Brand Development Basics
Your business's brand isn't just its logo. Your brand is everything your customer experiences from the time they encounter your business onward. Your brand conveys a message to your current and potential consumers, and in order for your message to stand out above your competitors, you have to provide a unique, attractive, and relevant message through marketing and advertising campaigns that can only come through brand development.
Brand development is by no means a new idea, but with consumers' access to information in this day, it is more important than ever for your customers to have a captivating brand experience. Companies who can create a consistent brand experience that is both compelling and relevant have the highest success. You are only as good as your customer's worst experience with your business.
The First Step
The first step to successful brand development is identifying your business's core values. Values such as honesty and integrity probably top the list, but don't forget communication and client satisfaction. Once you've identified your business's core values it is time to develop them in your organization. You won't tell the public what your values are because you don't have to. They should be evident in every experience a customer has with your business. Your core values will never change, though your business may undergo other changes.
With your core values in place, you can begin the research that will aid you in further brand development. At a minimum, your research should include studies on your brand's strengths and weaknesses, your target audience, and the competition. If you have the resources to add to your research, it should also include extensive observation into your business's industry, its history, the current market picture, and potential growth and direction. You may be tempted to skip research, but it will make a big difference in the effectiveness of your brand development. If you only research one thing, make it your target audience. Find out who they are and what their needs and desires are.
When you figure out what your target audience wants its time for you to develop your brand's promise. Your brand promise states that if someone uses your product, that they'll get something specific out of it. It could be satisfaction, a certain level of hassle-free living, access to your awesome customer service, or they'll just be cool. Think of commercials you have seen lately. What promises are they conveying to the average consumer? And the big question is whether they can fulfill it or not. Your promise to your consumers should be engaging, relevant, and offer solutions to the needs and wants of your target audience otherwise you won't stand above the crowd. Make sure your promise is different. If you promise what is expected, you won't be any different than the next guy. Once you've made your promise to consumers, however, make sure you can fulfill it. Following through with an excellent product or service as well us customer service and support is the mark of a great company and one that will stand the test of time.
The "I Win" Button
As part of your brand development, you want to create an emotional attachment to your brand that your target audience can experience without ever seeing or using your product. It is the anticipation of that emotion that will keep customers coming back to your product. Create a positive emotional bond with your consumers and your product and make sure every part of your company continues to convey that same emotional attachment.