We have been running SisterSpeaks Global and Heels4Pads Foundation for two years, and before that, I had been running my own jewellery brand and I had the opportunity to train and work with other women and helping them build their businesses too. And one thing that ties the successes and failures of businesses is how well or badly the branding strategies are implemented.
The late David Ogilvy who was an advertising tycoon was once quoted saying:
"You now have to decide what 'image' you want for your brand. Image means personality. Products, like people, have personalities, and they can make or break them in the market place.". Listed below are four branding strategies aimed at helping you create a brand whose vision is clear, a business that attracts opportunities needed to grow and has longevity.
1. The Core/ Heart of Your Business
In order to have the right external image, you need to create the right internal makeup and you need to ask yourself the following questions: What is the heart and soul of your business? What is the persona of your business? How do you define its character and thus its overall image? This is what in business we often define as the vision, mission, objective and core values. This is what you need to work on outlining first before working on the brand colours and logo. Spend time defining what your business stands for, the problem/s it's solving and your unique point of view, doing this will naturally lead you to shape the image of your brand. And then what you will begin to notice is when people see your business they will instantaneously know the basis of it. Why? because you took your time to define it, which made it easily understandable by the masses who can end up being your potential customers.
What is your brand committing to doing? Are you delivering a service? Are you creating a product? Are you doing both? Figure this out first and then the next step is to identify who is consuming your product or service. How will you recognise your customer and how will they recognise your business? List out the customer's ideal attributes and by doing so you will then be able to define how you need to sell to them and where you need to sell to them. For instance, if you sell food where do you need to sell it? is it a supermarket? a restaurant? by offices? through a food app? Once you identify the what? then you will be able to outline the how and where.
Why should consumers believe in your brand? What proof of results do you have that your product or service is worth investing in? Are you qualified? As you begin to grow you need to also have evidence that your business has attractability and is achieving the results it states it will provide. Essentially it is good practice to share proof of sales and/or legibility of your business this can be your qualifications, business certifications or even testimonials for instance having your customers share a video saying how happy they are and then share this on your social media page or include testimonials on your websites. Another idea is sharing proof of your knowledge for instance examples of your work or collaborate with people in the same industry as you that are known and trusted which then translates to customers that you know what you're doing. This connects with people from both emotional and logical level and attracts them to your brand.
4. Competition & Culture
You cannot start a business without understanding what currently exists. You need to spend time understanding your competitors, when you know what they do you can find your niche by defining what extra thing you can offer that gives you a unique angle. Don't work at being better than your competitor focus your energy on offering a different option. As you spend time assessing what currently exists within your industry also spend time understanding the cultural context of the times you're living in. When thinking of where best to position your brand, consider too how can you create a brand that perfectly fits in with what is culturally acceptable or one that has the ability to set trends that creates a new culture. For instance, we see this with co-working spaces.
Lastly, it is important to note that the ideas you start off with will often morph but they will always be codependent on what is currently happening in the environment you are in, however the foundation of your business which is point number one shouldn't really change unless your original business model idea is not working. To give you a better understanding of what I mean, let's take the example of the brand "Apple" when they began they created a computer that was different from what existed in the market and over time they have gone to create other products, fundamentally all that is created is bonded through the core aspect of their business which is technology. So learn to design products and services that remain attached to the foundation of the persona of your brand this will lead to longegivity.
We wish you the very best as you build brands and we trust they will flourish.