The development of a brand and communication strategy is key to the success of any business. Brand development and awareness is beneficial to all stakeholders and should be seen as a key area of business strategy. This article is written from the perspective of developing a brand and communication strategy for a new business entity (rather than an established one). So please read this article about “developing a brand and communication strategy”.
Create your brand – Any brand needs to be created first. Take care when creating a brand that there is no copyright infringement or name restrictions. Check that the brand doesn’t mean something unpleasant in other countries. Establish your brand with energy and vigour and accompany brand launch with as much publicity as possible.
Establish brand values – What are the brand values?, list them down, make them targetable and realistic. At the same time it is a good idea to get a brand slogan which encapsulates these brand values.
Set some baseline brand value measurements and regularly monitor them – Always set some baseline measurements. These can be revisited later, so that it can be measured whether the brand is growing in terms of reach, awareness and profile.
Create a vision for the brand – Have a vision for the brand, “don’t plan, then plan to fail”. Plan where the brand will go, how it might change/adapt, what the brand’s purpose is, why it exists, etc?
Estimate the potential for the brand, identify product range and market segments – Undertake market analysis and estimate the potential for the brand. Complete some product research to identify product offerings that should be delivered through the brand. Justify soberly why the brand is unique and has something to offer to its customer base.
Communicate the brand value – Now you have a brand and associated values, communicate them, like any good marketer would. Use all available platforms within your reach/budget including print/media; TV, Radio, Internet, etc Implant into the consumers mind the values that your brand holds.
Analyse competitors, – learn from them, redesign brand accordingly, understand competitor’s brands, and assess competitor brands
Undertake a customer behavioural needs exercise – When establishing/developing the brand there is a needs to understand customer behaviour patterns, their wants and needs. Interpret these needs and refine your brand accordingly, meet the actual customer need and the brand is likely to succeed!
Use design techniques wisely and to the maximum to enhance the brand – Use top quality design techniques to add flair and panache to your brand. Study your target market and make sure any design work appeals to that community. Use different designs to suit different platforms, e.g. Print is different to Internet, etc
Issue regular press statements – Shape the various stakeholders to the brands opinions/thoughts by issuing regular press releases. Make these upbeat, true, realistic, punchy and adding to/reflecting the aspirations of the brand.
Update the website regularly with brand information – A website is there for reading, so use the website as a tool in your communication strategy. Post regular press releases, essential communication messages and useful information. Competitions are also effectively, especially when merged in with Social Media activities.
Constantly monitor the Internet for adverse messages – Online Reputation Management is increasingly important. Monitor the Internet (particularly Social Media platforms) for adverse messages. Respond to these; also consider using SEO techniques to lower the importance of these messages in search engine ranking results.
Use the latest management tools for managing brands – Use Brand Management software if possible to store all aspects of your Brand Management efforts. These can be great labour saving tools and also reduce costs compared to using external agencies.
Use social media! – These days nobody can afford to ignore Social Media. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are household names but also look for more “up and coming” platforms such as Pinterest and Klout. Be social, engage, be constructive, stage competitions and inject feedback into your customer analysis exercises.
Follow all of the advice above and no doubt a competent Brand and Communication Strategy will be driving the brand forward. Brand Management and development can be quite complex and fun too. Consider seeking advice from professional Brand Management companies such as 2Europe International, who advise in all related areas.
Image Credits: Gather Your Crowd and thefreshpeel.