Realize that you’re not in control of your brand. That’s right, you only set the direction for your brand. Your actual brand image is determined by your audience. You can use these tips to ensure alignment between your desired brand image and your actual brand image in the minds of your customers. Branding isn’t a one shot deal, it’s an on-going juggling act of marketing, research and conversation. If you’re not tapping into those conversations with your audience, how do you know what their real impression of you is? How will you know how to address it? Brand growth comes from alignment. You have to ensure that your actions, stationary, website and marketing efforts put out the right image. But you cannot stop there; Those are pre-sales activities that get you noticed and hopefully bought. You also have to ensure that all actions and engagements during the sale and post-sale are positive and in line with your desired brand image. If your audience has a different view of you than you’d like, then you need help. And it’s probably best to bring in an outside perspective. The Difference Between Marketing and Branding?
Being a Market Pioneer can, more often than not, attract entrepreneurs and/or investors depending on the benefits of the market. If there is an upside potential and the ability to have a stable market share, many businesses would start to follow in the footsteps of these pioneers. These are more commonly known as Close Followers. These entrants into the market can also be seen as challengers to the Market Pioneers and the Late Followers. This is because early followers are more than likely to invest a significant amount in Product Research and Development than later entrants. By doing this, it allows businesses to find weaknesses in the products produced before, thus leading to improvements and expansion on the aforementioned product. Therefore, it could also lead to customer preference, which is essential in market success. Due to the nature of early followers and the research time being later than Market Pioneers, different development strategies are used as opposed to those who entered the market in the beginning, and the same is applied to those who are Late Followers in the market. By having a different strategy, it allows the followers to create their own unique selling point and perhaps target a different audience in comparison to that of the Market Pioneers. Early following into a market can often be encouraged by an established business’ product that is “threatened or has industry-specific supporting assets”.
A carefully-cultivated marketing strategy should be fundamentally rooted in a company’s value proposition, which summarizes the competitive advantage a company holds over rival businesses. For example, Walmart is widely known as a discount retailer with “everyday low prices,” whose business operations and marketing efforts revolve around that idea. How to Build Your Brand, Think Bigger and Develop Self Awareness — Gary Vaynerchuk Interview
The vision and mission address the second central question, 'Where are we going?' At the conclusion of the research and analysis stage, the firm will typically review its vision statement, mission statement and, if necessary, devise a new vision and mission for the outlook period. At this stage, the firm will also devise a generic competitive strategy as the basis for maintaining a sustainable competitive advantage for the forthcoming planning period.
I know it’s an older post Nick, but it’s extremely relevant still today. We realized that the most important driving force out there is .. people.. as you outlined in your last tip. I was working with a company, and we went so far as to change our motto to “People First.” just because of that aspect. Great post. I’d say you should update it, but there isn’t much to add besides social media aspects. Branding Your Personal Brand / Creative Business | Build a Strong, Cohesive Brand Identity
Strategic analysis is designed to address the first strategic question, "Where are we now?"  Traditional market research is less useful for strategic marketing because the analyst is not seeking insights about customer attitudes and preferences. Instead strategic analysts are seeking insights about the firm's operating environment with a view to identifying possible future scenarios, opportunities and threats.
If you are looking to build a lasting brand and a growing company, this is something you definitely want to think about creating. Imagine having to retrain 20, 30, or even 100 employees in “your style”, “your voice”, “how to write blogs”; a style guide can save you time and keep your brand consistent. We love this brand style guide example from MailChimp.
Jonathan "JC" Chan is the first Content Crafter at Foundr Magazine. When not writing about anything and everything to do with startups, entrepreneurship, and marketing, JC can be found pretending to be the next MMA star at the gym. He has also contributed to outlets such as Huffington Post, Social Media Examiner, MarketingProfs, Hubspot and more. Make sure you connect with him on LinkedIn!
Nicholas Burroughs once said that “Minimalism is not a lack of something. It’s simply the perfect amount of something” and this template does just that for you. Balancing out your imagery with some simple elements, tall type and a small palette keeps things minimal and flexible. This template is perfect for any business looking for a low-maintenance design that looks good in any light.
By now, we hope we haven’t overwhelmed you with this list. Trust us when we say that we get it. Our brands are something we nurture over time; they build, we grow – it’s not a one stop and you’re done process. If you truly want to build your brand, you need to hire an expert. Someone who can ask the right questions and get to the heart of what makes your brand great.
Believe us -- your personas are definitely looking for the information that you’re able to provide -- if you write about it. After friends and family, blogs are the third most trusted source of information. Plus, that content will also serve as material to populate your social media networks, and we’ve already covered what a crucial part that plays in branding on a budget.
I think your first point about the logo, however was a little too simple, probably in an eager attempt to keep people from thinking that a new logo means they’ve “been rebranded” – which most people need to understand. While a logo probably won’t make a sale, it needs to reflect the brand as well as your website or any other point of contact with the customers. Maybe it should read “your logo is not your brand.”
It’s pointless investing time or money in developing your brand without first ascertaining what will resonate with your audience, and to understand your customer’s habits, wants and needs it is essential to talk to them, says Matthew Crole Rees, head of marketing at carfused.com, a brand offshoot for confused.com. Knowing your audience is the first and most important task in building a brand. Branding Ideas For Authors
Figuring that out doesn’t have to come at a price. A great way to get started is with our free MakeMyPersona tool, which guides you through a series of questions about the ideal person you want to reach. Take your time with it. The questions are meant to get you thinking about how you want to be perceived and by whom -- and that shouldn't be a quick process.
Write your USP. Use the information you've gathered about your customers, products, and competition to create a unique selling proposition. This is a compelling sentence that describes the essence of your business, focusing on who you serve, what benefit you provide, and why you are the best business to provide that benefit. Your USP, also known as your value proposition, will guide all of your messaging, branding, and other marketing efforts.
^ Brown, L., Competitive Marketing Strategy: Dynamic Manoeuvring for Competitive Position, Melbourne, Nelson, 1997; West, D., Ford, J. and Ibrahim, E., Strategic Marketing: Creating Competitive Advantage, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2010, p. 50-56; Schaars, S.p., Marketing Strategy, The Free Press, 1998, [Chapter 4 - 'A Brief History of Marketing Strategy'], pp 18-29
This type of strategy involves sharing the content that you write of your blog or landing pages to social media platforms. It is one of the effective marketing strategies because it gets organic traffic to your blog and convert visitors into loyal followers. You need to upload value-rich data constantly to keep your followers. Therefore, you should plan your content months in advance.
Market challenger: The market challenger holds the second highest market share in the category, following closely behind the dominant player. Their market posture is generally offensive because they have less to lose and more to gain by taking risks. They will compete head to head with the market leader in an effort to grow market share. Their overall strategy is to gain market share through product, packaging and service innovations; new market development and redefinition of the to broaden its scope and their position within it. 5 MIND BLOWING Logo Design Tips ✍