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Branding2020-06-16T19:41:22+10:00

A great brand is easy to recognise, it grabs your attention in a second and introduces itself; quickly telling you why you should choose them over another.

Your brand is more than just a logo and a catchy name, it’s the very essence of what your company represents. It’s the heart and soul of your business and encompasses your mission statement, values, brand persona, brand promise and your personal voice. It is an essential first impression of your company and when you follow through on your brand promise it reinforces trust and credibility.

Your brand tells your customers what to expect from your products and services. It gives your employees clear direction of the brand experience they should give your customers. For example, if your brand is on the upmarket end of the quality scale then every aspect of your business knows to portray that voice.

At Rock Solid Marketing we start with engaging in a discovery session with your people to get to know you and uncover everything that encompasses your business offerings along with your short and long term goals for your business.

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At Rock Solid Marketing we are passionate about creating strong brands. Although every case is unique, we tend to follow 5 key steps; all whilst ensuring constant ‘non-jargon style’ communication so you are in the loop at all times and we remain on the same page.

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1. CUSTOMER RESEARCH

As a starting point, it’s vital you know who you are selling to. It’s important you know as much about your buyer as possible before delving further into what you are selling to them and how. The saying ‘knowledge is power’ couldn’t more prudent here. With this in mind, a business needs to:

  • Identify your target market. Find out what it is they need.
  • Brainstorm the best ways to meet their needs
  • Identify who falls into your customer market (what your market looks like) and find out as much as possible about what makes your customer tick (interest, motivations, beliefs etc). These findings will help shape your short and long-term business goals and objectives.
  • Ideally, your customer should feel satisfied with the product or service your delivering and valued for their patronage. Getting this balance right is critical to the long-term success of your business.

One helpful exercise for this step is to brainstorm “buyer personas” for your potential customers. What kind of person would be interested in your product or service. Your research should reveal your target market’s geographical location, economic status, age, and gender.

2. STRATEGIC BRANDING PLAN

A successful brand plan starts with a vision — ideas about what the brand should represent or stand for. The plan should also include a mission — a specific plan-of-attack that helps launch the brand.

To entice these consumers to buy your product or engage in the service, a brand must have a core message, which explains why the company and its products or services can do things that others cannot. Your brand plan should include strategies for getting the brands product or service in front of the target consumer at the most appropriate time and in the most effective manner to maximise the chances of engagement (for them to take action!)

Most importantly, branding evokes emotions and how your customers and clients feel about you and your products or services . Both are important, but in today’s climate, how you make people feel can make or break your business.

A Strategic Branding Plan should address all of the following:

  • Your brand’s personality and voice. Is it sassy? Clever? Sensible?
  • Your brand’s business image and style. Is it professional? Informal? Thrifty? Top-of-the-line? What is your business aesthetic in advertising?
  • What style of what style of font, colour scheme, layout, imagery will stand out as belonging to your business?
  • What will people recognise as being yours?
  • Your brand’s specific strengths. What is your brand better at than anyone else?
  • Your brand’s unique place in the market. Why should customers choose you over others?

Answering these questions will allow you to set specific and measurable goals for your businesses, and a strategic branding plan to maintain consistency with your brand’s mission statement. Once you do this, you can make decisions based on whether an opportunity or idea matches your mission statement. This clarity will also help keep your business consistent, which will help you build a reputation as being reliable to customers.

3. INTERNAL BRANDING

Your branding is also an important tool to use internally. Having a clear brand for staff to ‘live by’ everyday helps direct and motivate staff to keep the brand promise. A great way to really get buy in is to include employees in the brand development process. Asking for their input in the brand process can really inspire enthusiam and result in optimal ‘living the brand values’ output.

A brand is successfully rooted in the company when all employees understand it and act accordingly. The result is a sharpened image of the brand.

The brand strategy must be a priority for every single staff member and be lived by all employees. This kind of internal branding requires systematic planning, so that employees can be involved in the process early on. Representatives from different business units should be involved as early as possible – not when the brand strategy is implemented, as is often the case in practice. The sooner employees are integrated, the greater their understanding and acceptance of the brand strategy and their willingness to “live” the brand in their operative business. Apart from that, they contribute valuable input to the success of the brand strategy, provided they recognise its meaning and benefits.

Promotion is essential to starting and maintaining a thriving business. Whether it’s online, in person, or on a billboard, you need strong advertising to remain consistent and thereby help your brand. Today’s digital age all but demands social media and a blog for your business.

FacebookTwitter, and Instagram are the “Big Three” social media platforms that you should make a part of your brand building in order to maintain a presence online. A blog for your business is good, but not if you can’t update regularly. Consistent content online will keep you in the front of your existing customers’ minds and bring you to the attention of new customers. If you can afford other advertising, utilise the avenues that will be consistent with your brand’s mission statement.

4. EXTERNAL BRANDING

Figure Out Your Pitch

This goes hand-in-hand with your internal brand, and is geared more for brand buy in geared for your industry professionals and investors. Keeping your mission statement in mind, practice an “elevator pitch” for what your business is all about. This pitch will come in handy when you make contacts or develop relationships for your business. Along with a pitch, make sure you can quickly write or verbalize your brand’s strategy.

Network, Network, Network

Got your pitch ready? Good. This step is all about making friends and getting people interested in your brand. If your business has a blog, make a list of potential companies that might be interested in co-branding. Don’t look for companies precisely like yours; look for businesses that offer something that can complement but not replace your service or product. Reach out to them and see if they’re interested in linking to you (you can link to them in return) or teaming up on advertising.

Also- get away from the desk and computer and join your local networking groups or sporting groups as a way to get to know people in the community. You can find these through facebook and your local information centre or state website.

5. BRAND ANALYSIS & AUDIT

A brand audit is a process of examining your position in the market, comparing it to your competitors, and assessing the effectiveness of your overall business strategy.

While conducting a brand audit, you first take a look at the situation within your company. You analyse its strengths and weaknesses. A brand audit discloses how your customers feel about your company, how your company compares to your competitors, and how it performs generally.

A brand audit will help you conduct the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis and determine the direction in which your company should develop. This process can help keep you on track and consequently grow your business

Why conduct a brand audit?

At first glance, a brand audit might seem like an unnecessary process. The amount of data you need to analyse is huge, as you need to take a deeper look at different aspects of your brand presence, both off- and online.

A brand audit is necessary for building a strong brand. Strong brands make more money and are more immune to crisis. A robust brand has higher brand awareness levels which directly translate into higher sales and lower churn.

Brands with established positions in the market spend less money on attracting new customers. The rate of returning customers is also higher for healthy brands. People refer brands they have a positive interaction with to their friends and families.

All spects mentioned above are elements of a healthy brand. All of them will increase your bottom line. Most importantly, the better hold you have on your brand, the stronger it will appear to your customers, and the more they will remember it.

If you don’t have the time or resources to strengthen your brand, consider engaging a marketing agency to help. Our team is equipped and ready to begin the steps of brand building for your company.

Contact us today to set up an ½ hr free no obligation appointment.

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