Having a strong and recognisable brand is one of the most precious assets your company will ever have; it is the overall perception that your customers have of your business and how they experience it.
Brand development isn’t the easiest of tasks and it doesn’t happen overnight; it requires a lot of time, energy and focus. However, if done correctly, you can rest assured that your brand will be the one to come to your customers’ minds as the service or product to go for when they have a need.
At Cube3 we believe that, at its most simple and fundamental, brand strategy, is about defining what you stand for and making it stand out. We have broken down this concept into seven key stages to help you start building a memorable brand and establish long-lasting relationship with your customers.
Determine your buyer personas and their needs
The very first step in the brand development process is to identify who your buyer personas are and what is it that they are looking for.
Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers, which help you understand both your clients and prospects better. By doing research not only on your personas’ demographics, but also on what they do for a living, their education, financial situation, information sources and most importantly, on their pain points, you will have a much better understanding of their needs and how you can meet them. This knowledge will also help you tailor your mission, messaging, product development and content, to suit them better.
Define what you stand for
Once you know who your buyer personas are and what they are looking for, it’s time for you to take a long look at your business and get a clear picture of what its reason for existence is: its goals, mission, vision, and the value it provides. Does your business have a purpose apart from driving profit? Does it really meet the needs of your personas and help them solve their issues?
And now that you are being introspective, take the time to also identify the essence of your brand. Because great brands are not simply just a promise of quality anymore; they make customers feel something every time they experience them.
When defining your brand’s essence, think about your company’s heart, soul and spirit and try to relate this to the feelings you want your customers to feel whenever they buy your products or use your services.
Having a clear mission, vision and essence will help you gain the trust of your customers and help them know what to expect every time they come to you.
Know the competition
Knowing who else is out there, what they do well and what they do not so well can help you identify the challenges of your business and give you reasons to stand out.
Take a look at what your competitors’ offers; their products and services, their pricing structures and their customers. Try to understand how they communicate, is their messaging and branding consistent? Is there something that you could do better?
Get creative… literally!
For many, the most fun part of the brand development process is the designing and creation of all the elements used to communicate and symbolise their brand; these include name, logo, tagline, website, typography and other aesthetics.
When developing these elements, it is important to keep in mind that they all need to reflect your business and what it stands for. Building a memorable and strong brand requires consistency throughout all these elements (which means setting guidelines) as they will become the visual identity and recall of your business and mission.
Give your brand a bit of spark
Everyone has a personality; you have one, your neighbour has one, even that co-worker who sits behind you that you don’t really like has one, so there’s no reason why your brand should be the exception. Whether it’s super formal and mature or jubilant and a bit cheeky, giving your brand a suitable personality will help you define the way it speaks, acts, behaves and thinks.
And to do this, you need a value proposition. In a nutshell, a value proposition is a one- or two-line statement that encapsulates everything we have talked about above (your buyer personas, brand personality and essence, your business’ mission, etc.) and explains your product or service’s unique value and how they solve your customer’s problems or improves their situation; helping you differentiate your brand and build trust with prospects.
Stay true to your brand
Once you have created your brand, its personality and voice, make sure you are consistent and use it in every channel you use to communicate with your audience, in every piece of content you create. Keep in mind that you and your staff are your brand’s best advocate and therefore, you are the ones that have to live and breathe it. It has be something you can live up to.
Not being consistent and changing your branding constantly will only lead to confusion between your customers and prospects; making it harder for your brand to be memorable and recognisable.
Last but not least, make sure to integrate your brand into every aspect of the customer experience; from your website and social media channels to the way your phones are answered and the way your offices look. This will help you build a solid and authentic relationship with your customers, ensuring that they know exactly who you are and what they can expect from you.