Why does brand development matter?
Why does brand development matter? That is the question of the blog article! Okay today we are talking about brand development and why it matters. First off thanks for reading this article and we hope you find it useful. Let’s first take a look at the question ‘what is brand development?’ and then we can being to answer ‘why does brand development matter?’
Brand development is the process of creating and strengthening your professional services brand. With that being said, your branding expresses value of either your product or service and further it can also express your company’s values. These values can include things such as being hardworking, honest, or focused.
Your brand should be able to express your company’s benefits. These benefits bring the needed insights into how your company operates internally and externally. Brand development is a big piece for creating new and strengthening existing bonds with your customers.
You want your customers to begin caring about your brand. This is more likely to happen when your customers begin to appreciate what the direction of the company is going in. Branding should create a feeling about your company in a good way and have your valued customers start to ‘buy-in’ to your company’s success.
A good tool to gauge how your branding is going is based on referrals you get from your customers as well as testimonials. The more you receive the better your brand development strategies are impacting your target market.
We want to help answer why a good brand development strategy matters, we have broken the brand development strategy into 10 straightforward items to look at.
Here are 10 Things That Make Brand Development Matter to businesses and charities.
Consider your overall business strategy. – Why does brand development matter?
This matters for a strong, well differentiated brand that will make growing your business or charity much easier. Think about what type of for-profit or not-for-profit agency do you want to be? Are you planning to grow organically in the community or online?
Understanding your overall business strategy really matters for any brand development strategy to work. Remember your business operational structure is really the overall context for your brand development strategy.
So, stop make notes about how you do what you do and how you operate your company/charity daily. Now, if you are clear about where you want to take your business entity or charity organization in the future, thinking about this and applying it to your brand will help you get there.
Identify your target clients. – Why does brand development matter?
If we say it once – we will say it a thousand times. Know who you are selling to and who you are not selling to. Who are your target clients? If you say “everybody” you are making a noticeably big mistake and showing you really don’t who your target market is.
Research shows time and time again that high growth charities / highly profitable businesses are focused on having clearly defined target clients. It is okay to make your focus narrower, it will lead to faster the growth / sales.
Remember, understanding your target market really matters when using brand development concepts in your business or non-profit. People who tend to ignore brand development strategies tend to go after a more diverse the target audience, thus making their marketing efforts more diluted and not performing to your expectations too.
Research your target client group. – Why does brand development matter?
Brand development works best and matters most when you take time to do systematic research on your preferred target client group. You can enjoy growing faster and becoming more profitable faster when you take time to do this. Further, for entrepreneurs and charity executives that do research more frequently (at least once every 3 or 4 months) can grow even faster still.
This research helps you understand your target client’s perspective and priorities, anticipate their needs, gain insights into their wants / impulse buying habits and put your message in suitable language that resonates with them. It also can tell you how they view your business or charity’s strengths and how your strengths play into your current brand. As such, the research will cost you time, but it will dramatically lower the overall marketing risk associated with brand development and that matters!
Develop your brand positioning. – Why does brand development matter?
What also matters in brand development is how you determine the way to position your branding in the marketplace. Looking at where and how your business or charity fits into the marketplace matters. How is your company or charity differentiating itself from others is important? This is something you to easily show your customer base.
Plus, showing your prospective customers (i.e., your target audience) why they should choose to work with you – is yet another critical piece of the brand development puzzle. Once you take time to consider these ideas – you can clearly why it matter for implementing your brand development ideas professional services marketplace which by the way is also called market positioning.
A good positioning statement is typically three to five sentences in length and captures the essence of your brand positioning. But your job in the company’s branding is to bring that to life. So therefore, it needs to be grounded in reality.
Think about it this way, if you make a promise to a little child to give him or her an ice cream and fail to deliver that is bad. You need to think and connect that your positioning statement is an on-going promise to your customer. And just as a little child will be greatly disappointed by not getting the promised ice cream so will your customer feel the same way on whatever promise you are trying to deliver them.
Okay, okay – business is not easy and such a simple example may lead you to think – well my customers would not act or think like a child. You might be right. Just take a moment and read all the reviews that are not 5 or even 4 stars on Google. Striving excellence really matters in your branding ideas.
Develop a ‘spot on’ messaging strategy. – Why does brand development matter?
Here is another thing that matters a lot in brand development – your message. A good messaging strategy that translates your brand positioning into messages to your various target audiences counts. Your target audiences typically include potential clients, potential employees, referral sources, existing customers, friends and family of the potential customer, or other influencers as well as potential partnering opportunities, to name a few of the usual suspects in your target audience.
Here is a few reasons why messaging matters within brand development for your business or charity. Your core brand positioning must be the same for all audiences, but normally each audience member will be interested in different aspects of it. Some will want speed of service, while others will want quality of materials used, and others will want the human experience with your staff member being friendly with them. These are just a few examples of many to consider.
Therefore, the messages to each audience will need emphasize the most relevant points to them. Each audience will also have specific concerns that must be addressed, and each will need different types of evidence to support your message to them. Further your messaging strategy should address all their needs in a ‘spot on’ way to which they can understand. This is an important step in making your brand relevant to your target audiences and clearly shows why brand development matters.
Develop Your Business or Charity Name / Nickname, Logo, Trademark, Wordmark, and Tagline. – Why does brand development matter?
For many businesses or charities, a name change is not required unless there is a merger or acquisition. But if you are a new business or charity or are burdened with a name that no longer suits your positioning, a name change may be in order. Case in point, i4 Web Services was once a marketing / advertising company but it was broken up into two businesses – a print company and a web company.
When the old entity existed, it fit a niche but did not do a good enough job expressing all the capabilities quickly to the customers. Hence, customers never fully knew what could be done. Further, the entity name was tied to some employees that eventually left the company which effected the brand negatively in the community.
Thus, it was changed, and new team players were added while others decided they would not be interested in moving forward with the changes. And it is not easy to share this point at all. Now the brand name fits the services and products the businesses offer. It is quick and easy for people to grasp plus it is not connected to past employees and that matters.
Finally, the name, logo, and tagline are not for you. They are for your marketplace and should be judged on how well they communicate, not how much the partners like them. Again, we will use our branding as an example – i4 Web Services is actually a subliminal message “i4” means “eye for”
So, even if you do not change your firm name, a new logo and tagline may make sense to better support your brand positioning. And it takes a keen eye to see what is best for your future endeavors. Remember, your name, logo, and tagline are not your brand. They are only ways to communicate and/or symbolize your brand. You must live it every day to make it real.
Develop your content marketing strategy. – Why does brand development matter?
Brand development needs this as well. Your brand development plan can call this ‘content marketing strategy’, ‘content sharing plan’, or just “your overall marketing strategy.” Honestly, it is not about the title we are sharing, it is about the ‘content’ you want to share. So why is a good content marketing matter for your branding?
Did you know that content sharing, or content marketing is particularly well suited to professional minded organizations on the internet? Truthfully yes, it is, content on your website and in your branding does all things traditional marketing does in reference to educating your customer base. But it does this more efficiently by engaging searchers on the internet to read your valuable educational content to attract, nurture, inform, and qualify prospects with not having to invest money into expensive advertising mediums to get found online.
Another reason why content marketing is so important is because that your brand strength is driven by both reputation and visibility. Good content improves your reputation because it supplies useful well thought out information for your potential customer that can help them with their buying decision(s).
While also increasing your overall visibility by sharing content that matters to your customer base. When you add really good content that answers a question for your customer – they will want to read that, and the search engines will reward you for it too. Your post page will rank for that content in the search engine even if your main website home page does not for that particular search terminology.
Please understand that increasing visibility alone, without strengthening your reputation, is rarely successful. And we at i4 Web Services have a case study to prove that, if you are interested in learning about what our case study shows – give us a call at 407-416-1515.
Further, increasing visibility alone without content is one reason why traditional awareness-building paid advertising and/or paid sponsorships so often yield very disappointing results. But on the other hand, if your advertising campaign is directly connected to high quality content, well your advertising and marketing will actually help increase both your ‘longer-term’ visibility and reputation in your industry online. While at the same time, it is also the perfect way to make your brand relevant to your target audiences.
Develop your website. – Why does brand development matter?
Okay, this one is just obvious when it comes to building a good quality brand development plan. And a website is a truly clear way to show you and the world why your brand development planning matters. Your website is your single most important brand development tool.
No seriously it really is. It is the place where all your audiences (targeted, niche, sub-niche, and so on) turn to learn what you do, how you do it, who your clients are, read your blog, and to learn about your company. Did you know that prospective clients are not likely to choose a business to work with solely based on its website? It is true, the internet makes the battlefield of business sales more complex. Most potential customer may use your website’s information and design as way to rule you out because it is sending the wrong message.
Further, your website needs to become your home for your valuable content. We just chatted about this and this connection should show you the importance of brand development planning. Your valuable content will set you apart from your competitors and it will help focus your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. So subsequently then your prospects, potential employees, stakeholders, and referral sources will find you and learn about your business / charity. Once again, good online content on your website is central to any modern brand development strategy.
Generally, most professionally made and maintained websites come in two varieties.
- The branding site. Such a site tells your story and conveys who you are, who you serve, and what you do. In short it conveys your brand message.
- The content rich site. This one does all the things the other does the above. So, need to say that again here, but it also generates and nurtures potential new clients.
Finally remember that a website usually is rather impersonal and that is not totally a bad thing. When people use the internet, they want information, not a personal relationship. The information will bring them to you. Then you and y our company can begin to create that relationship. Always remember that your website gives you a higher number of potential customers to create a relationship with. If internet searchers do not find you on the web, they will seek out your competitors who have websites.
Build your marketing tool kit. – Why does brand development matter?
A marketing tool kit really matters for your business or charity brand development plans. So you want to think, write down and / or create the remainder of your marketing toolkit. A good marketing toolkit will include:
- one-page “sales sheets” that describe core services offerings or key markets served.
- a brief “pitch deck” that overviews the firm or key offerings.
- an e-brochure about your company. These are rarely printed pieces anymore except for attendees at special events.
- Business Cards and Trifolds for your company’s salesforce to have handy for meetings.
- Professional Headshot Photography.
- Vehicle Graphics to become identifiable on the road.
- Branded Promotional Items such as pens.
- Videos for professionally made that may include testimonials.
- Social Media Platforms & Business Search Engine Listings.
Did you know that videos are becoming increasingly more popular in the marketing tool kit? It is true, a great video can share useful information in personalize way to prospects online. Here is a short list of videos to consider creating for your business online.
- Business overviews videos
- Products example videos
- Testimonials customer videos
- Meet the Staff videos
- Case studies videos
- Special event videos
- Educational videos
- Meet the partners or owner videos!
- Key services offering videos are also especially useful.
If prepared appropriately and hosted by a quality video streaming / hosting platform such as YouTube. Your videos online will not only serve as a business development function but also are important for brand development strategies too.
Tracking Your Data and Adjust. – Why does brand development matter?
This actually matters the most in the brand development. This process may be one of the most important because it is supplying you with data to make decisions / improvements for the future.
That is why tracking is so important. We strongly recommend tracking both the implementation of the plan as well as results over the course of time. Most blog articles need 7 months of testing with Google before they will have their long-term search engine ranking position. Further, you need to look at if the strategy gets implemented as planned or if there were delays / changes during some point.
You need to setup the tools to have objective measures, such as search traffic and web visitors. Also, you want to track, how many new leads, employee applications, follow up orders from existing customers and partnering opportunities were generated? Only by tracking the entire process can you make sure you are drawing the right conclusions and making the right adjustments if that is even necessary.
Why does brand development matter? Final Thoughts From i4 Web Services
Obviously, we wrote this blog article because creating and implementing a winning brand development strategy matters. And we all know that it does not do much good if your brand development plans are never implemented.
It is weird to think about, all that time and effort was placed into a solid strategy. The company or charity had developed it all the good intentions the organization could muster. Then reality comes in and more sales or customer service is needed asap. People get busy with client work. The brand development concepts, strategies, and plan implementation get lost or worse, yet they get put off… then forgotten.
Now here is our sales pitch, if you need or want help with your brand development process to drive the growth and profitability – we are here to help you. Call us at 407-416-1515 to schedule an appointment.
i4 Web Services will help you develop your branding; we divide the process into three phases.
- The first phase is getting your brand strategy right and aligned with your business objectives.
- Second is developing all the tools you will need to communicate the brand, such as your logo, tagline, social media accounts, and website.
- Finally, there is the phase of strengthening your newly developed or updated brand.
Your brand development strategy matters to us – so once again call us at 407-416-1515.
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