By Jewelle Saunders
When getting your business off the ground, you must consider many things, like what strategy is best for implementation. What sets a successful business apart from the competition is an often-overlooked element: branding. As you consider how to make your business stand out from the crowd, it helps to consider the importance of integrating branding into your business strategy.
Read on to learn the benefits of centering your branding strategies early, reassessing your established brand, or updating it with new strategies, and learn some tips for how to get started today.
Your brand sets the foundation for your business
While you may believe that your product or services speak for themselves, that may not always be the case. Everything, from the fonts and images you utilize to the content you create for your brand, will set the impression and perception of your business or organization for your audience. Particularly when you move beyond your community or local market, whether your audience perceives your business the way you want them to will be due to your efforts at branding your company.
You may have heard that marketing can help you engage new customers, so what is it about branding that helps? Here’s the difference: Branding is the essential process of identifying, creating and managing your company, and it is what sets you apart from your competitors. Branding is what links all of your efforts together, and marketing is an essential component in your branding toolbox and a key tool for building your brand and conveying it to others.
Before you plan your business or organization’s marketing, advertising and expansion strategies, you must consider your brand identity. Ask yourself the following questions:
- What are the story and mission of my business?
- What issues do I want my business to address?
- What is this business bringing to my community that no other business is?
- If my business had a personality, how would I describe it?
- How do I want my business to make people feel?
Elevating your branding helps you expand to new markets
When you are trying to reach new audiences and expand your business to new markets, focusing on your brand and your marketing efforts is key to starting your expansion. You can communicate your story through your brand, and some tools will help you to do so, such as your website and various social media channels.
When you’ve established an original brand, and you market your brand in efficient ways, audiences will know what to expect from your company and you will build a positive reputation with them. No one will want to buy from a business or support an organization that they do not understand. Are you getting your message across? Does your audience understand your products or your mission? Focusing on an original brand and consistent authentic messaging within your brand strategy will ensure that your audience will remain loyal to your brand and can help you expand to markets you were not even aware of.
Make sure you are presenting an accessible place for people to find your business through your branding strategies. Do you have a website? Do you have social media? Are you original and authentic in the content you create? Make sure to take our brand assessment to see where your brand stands as you try to set yourself up for success in reaching new markets.
Monitor and evaluate your adaptive brand
A key aspect of developing a branding and marketing strategy is knowing that you will have to be flexible and adaptive to any future challenges, changes in the market, or opportunities that arise. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic presented a unique challenge that discouraged in-person retail experiences for some time, which allowed for a change in the retail market, shifting to digital sales and shipments. This new opportunity, bringing your business online, means that you could have to readjust and adapt to having a website or social media presence.
Thinking about the brand that you put forward as a digital presence means that you have new strategies and goals, and you need to continue to be adaptive to monitor, analyze and evaluate those strategies. Some suggestions:
- Consider doing an assessment of your current brand and marketing strategies.
- Keep track of your competitors’ trends.
- Analyze your website and social media data and trends.
- Survey and obtain feedback and ideas from your employees.
- Survey and obtain feedback and ideas from your customers.
Consider the goals you have for your business in the coming years. How can you start to focus on your brand, your marketing strategy, and your implementation and evaluation to get you to those goals and set up your business for success?
If you would like to learn more tips and tricks about how to build your brand, check out YLAI Brand Better for more resources.
Este artículo está disponible en español.