What differentiates your branding from competitors? Imagine this scenario; Every aisle in the supermarket or grocery store is categorised to group together different kinds of products according to similarity or use. You are walking down one of the aisles. Your view is either accepting or rejecting similar products along the way until you stop to choose something from the shelf. That choice usually depends on something you already know or based on the brandÂ of the products. Â Now take that same scenario and apply it to walking through a convention hall for a business event. Â Even if you are seeing the exhibits for the first time, what propels you to stop at an exhibit booth? Itâ€™s the presentation and brandingÂ that is capturing your attention. Maybe it was the creative banner, the informative brochure, or other marketingÂ materials. Your business branding is so important that it should always be a priority in order to achieve success and turn a profit.
Here is a brand strategyÂ checklist when auditing your brand. Like your brand, your checklist should evolve and be updated.
- Company-wide understanding â€“ As a business owner, it is up to you, or designated marketing guru, to ensure that your employees understand the companyâ€™s branding strategies. Employees are the first line of representation for a business. If they are confused about what you are offering, do not expect consumers to understand.
- Whatâ€™s in a name? Apparently, a lot. Your company name can create limits. Make sure it is not perceived in going to narrow of a direction. This can instantly turn away consumers that feel the name excludes them, without investigating further. For example, if your company name uses the word â€œeliteâ€, there is a chance someone is going to perceive your business as being expensive and out of reach of middle income consumers.
- Define your target market â€“ You canâ€™t be everything for everybody. Determine whom you want your products or services to appeal to and then develop a brand strategy to reach that audience. Make sure your target market is not too small as not to generate positive consumer reaction.
- Define a â€œtypeâ€ of target â€“ This process refers to specifically defining a pattern or habit within your target market based on interest. For example, if your target market is related to food consumers, decide if you are targeting gourmet food lovers or targeting fast food consumers.
- What are you branding now? What are you branding for the future? â€“ Examine what products or services currently make up your branding strategy. Evaluate if there needs to be some restructuring and forecast new products or services that will benefit the strategy.
- Brainstorm your way to well-targeted media mix â€“ Consumers need to remember who you are. If your marketingÂ materials only include print documents (e.g., brochures, flyers, etc.), think about expanding into other forms of advertising and marketing. This includes different forms of social media, internet advertising, newsletters, email auto responders, billboards, phone kiosks, and television. There are many ways to expand your reach and make yourself memorable.
- Make your brand inviting with an emotional connection â€“ Consumers love having a â€œrelationshipâ€ with a brand. Â They enjoy being connected in a way that makes them say, â€œThis brand and business cares about how I feel about it, how it affects me, and evolves to meet the desires of the consumer.â€
- Colour scheme coordination â€“ Before thinking this is a minor area that needs to be addressed, first think about all of the brands that have struck a personal and visual negative chord. Colours have psychological properties. They are communication tools that influence mood and reaction. There are colours that are relaxing and those that are irritating. Your colour scheme coordination needs to take into account its affect on consumers in relation to business stationery, internal marketing materials, logo, signage, website, etc.
Do not limit yourself to this checklist. Use it and discover ways to expand on it. Doing so will keep you on a brand strategy path full of detail, connection, and understanding.