- January 29, 2018
- Posted by: Richard Takemura
- Category: Blog, Branding
Brand development is one of the most important keys to success. It’s also one of the most misunderstood business concepts.
A brand isn’t just a logo or a slogan. It’s not a persona projected on billboards with the sole intention of “doing better business.”
It’s too easy to get carried away. Using complex, flashy strategies because they’re supposed to be good.
Building a strong brand isn’t something you do just because you’re supposed to. Although it is as important as your products or service. You must mean it. It must “click.”
A solid brand relies on aligning your audience’s demands with your business and true intention.
Read on to learn 10 great brand development tips.
1. Specify and Target Your Ideal Customer
Creating a strong brand requires knowing your audience. You must know your key demographic and how to appeal to them.
It’s in your best interest to define this ideal customer caricature in great detail. These are some important examples of factors to include:
- Social status and family situation
- Education level
- Online habits
- Favorite entertainment
- Dreams, goals, and fears
When you know your target customer, you can start appealing to them in a more direct way. Speak their language, meet their demands, make them feel understood.
Targeted marketing is a lot more effective than the spray-and-pray method.
2. Social Proof
There is no path of modern brand development that doesn’t deal with a lot of social proof.
We live in a “testimonial economy.” People don’t just get their idea of a brand from what the brand claims. They go online, browse and ask around to find what others think of your product or service.
The comments and reviews they find will determine if they go on to do business with you.
To make your brand successful, you must leverage these elements in your favor. Satisfied customers are a big part of this. They become organic ambassadors, praising your brand online.
If you don’t already have a testimonials page, set one up now. Ask customers to write testimonials. Ask them to like your social media pages and leave a good review on sites A, B, and C while you’re at it. Happy customers won’t mind.
3. Utilize Emotional Appeal
Most people don’t buy a product or service for its concrete definitions and specifications. It’s just an object or action. What they want is the feeling it grants and the solutions it can provide.
The same goes for whole brands too. You must create an association between your brand and a good feeling. When you understand your audience’s biggest struggles and desires, you can define a brand persona.
This can be an abstract concept or a literal mascot or avatar. It will represent your key customer base’s mentality and goals. And the satisfaction your product or service grants them.
Most buying decisions are more emotional than logical.
4. Be Authentic
Don’t act like something you’re not. People can see through it. And there are myriads of fake brands like that. Authenticity actually helps you stand out.
It’s better to capitalize on genuine appeal to those who “get you.” That’s what you should want in your audience.
Your representation should match how others really see you. It highlights mastery, honesty, and confidence. It instills trust.
What about your business makes you excited? What makes you proud? Where does your personal motto overlap with your business mission statement?
That’s where your perfect slogan will hatch and begin to inspire people. It’s the core of your brand.
Forget the notion that branding means positioning. It’s not in your projections and messaging. Sum up how people experience your business, that’s your brand.
5. Focus On Delivering Value to Customers
What you said or did isn’t what people remember the best. It’s how they felt that matters most.
Along with trust, these feelings are the main currency of the modern online market. The person you serve should experience a positive and genuine feeling toward your brand.
Generate real value first and foremost. Then ask for an exchange. Think of every touching point as a chance to make your customers feel better.
6. Use The Internal Dialogue Of Your Clients
Speak the tongue of your audience. Market your brand using the words and expressions they would. They won’t be juggling words like “prognosis” or “alignment.” Neither should your advertisement.
See things from their perspective. How and why do they recommend you? Speak to them how they speak to each other about you.
7. Aim for Your Own Market
Spreading yourself thin and being generic will hamper your brand development. It’s vague and confuses prospects. And there’s endless competition from people with the same bad idea.
Specialize, find your niche. Claim an audience for yourself. Be specific in your goals and marketing.
The ideal customer should know that they are the ideal customer. They should know that you’re the ideal provider of what they desire.
8. Practice Consistency
Your brand is, in a sense, a promise of a certain experience. Brand loyalty is trusting this promise.
Define and project a clear brand personality. Call a conference if necessary. Sit down and write down all your defining characteristics. Examine relevant and successful brands, find their common denominators.
What are your brand’s Attributes, Behaviors, and Characteristics? This is known as “The ABC of your brand” because it’s elementary.
Make sure that this personality flows through every customer experience. This consistency helps solidify your brand and build trust with your customers.
Think of it like the DNA of your brand. Its unchanging essence. The key defining qualities of your brand development.
9. Find The Sweet Spot
Successful brands develop at the intersection of these three things:
- What people want or need
- What you’re really good at
- What you love doing.
Take one of these factors out, and the foundation collapses.
If you’re great at what you love to do but there’s no demand for it, that’s a hobby.
If there’s a demand for what you love to do, but you’re no good, you will still fail.
Being good at something that’s in demand isn’t enough to form a solid brand. You must love what you do. You must mean it. Your brand is only as strong as the intention you put in.
Find the sweet spot where the three factors meet and resonate deeply. Consistent adherence to this strategy will make your brand keep growing.
10. Spread Your Brand Sharing Value Across the Web
You don’t need a vast web of blogs and social media profiles to get good coverage. You don’t need to struggle for guest posts.
Sites like LinkedIn now let you post long-form articles for free on their content platforms. You can use these for clever content marketing. It’s a win-win situation.
Think of opportunities like this, where you can promote yourself without explicitly advertising. Article platforms, forums, and social media pages are ideal for this. Get discussions going and leverage people to share your helpful content.
It’s just like content marketing on your own business blog. Write authentic valuable content, share the wisdom and experiences that attract your target audience.
More Information on Brand Development
Brand development is a vast and multi-faceted world of opportunities.
We’ve covered the essentials in this post, but there’s more to learn if you’re interested.
If you have more questions, contact me here!