When you start a new business, you probably aren’t thinking too much about brand strength – you’ve got lots of things to do and thinking about marketing strategies, specifically brand marketing campaigns, seems like a future problem. BUT – there is a better way to do it. Take a little while to really think about your brand, what it stands for and how you can capitalise on the story and look.
As soon as you open your business you have started to create your brand – and your customers are doing this for you too. If you don’t take control of the narrative, you’re going to be at the mercy of what they think and what they say but with a strong brand narrative the conversations around your business are likely to be more in line with the brand you WANT to create, not one that happens organically.
The way your company is portrayed publicly should be strategic, intentional, and always under your control. To do this properly you need to ask yourself these questions –
What about my business is a unique, powerful offering?
Don’t try and be all things to all people. If you have positioned your offering properly you should be fixing a problem for your customers better than your competitors – whether that’s via value, speed of service, product quality, or something else that is important to your audience. This solution is your core brand message – this is what you do for your customers and it’s the reason they choose you over anyone else.
Who is my ideal customer?
Define your ideal customer in as much detail as possible. Find out how they speak, the words they use, what is important to them, what they do on the weekend – find out anything that might be able to inform how you should position yourself. You need to know your ideal customer as well as you know yourself, because this should be the person who responds most positively to your brand.
What kind of employer am I?
Your brand doesn’t end with your customers – your employees and the community around your business are integral to creating a strong brand. Think of each of your employees as a brand representative – they are flying your flag whenever they are in uniform and whenever they talk about their day at work. Are your employees motivated, passionate and aligned with your brand ideals? If your employees are misrepresenting your brand this will undo much of the work you’ve done in creating it.
Am I visible?
You define a brand message, you analyse and identify your target audience, you’ve ensured all your employees are aligned with your core values – that’s the work done then, right?
Unfortunately, the work has just begun. Now you have the foundations of your messaging and a strong core brand, but you need to utilise this in marketing campaigns. Use your unique proposition as the subject of marketing collateral aimed at your ideal customer. You can do this with an organic post on Facebook or you could go all in and produce a TV commercial – it depends entirely on what your business needs. The important thing is to make sure that you are getting the message of who you are and what you do out to your ideal customers, giving you the chance to make a sale and grow your business further.