Branding is a key component of any successful business. By telling the story behind your organization, a brand strategy cultivates a clear, cohesive identity and differentiates your business from competitors. Although branding can be tricky to get right, it’s essential to building a connection with your target audience and, ultimately, higher equity in the marketplace.
The branding process aims to establish an identifiable and differentiated presence in the market that will attract and retain loyal customers. A strong brand can also build valuable equity that allows companies to charge more for their products and services than those with a lower brand value. For example, after rebranding its vodka as the high-end liquor of the elite, Grey Goose was able to create its own super-premium product category for vodka. Although the quality of its product is similar to that of its competitors, Gray Goose’s brand has created high-end market demand that allows the company to sell its vodka at a premium price.
However, an effective brand strategy involves far more than just a name, logo, tagline and color palette. It leverages key messaging to communicate the mission behind your business, carrying it throughout all of your marketing vehicles—both internal and external. Through this branding process, your organization’s story is brought to life.
Below are three essential tips on how to create a powerful brand strategy for your business:
1. Define Your Brand Identity
A brand is more than just your visual identity, such as a logo and website. It encompasses all of the intangible aspects of your organization that influence its perception by your target audience. By defining your brand early on, you are creating a unique brand identity that will serve as the foundation for your business and all of its marketing efforts.
An effective brand strategy allows your audience to clearly understand who you are as a business and what you represent. It helps to establish brand awareness and recognition in your market, which in turn builds customer loyalty.
In order to clearly define your brand, start out by identifying the unique positioning of your business and what separates it from the competition. Use these questions to help establish your company mission, core values and any key messages you want to convey:
- What does your brand stand for?
- Is your company selling a product and/or service?
- Is this a new, innovative product, or a well-known solution that has a long, proven track record within your market?
- Why is your product and/or service better than that of your competitors?
- What unique advantage does your company offer?
2. Know Your Target Audience
In today’s hyper-targeted world, customers expect a highly personalized, tailored experience from the businesses they frequent. The more you understand about your target audience, the more powerful your brand will become.
Think about the customers that your business serves. Who is your target audience? Gather as many demographic, geographic and psychographic characteristics as you can. For instance, what is the age range and gender of your audience? Why are they interested in your products and services? How do they spend their free time? By taking the time to clearly understand their needs and interests, you can position your brand in a way that aligns with what is most important to your target audience.
3. Develop Consistent Messaging
Now that you’ve developed your brand identity, determined what differentiates your business from competitors and identified your target audience, the next step is to develop key messaging that resonates with your customers. This messaging should be consistently carried across all of your marketing channels.
The foundation of any brand strategy, key messaging helps to create focus and control when it comes to your brand and how it influences your target audience. It is the essence of what you wish to communicate as an organization.
In order to be effective, key messaging should include a central theme, supporting messages and “proof points” that offer validation. Focus on crafting a maximum of three key messages for your organization that are strategic, concise, relevant, compelling and memorable for your target audience.
By developing a powerful brand strategy, your business will be equipped to deliver a clear, compelling and targeted story that resonates with your audience and builds customer loyalty over the long run. Although the above tips are a good starting point, it’s important to remember that building a strong brand is a process that takes time and research.
Rebranding Delivers Competitive Edge for Innovative Software Company
Monolith Software, a provider of carrier-grade, digital service assurance solutions for the network monitoring and management market, needed to undergo a rebranding that would better resonate with the technology industry and position it as an innovative, dynamic and entrepreneurial company. It enlisted Roop & Co. to develop a new name, logo and tagline, key messaging, marketing collateral and a website redesign.