*Note: this is a guest post from Tim Rocke at Logojoy. Logojoy is a quick, easy, and affordable way to create a new logo.
If your employees are the backbone of your organization, then your brand is quite arguably the business’ face; it’s the first thing consumers visually interact with, and often make judgments based upon. As such, the creation of your brand should not be taken lightly. Inconsistent, confusing, or untrue branding can cause distrust in your organization, negatively affecting your bottom line. Below are four important considerations every business owner should consider when creating and maintaining your brand.
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1) Get into the Brain of Your Consumer
Who is your target audience? These are people who currently buy your products, or more importantly, the people who you want to buy your products. Not only must you take demographic knowledge, such as age, gender, and income into consideration, but also their behavioral and psychographic characteristics. What stores do these people shop at? What websites do they frequent in their spare time? What colors, symbols, and shapes do your future customers react the best to?
Thinking about all of these factors is an exercise in getting into your customer’s head – an important location to be in for any marketing and branding professional. With information in abundance within the digital age, do your research on everything target audience-related. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Do the research yourself. Social media monitoring, surveys, and interviews are all great ways to get into the mind of your consumer. If you want to attract them, find out what they are attracted to.
2) Build Your Image
This step takes into account both your internal and external stakeholders. In terms of the latter being the customers that generate the revenue that keeps your business afloat, figure out what is mentally associated with your company or product offering. Keep this in mind and tailor your branding to this; conflict between perception and reality could cause confusion that translates into missed sales opportunities. If you believe one of your business’s main value propositions is offering a friendly, honest service, then your branding should reflect this. On the other hand, if your value proposition is no-nonsense, reliable, quick service, then your branding should reflect this instead.
The same also holds true for your internal stakeholders. Inquire within your organization and see what your employees associate with your company. If your sales team gets down to business quickly, then a happy-go-lucky brand image may not be ideal as this will cause disconnect between the perceived interactions customers thought they were going to have with your brand, and the experience they actually will have.
3) Discover Your Competitive Advantage
What makes you stand out from the competition? This is the question you must ask yourself in order to grow your market share within your industry. Identifying your value proposition that makes your offering superior to your competitors allow you to project these selling points to your consumers, resulting in increased sales and higher revenue. If you don’t stand out, another business will, and they will tap in to the wallets of your target market.
4) Plan. Set Goals. Measure. Repeat.
This should be straightforward; however, it is quite common to see marketers who don’t set specific goals related to their brand. What is the point of building your brand and what do you want to achieve? A percentage increase in brand recognition? A click through rate increase on branded digital campaigns? Set goals early and determine what KPIs you will use to determine success. Failure to do so only makes your effort lose purpose, opening yourself up to further problems that can affect your bottom line. Continuous auditing of your brand keeps you aware of your target market and their interaction and sentiment towards your brand.
If you find your goals aren’t being met or are not achieving the results they once were, it could be time for a brand refresh. There are many positive reasons that call for rebranding, including a change in target market and a different direction of the company mission. You don’t need to completely redo all of your prior research; quite often a simple change in logo is quite effective. This simply means you have grown beyond the company you were during your initial brand conception, and that, is a sign of great branding strategy.