The Ultimate Brand Strategy Guide: 10 Tips For Building Your Brand
Even if you’re a small business owner, you have competitors to deal with. And even if you don’t have a ton of competition, you still have to give your customers a reason to want to shop with you.
Customers are becoming increasingly savvy shoppers. Many want to do business with a company they like, trust, and respect.
One of the smartest ways to get yourself in front of the pack is to brand your business. But figuring out what separates you from everyone else isn’t always that easy.
Sometimes, you need a little help. Developing a brand strategy can help. To get you started, we’ve developed this brand strategy guide. Here are our 10 favorite tips for brand management.
1. Every Brand Strategy Guide Should Help You Identify Your Niche Market
Every branding strategy begins with you identifying your niche market. No one sells everything to everyone.
Instead, start by focusing on one thing that your company is really good at. Maybe you’re a laundry service who only uses green cleaning materials.
Perhaps you own a bakery known for its divine chocolate cupcakes. Whatever it is, that’s your niche. Now become an expert in it.
2. Your Why is Your Mission
Before you do anything with brand management, you need to know why you’re doing it. Your reason why should then become your company’s mission statement.
Think about your unique strengths and gifts. Now isn’t the time to do what everyone else is doing. As Oscar Wilde once said, “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.”
Take this advice and then learn what your target audience is looking for. Then work to deliver products and services that will actually help them.
3. Research Your Competition
When you’re undergoing brand development, take some time to research your competition. You want to see exactly what they’re doing that makes them so successful.
But just as important, the research should also include information on why other competitors aren’t doing as well. Then learn from both of these groups.
Also, you need to know if you’re doing exactly the same thing as other companies. If you are, then you aren’t setting yourself apart from others and you’ll need to make a few adjustments.
4. Get to Know Your Customers
A key part to any brand development strategy is identifying and getting to know your customers. Learn who they are.
And not all of them are going to look or see alike. If you own a wine shop, perhaps customers over 40 tend to prefer liquor over wine. Maybe millennials are doing most of the wine drinking but won’t spend more than $10 on a bottle.
That information is going to help you determine the best ways to brand yourself and market to different types of clientele. The more you know and understand your customers, the easier it is to deliver exactly what they want, when they want, and how they want it delivered.
5. Design a Logo
Brand development should always include a logo. In fact, with everything you do, all of it should look alike.
Take Pepsi Co for instance. When you see one of their trucks going by, it features the same look as the cans they sell. You recognize it instantly.
And when you see those golden arches at McDonald’s, you know exactly where you are and what to expect. A logo works the same way.
A logo is the face of your brand. Do yourself a favor and hire a professional to help you design the right look.
6. Create Brand Boundaries
Not every customer is the right customer for you. Not every business opportunity is one you should jump at.
When you understand your brand’s values it helps you make stronger and smarter decisions concerning your business. Once you understand your values and your mission start setting some healthy boundaries for yourself.
Learn how to effectively say no to people and opportunities you don’t feel are right for you. This will help you become a better business person and a stronger leader.
Saying no to the wrong opportunities will also help you keep your brand from being diluted or worse, lost for good.
7. Invest in Branding Tools
Once you have your mission, values, and logo design ready, it’s time to start investing in some other branding tools.
Everything you do in regards to brand development should look the same across every marketing and advertising platform you use. social media page should contain the same keywords and logo image as your website.
If you own a physical store, you need to ensure that your store also properly reflects your brand. That includes your store sign and even what your employees wear.
You can also start selling or giving away items that have your brand imprinted on them. Click here for more ideas and information from Inter Branding.
8. Get on Social Media
Social media is a great branding strategy because it helps you make direct contact with influencers, customers, and potential customers. It’s unlike any other medium in that it has a far wider reach than anything else but won’t break your budget.
Make sure that you always use your brand development strategy when dealing with social media. Put your logo on it and always engage with others as though you were standing right in front of them.
Find out where your potential audience spends its time on social media. Make friends with influencers and start sharing tips and information to set yourself up on social media as an expert.
9. Use Your Brand in Your SEO Efforts
Part of your branding strategy should include incorporating it into your search engine optimization efforts. Find the best keywords that set your business apart from your competition.
Use words that your customers are most likely to use when doing a search for a company like yours. Write and share content that helps set you up as an expert in your niche.
10. Consult with a Branding Expert
Any decent brand strategy guide will end by advising you to consult with a branding expert. It’s difficult to develop a branding strategy when you’re so close to your own business.
You often can’t see the very things that make you special. And while employees can’t help, they’re not usually branding experts.
Make the investment so you brand development strategy is done right the first time.
Do More Research
As always, the more you learn, the easier it is to implement the right tools and strategies to help you build a more successful business. Our brand strategy guide is just one tool to help you reach your goals.
Click here to find more tools, training, and resources.