Building a strong brand is one of the most important responsibilities of every aspiring entrepreneur, regardless of the size of their enterprise. However, this is not something that can be done overnight. This is a project that will span over the course of many weeks, months and even years. Therefore, what you need is a branding strategy and a plan consisting of several crucial steps. With that in mind and without further ado, here’s how you can create a strong brand in several simple steps.
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1. Mission and vision
The first thing you need to do is figure out what your business is going to be all about. For this, you need to figure out three things – your mission, vision and company culture. The reason why this is so difficult, yet so important, is due to the fact that it requires you to find a human (idealistic) aspect of your job. Vision and mission are also key determiners when looking for a business partner. Everyone shares an interest (growth, prosperity, expansion, etc.). Sharing a vision, on the other hand, is what makes people stay together and triumph against adversity.
2. Target audience
The next thing to worry about is the brand message that you’re sending. Now, there’s no right or wrong message here, there’s only effective and ineffective for your target audience. How do you tell one from the other? Well, it depends on your target audience. Knowing who you are talking to will not only help you set the tone of your address but also allow you to pick the medium through which you should send this message. For instance, different demographic groups prefer different social media platforms. This alone may impact the effectiveness of your reach. All in all, there are so many things worth keeping in mind here.
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3. Marketing methods
Choosing your marketing is one of the most important things out there. Why? Well, because it shapes your marketing campaign in all the ways that matter. First of all, it determines which audiences you’re able to reach. For instance, social media are always a popular choice, however, there are still some demographics that prefer an old-school, face-to-face approach. This is why agencies like Infostarters focus on print as much as they do on digital formats. An infographic design can easily be turned into a brochure, while an e-store layout can become a printed product catalog.
4. Figure out your KPIs
The only way this is going to work is if you set proper goals, seeing as how, otherwise, it would be impossible to tell if your brand is on the right track or not. The greatest risk, when it comes to accessing the effectiveness of your business, lies in following the so-called vanity metrics and ignoring what really matters. What matters are the KPIs (key performance indicators). Depending on what you’re tracking, these can revolve around sales, website traffic, conversion rate, brand mentions, etc. The key thing is figuring out the industry averages and setting your goals accordingly.
5. Exercise consistency
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While it is true that brands grow and evolve in time, the fact is that in order to create some brand loyalty, you need to display some consistency. This is also why it’s so important that you establish your mission and vision as soon as possible. These two will allow you to set a general course for your enterprise and allow you to avoid deviating from the right course. Remember that your audience will associate you with what you stand for, as much as they do with what you’re selling. In other words, straying too much from the original values may feel like you’re letting them down.
6. Protect your intellectual property
The only way to prevent others from capitalizing on your hard work and your ideas is to protect your intellectual property with suitable legal mechanisms. We’re talking about patents, trademarks and copyrights to your intellectual property. You see, it’s not just the potential loss of profit that’s in question here. It’s also about the potential tarnishing of your reputation that may occur as a result. Someone does something bad and, since people can’t tell your official brand apart from the imitation, you’re the one who gets to take the fall.
At the end of the day, while peculiarities regarding your branding efforts may differ, the truth is that you need to follow each of the above-listed steps in order to get the most out of this plan. So, the best two tips on how to go on about this are to be as systematic as possible (therefore the necessity for a step-based approach) and to demonstrate some patience.