Your brand encompasses all the unique things about your business that impact how consumers, investors and others perceive it. Developing positive associations with your brand is critical for attracting and retaining customers and growing your business. So, exactly what do you need for a successful branding strategy?
What Do You Need for a Successful Branding Strategy?
There are a variety of considerations for developing a successful branding strategy.
Few companies can succeed by being all things to all people. Most need to focus on a niche market. This can mean focusing on a specific segment of customers or a specific collection of products. For example, if you are running a gaming business, you might focus only on role-playing games.
Focusing on a niche allows you to devote your resources to creating a few high-quality products or services. You can then charge a premium price for your expertise in your particular niche. It also helps you distinguish yourself from competitors who are marketing to a general audience or a different niche.
As your business grows, you may be able to expand to additional niche markets. However, it is essential to avoid spreading your resources too thin.
Another factor you need for a successful branding strategy is purpose. Nearly two-thirds of consumers prefer companies that communicate their purpose. Every brand needs a purpose that inspires consumers. Ask yourself what motivated you to start your company. What makes you different from the competition? Why should customers and investors care about your business?
Once you identify your purpose, you can use it as the foundation of your branding strategy. Everything from your company’s name, logo, blog, slogans, taglines, messaging and advertising should reflect your company’s purpose.
Most consumers don’t take what a company has to say about itself at face value. Instead, they go online to read what other people have to say. Take advantage of this by building a community of enthusiastic consumers and influencers who will share what they love about your brand.
Consistent messaging is a key component of a successful branding strategy. Don’t talk about things that are not relevant to your brand. Every time you communicate something to your audience, whether it is a social media post, an advertisement or a press release, think about whether it enhances your brand.
Your messaging across all of the communication platforms you use must be consistent. One way to accomplish this is to create a style guide for your employees. The guide should include all relevant branding information, such as your preferred tone of voice, color schemes and how you want to position specific products and services in the market. A marketing consultant, such as Benjamin Naderi, can help you develop your style guide.
Goal-setting is another important part of a successful branding strategy. Set short and long-term goals for your business and your marketing efforts. Identify what you want your business to accomplish in the next month, year, five years, 10 years and so on. An example of a short-term goal could be to increase sales of Halloween-themed products in October by 5%. To achieve this, you might develop a Halloween-themed marketing campaign to begin running in late September.
A mid-range goal might be introducing a new line of products by the end of next year. To achieve this, you may need to research what kinds of new products consumers want to purchase.
A long-term goal could be turning your single location into a nationwide franchise. Your marketing goal for this project could be to explore ways to localize your marketing campaigns in different geographic markets.
Intel on Your Competition
The most successful companies in your industry already have a successful branding strategy. Avoid imitating what the big players in your industry are doing, but stay informed about them. Create a brand competitor spreadsheet to make it easier to compare your competitors.
Information in the spreadsheet should include whether the competitor is consistent with messaging across channels, what kind of customer reviews and social mentions it has, the quality of the competitor’s products and services and which marketing methods it uses. You can research your direct competitors to see how you stack up or use the big names in your industry as benchmarks.
Appeals to Emotion
Emotions motivate consumers to make many purchasing decisions. One of the most effective ways to build brand loyalty is to create an association between your brand and powerful emotion. Research your target market to determine how consumers want products to make them feel. Tailor your marketing messages to match these emotional responses.
A branding strategy that works today may not always work. While consistency is critical, do not become too mired in what you have always done and fail to adjust when market conditions change. Consumer attitudes are always shifting, and your branding strategy needs to shift with them.
Even if your products are not unique, you need to highlight what makes your brand different from the competition. There are several factors you can focus on:
- Your mission and vision statements
- How you solve common and uncommon problems
- Unique characteristics of your target market
- Core values that you share with your customers
- The unique experience you create for customers
For example, if you want to position yourself as a company that makes traditional Japanese-style roleplaying games for modern American audiences, you should communicate your shared love of the traditional JRPG format and the unique ways you update your games to work for modern American gamers.
What Do You Need for a Successful Branding Strategy? Benjamin Naderi Can Help You Find the Answer
Benjamin Naderi offers a wide range of marketing services to help businesses answer the question, “What do you need for a successful branding strategy?” He believes that a winning brand and marketing strategy relies on a mixture of math and magic. Get in touch to find out how he uses analytics and creative insights to discover the unmet needs of customers and the most authentic ways to reach them.