While having a great product is certainly a must if you are trying to make your company successful, it is only one piece of the puzzle. The same can be said for your company logo, website, social media profiles, and last but not least, your name. That’s just the material part of what makes up your brand because there is an intangible part to every business, which includes the public’s perception of your company, values it is trying to promote, as well as emotions it is usually associated with.
Let’s take Coca-Cola as an example. We’re going to go out on a limb and say that there isn’t that much of difference between Coke and Pepsi in terms of quality or taste. However, what makes Coca-Cola more popular is their focus on the brand, and not necessarily the product. Just take a look at their ads and commercials. They are full of young, happy people, friends and families being together, and Santa Clause.
It’s a pretty clever branding strategy since it sells a lifestyle pretty much everyone is pursuing. Now, while you may not have all the resources that corporate giants have at your disposal, there are still plenty of things you can do to build your brand and come up with an effective brand development strategy. Here are some of them.
Identify Your Brand’s Target Audience
While it may seem like a good idea to reach out to as many people as possible, remember that marketing isn’t free and that ultimately, you are throwing a lot of money down the drain because you are addressing an audience which isn’t interested in your brand or its products. But, if you decide to be more specific and profile your customers, you will find that the narrower your focus, the larger your advantage over your competition will be.
Simply put, by focusing on a very targeted audience, your message becomes much clearer, and so do your future marketing efforts.
Again, we will take Coca-Cola as an example, For the most part, they have stuck with the same white font on a red background, allowing only for subtle changes. In fact, when they tried to do the opposite back in 1985 by introducing New Coke, they experienced a massive backlash. Although the new formulation was received well during blind tasting tests, the packaging was radically different, and it was no longer the product millions of people have come to know and love.
That doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to make changes to an already established brand, especially if it’s dropping in popularity, but some things, such as the fundamental ideas and messages of your company, need to remain similar at the very least. You can only make your brand recognizable by being consistent.
Decide on How You Will Position Your Brand
Brand positioning is necessary because it tells your target audience what you stand for, and what they can expect from you if they decide to become your customers. You need to provide something different and meaningful, with clear benefits for every buyer. For instance, Gillette used to control nearly the entire market of men’s razors. However, when the Dollar Shave Club emerged, they were able to win the market share game by offering products which were much more affordable than Gillette’s but were still high-quality.
They were also able to engage their customers by using humor and aiming slight jabs at Gillette’s more expensive products.
Develop Brand Visuals
If your brand is relatively new, you will need to worry less about consistency right away, and more about coming up with the right name, logo, and tagline for your company. While these only make up a fraction of your brand, they are that external part which your target audience and customers communicate and identify with. To understand how important visuals are, take a look at the Tropicana rebranding fiasco, which happened back in 2009.
Their orange juice remained the same, but their packaging was too far removed from the old one and too similar to that of cheaper generic brands. However, if you are looking to reposition your brand completely or to target a different audience altogether, then you might want to consider a total change when it comes to name, logo, and brand tagline. If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford to invest in a professional designer then our design resources page may come in handy you can even tackle the issue yourself and create some impressive brand materials. This is not saying you should not invest in professional design but when starting out the funds may not be available so at least you can get something to get you going to start with.
Play the Emotions Card
Human beings are not always rational, and they are not necessarily going to buy a product based on its features and price alone. Take Harley Davidson, for example, and their Harley Owners Group, or HOG. Bikers are generally thought of as edgy, rebellious, and slightly dangerous, but in an undeniably cool way. By enabling its customers to become a part of HOG, they are allowing them to claim the same status for themselves. There is also the fact that human beings are social animals which have an innate need to connect with one another.
Harley Davidson doesn’t necessarily make the best motorcycles, but they do embody the culture unlike anyone else. Basically, what they are selling is coolness and badassery shaped as bikes.
Build Your Content Marketing Strategy
Whether you are trying to build a brand for an online store or a brick-and-mortar business, you will need to seek out your target audience in places where they hang out, and that is usually the Internet. While traditional marketing can increase customer awareness about your brand and boost its visibility on the market, content marketing is still a better option.
Why? Because, in addition to doing all of the above, content marketing also has the potential to improve your reputation. By providing potential customers with content which is useful, data-based, engaging, or simply entertaining, your brand will come off as a resource of authority.
Let’s consider Old Spice for a moment. Their original ad above has gathered over 55 million views on YouTube and has helped the brand to reach a new generation of customers. And they have done so by making the audience laugh, without even mentioning their own name in the video.
Track Your Results
There is no point in building a brand development campaign and implementing it if you are not going to track the results. If something goes wrong, you need to know what the cause is. And it’s arguably even more important to track those results if your campaign turns out to be successful. You need to know what has worked and why so that you can use that knowledge in future brand development campaigns.
The marketing team of the EssayOnTime service insists that keeping an eye on things like traffic, number of new leads, conversion rate, and channels which are bringing in the biggest number of visitors is of the utmost importance for successful brand development campaign. Only then can you hope to develop your brand properly. Without data, your success is nothing more than a fluke.
After reading all of the above, you have probably concluded that it takes a lot of effort to develop your brand and make it stand out. That’s true, but all that trouble is worth it. Start implementing these tips in your brand development strategy today and reap the benefits in no time.
Jacob Dillon is a professional writer and distinctive journalist from Sydney. Being passionate about what he does, Jacob likes to discuss stirring events as well as express his opinion about technological advancements and evolution of society. Find Jacob on Twitter and Facebook.
Also published on Medium.