Do you know brands that just stand out? The ones that you like and remember, sometimes even without knowing if their product or service is really as good as they say it is. This is branding. By portraying your brand in a clever way, your audience will like you just a little bit more. And that is worth the effort!
In this blog, we look at brand development. We will tell you what this is, how it works and why it is so important.
Let’s start with the basics. What is brand development?
At Social Media Gids, we see brand development as the process of building and keeping the core of a brand. This includes the message and look and feel of a brand, but also the way a brand captures and keeps a connection with the right audience.
This sounds very broad, and that is exactly what it is. A brand involves everything from product and service to style, to communication; all the unique traits of your business combined.
The process of brand development includes a lot of strategic choices. Think of, for instance:
This requires some strategic thinking. Ask yourself how you want your (potential) customer to see you and your brand. Write a ‘position statement’ that includes a description of your goal, your audience, how your product or service competes within your industry, and how you see your brand develop over the coming years.
Here you turn from 'What do I want to do?' to 'How do I do it?' Or, to be precise, 'How do I communicate it?' To be able to share your brand's position correctly, you need to think of aspects like your name, tagline, key messages, and tone of voice.
All the written language around your business needs to be well thought out and should match your brand position perfectly. Is there a discrepancy between position and message? Then your brand will lose its strength immediately, which might result in fewer sales or unsure customers. How can you trust a brand with a statement that doesn't go well with the product or service?
Not only should the wording be in line with your branding position, but the look and feel of your brand should be too.
Think of your logo, the colors you use, the fonts you use, the images, web design, your social media profiles, business cards, flyers, posters — all the visual representation of your brand.
Again, it’s incredibly important that your style represents your goals and the position of your brand. Everything needs to be in line: Your position statement, your brand message, tone of voice, and creative branding.
You might be wondering, ‘How do I develop all these aspects?’ How do I choose a position, a style, a tone of voice, and how do I make sure I remain connected to my audience over time?
Brand development is a process. It’s a complex field that requires a lot of attention, strategic thinking and research.
To give you an idea of the work that goes into developing a successful brand, we would like to give you a very brief description of a few steps that are included:
1. Audience research
Do your audience research. No one knows better what could make your brand successful than your (potential) customers. Look at your current customers (if you have any), the customers of your competition. Scan through social media groups and consider simply asking a few people in your network what they are looking for in a brand. The more you learn, the better you will develop a brand that will be remembered.
2. Competitor research
Learn from your competitors! There is most likely a huge overlap between your goals and those of your competition. And on top of that, you share an audience. What better way to learn than to observe what works and doesn’t work for other companies?
3. Know your product or service
Stay up to date on the latest developments within your industry. Are there any new trends emerging that you need to follow? Do you need to make adjustments to your product or service to stay relevant? Are there any developments that you can learn from? The more aware you are, the better you can shape your brand to be attractive to your customers.
Once you have done your research, you can start defining. Create a brand statement with a clear definition of everything: Your position statement, your goals, your tone of voice, your style, and all the other details you have considered. The more precise and substantial your definitions are, the easier it will be to start creating.
After all your definitions are clear, you can start to create. It’s advisable to work with experts in different fields to get the best out of your resources. Hire a graphic designer for your logo and website, possibly a web developer to get your website up and running, a copywriter to find your tone of voice and write your content and a social media expert to make sure your social media is in line with your brand.
6. Stay sharp
Do you think you are done once all your resources are created? In truth, markets change, trends change, competitors change. Without measuring if your branding is making the impact you are looking for, you won’t be able to succeed.
Make sure to stay sharp. Follow the both trends in the industries and the analytics around your branding activities. After getting your business up and running, track web traffic, stay on top of social media, follow your lead generation and ask around how your brand is perceived.
The more you analyze, the better you can make the adjustments needed for the growth you are looking for.
Again, this is only a summary of the process. Since every business and industry is different, brand development can look a bit different for each business. However, the global process looks like described above. Would you like to learn more abou brand development? There are many great books available that will help you dive deeper into this topic.
The process of brand development might sound a bit overwhelming. And to be honest, that’s exactly what it is. However, with the large number of tools and platforms available, things are slightly easier nowadays.
Start-ups and smaller companies often don’t have the means to hire developers and designers, and might even write their copy themselves in the beginning. For those with a limited budget or very little time, we advise you to use to following tools to get started:
With Canva, you can create excellent designs without having any design knowledge or skills. You can choose from a large selection of colors, fonts, and even pick from several existing templates. Canva also offers a fun function that lets you develop your own logo.
Another great tool to create your own logo with, is Tailor Brands. Just like on Canva, the creation process is really easy and fast. And the possibilities are quite broad!
Although Kartra does way more than this, this wonderful all-in-one marketing platform offers beautiful website templates that can be completely customized.
From an extensive list of pre-created marketing funnels, you can choose your ideal landing page and change the color, style, logo and so on. At Social Media Gids, we offer pre-created pages ready for (for instance) coaching websites, webinar pages, course/membership pages, and way more. This means we’ve already done the basic research for you, and created a page layout that works for most brands in these industries.
By using our templates, you can customize your website yourself, without having to hire a developer. And besides that, you can use all the other features of Kartra. Take a look at our Kartra page for more info about this.
Are you running a coaching website? Use the template above to get started!
If you have some copywriting knowledge yourself but would like to have your work checked once in a while, you might try Fiverr.
This platform is full of professionals who are ready to take on short jobs. Some have more experience than others, but we have found that there are some great experts on there - who are happy to give your copy an extra check.
Do you need help getting started with your branding? Or are you looking for some guidance in setting up a beautiful Kartra page that reflects your brand in the best possible way? We would love to help you! Feel free to contact us for a FREE strategy call so you can tell us more about your business goals.
Would you like to learn more about social media marketing, sales funnels, and marketing in general? Our Social Media Gids Community might be worth checking out. On this platform, you can find all our training material and discuss your progress with like-minded entrepreneurs. Message us for more info, so we can tell you precisely what you can expect from your subscription.