The process of building a brand isn't all that different from constructing a house.
Okay, it might be slightly different, but there are at least a few similarities. For instance, both take a lot of preplanning and a solid foundation, after which everything else is strategically placed on top.
A lot of people talk excessively about the importance of research when it comes to brand development. Research is essentially like a blueprint for marketers were you need to outline:
* Exactly who your target audience is
* Who your closest competitors are
* Your current strengths and weaknesses
Once you understand these elements thoroughly, you'll have the pieces in place to develop your branding strategy.
Laying the foundation
Identifying the target audience is the one area of research to focus your efforts on.
What are their needs, their desires and what types of products or services do they currently lack? Understanding your customers thoroughly - along with your and your competitors' capabilities - is essentially the core of your brand marketing strategy.
Without a strong foundation, a house will cave in on itself eventually, if not right away. The same can be said about your branding success.
Building the outside of your "house"
The foundation is essential, but it isn't the part of the house that people see. What's visible to them is the exterior walls, the windows, the shutters, the paint and so on.
If you were building a house, you'd want it to have certain characteristics that would make it attractive to people, such as:
* A unique design
* A color that stands out
* Consistent dimensions
Those same characteristics - uniqueness, consistency and stand-out capability - are equally as important for your branding strategy.
When people are looking for houses, they typically start by browsing the internet or perusing pamphlets. That means their first impression is of the outside, so something about the house's exterior will have to attract them enough to get them to request a showing.
Similarly, your branding strategy needs to stand out from your competition. It needs to be interesting, powerful, engaging, interactive or a combination of these characteristics that will draw interest from prospective consumers.
Your brand's promise, should never be one that is already expected. That will cause you to simply blend in with your competition, which is the exact opposite of what you want your branding strategies to do.
At the same time, you should convey consistent messages - from your logo to your slogan to your company name - across all of your marketing strategies. Remember, you want your messages to lead your customers to immediately think of you, and consistency is one way to ensure this happens.
Developing your brand strategy should be done as carefully and meticulously as constructing a house - beginning with a strong foundation and building up from there. If you do it right, you'll soon be living in a mansion.