Many people oversimplify what a brand is, but as the photo accompanying this post indicates, there are several elements that make up a brand. It’s not just a logo or color scheme. It’s a collective promise that lets customers know what they can expect when interacting with a company. A strong brand isn’t built solely on great graphic design or reliable customer service. The best brands are strong in all areas. For this reason, brand development is an essential activity to help you stand out and excel in the marketplace.
Opportunities & Reasons to Develop a Brand
Brand development isn’t something that’s limited to new companies. Your brand should evolve as your company evolves. Here are some examples of when you can (and should) tweak your brand:
- You have a new story to tell or knowledge to share
- You can offer value that is now more relevant than before — introducing a new product/service, going into a new geographic area, merging with another business, upgrading equipment and facilities, hiring new people, changing leadership
- When business is in decline
- When business is beginning to thrive
Steps to Brand Development
A good brand must display the following:
- Differentiating Values
- Value Relevance
- Knowledge About Your Value
- Creation of Emotional Connections
If your company’s brand is lacking one or more of these qualities, or if there is an opportunity or challenge similar to the ones listed in the previous section, you should turn your attention to the brand development process. Here’s how:
Step 1: Audit Your Brand
Review and evaluate your brand to get an idea of its strengths and weaknesses. Once you have an idea of where you stand, you can start thinking about ways to improve.
Step 2: Develop Your Brand Promise
In this step, it’s important to keep your ideal customers in mind. Your brand promise should clearly identify and state what it is that you are promising to deliver to the marketplace based on the personas of your ideal customers and your competitors.
Step 3: Develop the Brand Strategy
Examine and develop the following key activities:
- Identity — The graphic presentation and reception of your brand: logo, colors, themes, clothing, etc.
- Personality — The value-connecting emotion of your brand and how it is interpreted
- Messaging — The language and tone of your brand’s presentation
- Implementation — Best practices and standards to ensure your brand’s presentation is consistent
- Review — Survey and gain feedback to ensure brand relevance and desired interpretation
Need Help With Your Brand Development?
We understand the importance of building, developing and leveraging brands. Our expert team has a proven track record of helping companies and organizations focus on solid brand fundamentals.
What sets us apart is our methodology, approach and focus. Our branding is based on best practices, solid research and actual experience. Every customer’s brand development is focused on one thing… value differentiation.
We have seen our value-focused brand development program help startups, turnarounds and companies desiring growth achieve their vision. Our process is very thorough, and we don’t skip steps. For assistance with your brand or to learn more, contact us.