Can your potential customers find your business on Google?
Believe it, customers will Google your business to find out more about your products and services before making a purchase decision. And, if your brand is not visible on Google, customers will move on to the next available business.
Therefore, your brand and your branding strategy are important.
These days, there are countless ways in which you can create branding for your business with ease. And, it doesn’t matter if you operate a small business or a large enterprise – the fact is, all businesses must have a strong business brand to raise awareness.
So, if you do not have a business brand, it’s time to start focusing on developing a successful branding strategy.
- To help people find your business easier;
- To give people a positive image of your business;
- To make people learn more about your business and buy from you;
- To make your business stand out and stay consistent.
Branding is what distinguishes your business from the competition. It gives your customers a gift-wrapped package that tells them what to expect when you introduce a new product or service.
So how important is branding to a business?
Customers trust brands
A brand promises a certain level of service, that certain features or ethics will be valued over others. According to a Nielsen global online study millennials are using brands to create their own identities and will pay more for brands they perceive as offering additional benefits.
Customers remember brands
Every day customers are bombarded with adverts. Every day they see brands and branding. Numbers vary wildly, depending on the study, but whether it’s 400, 4,000 or 40,000 exposures a day your customers can still recall what any particular brand stands for amongst the noise of other brands.
Customers care about brands
When making a purchase customers tend to choose products they feel emotionally drawn to, and they form an emotional attachment to brands they are familiar with. Take Apple for example, they went from a niche computer company to one of the biggest manufacturers in the world through creating a strong brand. Their customer base wants their products, to be seen with their products and to be part of the global Apple “family”. When a buyer sees the Apple logo they know they will get a high quality product, a no-fuss experience and, perhaps most importantly, the kudos of being part of a particular social group.
Brands build customer loyalty
Customers are more likely to buy a product or service if they know it exists, and brands allow them an easy way to recall the marketplace when considering a purchase. Strong brands engender a sense of belonging, and encourage customers to purchase in order to belong to the right crowd.
Now, the question is, how will you develop your branding strategy to achieve your business goals? Let’s find out.
How to Develop a Branding Strategy
The branding strategy is an important aspect of the business marketing plan and it plays a vital role in forming the business brand identity.
Your brand identity will make people recognise you, remember you, and want to do business with you – it’s more than a logo.
The first step to developing a branding strategy is to understand your business
- What is the purpose of your business?
- Is your business consistent?
- Does your business have an emotional impact?
Your answers to these three questions will form the core concept on which you will define and identify your brand. This is the very first step in developing a branding strategy.
Understanding these four marketing components are also important:
Market research – you need to research the market for several reasons, which include:
- To know where your business stands in the marketplace;
- To know your target customers;
- To know what will drive growth for your business;
- To know how your competitors are performing so that you can develop better strategies to compete with them.
Core Mission Statement and Values – knowing your business core mission statement and values will help you develop a well-structured business strategy.
Unique Value Proposition – this will be a promise that you will make to your customers to create long-term relationships.
Marketing mix – think about the product, price, place, and promotion
These components of the marketing plan help to form the basis of creating your brand strategy. Now, let’s look at some of the steps that you will need to follow to develop your branding strategy.
Steps to Developing a Branding Strategy
1 – Define and Identify Your Brand – Defining and identifying your brand is the foundation on which you will start to build your branding strategy. Therefore, you must know what your brand is about, what it will be and how it will make you stand out in the marketplace.
2 – Know Your Brand’s Objectives – Ask yourself these four important questions:
- what do I want to achieve from my brand?
- how will I achieve these?
- what do I want others to know about my brand?
- what plans have I made to achieve my objectives?
3 – Know and Focus on Your Brand’s Target Audience
Knowing your target market will help you to develop an effective branding strategy. Research and identify your brand’s target audience.
When researching your target audience, think about:
- Their age
- Income range
Once you find your target audience keep focusing on them. They are the ones that are more likely to buy your products or services.
4 – Understand Your Brand’s Market Conditions
When developing your branding strategy, research the current market conditions. The market conditions are the factors that can prevent your business from obtaining its purpose.
Do your research and get to know these market conditions so that you can find ways to get rid of them.
5 – Develop a Unique Brand’s Identity
Be creative and develop a unique brand identity that will reflect your business’ core values and mission statement. You should stand out in the marketplace – make people remember you and your image; be bold and innovative.
Developing a successful branding strategy for your business can be challenging. However, it is important to have a strong business brand, even if you are operating a small business.