Spring is in the air, and this is the time of year businesses are energized about meeting and exceeding their goals. I like to call it “new better bigger stronger” season.
It’s also time that many businesses consider a change in their marketing efforts and presentation overall to help reach new prospects and customers. Many brands go as far as consider developing a refreshed positioning message overall to upgrade and uplift their communications to new potential clients.
If you’re one of those thinking hard about your brand’s real position in your market today, there are a few simple steps you can take that will get you down the path to a good start:
1. Conduct A Comprehensive Brand Audit: Take the time (and a survey) to listen in on how your prospects, customers and employees/vendor really perceive your brand. This feedback is critical to discover any “disconnect” between what you think you’re conveying, and what they’re perceiving. Once you find the gaps in your strategy, you can make appropriate changes for resolutions.
2. Take Time To Create Your Brand Architecture: It’s important that you take time to really define your unique value position, and prioritize it’s very specific features and benefits. Now is also a good time to define some important keywords that you’ll target your communications with for search engines and your various audiences.
3. Develop A Brand Strategy: Take the findings of your unique architecture and match that messaging with your various target audiences. Make a list of where you plan to find and engage them, and what type of media or marketing support you may need. Consider every possible media channel you can think of, from public relations and social media to traditional and interactive media. Write them down and make a list!
4. Create Your Brand’s Story: By developing and writing out your compelling story that addresses your brand strategy, you’ll begin to be prepared to communicate with your market. Be sure to think from your target audience’s perspective, and not from you own as an owner or employee.
5. Determine Your Brand’s Visual Requirements: Now for the fun part – from selecting colors, type styles and logo characteristics, you must visually reinforce your brand at every step of the way. Perhaps it’s a tweak of your existing logo that’s in order to update it, or an entirely different visual brand is needed – now is the time to make and execute on that part of the brand process.
6. Develop Your Brand’s Operational Requirements: From logo use, to how the phone is answered – it’s important that you communicate the tone of the first five steps to every single person you engage. Consistency is key to branding – and you now have the power behind your brand to communicate it with confidence.
Complete and document these steps with care, and you’ll not only see how you stand out from the competition, but you’ll be laying the foundation to grow faster than competitive brands in your same category – even in your same smaller community.
The biggest brands in the world know from experience that a well-defined business brand will generate more leads, rapidly accelerate their sales cycle, and create solid returns to their bottom line in faster time frames. No matter what size company you are, the same principles of success apply to you.