Creating a successful brand strategy is a “how-to” skill that successful entrepreneurs share. What is the face of your business? It’s not you.
It’s the thing that people readily identify as emblematic of your business – that, my friend, is your brand.
Branding is vital to your business. A business’s brand is its identity, a way for consumers to connect with the company emotionally.
Many entrepreneurs and other small enterprises often overlook the essential nature of branding. As such, the business struggles to gain or maintain traction in the marketplace.
Do you want to build a solid and enduring business?
Do you want consumers to identify your business and with your business readily? If yes, then make sure to develop an effective brand.
Entrepreneurs who take branding seriously succeed because they establish their business to last. Consumer loyalty in the marketplace is one thing, but investors want to know your business by brand. It speaks to its strength and the entrepreneurs’ thoughtfulness about the company.
Even to investors, your business is more significant than you. If it is not, why would they invest?
Here are some helpful notes to help you build a brand that interests investors, as well as potential business leaders and consumers.
- Establish Your Core Values
Core values are the guiding ideas of your business. Essentially, core values identify who, as an entity, your business is and how employees, contractors, and other subsidiaries associated with your business conduct business activity.
Core values dictate what the company will be known for in the marketplace.
While your business may have an outstanding product, if the core values are not kept or even known, your business can quickly become known as ineffective, unprofessional, disorganized, unethical, and the list goes on with very unflattering descriptors.
Your business should adopt between 5 to 10 core values.
These values should foster optimal performance by creating an environment conducive to it. Make sure your terminology is user-friendly and easily adaptable to all facets.
Full integration makes for easy application.
- Identify Your Target Clients
Knowing who you are targeting for business is just as important as understanding who you are not targeting. Channel your efforts in the proper area.
Investors want to know who is buying your product. You will want investors familiar with that consumer segment and thriving in it.
A good investor will tell you whether or not your business is in its “wheelhouse” or not.
Knowledgeable investors will help you shape your brand to work better in your target market segment.
They will know where that segment is going and what is missing. Can your business solve that problem? Can it help push the market forward?
Do you see why your brand is so vital? Investors will gravitate to your brand, even after establishing the business.
While consumers from other segments may flock, your target market will be satisfied and emotionally invested in your industry.
They are your bedrock, your market foundation, your loyalists.
- Create a Strong Mission Statement
Every army must have a general with a clear view of the mission. Your business requires likewise. People associated with your company want to know what the mission is and how it will become achievable.
Employees who show up day after day to work must be engaged.
A paycheck alone will not do that, but a mission will. Employees, leaders, and investors want to know how best to execute a clear mission.
- What’s the goal?
- Why are we doing this?
- How will it benefit most?
The mission statement will embrace the business’s personality and engage even the most rudimentary of employees. It will pierce both mind and heart. The mission statement should be:
A vital mission makes the business incredibly likable to the employee and the public alike.
The mission statement is the overarching driving force for your business, but objectives give specifics that provide milestones to the overriding idea.
What are the objectives and goals?
Each department or business division must have objectives that align with the mission statement. Again, the army analogy highlights support for the overall mission.
Everyone cannot do the same duty.
Likewise, in your business, it is the division of labor that ensures the business succeeds. Success happens when the objectives align with the mission.
They must know what and how to do what is necessary.
Competency becomes less of an issue when the mission statement and objectives are clear, discernible, and aligned.
In essence, this is the brand at its best. Remember, branding is not only external but internal. Top talent attracts a well-aligned purposeful structure – this is branding at its best.
- Design a Unique Concept
The concept is so important. Designing a good logo with the right colors and an accompanying tagline will make consumers gleeful.
For instance, when people see the Nike emblem, they do not think of the Greek goddess Nike. No. They think Just Do It – This is branding at its best.
What will consumers say and think when they see your logo? What emotions will they feel?
Think about this carefully. Consult professionals who develop branding. It is as much a psychological exercise as it is a business necessity. Take this seriously.
Consumers will both see and feel something when they behold your logo and tagline. The question is, what?
- Be Consistent
References to consistency appear in multiple articles, journals, and blogs, but many entrepreneurs continue to underestimate it. So, again, be consistent.
What makes Nike so powerful?
The logo has never changed. What makes McDonald’s a welcomed burger joint on every significant interstate artery and town corner?
The Golden Arches have never changed. Consistency pays off and continues to pay off year after year. It’s not about flashy, glitzy, or provocative. It’s about consumers connecting with a brand that does not change.
Your brand must be consistent because it is the rock of your business.
- Find Your Purpose
Specificity is needed to explain this element. Your business’s purpose is more profound than the mission statement and correlating objectives. It delves into the needs of consumers.
Ask yourself the following:
- Why am I building this business?
- What are the motivating factors for me?
- Why would others want to join me in this crusade?
- Who am I helping, supporting, or improving by building this business?
Thoughtful inquiry fosters developed solutions. By asking, pondering, and answering these questions, the business’s purpose will come crystal clear – these usher the entrepreneur from dreamland to vision-land.
Dreams can be foggy, misty, whimsical, and hopeful.
There is nothing wrong with dreaming, but a business must be vision-led. When addressing the above questions adequately, a vision emerges, and employees, leaders, and investors can follow a vision.
Find your business’s vision, which is it’s clearly defined purpose, and write it. It need not be elaborate but understood.
- Understand How Your Competitors Work
A word about the competition: competition is not your enemy.
Do not aim to destroy your competitors.
Your focus is not your competition but the market segment. Remember:
- Who are your customers?
- What do they need?
- When do they need it?
- Why do they need it?
Your competition may be doing the same as you but better. Therefore, learn. Do you want to build a great business? Learn.
- Invest in Marketing
People love to think about driving sales with a consumer. Sales is a fascinating undertaking, but sales professionals only succeed if the marketing strategy is accurate.
That’s right, sales and marketing are not the same.
Marketing is the think-tank behind a product or service approach to the market. Marketing answers many questions, but here are the central ones:
- What is this product, and what does it do?
- Who can use this product?
- How can this product be used?
- What will the consumer pay for this product?
- When will the consumer purchase the product?
- What is the best distribution channel for dissemination?
- How often will they buy this product?
Knowing the answers to these questions makes the selling of it easy.
A sales professional knows their potential customers. They understand the price point for the product and how to communicate to the consumer its delivery.
Marketing is not a simple undertaking; it requires professionals who focus on their field.
The research, consumer testing, strategy testing, message testing, and price point analysis will make or break your business. Get this right the first time. Seek strong marketing support.
THE STRENGTH OF BRANDING
Above are the central ideas that inform a strong brand strategy. A strong brand strategy is appealing to consumers.
No one appreciates a strong brand strategy more than investors. It communicates so much to them on multiple levels.
Investors see how much work and thoughtful analysis the entrepreneur has done before speaking with them. It shows that the entrepreneur is a potential industry leader, one whose name echoes amongst industry professionals.
Entrepreneurs who take branding seriously succeed because they design their businesses to last.
Pitch Masters Academy desires to help you develop a strong brand strategy. Regardless of the type of business you are building, brand strategy is essential.
Visit www.PitchMasterAcademy.com to learn more.
Using brand strategy to create a perfect pitch is vital to lasting success.