So, once you get your hands on a really cool logo and have some really amazing advertisements going around for your brand, you take a step back and wonder, “Is this it?” Well, hold that thought right there because you are nowhere close to the end; a lot still needs doing.
Branding isn’t just about well-placed advertisements or colorful and attractive logos; there is so much more to it than that. Among all the assets that you or your company owns, a recognizable and valued brand is possibly the most valuable of them all. Nielson’s Global New Product Innovation Survey shows that 59 per cent of customers prefer buying from brands that they are able to identify with and find familiar.
To evolve your brand and put it out there for people to love and admire, you need to go the extra mile to build a name for yourself. Once you have successfully finalized your logo, there are numerous steps you need to follow with great care and innovation to effectively build your brand and market it.
If truth be told, brand building doesn’t happen overnight. It is a huge process that can take months; if done correctly, however, you might just get there before you know it. Listed below are some pointers that will surely facilitate the entire process of making your brand a renowned one:
- Identify Your Audience
Your captivating logo won’t do much if it’s not catering to the right audience. One of the major cornerstones of building your brand is determining the target market that will benefit the most from your product/ service.
If you end up making your brand for everybody, you will possibly make a very big mistake. Research proves that businesses and firms that are focused and have clearly defined target clients experience high growth and profits in the long run. Hence, the narrower your focus, the faster you will grow and flourish.
The first step here is to understand and decide where you stand in the market and who your potential customer is. To do so, you must be able to analyze how your services or products will be viewed by your targeted audience.
A brand is never what you want it to be or what you claim it is; it is actually what your audience deems it to be and what they say about it, as the founder of the award-winning matchmaking firm PCBA Paul C. Brunson puts it. Hence, to grow your brand, you need to know what people think of your product.
One of the most successful stories of target marketing and market segmentation is perhaps that of Porsche, a global market leader in the automotive industry. In attempts to attract a younger and larger female audience, it segmented its target audience and created products that resonated well with each segment. One of the biggest success factors of Porsche is its approach towards its target market and how efficiently it performs market targeting, positioning and segmentation. This includes identifying Porche’s target market first followed by profiling different consumer groups that have different needs and wants. Then, it chooses one or more of those segments to target and then finally establish and promote the product to the respective target segment. No wonder Porsche has acquired a leading status in the global market in such a short span of time.
- Research Your Market
Once you have carefully analyzed and established your target market, you might start wondering if you have selected the right target market audience. That is where the next step comes in which is your research of the chosen target audience that will consequently help you understand if you have made the correct decision.
Researching on the targeted client group will help you gain consumer insight and make you understand the client’s needs and priorities. Furthermore, it will also enable you to communicate with them in ways that resonate with them. It is believed that firms, businesses and companies that systematically research their target audience are able to grow much faster and also more profitable.
The biggest example of a company successfully segmenting its audience is Apple, undeniably one of the most successful brands of all time. The secret ingredient that evolved Apple into this corporate giant that we know today is simply Steve Jobs’ strange ability to understand his audience inside out; something he managed to do with his strong intuition and thorough market research. Later on, these insights enabled Apple to consistently create marketing strategies that resonated with its users.
- Establish a Mission and Vision
Now that you know who your target audience is and what they may be expecting from your brand, you need to establish what your brand is all about, the value your business provides and what it represents.
To gain your target audience’s trust, you should be able to tell them the core values of your brand and the purpose of its existence. A simple yet brilliant way of concisely doing that is by creating a mission statement.
It will define what your brand represents and validate its existence. A mission statement will also act as your company’s driving force for as long as it thrives in the world of business.
Nike’s mission, for instance, is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world” and it sticks to it by making products that cater to the needs of all types of athletes. To take it a notch higher, they have further added a footnote to their statement which says, “If you have a body, you are an athlete”. This has helped Nike build such a brilliant reputation and brand following through which they are able to accommodate everyone and increase their target market.
Another great example is that of Honest Tea which does a great job of displaying its mission statement that clearly reflects its values, beliefs, and also defines its level of quality, all in one go.
Honest Tea’s mission statement says that it “seeks to create and promote great-tasting, healthier, organic beverages” and it does so by spending a lot of their time testing its products so that customers are delivered exactly what they are promised.
- Stand Out
Every time you hit the grocery store to get your favorite brand of chips or cookies, how often are you interested in another brand (of chips or cookies) that looks equally tempting? Ever wondered why you ignore all the other brands for your favorite ones?
There’s a specific science behind it. A distinct brand identity makes a company stand out from the crowd. This is the secret ingredient, and while you can still sell more or less the same products as your competition, you’d still be different – in fact, better.
This goes to show that it is not just your product, but how you position yourself in the market in comparison to other brands that try to give you a run for your money. Your goal here should be to carefully analyze your competition, their marketing strategies and then carefully map out your own to allow your brand to take center stage.
Take chocolate chip cookies, for instance. So many brands to choose from yet somehow, Nestle and Hershey’s seem to have taken the lead in the world of chocolate chip cookies. Ever wondered why? Similar ingredients, similar price range and possibly similar packaging, yet these two have established themselves as icons in the chocolate chip market. The secret to their obvious success lies in the way they scan their competition, position themselves as authorities and do things that their competitors are missing out on.
- Digital Presence is Key
You may now need to make your presence felt on social media because more often than not, an online presence can make or break your business. Therefore, it’s a good idea to build your own online platform such as a website, or a blog that will help you engage with your audience and communicate with them.
In fact, your website should be your most important brand development tool, as this is usually where your audience will turn to learn about you, your products and get to know about your brand further. Your website will also be your space to put up and amplify content that will later become the crux of your search engine optimization efforts so that more and more people are able to find you online and know about you.
Moreover, your site will also tell your business’s story to the audience including your potential customers and will answer their questions such as who you are, what you do, what your vision is, etc.
Building an online presence doesn’t just mean owning a website or a blog; it is also about using social media to your advantage by creating content that goes viral instantly. Oreo is a great example as it constantly churns out relevant and fresh content on all its social sites. During the Halloween of 2013, Oreo implemented one of its best marketing campaigns where it created a Vine video series that became an instant hit.
- Stay Updated and Consistent
As a brand, your business needs to stay true to its values throughout its journey and consistently adapt to an audience that is ever-growing and ever-changing.
Being consistent is the key here because that is what will help you gain loyalty from your audience and make them come back to you for more. Imaging walking into three different McDonald’s outlets and getting your McArabia meal wrong for the third time. How likely are you to go back there or how long till you officially switch to a different fast food joint? Immediately, right?
This is what being inconsistent can do to your brand. A good brand, however, is built through years of great work including well-thought out strategies and consistent implementation.
Take Coca Cola, for instance. Brand consistency, among many other factors, is perhaps their major success factor. Their logo has remained unchanged for as long as they have hit the beverage market. Every bottle, every package and every advertisement carries with it the same level of consistency as promised by Coca-Cola. With such a brilliant consistent record, it is no wonder that brands like Coca-Cola have been so successful in their efforts to evolve themselves overtime!
Although the list is not exhaustive, these are the most vital steps that you need to take as soon as you are done with the first few steps of your brand including logo design. As mentioned earlier, brands are not built overnight. The process is long, but with the right strategies and the correct approach, your brand will evolve slowly but surely. So, learn from the mistakes of your competition, and always have a glorious focus on your customers because happy customers mean an uber successful business.
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