So far in our branding series we have discussed defining your brand. Businesses of all sizes are greatly effected by branding so we will focus on what factors will aid business in developing their brand identity. Before a business owner can develop a brand identity they need to formulate a plan called a Branding Strategy.
What is a business Branding Strategy?
A Branding Strategy is a visual plan of action to access a business's target market, all business owners need to ask themselves to whom, how and where they direct their business branding message. An owner needs to know the specific attributes about the customer they are trying to attract.
1. The starting point for a business in defining their target market is to identify and understand the problems that their organisation will solve for a customer. Once they have a handle on the issues then they formulate who it is that most likely suffers from these problems.
2. Piecing together a picture of the customer can greatly assist in listing all the different categories of customer that suffer from the problems the business solves. This begins to build up a good picture of who the potential customers are and how the customers can be grouped, for example by location, married or single, male or female, interests, income etc
3. Now that the business has honed in on who are potentially going to need/benefit from product or services being offered, they can work on the segment the market by asking questions of themselves like. Who does the business want to work with? Is it with particular types of people, in certain geographical locations, or within a particular market sector?
4. One way of deciding on the right market to pursue is to look internally and think about the business's strengths. Do they have particular areas of expertise? For example are they familiar with a distinct industry? Do they have unique knowledge of a specific geographical area? Have they lived and worked in a specific region and know it well?
Get a Branding Strategy working
Now the business has this critical information, what's next? A digital branding strategy can include online mediums such as a website design and content, social media encouragement, think about which platforms will work best for the business. What about offline, printed pieces like brochures, flyers, or packaging. Do staff need branded apparel such as t-shirts or caps, what about outdoor advertising, or vehicle vinyl wraps? The identified target market will greatly influence the answers to these questions.
By doing these steps the stakeholders have drilled down and concentrated their efforts to really find a spot within a market and know where to aim their business branding strategy. Without this process to locate the market it would almost be impossible to know where to start.
What about small businesses, Do they need a brand? We will be covering that topic next.