There's a lot to think about when starting a new business.
Not only do you have a product or service to perfect, but your company's branding and persona can make or break your efforts. Start here to learn the basics and more about branding with Imagewërks Marketing.
What is a Business Brand Strategy?
Branding may seem simple at first. Think of a brand you can recognize from its logo or tagline alone; the company's appearance, values, and voice make up its branding. Now consider the effort that goes into choosing fitting brand colors, designing logos and other visuals, writing copy, and everything else that goes into branding.
Companies need a comprehensive strategy for building their branding. As Canva explains, a brand strategy is your plan for meeting branding goals. Outlining each branding element forms a roadmap your business can follow toward building a loyal audience (and meeting their needs).
Start by Identifying Your Target Market
Defining your company's ideal customer is a necessary first step in establishing branding. After all, marketing to everyone isn't an effective strategy. Start with market segmentation to thoroughly define the best audience for your product or service.
Market segmentation breaks customer traits into four categories; geographic, demographic, psychographic, and behavioral. Detailing customer attributes in all these categories helps paint a picture of your ideal consumer.
Then, you can adjust your branding and begin marketing to them.
Social Media is an Invaluable Branding Tool
Billboards and postal mailers may still be effective marketing methods, but social media has overtaken most companies' branding efforts. Social networks help brands create connections with audiences organically and through advertisements.
Traditional marketing methods may still apply, but companies that use social media are reaching about 82 percent of the US population, per Statista. Narrowing down your reach to the right platforms will prove critical. The potential to appeal to even a fraction of the 223 million social media users in the US alone is worth the effort.
Building relationships with followers can be as simple as posting relatable or humorous content like memes. An online meme-maker lets you customize templates to suit your message and audience.
Paying for ads on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more can increase your reach and boost brand recognition. Evaluate ad campaigns carefully to stay under budget and target the right audience.
Branding Outsourcing Best Practices
Many entrepreneurs prefer to DIY as much as possible in their businesses. Branding is no different, but outsourcing some tasks could be beneficial.
Defining a mission statement and brand personality might come easily. But you may need to hire a professional for marketing services or pay a graphic designer to create a logo.
Weigh the outsourcing costs against time saved and consider how much more professional your brand will appear with expert input.
How Can Companies Measure Brand Effectiveness?
Unfortunately, there is no proven method of measuring a brand's effectiveness. Yet there are some ways to gain insight into brand performance.
Asking for customer feedback, or monitoring social media for insight, is one way to find out what's working. Brand tracking software, market research, and split testing are other helpful ways to interpret brand effectiveness.
Every small business owner's path is different, and no two brands are exactly alike. Whether you head back to school to build skills, DIY everything possible, or outsource every element of brand building, focusing on your audience will keep things on track. Centering on your customers creates a brand you can stand behind that also sells well.
Vivek Mukherjee is an entrepreneur and business consultant. He created inspiredexpatriates.net to help other immigrants to the United States achieve their dreams of starting and running a business. Inspiredexpatriates.net offers comprehensive tips, advice, and resources on how to start and grow a business as an immigrant in the United States.