Strong branding is the key to success of popular companies like Amazon, Apple, and Starbucks. The buyer’s journey continues to evolve with technology. This means that having a strong product is not enough reason for consumers to buy something from businesses anymore.
Nielsen reports that 75% of consumers worldwide claim that brand origin is a key purchase driver. A brand that resonates with your target customers is a fail-safe way to take your business to the next level.
In developing your brand, these 6 questions are very important to ask yourself first about your business.
Good Branding Essentials
Brand strategy is a plan that illustrates long-term, specific goals that can be achieved with the evolution of a successful brand. It is the result of your company’s unique characteristics making it identifiable.
A definite and well-executed branding strategy can affect all business aspects. It is directly connected to your customer’s emotions, needs, and competitive environments.
1. What is your brand story?
What is the story you are trying to sell? Your brand story defines the image of what you do and most importantly, who you are. Consumers don’t want to buy a product rather, people want to buy an experience. Brand stories trigger emotions and elicit experience from your target customers, which propel them to purchase.
Brand stories are usually fashioned out of your value proposition. It should provide context as to your company’s history and your future plans. Your story should capture attention and loosely aligned with aspects of your business strategy.
Once you are able to create a compelling brand story, customers will see greater value in what you are offering.
2. Who are your target customers and how to speak to them?
Defining your target audience and learning their language are the next important things you should be able to establish.
When thinking about your ideal customers, you should consider these two things: ideal customer profile and buyer persona.
The ideal customer profile should closely relate to the type of customers you want to sell. Get a better understanding of what type of customers would be a good fit for you through firmographics. Analyze factors like annual income, profession, and the size of the household. The same goes for B2B businesses. Know their revenue, industry, and the size of the company and see if your products align with their needs.
Once you’ve established your ideal customer profile, time to develop a buyer persona. Buyer personas represent the specific people who you will be selling to. So, if you are selling a software, you’d want to target the decision maker in the company like business development manager or general manager.
While it is important to know what type of company you want to sell to, you’re not selling your product to the entire staff. You are selling to one person. This is crucial in your customer acquisition strategy.
Best practice recommends to create at least three (3) buyer personas wherein you define what each person is interested in and what daily challenges are they facing (pain points). Knowing your customer pain points can help you produce content that addresses these issues with benefits they can get from purchasing your product.
3. What other brands do you admire?
To make effective improvements to your own branding, you need to analyze strategies of businesses you admire. Identify how they communicate with their audience and what strategies are they using that’s similar to yours. Learning about your inspiration will help you develop innovative and creative ways to market your business.
4. What are your competitors doing?
You may not like it but identifying the strengths of your competitors can be very helpful for you in building your branding strategy. If you want to beat your competitors, you need to respect their efforts and understand their approach.
Acknowledge the areas where your competitors excel and derive a strategy that would help improve your brand image and how you present your business to your customers. List down their strengths and weaknesses as if you were a customer looking to purchase from them. Once done, think of ways your products can stand out from theirs.
5. What do you want your customers to feel towards your brand?
Customer experience plays a pivotal role in their buying decision. In fact, many people consider buying experience as the determining factor to make a purchase. So the question you should ask yourself is: what do you want your customers to feel towards your brand? How do you want them to feel throughout the buyer’s journey and after they make a purchase?
One way to get started is to define what a 5-star experience would feel like when a customer interacts with your brand. AirBnB founder, Brian Chesky created the 11-Star Experience to help him determine how he wanted customers to feel using his service.
Generate ideas on would encompass this experience. Then, raise the bar higher (what would a 6-star service feel like? Or 7-star? Or 8-star?) until you reach the best possible experience you can deliver to your clients.
6. What are your core values and how should your brand express these attributes?
Last but not the least, you should always consider what your core values are and what attributes you want your brand to express towards your target audience. By defining what your brand’s qualities are important to you, it makes it easier to establish your brand’s personality.
Create a list of words you want to get associated with your brand and vice-versa. Identifying key attributes and establishing the right voice and tone that would portray your values. This is crucial for competitive markets as it helps you in honing your content strategy making it easier for your target audience to identify your brand.
Choose bold brand colors like red and black if you want your brand to appear strong. If you want to look witty, play around with rich media like gifs or posting clever Tweets. It can be different across channels and decide which specific attributes should be used in certain channels. You can get more casual in posting on your social media as compared to writing your blog posts.
Branding and Lead Generation
Your branding strategy plays an important role in your lead generation, demand generation, and acquiring new customers. Branding should start by establishing your story and what core values are important to you. The context behind your product is what compels your target audience to buy from your business.
Determine who you want to reach, the means to reach them, and what you want them to know about your business. As the market grows competitively, making a unique brand does not only make you stand-out but also it’s the key driver to your growth.