Branding is one of the critical aspects in running a successful business. Whether you’re crafting a totally new company or thinking about moving in a fresh direction after many years at the helm of an established organisation, there are a lot of things to consider and tackle in order to achieve success.
In this article, we look at the main steps that every great brand strategy and refresh should include.
Who will be your main competitors? How are they currently performing? What do they do well, and in which areas could you outperform them?
Who will be your audience? What do they like? What do they hate? What are they looking for? How do they behave? How active are they?
Hunt down resources that will enable you to undertake detailed research and answer all of the above questions. Don’t settle for basic impressions — get cold, hard, provable facts and figures to back them up. Deep customer insight ensures you can connect with relevance.
What is your greater purpose? What is your company’s niche? It’s unique selling points? You need to be able to define this clearly and concisely — and every little aspect of your branding should stem from your strategic brand foundation.
It is vital that you are able to offer something that others in your field do not. So, what is it — and how will you make this clear to potential customers? How are you meaningfully different to them? How do you make their life better?
You should also think about the individual way in which your company will fit in with the local and global community. What will it do to manage its environmental impact and engage positively with the outside world?
How will your brand look and behave? What sort of “feel” will it engender?
It’s important that all of the visual elements you utilise — including logos, fonts, colour schemes, web design, and even the decor of your premises — cohere perfectly with the “image” you envision.
Design also extends to the customer experience. Think about your brand’s “tone of voice”. Is it familiar? Fun? Slick and sharp? Will you offer a service that feels personal and bespoke or super-functional and streamlined? Does this match your underlying strategy?
Everything about your company’s design must remain clear and consistent across all platforms, from the in-house experience to your social media presence (even down to your website’s error message).
A huge proportion of business is now undertaken over the internet. So, to successfully compete with other leaders within your field, your online presence must be significant and faultless.
Make sure your website is as easy as possible to navigate, loads quickly and only includes clear, necessary information. Optimise it across all platforms and devices for user-friendliness.
You need to ensure that it is regularly updated with fresh, relevant content of high quality and is regularly subjected to intelligent SEO strategies to boost it way up the search results.
In addition, the importance of a powerful and far-reaching social media presence cannot be overestimated. Pick the most suitable platforms and plan your content in advance, scheduling posts for the times at which they are most likely to be seen by your target audience.
Be sure to interact with other users regularly, to grow your connections and increase your number of followers.
It’s usually best to have only one or two individuals assigned to your social media streams. This makes it easier to stick to your company’s chosen tone of voice and keep posts relevant and engaging.
All of the above considerations are useless if your products or services are not worth your customers’ investment. In order to achieve true success, you need to first make sure that your offerings deserve the hype created by your careful and considered branding.
Use quality materials and apply expertise in all of your processes. Invest in quality client care and respond to customer demands in a proactive and efficient way at all times. With high performance and exceptional standards at your core, you are set for success.