People are more skeptical about brands today, but they still prefer to buy from names they know and trust. More than 70 percent of consumers say it’s important that they recognize a brand name when they buy.
What should be clear from that number is how important branding is for a business. A strong brand makes your company instantly recognizable. So how can you ensure that your brand fits the bill? Check out or brand strategy guide to make sure you’ve got it covered. Together we can lay the foundation and establish your image.
Brand Strategy Starts with Core Values
When people talk about branding, they think of an eye-catching logo or a cool catchphrase. Those are often the most recognizable aspects of a brand, but brand development actually starts with defining who you are in the business world.
There are many businesses out there, and they all are vying for your customers’ attention. Why should someone pay attention to your company over any of the others?
It comes down to your core values. What does your business value that sets you apart from the competition? This could be a social initiative like diversity or something simple, like delivering great customer service.
Most brands have more than one core value. This is a good thing because it helps you define the company and stand out more. It also allows you to move away from one-note marketing.
Define Your Audience
Once you know who you are, it’s time to learn about your audience. Who are they and what do they want? How do their values align with your company?
Different people value different things. Cutting-edge ideas and great graphic design may sway younger people. Older people may prefer brand messages that emphasize stability and tradition.
That’s why knowing your audience is key. If you don’t know who you’re talking to, your branding messages are likely to miss the mark.
Build the Brand Internally
You may think your clients will be your biggest fans. There’s another group of brand devotees you should look to when developing a brand strategy though.
Your employees could actually be your #1 fans and promoters. As you think about strategic branding, look to your team to discover their values. People who believe in their company’s mission and message are more likely to promote it.
If your employees’ values align with the company’s, they’re likely to be a better fit. You should also look to build a better company culture. When people love their jobs, they’ll put energy into great service or developing products.
They’re also more likely to tell other people about the company and its products. They may recommend your products to friends, family, and even colleagues. These people, in turn, are likely to become brand advocates themselves.
Make Your Identity Visual
Visual identity isn’t the only part of a branding strategy, but it is the part most people are aware of. Visual identity is what people see when they interact with you on social media or receive an email.
Visual identity includes logos, color schemes, and even the typefaces you use on your website. It also includes publications, marketing, and more.
A visual identity is key to a successful brand. It allows people to identify your company at a glance. When they see your social media badge or your logo on a bag, they know exactly who you are.
An interesting visual identity can also make people curious. When they see your logo on a tradeshow banner or a pen in their colleague’s office, they might decide to look you up.
The right visual identity will also help convey your values at a glance. You may not have thought much about it, but colors communicate ideas like health or trust and loyalty. Even typefaces “speak” to people.
Stick with Your Image
Once you’ve developed your brand strategy and image, you need to stick to the path. Being consistent is a key component of how to develop a brand.
You may need to update the brand once in a while, but big changes can erode the brand recognition you worked hard for. Changing your name or color scheme, for example, may result in a loss of visual recognition.
Changing your brand values may also alienate your audience. Clients who wanted to work with you because of your cutting-edge technology may lose their enthusiasm.
It’s natural for brands to evolve over time and explore new directions. Try to evolve in line with your core values. Doing so lets you adapt to the changing world of business, but without losing your clients along the way.
There’s another reason consistency and an enduring brand matter. They’re more authentic. If you’re always changing your branding strategies to match the latest trends, your clients may not buy in.
Authenticity is another reason it’s important to define your brand values at the outset. If you believe in certain core values, that will come through in your branding. If you’re talking about diversity or “going green” because everyone else is, people will be more skeptical of your brand.
Being authentic doesn’t mean you need to share every detail of the business or cut down your competitors. Authentic brands are passionate about their values and the initiatives they support.
In short, an authentic brand is one that knows its identity and tells everyone about it.
Spread the Word
Building a brand strategy is one of the most difficult, yet important, tasks any business can take on. By following the steps here, you’ll be well on your way to building a brand that pays dividends among your clients.