Brand development is the process of creating a meaning behind your company’s products and services. This guide shows you how to build a brand for your business.
Your brand is one of the most powerful intangible assets that can make or break your business. Successful brand development shows your customers who you are and builds an emotional connection with them.
If you are a startup owner looking to create a brand or need to revitalize your existing brand identity, this handy guide can help. Read on as we discuss the essentials of brand development.
What is Brand Development?
Brand development is the process of creating and differentiating your company’s products and services from your competitors. It includes:
- Developing a brand strategy and aligning it with your organizational objectives.
- Selecting the tools you need to communicate your brand identity.
- Sustaining and updating your brand as your business grows.
Your brand development strategy provides a plan of action on how you plan to carry out these tasks.
How Does a Brand Influence Buying Decisions?
Brands are intrinsically linked to a customer’s buying decision. They represent a sense of comfort, trust, and familiarity that encourages customers to use your products and services again. According to research, 59% of customers are likely to shop for new products and services offered by a familiar brand.
How Does a Brand Target Your Buyer Personas?
Your brand reflects who you are. In doing so, it also targets specific buyer personas that can connect with your brand identity. For instance, luxury brands like Chanel project sophistication as part of their brand identity and attract a high-spending consumer base.
As you develop a buyer persona, which is your ideal target market, you’ll unveil aspects of a buyer’s personality that your brand should address.
What Are the Factors That Create a Brand?
Your brand identity is an assimilation of various elements. These include:
A brand name refers to the phrases or words used for identifying your company, product, or service. Devising a memorable brand name can be difficult, but it can translate into a highly valuable asset if you do it right. Take the example of Coca-Cola, Gucci, and Apple. These names are worth billions and allow their companies to charge a higher price premium for their products and services.
A logo is a visual trademark that helps identify the brand. It involves a combination of text and imagery to create a symbol that reflects your vision. A well-designed logo can quickly differentiate you from your competitors and foster brand loyalty.
Creating a logo doesn’t have to be expensive. You can use tools like Wix Logo Maker which is designed for small budgets.
Your website is an important digital asset that serves as a hub for your online marketing efforts. It works as an online platform that allows you to display your products and services, tell your brand story, and engage with prospects and customers.
Having a well-designed website can elevate your brand image and earn the trust of new visitors to encourage conversion.
Color psychology plays an important role in branding. It can help you break through the visual clutter and capture your audience’s attention. A study reports that colors can increase brand recognition by 80% in consumers.
They also communicate your brand story and express emotion commonly associated with a product or service. For instance, fast food brands typically use the color red in their logos because it makes people feel hungry.
The type of customer service you offer can have a long-lasting impact on your brand identity. Even if you have a high-quality product, poor customer service can force your customer to switch to a competitor.
Integrating good customer service into your brand values can elevate their experience, and a happy customer is more likely to use your products and services again.
Pricing helps shape consumer sentiments and influence their perception of product quality. For instance, a high-priced product is automatically associated with good quality, which can spur demand. This type of pricing strategy is particularly useful for luxury brands.
In the case of FMCG brands, you need to balance product pricing with quality to ensure the product remains affordable.
Brand Marketing and Positioning
Deciding how you want to position and market your brand is a deciding factor in brand development. Do you want to position your brand as exclusive or easily accessible? This depends on the type of products or services you offer, their pricing, usage, and other factors.
How you position your brand can have a significant impact on revenue too. Consider the example of Marlboro. It originally targeted women and was positioned as a lifestyle brand. It advertised its products as a symbol of sophistication and rebellion.
However, in the 1950s, Marlboro changed its marketing and positioning to appeal to male smokers. This was primarily because male smokers dominated the cigarette market, and the health implications of smoking were expected to hurt sales. Transforming its brand identity allowed Marlboro to sustain operations, and today it is a globally recognized tobacco brand.
Popular Examples of Brands and Their Meaning
Your brand identity can have a far-reaching impact on the future of your business. To understand this better, let’s take a look at some popular brands and their meaning:
- Apple – Innovation
- Coca-Cola – Happiness
- Quickbooks – Do-it-Yourself bookkeeping
- Patagonia – Quality clothing plus social responsibility
- Disney – Family fun
- Walmart – Low prices
Brand development leads to public perceptions about what your brand stands for. It connects everything about your business, including how you provide customer support, the types of products you build or carry, your pricing strategy, the salaries you pay employees, where you donate, and your corporate messaging.
6 Ways to Develop Your Brand
Now that you understand which factors contribute to your brand identity, let’s take a look at how you can start to develop your brand. While there is a lot involved in brand development, begin with these 6 steps.
1. Ask Your Clients These Questions
You can ask your prospects and customers about their perception of your products and services.
- What are the first 3 things they think of when they look at your products and services?
- What is your unique selling point?
Set up a customer advisory board to ask what your customers think about you. Building your brand along these lines can help you align yourself with the needs and requirements of your target audience. It also tells you what you are doing wrong.
2. Brainstorm With Your Team
Brainstorm with your team, friends, or customers and conduct audience research to find out what works and what doesn’t. You should determine what you want people to think of when they come across your products and services and build a brand identity accordingly.
You can’t be all things to all people. Part of brand development involves making choices. For example, do you want to be known for innovative products? Low pricing? Fast service? Social responsibility?
3. Conduct Keyword Research
Keyword research allows you to identify market trends. It helps you understand what your customers are looking for and how your product or service can meet that need. Click here to learn more about keyword research and how it can help your business.
4. Develop Your Brand Assets and Position Your Brand
Once you have a clear idea of the type of brand you want to build, the next step is developing your brand assets. These include your brand name, artwork, content, and other elements of your brand identity.
You also need to decide how you want to position your brand and prepare a positioning statement that reinforces the same.
5. Create Brand Guidelines
You need to prepare a brand document that outlines all the elements that make up your brand. A brand document describes your brand development strategy. You can use it as a resource to direct your branding efforts. A brand document is also great for new hires as it allows them to grasp the essence of your brand quickly.
It typically includes:
- An overview of your brand’s vision, key values, and personality.
- Mission statement or brand message
- Your brand positioning
- Color palette
- Default fonts for branding and website content
- Letterhead and business card design
Design departments of firms often create a brand guideline document to help companies stay true to their brand development efforts.
6. Monitor Audience Response and Improve Your Strategy
Once you execute your branding strategy, it’s important to measure its success against predefined benchmarks. You can also identify potential weaknesses and work on refining your brand strategy and achieve better results.
Brand Development Never Ends
Brand development is an ongoing process. As consumer perceptions change, you will have to revisit your brand strategy and make adjustments to counter new challenges and leverage opportunities. If something isn’t working, you need to find out what it is and recapture your audience.
Author: Raj Khera, CEO & CMO of 3 SaaS companies, each sold to public firms, and Publisher of MoreBusiness.com