Last week we talked about the key components of your brand and the importance of your ability to stand out from the competition. The goal of your brand is to separate yourself from other similar service options.
You want to be the primary choice for those looking for your product or service.
You Can Please Some of the People Some of the Time….
You know how to finish this sentence: You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Your branding and messaging should be focused on those that you can serve effectively and profitably. If you are not bringing the right consumers in, you may be sending the wrong signals to the marketplace.
Your brand may not be on the right track and ready for a refresh. Where to start?
Start at the Beginning
There are many approaches with all covering many of the same steps. I like what marketer Frank Schab has suggested in these seven steps below.
Unpacking these topics should be an exercise over days and weeks. Here are some conversation starters for interaction with your team.
1) Discover/Develop Your Brand Purpose
Why do people buy your products? Why should they buy from you? What are the reasons you are in business? What is your mission? Why you over someone else?
Can you find the points of difference among your service and products?
2) Know Your Competitors
How do you stack up in terms of process, products and preference? What do people say about your company, products, people and service? What do they say about your competition?
Answering these questions honestly will tell you where you have work to do and/or where you are strong.
3) Determine Your Target Market
After solving for your purpose and your competitive advantages/challenges, you can objective identify where you can compete. Who are the consumers that you can attract and keep? Which market segments fit with your goals for growth? Which segments might your competitors be ignoring?
4) Build Your Brand Strategy
Key strategic questions to address include your brand promise and why buyers will believe in your brand. What are the pillars that your brand and business are built on? What is the “personality” of your brand?
5) Developing a Compelling Brand Story
The best brands build an emotional connection with the consumer. What are the key things in your story that help you relate to your target market? What elements do you have that no one else has? Stories of customer success and accomplishment with your brand as a support are good places to start.
6) Create a Brand Identity
If you are starting from scratch, you’ll want to build an exhaustive list of options for consideration – logos, colors, themes and even a name. If you are refreshing your brand, you can take the best elements from your current imagery and turn that into a new and improved version. A brand refresh can be anything from changing fonts to a complete makeover of color, style and feel.
7) Live the Brand
This is the essence of the brand. The experiences that your customer takes away from their interactions with your website, your staff, and your management. It becomes your reputation. Remember that EVERYTHING is part of your brand: your pricing, your hours, your store layout, your signage, on hold time, on hold music, chat bot personality. EVERYTHING.
If you are planning to make changes to your brand, make sure to build enough time and finances to do the job properly. Estimate how much you’ll need and then double it. It will always cost more than you think.
The goal of branding is to help you differentiate from others. It is important to be different.
However, I believe it is more important to be desired!