Three easy steps to develop your brand
Branding can be a powerful tool in developing a successful business. If used correctly, a brand can increase its recognition and successfully differentiate it from its competitors. The good news is that building a successful brand is a relatively simple process.
A brand is the image that forms in people’s minds when they hear your name. More significantly, it consists of the words used to describe that image. For example, if I say Rolls RoyceYou probably think of words like “expensive”, “luxury” and “high class”. Instead, Sling conjures up a different set of words like “affordable” and “family oriented.” Both cars have a positive reputation and essentially serve the same function. But they have very different images. What people see when they listen to Rolls Royce is very different from what they see when they listen to Honda, and that is essential when it comes to brand development.
Branding is the process of creating the desired image and taking proactive steps to cultivate that image. There are two important considerations when it comes to brand development. First, if you are not actively working to develop and package your brand, you do not have a brand. In other words, branding is a proactive process. Second, the branding process is long-lasting. You never finish developing your brand. Facilitating the branding process involves three steps:
1. Clarify the benefits of your brand. There are four main benefits to the branding process. First, branding helps you clarify your value proposition, which is what your customers can do because of you. Second, you clarify your niche, which is the customer segment you want to serve. Third, it increases your company’s recognition with potential customers. And finally, the brand raises the prices it can charge because effective brand development is about positioning itself as an expert and leader in a particular niche.
2. Answer the four key questions for your business. The branding process begins with your answers to the following questions:
– Who do I serve (who are my clients, who are the people I want to have as clients)?
– What value do I offer (what can my clients do for me = their value proposition)?
– How do I help my clients achieve this value (how do I fulfill my value proposition)?
– How is it different from my competitors (what is my competitive advantage)?
3. Develop a branding package. Once you are clear about the benefits you can get from branding and have effectively addressed the four key questions for your business, you can develop your branding package, which consists of the tools and resources you use to communicate your brand. This includes your picture pack (trade name, slogan and logo), elevator presentation (a 20 second statement about you, your company and the benefits of your products and services), stationary, Business letters, brochures, website, Blog, publications (for example, books, newsletters, brochures and articles), social media and presentations (for example, seminars, webinars, and training programs). I will discuss how to use these tools to create an effective branding package in a future article.