Cut through the noise
Your brand has power, but without recognising how to make the most of it you could be seriously missing out on opportunities - or attracting the wrong ones.
So how can you harness the power of your brand? Here are four things you need to consider when looking to boost your brand profile.
Think strategy and profile before logo and guidelines
Don’t go rushing in. Be strategic. Get hold of your business plan and commercial strategy and review your brand and marketing strategy against it. Are they aligned? What work are you known for? What work do you need to win and from who? Do your brand, messaging and tone of voice all fit with these objectives? And does the visual look of your brand support or detract from your commercial ambitions?
Beginning by looking at the business strategy first means you won’t skip over answering questions such as these. You can make sure your brand reflects your business and your target audience, and you can ensure your brand stands for more than a logo and a colour palette. It's an exciting, ideas filled process when you’re building a brand.. Walking before you run is important, and putting strategy first only means you’ll be able to run faster and further!
Focus on your ideal clients
What does your ideal client look like? They are the people that you want to interact most positively with your brand, they’re your end user. If you’re not considering your ideal target audience, you not only risk not getting in front of them but you can also attract the wrong clients altogether. It’s important to remember that this can be a fluid process. Your ideal client could change as your brand grows.
Does your brand give off the right message? For example, does it feel high end or transactional? Does there need to be more focus on corporate or individual clients? Do clients care if you are national, local, regional etc.? We must understand our customers and clients like we understand our friends.
"Without recognising how to harness the power of your brand you could be missing out on opportunities - or attracting the wrong ones."
Identify what makes you different
Why should the ideal client you have worked hard to get to know choose you over a competing product or brand? It’s not about what you do, but about why you do it - what is the purpose of your brand? What makes you different?
It might be location, relationships, sustainability, customer service, a particular specialism. Your prospective clients and customers have established they need a service like yours, but why pick you? It's really about you finding your ‘why’ and shouting about it. Know and own your niche.
Move with the times but keep your personality
Having an ‘evergreen’ approach to your strategy has its benefits. Your messages and content will be far less likely to become embarrassingly dated or obsolete - but the safety net of generic messages could make you seem impersonal and disengaging.
Keep it current and keep reviewing your messages. Use what’s going on in your sector or more broadly, what's happening in the world and create a message that is true to your brand personality and has your target audience in mind. For example - has this past year given you cause to review your position in the market? Harness any changes and new opportunities and build them into your brand strategy. And don’t forget, a topical and personal message to your clients and customers shows your personality - people engage with people.
"...has this past year given you cause to review your position in the market? Harness any changes and new opportunities and build them into your brand strategy."