A brand is not a business. It’s a separate entity that acts akin to a spokesperson for that said business. The primary aim of a brand is to communicate all the relevant details of a business to the whole market, including its target audience as well as the public in general. There is no large business in existence today that does not have a brand. Even funeral homes have brands that communicate the nature of the services they offer. A brand that is hit with the public can establish a business’ presence in the market. Apple, for instance, transformed into the financial giant it is today solely because of the brand-building efforts of Steve Jobs. In fact, Jobs himself is a brand in the tech community. The examples of brand success stories are limitless, from the family-oriented McDonald’s to the humor-based Wendy’s. The good news is that anyone can build a solid brand for their business today with the help of digital marketing. You don’t have to be Jobs or Gates to identify your target clientele, their pain points, and a unique position for your product/service that sets it apart from the competition. Think about what Snickers did in India. They recognized that chocolate shouldn’t only serve the senses but also the stomach. So, they positioned their product as a mini-meal that could easily supply ample energy to sustain an individual for a couple of hours. And in today’s fast-paced world, this wrapped mini-snack that strikes a balance between the utility of a protein bar and the taste of chocolate took the market by storm. According to data, this branding of their product blew the sales number of Mars, Inc. through the roof.
3 Essential Steps to Build an Efficient Brand Strategy
Now that we have established the upsides of having an efficient brand-development strategy in place, let us get into the process of brand-building itself. We can divide this process into three major categories.
This is the part where you sit down with your team to brainstorm. Preliminary research on topics such as market conditions, competition analysis, budget estimation, tool research, buyer persona, product/service-value estimation, and communication strategy is vital to the development of a solid brand-new brand strategy. If you have a good picture of your long-term business goals and can further divide them into small achievable objectives, your brand strategy will be efficient, and it will show positive results sooner. Marketing to a vague audience with a plethora of products and services that are not concretely defined is the most common mistake that business owners commit. To properly define your brand, you will have to do the following:
- Identify the core values of your business and your business objectives.
- Procure as much data as you can on the market, the target market, your competition, consumers, etc. This data will help you make informed and purpose-driven decisions.
- Get creative: think of a persona for your brand. It’s better to imagine your brand as a person. What qualities do they have? What is their personality like? Is it aligned with the product or service that is being offered?
- Get a guesstimate of all the resources required.
Once you have drawn up all the blueprints, it’s time to establish your brand’s presence in the market. For this, you will need to keep in mind two important aspects – visibility and reputation. As you launch your brand’s website and open up social media accounts, your aim will be to reach your target audience as quickly as possible. In doing so, you have to ensure that you get maximum visibility, either organically or inorganically. For brands that have just started out in the market, this can be done via paid collaborations, events, discounts, blogs, etc. In the end, your brand should provide some value to potential customers even before any financial exchange occurs. For instance, the Twitter account of Wendy’s often engages in banter with its competition. Here, Wendy’s is providing their audience with humorous content (entertainment). On the other hand, brands like Upgrad provide detailed information on career paths to their target audience, teenage students and working individuals who are in their 20s. To establish your brand, you will need certain resources such as web developers, content writers, behavioral analytics platforms like WatchThemLive, visitor tracking software/tools, funds to promote social media posts, etc. To properly implement a brand strategy without draining all the funds and resources, you will need to have a proper calendar in place, which will spread out the whole strategy over a given period of time. For instance, you cannot post all your content in one go on your social media accounts. For that, you will require a content calendar and a social media executive to implement it.
Once you have established your brand, the key is to survive. The market changes every day. New challenges surface, and brands have to adapt or die out. Blockbuster, General Motors, Kodak, Nokia, etc., are all brands that fell victim to one foundational rule: survival of the fittest. Ensure that your brand is visible and relevant at all times in the market. If it’s out of sight, it’s out of the customer’s mind. To strengthen your brand’s image, you can carry out various advertisement campaigns, organize events, collaborate, and, more importantly, give a voice to the brand. One effective way to increase brand visibility is to solidify your presence on an influencer marketplace like Ainfluencer. Today, brands are responding to events that are being actively talked about. Be it the war in Ukraine, the pandemic, or Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, brands are expressing their views on everything. If done right, this can be a very beneficial exercise to build a repo with your target consumers. The more your customers see your brand as an entity in itself, the likelier they are to trust it. Be wary of controversy, though. It is far too easy to get canceled in today’s hyper-connected and politically sensitive digital environment.
With this rough blueprint in mind, you can take concrete steps to build an effective brand strategy for maximum outcome. Your product can revolutionize the market, but for that, it needs a voice. That voice is your brand.