brand, you have to think about who needs to know about your brands message (and no, “everyone” is not an acceptable answer). What solutions do you offer to those with what challenges? It’s a good idea to sit down and create what we like to call a “perfect customer profile”. Who are they? What are they? Where do they live? What’s their story? How old are they? What’s their education?
Tailor your brand to suit that “perfect customer profile”. If you find that your brand will suit more than one type of profile, by all means create a second, third, or fourth “perfect customer profile”. Think about how each different profile you create may be drawn to your brand for a different reason. Maybe profile #2 sees a benefit in your company that’s different from the benefit that profile #4 sees.
The goal is that you understand who will be interested in your brand. Once you understand the “who”, you can work on your marketing campaign. You’ll know how to craft messages, what type of media they prefer, their possible social media interaction, and more (find out how you can best tailor your social media efforts here). You’ll also know what elements of your brand to showcase and to who and in what manner. It’ll take a while before you discover what works and what doesn’t for each profile, but as long as you work at it, you will discover what works, and for who.
You know your company. You know who wants what you’ve got. Now, for the final missing piece of the brand puzzle: why should they care about you? Scratch your head for a while and think about what motivates each person of each perfect customer profile to buy something. For every profile, write down as many “purchase motivators” you can think of. These are important, as they should be in the center of every single message that you sent out to that particular group of “perfect customer profilers”.
Key Element #4: Measure, Analyze, and Re-Test
The only way you’re going to know that your branding message is working is if you take down statistical information about each and every profile group for each and every branding effort that you present. It won’t be an overnight sensation, and may even take years to master. But this is what it’ll take for your business to rise against the competition and have you see a big increase in your ROI.
Know who your company is.
Know who your customer is.
Know what your customers problems are.
Learn how to solve your customers problems.
Continue testing the results.
If brand development is something you are interested in but are having trouble getting started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.
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