February 24, 2020
Starting a business typically goes like this… First, there’s a great idea. Then, a business plan comes out of that. Next? Brand development, on the marketing end – and that’s when a brand is born. You see, drilling down on what message your brand will convey, your brand’s identity, design elements (aka logo design, color schemes, etc) and what platforms are best for your brand are all a part of the creation and launch of a solid business.
Let’s drill down on brand development and what it means. To get technical, brand development is the process to establish a product or service within the market and to build a brand that will grow and mature through the process of messaging, identity, design, and management. Development is the research, essentially, and branding is the putting into practice to use the data and information found from research. By “research” we mean finding out everything you can about your brand that makes it YOUR brand. We look at everything from finding your target audience, what your mission statement is, and what tone of voice you’d want to use for your brand.
So we did a little digging around on the good ole internet and we found a graphic (we LOVE a good graphic) about the four stages of brand development. They are as follows:
(Courtesy of MBAskool)
When you’re developing your brand (and it’s ok if you totally missed this step – you can always go back), start thinking about these four things. What is it about your strategy, identity, design, or management that you think will be most effective? Here’s some explaining for each if you’re a little confused:
Brand Strategy: How will you reach your consumers? What is your unique selling proposition (aka, your Positioning Statement)? What sets you apart from your competitors?
Brand Identity: What about your brand makes it definitively your brand? What can you change to enhance that image, but also remain recognizable to your audience as it is? Think about personality, mission statement, voice, etc.
Graphic Design: Logo, color, typeface, design, the creative face of your brand. What about it needs a refresh? Maybe the logo is old, your website needs a modern look, or your Instagram page needs a makeover.
Brand Management: In the chain of command, what needs to be innovated? We’re talking about your marketing plan and the execution of it, the way you’re targeting and positioning, how you’re managing your staff, how you’re measuring growth, all the things.
If you want to see some great visual examples of those, here are some brands we helped develop further or refresh!
Are you reading this and thinking ‘lol crap, maybe I need to refresh my brand?’
Maybe you’re noticing a drop in sales, or noticing your competitors have freshened up their look and you should too. Now, what do you do? What do you tackle first? You can honestly start anywhere. Logo, colors, values, websites, social platforms – just make sure that whatever you decide to do, it’s across all your platforms and is cohesive. And if you notice that you don’t necessarily have a cohesive theme, message, way of communicating, and strategy throughout your business or brand, then maybe it’s time to sit down and sort it all out (hopefully with us!). Read more about that and reasons why maybe you should consider a refresh here.
Its gains only season from here on out.
Once you’ve taken steps to develop your brand, now it’s time to watch the results and plan accordingly. Pay attention, ask questions, and monitor things like:
These will provide answers on if you’ve headed into the right or wrong direction. And before you decide to grow or change your business/brand, do TONS of research on what’s already working for you and what’s not. If something’s not working, don’t continue to use that strategy – but also give it time to work! (Think back to Jan. Clearly the 80’s hairstyle worked back in the 80’s but not in 2020, my dear).
If you ever think “huh, maybe I need to develop or refresh my brand” but don’t know where to start, this is one area we LOVE to live in. Contact us or DM us on Instagram to work with us! We promise the results will be worth it.
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