Establishing a strong brand is vitally important to a company’s success. It helps build brand recognition and credibility and allows a company to grow from its success. Developing a well-defined brand strategy that clearly defines your long-term goals and objectives is the first step in establishing a strong brand identity.

The old adage that a good product will mostly sell itself no longer holds up in today’s competitive landscape. Consumers crave individuality, passion, and purpose. A company that creates a unique brand image—coupled with a great product or service—that highlights all three has the ability to build positive brand recognition and brand loyalty. There are a few housekeeping tasks, however, that a company must conduct before branding can begin.

Look Inward

Start by identifying what works for your business and what does not. Survey customers, employees, executive management, vendors, customer-facing staff, and so forth. By acquiring general knowledge of what your clients like and dislike and your company’s current persona, you’ll be able to better define your branding goals and objectives. There’s no need to go into detail here. You will perform a more thorough SWOT analysis later.

Define Your Company Persona

How do you want to present your business to the world? Do you provide a budget-friendly product or service, or do you serve a more upscale clientele? Consider your target audience. What is it about their lifestyle, interests, and attitudes that drive them to purchase your products or services? By understanding your customers, you will better understand how to craft your company persona to attract new customers and fulfill their immediate needs.

Once you’ve defined your target audience and have a basic understanding of how you want to present your brand to the world, you can begin to focus on the creatives. Remember, consistency is key. Keep your colors, fonts, and graphics consistent across all print and digital marketing material, including your company website, social media platforms, e-mail templates, brochures, flyers, etc. Over time, this consistency will help build brand recognition.

Establish Your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

Before you begin drafting your goals and objectives, it’s important to evaluate your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This step is known as a SWOT analysis. Tapping into your strengths may help your business grow exponentially; however, your weaknesses may undermine your efforts if you don’t understand them or know how to work around them. The same holds true for your opportunities and threats. You may find that a customer has an immediate need or “opportunity” that your company can fill but another company or “threat” may already have a superior product or service that you are unable to compete with. Knowledge is power. Whatever the case may be.

Set SMART Goals and Objectives

Once you’ve completed your SWOT Analysis, you can begin drafting your goals and objectives. To keep yourself organized and on task, consider drafting a timeline to determine which tasks you need to complete first in order to achieve each goal. Doing so will help you stay on task and lay the proper groundwork for you to achieve both your short-term and long-term objectives.

Remember to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely) goals. Perhaps your long-term objective is to become the largest coffee chain in the world, for example. What would it take to achieve this objective? In other words, what SMART goals would you have to set? Perhaps you need to sell two million more cups of coffee a month over the next year to achieve this objective. Could you do it? If you own a single coffee shop, probably not. So it’s not achievable.

Let’s take a look at the coffee shop example another way. Perhaps you want to sell more coffee than your competitor on the next block. What would it take to achieve this? Perhaps you would need to sell two hundred more cups of coffee each month than your competitor over the next year. Is this achievable? If so, you’ve just identified your first SMART goal. It’s specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.

However ambitious, make sure your goals and objectives are attainable. With each goal and objective, consider the steps required to achieve them, the resources needed, and your desired outcome. This will not only help in the planning process but it will also increase the probability for success.

If you need help defining the right visual identity for your business, be sure to use a creative agency that specializes in developing strong brand identities. Contact Adams Media Group today!

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