With six million companies in the United States and over $500 billion spent on advertising each year, that’s a lot of competition for getting a slice of the consumer market. So how do you stand out from the crowd? That’s where branding comes in. Branding is fundamentally different from marketing – you could say that your marketing is your message and your brand is who you are. Here are some tips on developing your brand and why having solid branding is the backbone of your marketing strategy.
Branding First, Marketing Second
It’s possible that you have a slogan or logo, but is it truly reflective of your company? There is no solid step one when developing a brand, but it is important to consider these elements that can be incorporated into a brand:
This is the most important element of branding. Ask yourself, why does my organization exist? Why are we here? Your brand can be thought of as the outward expression of your company’s internal mission.
Does your company have a unique style? Embrace it. Your company’s culture is reflective of who you are.
Your company’s values are the center of why you’re unique and crucial to development of your brand. Maybe your ideals are ethical, social, or maybe environmental. Define what you stand for. What’s important to your company?
Every company started somewhere, and if we know anything about what’s appealing about a brand is its ability to tell a story. Your history tells a lot about your company. What were the founding values? What were the founders trying to accomplish from day one?
Include your marketing strategy into your brand. Don’t position yourself as a luxury brand if you’re going after an entry-level market segment. Your brand needs to encompass your real-world objectives.
Your brand has to be appealing and easy to understand for your consumers. Why say anything at all if you don’t know who you’re talking to? Find out how they think and what they’re needs are. Your customers are really what it’s all about.
You don’t create your brand, you discover it. Listening to your consumers is a great way to develop a powerful brand. Let your values, hopes, and desires define your brand’s position. Then you can create marketing campaigns that communicate your value authentically. Read our latest case study with Live Oak Contracting to see how they combine their brand with their marketing strategy.