The development of your brand is much like the development of any other good thing. You've got to create it for all the rights reasons and secure it in a solid foundation. However, it can't end there. You've got to nurture and strengthen it so it can serve the people who need it most—the people who will believe in it, buy into it, support it and recommend it.
Brand Development has been defined as growing a brand. It's not that simple, though. It's more like fortifying your brand so it can grow big and strong, sustaining itself with the resources and systems you've created for it.
How can you make all that happen?
You're about to find out.
A Brand Development Strategy
You've got to set your brand up for success. That means putting systems in place so that it can continually advance itself…even when you're not able to man the helm.
Here are some things you can do as you build your brand, to ensure that the right amount (and type) of brand development is there to support it today and into the future.
- Know Where You're Going. Building a great brand starts with preparation. Your vision, mission and values should be in place long before you create a single visual element or marketing message. Get clear about your goals. Know where you want to be in five and ten years. Know who your ideal customer is and where you can reach them. Get real about defining the brand you want to see in the world.
- Position your Brand in the Market. You can't expect to compete if your brand is just like everyone else's…or just like one other brand. It has to be unique in the ways it's solving a problem, and it must communicate that uniqueness clearly and succinctly.
- What is your Brand Message? Your brand is going to solve a specific problem. It has key benefits it needs to communicate. It has a target audience, with members who want to hear about that solution and those benefits in a particular language, at a particular time, and with a particular tone (even if they don't know it yet). Craft a brand message (for your marketing communications) that will gain attention and spark interest in your brand.
- How will that Message be Delivered? Using technologies that your ideal customers aren't using is a waste of time. It will also result in a loss of respect for your brand by the people who should mean the most to it. Do your research: find out what your target audience is using to obtain information and get in there!
- Choose the Visuals, Business Name, Tagline and Language that will Anchor your Brand Message. Always remember that these elements (the ones experienced by the public) are results of the brand development strategy steps that preceded them. Therefore, they should be highly indicative of all the work supporting them. This is why we do the research and make the decisions before we slap a logo together—because every colour, every line, every shape, every font matters and says something about the brand. Let's make sure they're saying the right things.
- Create a Heartbeat Stratagem. We used to refer to these as touchpoints; however, the word heartbeats is more appropriate. We don't want to simply touch our ideal customers, we want to send out regular, anticipated, reliable messages that prove our brands are in constant development and that we're always thinking about how we can improve the lives of our target audience members.
- Systemise it. Identify those things that you and/or your team do again and again in your day-to-day brand operations. Establish a system for each of these tasks, so that no time is ever wasted in repetition. Not only will this help your brand to run more smoothly (with a focus on the parts that make money), it will add value to your brand at the time of expansion and/or sale.
- Write it, Implement it, Track it. Put your brand development strategy in writing, and then get to work right away with implementing it. Pay attention to results as you put that marketing and those heartbeats into action, and adjust where numbers aren't showing progress. It's important that you're honest with yourself and willing to let go of ideas that are dear to your heart, but that aren't serving your brand's bigger purpose—development for the purpose of stability, flexibility and growth.
When the underpinnings of your brand are strong, that foundation will support its future endeavours (and yours, too). When you focus on its foundation, rather than its façade (which will naturally follow), it can support the weight you're about to place on it, and it will thrive when others struggle.
You can create a brand that is developed and ready for the market. And you can do it even more effectively with a support system. Get that support system in the Brand Builders Club, where freedom-focussed entrepreneurs are assembling to learn how to build their purpose-driven brands. Click here for your backstage pass to an upcoming event.