Picking the Best Branding Strategy
Defining Your Objectives and Audience
A clear definition of your brand's audience and the objectives you want it to achieve are critical to effective brand management. So what are the objectives that you hope to achieve with your brand?
Defining a Brand
The term "brand" takes its roots from the old west – that mark seared onto the hides of cattle to designate ownership. Of course, the concept has evolved greatly since then, but its implicit meaning is still the same. A brand is something that marks your company or service as unique.
This includes your name, but it also stretches to encompass the public's perception of that name. It brings certain things to mind, ideally quality service or products delivered with a certain excellence that no other company quite achieves. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but you don't want to be the imitator. Your goal is to be the one who initially paves the road.
The Purpose of Your Brand
Your brand should be comprised of your company's personality and image, as well as its core competencies and characteristics. The impressions you make, as well as the words people will use to describe your company to others, are the basic framework of your brand.
You'll build credibility with a strong brand and have more influence on your market. It should motivate customers and clients to purchase from you. When a brand is accomplished correctly, people will see your company as a leader, not a follower.
Determine Your Brand Objectives
Ask yourself two key questions to help determine your brand objectives. What is it that you want your brand to do for your company? And what do you want others to know and say about your products or services?
Some sample objectives might include being recognized by receiving a specific award, picking up a certain number of choice projects, gaining a specific number of new clients in the next year, and/or positioning your company as an industry leader in the next several months.
Create a Timeline
You may find that it's easier to develop a plan of action to achieve your objectives if you define them within a specific timeline. You can map out a plan as to how to achieve them by defining your objectives this way. Your objective may be to position your company as an industry leader.
How can you go about doing this? You could arrange to have members of your team speak at trade shows or schedule lectures at professional group gatherings within your industry. You might want to write and publish articles in newspapers, magazines or online media.
When you've determined your objectives, the next step is to build and develop your brand strategy by listing how, when and what you are going to do to accomplish and meet them. Use the questions above to determine what your brand objectives are, then list each one and map out how you plan to accomplish and succeed in meeting it.
Don't stop there, and don't forget that timeline. When you've finished, take time to list what you can do this month or during this quarter to meet that particular objective. Be specific and schedule these action items in your business calendar.