Your company comes to a customer’s mind. What do they think? How do they feel? What expectations do they have? These are all questions a brand strategy answers. It stands for who you are, what you do, why you do it, and for whom you do it.
When your customer thinks of your brand, they think of a promise. Decades ago, they’d recall your brand by your name, slogan, sign, symbol, or any combination of those. Today, a brand is a perception a customer has when they hear or think of your company name, service, or product.
Every company needs a strong brand strategy. Not only does a brand strategy set you apart from the competition, but it also promotes recognition and can generate referrals. This builds loyalty from not only your customers but also your employees. It gives them something to stand behind and believe in.
Building a corporate brand is an involved process including the entire company. Ready to build yours? Here are steps you should follow to develop your corporate brand:
1. Audit your current brand
Before you can take any action, you need to learn what’s working and not working with your existing brand. Understand the effect of your current brand messaging, logo design, website design, print material, etc. Learn what people like, what needs to be changed, and what to keep. Take the time to review competitor brands during this step too.
2. Choose what your brand will promise
A brand is a promise from a business to its customers. You need to decide what you will promise, and you shouldn’t do this alone. Gather your company’s business leaders. Hold an open discussion about what your company stands for. Cover your mission, customer profiles, and, most importantly, what you promise. Don’t forget to make sure you conduct thorough market research to make sure that you understand the psychographic information behind your future loyal customers. This will be used to create your key brand messaging.
3. Make sure the company is in agreement
Yours isn’t a company of one. You need to make sure all of your employees are on board with your brand messaging. Try sending them a survey asking how they perceive the company as it is. From this, you can learn how they think your brand should communicate with customers. It will also help align your employees with your leadership.
4. Bring the brand to life
It’s time to take your conceptual ideas and turn it a brand strategy. Complement your brand strategy with visual assets. Create or edit your logo design, website design, etc. Have the long-term in mind. Your branding should stand the test of time.
5. Put together branding guidelines
You can’t be the only one in the company who knows “the brand.” Put together a brand guide to share across the entire company. Make sure it includes colors, fonts, and how to use the logo design in different situations. Make sure these guidelines are followed. A great brand has consistency.
It takes an army to build a brand like Starbucks or IKEA. Wondering how to do branding for your company? Feeling intimidated? Don’t be – we’re experts in helping businesses like yours’ build a brand. Feel free to reach out to us for any help needed in building your brand. We’d love to help you identify and share your story.