Brand marketing is the process of introducing, explaining and reinforcing the products and ideas of your business to your customer base. For small businesses, effective branding strategies are the difference between sinking or swimming in an increasingly crowded market, enabling a company to differentiate the benefits and opportunities their business offers as opposed to a competitor.
Properly addressing and implementing these brand-focused marketing strategies will imprint motivation in potential customers, encouraging them not only to initially try a product or service, but to remain loyal and vocal about it over time. A branding agency is an excellent place to start this process, as they will be able to provide the definitions, game plan and tools a business needs for an effective marketing effort.
A brand marketing review of your business is a good idea and may be as simple as a detailed discussion, or it may involve some or all of the processes outlined on this page.
Brand Marketing | An Executive Brief
This short report will summarize the ideas and trouble spots that your brand marketing agency identifies in the first meeting they have with you. This brief can be used as a framework to decide your next steps, as well as a reference point later on to check the progress of your brand marketing campaigns.
Brand Marketing | An Executive SWOT Analysis
A SWOT analysis covers four basic areas – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. An ideal snapshot of a company at any given point in time, this comprehensive view examines good and bad internal forces – strengths and weaknesses – as well as their counterparts outside of the company, opportunities and threats. By weighing both the pros and cons of the state of the company at the same time, effective brand marketing strategies can be devised that provide the best benefits with the least amount of risk.
Brand Analysis | Internal Brand Analysis
A united internal company vision is one of the best tools in the arsenal of brand management. An internal brand analysis takes a closer look at what builds and defines a company from the inside out. This process involves examining things such as founding history and continuing operations. The perceptions of leaders and key employees within the company are also collected through online surveys and SWOT questions.
Brand Analysis | External Brand Analysis
Once a branding agency has a good idea of what ideas are passed around behind closed doors, it’s time to look to perceptions outside of the company. Data such as consumer buying trends, past performance, and how well a product or service is or isn’t meeting customer needs will be weighed at this step. Segmentation, otherwise known as the process of selling to different demographic sets of customers, will also be considered.
Brand Analysis | Competitor Analysis
Taking a long, objective look at competitors is a great way to get new ideas and compare your current approaches to those of another business in your industry. This is not only an excellent way to discover new ways of reaching your customer base, it will also show you how your marketing practices stack up to those of your rivals, in terms of effectiveness.
Branding Tool #1 | Keyword Research
Common interests are the glue that holds online commerce and customers together – provide the information, expertise, services and products that people are looking for and they’ll gladly seek you out. One of the best ways to initially capture that attention is through online branding tools that focus on keywords. We complete this step through keyword research, a process that examines the goals and motivations of your business and looks for where they overlap with customer desires. The resulting keywords can then be used across multiple channels, such as content and advertising, to increase customer engagement.
Branding Tool #2 | Social Media and Email Policies
Once your customers are interested, giving them a consistent experience is the core of building brand loyalty. A large part of that effort is making the expectations and goals you have for your social media and email communications clear to your employees. This not only prevents embarrassing miscommunications between your company and your customer base, it also contributes to a strong, cohesive brand image. Some branding tools at this step may include a schedule for email newsletters, Twitter tweets, and Facebook updates as well as guidance on tone, complete with phrases and language that should be avoided.
Branding Tool #3 | Corporate Identity Manual
Even with a social media policy in place, issues can still crop up if a cohesive image isn’t maintained within the company. A corporate identity manual is a powerful part of your suite of online branding tools, offering a concise outline of the practices used to maintain a positive corporate image. This manual will instruct your employees about how to best represent your company in situations such as media interviews and sales meetings with suppliers.
Branding Tool #4 | Brand Management Document Site
Online branding tools only work when they’re based on a central image or message that provides a unifying “note.” Keeping this idea intact throughout a large company or a smaller business with telecommuting employees can be challenging, but a brand management document site keeps everyone literally on the same page. By providing a place where employees can access the same logos, fonts, and content, collaborative marketing and branding efforts are made that much more effortless.
These four branding tools will act as pillars, helping elevate and support your business during its rise to success. They’ll provide a valuable online infrastructure that will scale right alongside your business, sending you sailing past both obstacles and your competition.