Steps to Successful Brand Development
How to develop a brand examines and defines elements like naming, archetypes, positioning, brand voice, logo, brand mission, brand development strategy, and more, so it’s important to invest in the process. Brand development is methodical. If you want to learn how to develop a brand, you can follow several steps. However, there are a few caveats:
- Building and developing a brand takes time. The more time you spend developing your brand identity and strategy, the more likely it is that your business will succeed in its marketplace.
- Building a strong brand requires many specialized skills, so it’s not for the faint of heart.
- Developing a brand is never finished: it’s an ongoing commitment to staying fresh and relevant to your industry and target demographics and staying true to your core values.
The Brand Development Process
Define your brand: A brand is a living, breathing entity. It’s not merely the sum of its parts; rather, it is an expression representing all of those combined parts. If you can’t define what makes your company unique or different from others in its market space, you don’t have a brand yet.
Name your brand: Creating a GREAT brand name that says something about your business is essential to your long-term success, so don’t settle on the first thing that comes to mind or try to imitate competitors. If a name is too hyper-focused, it can impede future expansion, if it’s too trendy, it can become dated quickly. If it’s too vague, you risk confusing consumers. And that’s just the beginning. There’s competitive research and analysis, trademark searches, and URL acquisitions are all part of the naming equation.
Identify your target audience: This is more than just general categories, you need to get into the weeds. Who are my customers? What is their age range? What are their interests? What are the demographics of my business? Is it a male or female clientele? Do they have any specific income level requirements? Create detailed personas for customer segments to identify common motivations and purchasing habits and the most effective ways for your brand to reach each persona.
Identify your brand mission: A brand mission statement describes your business’s purpose and defines what you stand for. It helps you to identify your competitive advantage so that your audience can understand why they should buy from you instead of one of your competitors. A brand mission statement should be easy to understand, memorable, and unique.
Hone in on what makes your brand different: How will your business stand out from your competitors? A competitive analysis of your industry and direct competitors can help you find the differentiating factor. Use your differentiation as a leverage point to deliver easily understandable messaging to set your business apart from others in the minds of consumers.
Develop your brand identity: When developing an identity for your brand, there are three main considerations: color palette (the colors used), typography (the font/s used), and image style (the imagery used). A brand’s colors, fonts, and imagery should work together harmoniously to appeal to the right audience and convey the right message. For instance: if you were starting a bank and wanted to convey stability and trustworthiness, using a font like Comic Sans and bright pastel colors in your logo would gain attention, but not the right kind. Choose your colors and fonts wisely.
It’s important that the logo is appropriate for your brand so it can represent you well in both digital and physical spaces. The best way to decide on an appropriate logo is by conducting competitive research on similar brands, but don’t be afraid to break out of the norm if it feels right for your brand style. It’s best to work with a professional graphic designer who understands color theory, design, and typography.
Create a distinct brand voice and tone. Brand voice is the way you speak to your audience. It’s how you convey your brand’s personality and style, as well as its tone—whether it’s formal, professional, or relaxed. Like the tone of voice in marketing copywriting, the brand voice should be consistent across all channels. Ensure your website reflects the same voice as blogs, email, and social media posts—and vice versa. Generally speaking (although this varies by industry), a company’s tone should be:
- Consistent with its values and mission statement (e.g., if you’re an employee-friendly company that prides itself on culture and values above revenue growth)
- Authentic and genuine (don’t try too hard to seem cool or trendy; don’t be overly serious)
The more time you spend developing your brand, the more likely it is to succeed! Developing a strong brand takes time, effort, and consistency. You will need to spend considerable time on research, planning, and execution. Or you can get help from branding agency professionals who specialize in developing brands from the ground up.
We hope this guide has helped you understand how to develop a brand and the intricacies of the process. Every business is different, but following these steps will help ensure that your brand stays consistent across all mediums and reaches the right people.
- Without a great name, you don’t have a brand.
- Without a point of difference, your brand will struggle to stand out.
- Create detailed customer personas to understand your target audiences.
- Brand identity includes brand colors, logos, and fonts.
- Create a brand mission statement that aligns with your purpose and goals.
- Be consistent in voice, tone, and visuals internally and externally.
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