How does Brand Development work?
In brand development, your company’s image, products, and services are differentiated from those of your competitors. The process of developing a brand involves aligning it with your business objectives, communicating it to your target market, and updating or strengthening it as needed.
With each step of your company’s growth, goals serve more or less as benchmarks, indicating new ideas and products. As culture changes and audiences change, your strategy may evolve over time. Below, we look at how to develop an effective brand development strategy that tells your story and garners customer loyalty.
Researching your brand’s market: Where to begin
Through extensive market research, you can understand what drives the value of your brand. Instead of asking, “How can we apply the product or service we have?” you’re asking, “What do consumers want, and how can we deliver it?” More importantly, you’re exploring how to best connect with consumers in a way that is unique and meaningful.
A starting point for your research may be to ask critical questions to ensure that your brand strategy supports your business objectives. Questions may include:
Who is your target client?
How do you make your customers feel?
Why do your clients trust you?
Who are your top competitors?
What distinguishes your company from your competitors?
What value do you bring to the market?
What pain points do you solve for consumers?
What type of personality do you or your company have?
In addition to the above questions, you may want to explore challenges with your existing brand identity, as well as ways that you can simplify your brand identity. Last, what is your story? What narrative do you want to create in the minds of consumers?
Determine Your Target Audience
A target market is a specific group of people you want to reach with your brand message. This is the demographic that is most likely going to buy your products or services. These people have common characteristics that make them naturally attracted to your brand. The more clearly you can define your target market, the easier it becomes to create a brand that connects with your audience.
Once you define your group, there are several strategies you can use to reach your target audience. These strategies may include:
Creating Useful and Relevant Content
How you communicate with your target audience will determine how interested they are in your products or services. Whether you are channeling your efforts through digital platforms or marketing collateral, try to create content that is relevant, engaging and compelling. Use a variety of platforms to reach as many people as possible.
Use Targeted Advertising
Part of your research will include identifying where your market is and the best way to reach your audience. Online platforms provide numerous tools that allow you to refine your marketing campaigns, while marketing agencies can help you reach your target audience with print and traditional marketing.
Gather Customer Feedback
Perhaps the best way to find out what consumers are looking for is to ask them directly. There are numerous ways that you can gain valuable customer feedback, such as surveys, polls and questionnaires. Gathering information from consumers can help you refine your brand identity and messaging to connect with your target group.
Brand Positioning and Messaging
Brand positioning helps you occupy a distinctive place in the market. Positioning enables you to establish how your brand is different from your competition. An effective marketing strategy involves creating a brand that will attract consumers in a specific way. Brand positioning is directly linked to consumer loyalty and your company’s equity in the market.
To position your brand in your target market, you need to analyze the following:
What consumers want
Your brand capabilities
How your competitors are positioning their brand
You need to follow up with a brand statement or message that resonates with consumers, that your company can deliver and that differentiates your company from your competitors.
Creating a Core Message
If you have a clear understanding of your position in the market, you can communicate your brand with a clear and concise message. Your message will include key differentiators and the value of each differentiator.
Your message will also be summed up in a single tagline that captures the essence of everything your company is about. The tagline is supported by an ‘elevator pitch’ that makes sense to consumers, conveys your brand and sticks in the minds of viewers. Your message should be compelling enough to inspire action and convert potential customers into loyal customers. It should also include your company’s story, who you serve, how you solve problems and your company’s culture.