Whether you are just starting a new business or considering rebranding your current company, the way people perceive your business is vital to your success. Community perceptions are heavily defined by company insights and opinions, so at the outset you need everyone to be on board with the new branding strategy.
Everything you do and say, every piece of promotion, marketing and advertisement – good or bad – will influence how people feel about your company and your brand. Any inconsistencies between your branding message and people’s understanding of your brand, will weaken your brand.
So it is essential to have a sound, realistic and highly strategized branding process in place. To help you navigate through this process, here are 5 steps that will help ensure your branding starts off from a point of strength, not weakness:
- Point of differentiation: What makes your brand different to your competition? If you can’t verbalise your point of differentiation, then you are not ready to spend your time and money on a branding campaign.
Identify why consumers should purchase your products or services, from both a functional and an emotional stance. What makes your brand valuable to consumers over your competition?
- Formulate your message: What message do you want to give consumers about your brand? Is it a lifestyle choice? A solution to a long standing problem? Define the function of your brand and how it will fit into people’s lives.
To do this you need to identify your target audience and your unique selling proposition. Invest in market research and investigate how your competition is stacked up. Pinpoint the void not filled by your competition and how your brand can step in and corner that part of the market.
- Identify your touch points: You must be consistent across all brand touch points. These need to be identified right at the start of the branding process. Major touch points include your logo and slogan, colour schemes and images used in promotions.
Don’t forget your website, leaflets, brochures, business cards and most importantly – what your employees say about your company and brand.
- Internet marketing: In today’s global marketplace you cannot afford to not have an internet presence. It is not only a very cost effective way to promote your brand (if performed correctly), but it can increase the awareness of your brand to a much larger audience than you could otherwise access.
It is also worth investing in social media marketing. Even if you have no idea where to start, make sure you find out. Running a social media campaign is a whole different ball game, which involves much more than tweeting and posting status updates on Facebook.
- Start an internal campaign: As noted above, what your employees think and say about your brand is imperative to building a solid foundation for your branding campaign. If your employees do not believe in your brand, if they are not emotionally invested and cannot see the value in your product or services – you are well behind the eight ball.
Employees must stand behind your brand as they are one of the first points of engagement with consumers in a physical sense. So you must invest in education and training for your employees. It is vital that everyone in your company is a brand ambassador or else your branding campaign will gain no traction.
If you want help with branding or rebranding for your business, feel free to contact us at our Northern Beaches studio in Sydney.