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One of the biggest misconceptions about brand development is that it’s a long-drawn, complicated, and expensive process that should only happen in the formative years of a business.
The truth is, it is not always the case nor does it have to be. What makes your business unique, who you’re intending to serve, your value proposition, and your story are all essential parts of developing your brand. As your business evolves over time, you will need to refresh your brand to reflect pivotal changes. And when you do, your initiative need not necessarily be a grand undertaking nor an expensive one to make an impact.
Understanding the basic principles of brand development can give you a better position to evaluate your brand and your marketing plans. Let’s take a look at three key elements to an effective brand development strategy:
1. Who you are
This seems like it would be an easy assignment, but for some companies, this is a hurdle they don’t even want to think about. Companies evolve over time and who your company is today may not be who it was at its inception, or who it may be in the near future.
Companies evolve to improve efficiency, to increase their relevance with their target market, or to zero in on a totally new type of customer. Although it is essential for the longevity of a company for this evolution to take place, it is equally as critical that the brand reflects these changes.
That being said, the first step in developing a brand is to clearly define what it stands for and what value it offers. After all, how can you communicate the value of your brand if you don’t have a solid understanding to base it on?
Your “buyer personas” are the fictional representation of your ideal clients. The worst misstep you can take is to fail to identify who your ideal clients are and what makes them tick. We’re not talking about simply identifying them by demographic information, rather, getting to know them inside and out — the challenges they face that prompt them to look for the services or solutions you offer, their decision-making process, the factors they look at upon vetting, etc.
Upon developing your brand, it should be crafted to speak to your different buyer personas. Each persona may be attracted to your brand for different reasons, may be vetting at different stages, and may be seeking different benefits from your offering.
Knowing important details from each buyer personas will help you create a brand that attracts more of your ideal clients. You’ll be able to craft messages that speak directly to them and doing so will enable you to showcase the relevant valuable aspects of your offering to different personas.
Finally, when developing your brand, you must be able to answer this important question: “Why should your target market care about you?” Take a look at your different buyer personas and analyze what’s in it for them.
What motivates these people to buy from you? Write down every purchase motivator you can think of for each persona. These motivators should be at the core of every message you will be crafting for each group of potential customers. Some motivators are more powerful than others. Finding the most powerful motivators to focus on is paramount to your brand’s success.
To pinpoint these motivators down, get in touch with previous and current clients that fit your buyer persona profiles and ask them to participate in an interview. In this interview, get to the bottom of the “why”. Use this information to fine tune the messaging, strategies, and elements of your brand.