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Brand Development

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Let’s look at why building a brand is so important to your business

Telling yOur story

What Is Brand Development?

Your company’s logo, attitude, products and services are all part of your brand.  Brand development integrates all these distinguishing as a “brand” to differentiate yourself from competitors.  Brand Development is more than just having these assests, but rather  aligning them with your business objectives and communicating that essence of your brand to your  core target market.

Many small businesses make the mistake of not branding.  This is a natural thought, but anyone can brand.  And you should.  Branding increases awareness, builds trust in your business, and gives value to employees and customers alike.

Marketing is a key component to your brand.

The channels you plan to be on and your targeted market segment will help build your brand.  You want to have a clearly defined identify that is recognizable but not narrow to not be able to pivot and expand your awareness with new segments.  Let’s jump in!

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Defining your brand

Understanding your brand is best put into how your brand is received by the public, your employees, and your customers.  Essential it is your reputation.  The strength of your brand lies in visibility in the marketplace and the strength of your reputation.


How relevant is to your target audience?

Brand development is a constant process.  Your brand is always evolving and changing as your business changes and grows.  Your strategy should be flexible to change as attitudes, culture and your audience will move over time.  Creating an effective brand development strategy to tell your unique story is the first step.  Next we’ll discuss how you can do that.  

A strong brand and brand presence will differentiate your brand and make it easier to grow your audience.  You have to consider your short-term and long-term goals.  Your overall business strategy should be viewed in conjunction with your brand development strategy.  If you know where you want your business to go your brand will be an integral part of getting there.

Step 1
Market Research

Solid market research can save you time and expense in the long run.  Understanding the motivations behind your potential customers can help you in creating a brand  that resonates and speaks to your target. 

Market research is vital for ensuring that your products and services will be embraced by your target audience.  These conversations can tell you if there is a need and your brands relevance in that market.  These insights can help shape your business beyond how you market to all facets of your business strategy. 

Market research is about finding out what people want, if there is a market, rather than trying to create a market.  You want to see how best to connect your brand with customers in a meaningful way.

A useful exercise is to create a buyer persona.  These personas will help you determine what your customers will be looking for and what will attract them to your brand.

Understanding your target audience will enable you to develop a brand message that resonates, as well as identify strengths and weaknesses.  Understanding all of this will help catapult you to success. client’s perspective and

Step 2
Defining your target audience

Your target market is the specific group of people you want to reach.  These are the people who are most likely to be your customers and mostly likely to be receptive to your messaging.

Your target audience will have many commonalities that will make it easier to market to as a group.  These commonalities could be age, income, location, interest, behavior or a myriad of other things.  The better you can hone your target or in some case target audiences, it will become easier to attract customer to your brand and easier to make connections with your audience by delivering content, messages, and products they would be interested in.

Everyone can’t be your customer.  Find a target and focus on them.

Step 3
Develop your brand positioning

Brand positioning is important in defining your place in the market.  Having a unique place in the market will allow you to  differentiate from your competition.  Fitting your brand positioning into your overall marketing plan will enable you to market to specific audiences.  

Your brand positioning will impact the life time value of your customers.

You need to follow up with a brand statement or message that resonates with consumers, that your company can deliver and that differentiates your company from your competitors.

Now you can position your brand in the market; market positioning.

By creating a positioning statement, a simple three to five sentences, lets you quickly express what the core of your brand positioning is.   The statement should be both realistic and aspirational.  

To position your brand in your target market, you need to analyze the following:

Brand Positioning and Messaging

Creating Your Core Message

Understanding your market is the first step in communicating your brand and where you should be positioned in the market.  

Your message should include what makes you different and will include key differentiators and the value of each differentiator.

Your message will also be summed up in a single tagline that captures the essence of everything your company is about. The tagline is supported by an ‘elevator pitch’ that makes sense to consumers, conveys your brand and sticks in the minds of viewers. Your message should be compelling enough to inspire action and convert potential customers into loyal customers. It should also include your company’s story, who you serve, how you solve problems and your company’s culture.

For many firms, a name change is not required. But if you are a new firm, are undergoing a merger or are burdened with a name that no longer suits your positioning, a name change may be in order. Even if you don’t change your firm name, a new logo and tagline may make sense to better support your brand positioning.

Remember, your name, logo and tagline are not your brand. They are a part of your brand identity, the ways to communicate or symbolize your brand. You must live it to make it real.

And don’t make the mistake of showing the new logo around internally to get a consensus. The name, logo and tagline are not for you. They are for your marketplace and should be judged on how well they communicate, not how much the partners like them.

Your website is your single most important brand development tool. It is the place where all your audiences turn to learn what you do, how you do it and who your clients are. Prospective clients are not likely to choose your firm solely based on your website. But they may well rule you out if your site sends the wrong message.

Further, your website will be home to your valuable content. That content will become the focus of your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts so that your prospects, potential employees, and referral sources will find you and learn about your firm. Online content is central to any modern brand development strategy.

These days, professional services websites come in two varieties. The first is a branding site. Such a site tells your story and conveys who you are, who you serve, and what you do. In short it conveys your brand message. The other variety does the above and also generates and nurtures potential new clients. We call these High Performance Websites.

Step 4
Leverage your brand assets

Getting your brand message out 

5. Develop your messaging strategy.

Your next step is a messaging strategy that translates your brand positioning into messages to your various target audiences. Your target audiences typically include potential clients, potential employees, referral sources or other influencers and potential partnering opportunities, to name a few of the usual suspects.

While your core brand positioning must be the same for all audiences, each audience will be interested in different aspects of it. The messages to each audience will emphasize the most relevant points. Each audience will also have specific concerns that must be addressed, and each will need different types of evidence to support your messages. Your messaging strategy should address all of these needs. This is an important step in making your brand relevant to your target audiences.

Determine Your Target Audience

Creating Useful and Relevant Content

How you communicate with your target audience will determine how interested they are in your products or services. Whether you are channeling your efforts through digital platforms or marketing collateral, try to create content that is relevant, engaging and compelling. Use a variety of platforms to reach as many people as possible.

Use Targeted Advertising

Part of your research will include identifying where your market is and the best way to reach your audience. Online platforms provide numerous tools that allow you to refine your marketing campaigns, while marketing agencies can help you reach your target audience with print and traditional marketing.

Gather Customer Feedback

Perhaps the best way to find out what consumers are looking for is to ask them directly. There are numerous ways that you can gain valuable customer feedback, such as surveys, polls and questionnaires. Gathering information from consumers can help you refine your brand identity and messaging to connect with your target group.

Brand Positioning and Messaging

Creating a Core Message

If you have a clear understanding of your position in the market, you can communicate your brand with a clear and concise message. Your message will include key differentiators and the value of each differentiator.

Your message will also be summed up in a single tagline that captures the essence of everything your company is about. The tagline is supported by an ‘elevator pitch’ that makes sense to consumers, conveys your brand and sticks in the minds of viewers. Your message should be compelling enough to inspire action and convert potential customers into loyal customers. It should also include your company’s story, who you serve, how you solve problems and your company’s culture.

Tools for Promoting Your Brand

There is no shortage of marketing tools and resources for promoting your brand. Your marketing strategy will consist of a combination of traditional and digital tools that will help you reach your audience in different ways.

Your Website

A website is your company’s online profile, connecting with your audience through clever design, media, apps and content. Creating the ultimate user experience on your site is a vital part of establishing your brand. Website development involves making every element of every page consistent with your brand’s personality.

Logo

Your logo is a holistic symbol that sums up how customers experience your brand. Your logo should simultaneously grab attention, make a strong first impression, and establish the foundation of your brand identity. It should be memorable and distinctive while fostering loyalty through consistency. Your audience should expect to see your logo everywhere.

Marketing Materials

Marketing materials can include brochures, sell sheets, mailers, business cards, signs and displays. Your company needs high-quality marketing collateral to help you convert leads outside of digital channels. Having a brochure or business card gives you credibility and allows you to connect with your target audience more directly.

Content Marketing Strategy

A powerful content marketing strategy involves creating and distributing valuable, consistent and relevant content to attract and retain your audience. The primary goal of content is to drive profitable customer action. Quality content is the core of all marketing channels, both digital and traditional. To reach your audience, you need an effective marketing strategy.

Brand Management

Don’t assume that your brand can remain intact and continue to attract new customers. With an ever-changing market, brand management can help you build and maintain loyal customers through positive association regardless of upcoming trends or changes in consumer behavior. A solid strategy can help you manage brand equity and prepare for sudden fluctuations in the market.

Branding Services for Your Business

At Lucid, we provide a wide range of marketing tools that help you expand your market reach while targeting the customers you want. We deliver measured results that reflect your brand and help you reach your goals. To find out more about our branding services, call us at 850-972-2702 or fill out the quick contact form below, and we will be in touch.

Your brand is perhaps your professional services firm’s most valuable asset. If this is true, then developing a stronger brand is your most important task (that’s why we developed our Brand Building Guide). Not convinced? Consider what a professional services brand is.

Download the Brand Building Guide for Professional Services Firms

Brand Development Defined

Brand development is the process of creating and strengthening your professional services brand. As we help firms develop their brands, we divide the process into three phases.

  • The first phase is getting your brand strategy right and aligned with your business objectives.
  • Second is developing all the tools you will need to communicate the brand, such as your logo, tagline and website.
  • Finally, there is the phase of strengthening your newly developed or updated brand.

Your brand development strategy is how you go about accomplishing these tasks. To make the task a bit easier, we’ve broken the brand development strategy into 10 steps.

A 10-Step Brand Development Strategy

  1. Develop your brand positioning.
  2. Develop your messaging strategy.
  3. Develop your name, logo and tagline.
  4. Develop your content marketing strategy.

We could have called this step “develop your marketing strategy.” But we didn’t. Instead we call for a content marketing strategy.

Why? Content marketing is particularly well suited to professional services firms in the Internet age. It does all things traditional marketing does but it does them more efficiently. It uses valuable educational content to attract, nurture and qualify prospects.

Remember that your brand strength is driven by both reputation and visibility. Increasing visibility alone, without strengthening your reputation, is rarely successful. That’s why traditional “awareness-building” advertising or sponsorships so often yield disappointing results. On the other hand, content marketing increases both visibility and reputation at the same time. It is also the perfect way to make your brand relevant to your target audiences. Case closed.

  1. Develop your website.

Download the Brand Building Guide for Professional Services Firms

  1. Build your marketing toolkit. 

The next step in the process is to build out the remainder of your marketing toolkit. This might include one-page “sales sheets” that describe core services offerings or key markets served. In addition, there may be a brief “pitch deck” that overviews the firm or key offerings and an e-brochure about the firm. These are rarely printed pieces anymore.

Increasingly this marketing toolkit also includes videos. Popular video topics include firm overviews, case studies or “meet the partner” videos. Key services offerings are also very useful. If prepared appropriately, these tools serve not only a business development function but also are important for brand development.

  1. Implement, track, and adjust.

This final step in the brand development process may be one of the most important. Obviously a winning brand development strategy doesn’t do much good if it is never implemented.  You might be surprised at how often that happens. A solid strategy is developed and started with all the good intentions the firm can muster. Then reality intervenes. People get busy with client work and brand development tasks get put off… then forgotten.

That’s why tracking is so important. We strongly recommend tracking both the implementation of the plan as well as results. Did the strategy get implemented as planned? What happened with the objective measures, such as search traffic and web visitors? How many new leads, employee applications and partnering opportunities were generated? Only by tracking the entire process can you make sure you are drawing the right conclusions and making the right adjustments.

There you have it — a 10 step brand development process to drive the growth and profitability of your firm.

https://hingemarketing.com/hinge-university/live-workshops

https://www.wordstream.com/ppc

https://www.searchenginejournal.com/ppc-guide/what-is-ppc-paid-search/

https://ads.google.com/home/campaigns/search-ads/

https://www.webfx.com/internet-marketing/how-SEO-works.html#learn-more

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Your Voice

Use your brand to leverage your communication strategy, Internally and externally.

Management

We can crate a library of your brand’s logo, web assets, email templates, and other branded assets.

Content

We create assets you can share on websites and social media content Creating content that engages.

CAMPAIGNS

Designing landing pages to fit your brand, as well as content creation, social media brand development.

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