Brand Development Principles & Best Practices

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Brand development is becoming more relevant in the digital market as competition increases.

Having so many choices, customers are now more critical of who they invest their time and money with.

Simply having a good product or service is no longer enough to thrive.

Businesses need to differentiate themselves from their competitors to stay relevant.

Otherwise, people will choose to do business with more established brands.

This guide will help you understand the brand development process and…

How to properly position your brand to resonate with your customers’ values.

Let’s begin with an important definition.

What is Brand Development

Brand Development refers to creating unique products and marketing angles that:

  • Distinguishes your brand from the competition
  • Resonates with your customers’ values and ideals
  • Promotes your company’s mission and vision

On no account can you ignore the brand development process if you desire long-term success.

It’s important that your brand assets help people to identify with your brand’s values.

People buy from brands they recognize and trust.

What are Brand Assets?

Brand assets are unique features that help people recognize your brand.

They help your customers to associate your products and services with your:

  • Brand Colors
  • Fonts
  • Catch Phrases
  • Company Logo etc.

Why Brand Development is Important

Brand development strategies help companies stay relevant to their customers by establishing:

  • what their brand is;
  • who it appeals to;
  • how it communicates with its consumers; and
  • why people choose it.

Brand development helps companies achieve brand awareness, brand loyalty, and brand recognition.

It establishes the brand’s personality and visual qualities. These later define its products, services, trademarks, slogans, and logo.

Through the brand development process, companies build a unique and recognizable identity.

The 4 Stages of Brand Development

There are four stages of brand development. These are:

  • Identifying Your Target Audience
  • Positioning your business
  • Defining Your Brand’s Personality
  • Defining Your Brand Assets
Brand Development Stages

Each of these stages is crucial in the brand development process.

Let’s discuss how to implement each stage into your business correctly.

Identifying Your Target Audience

Your target audience refers to the group of people most likely to buy your products and services.

Think of solving a specific issue for your audience that your competition neglects.

By doing so you’ll be able to develop unique marketing strategies around those issues.

Catering to customers’ needs that aren’t met by other brands builds customer loyalty.

2 Steps to Determine Your Target Audience

Step 1: Study Your Current Customers

Chances are you already have a customer base that you are seeking to grow. Your ideal clients will likely have a lot in common with your current customers.

Take a look at your current customers:

  • age;
  • gender;
  • geographical location;
  • Interests, Hobbies, and shopping habits;
  • lifestyle; and
  • economic status.

You can acquire this information through social media, surveys, emails, and blog forms.

With this data, you can then define your ideal customer avatar and personality.

By doing this it will become easier to develop your brand’s communication styles.

For example, a “Newbie Affiliate Marketer” is completely different from a “Marketing Guru”.

And the approach you take to connect with either group cannot be the same.

Think about it. 

Would a marketing Guru be interested in a $17 marketing guide? Probably not. That’s more suited for new affiliates and people just starting out.

Step 2: Competitive Analysis and Market Research

Your competitor’s brand strategies will help you understand how to distinguish your brand.

They have already done the work of building a brand that attracts your ideal audience so think about:

What are your competitors doing to uniquely position their brands?

Which of your customers’ needs are they targeting with their products?

How do their people react to your competitors’ marketing approach?

What marketing channels are your competitors using to reach customers?

Are they using social media or running paid ads etc?

Are there any trends developing in the market that you can make use of?

And most importantly, which of their customers’ needs are not being catered to?

Take all of this into consideration when mapping out your ideal customer avatar.

Positioning Your Brand

Brand positioning is an integral part of the brand development process. It can be defined as “the place a brand occupies in a customer’s mind”.

To correctly position your brand ask yourself the following questions:

Mailvio Brand Positioning
  • What are my brand’s unique selling points (USPs)?
  • Why are customers going to choose my brand?
  • What benefits does my brand offer?
  • How does it measure against other brands available in the market?

The answers to these questions will help you position your brand uniquely.

Let’s say, for example, your brand’s benefits include better prices compared to competitors. You can use this USP to position your brand as a budget-friendly brand.

If your brand’s USP is innovation, you can position it as a brand with a strong focus on creativity and design.

Define Your Brand’s Personality

Brand personality is “the set of human characteristics associated with a brand”. It refers to a brand’s attitude and the emotions it evokes in consumers.

The brand personality you identify should be appropriate for your brand. It should also be relevant to the target market and reflect the brand’s positioning.

To define your brand personality, you should consider brand attributes like:

  • professional;
  • relaxed;
  • modern; and
  • traditional.

You will also need to consider classifications like:

  • classy;
  • fun;
  • innovative;
  • sophisticated;
  • expert;
  • fun-loving; and
  • down to earth.

Then combine these to achieve the brand personality you are aiming for.

Examples of brand personalities include:

  • outgoing and friendly (Apple);
  • sophisticated and elegant (Rolex); and
  • professional and driven (Mercedes-Benz).

Define Your Brand Assets

What are brand assets? Brand assets are the brand’s physical properties, such as the logo and the slogan.

These should reflect the brand’s personality and positioning. You can also consider choosing visual elements that represent the brand’s USPs.

For example:

  • Apple’s logo reflects its brand personality (friendly), additionally representing creativity and innovation.
  • Rolex’s brand slogan (“A Crown for Every Achievement”) reflects its brand personality (expert). It also reflects its brand position (luxury brand).
  • Mercedes-Benz’s brand slogan reflects its brand personality and brand position (professional and luxurious). It also reflects its brand benefits (guarantee of high quality).

Brand Development Tip – Creating A Logo

A brand logo is one of the most important brand assets. It is the brand’s visual representation and should be simple enough to be easily recognized by consumers.

Mailvio Creating A Logo

Make it unique and memorable,

To create a brand logo, you should consider other brand assets such as:

  • fonts;
  • colors;
  • shapes; and
  • symbols.

You can then incorporate these elements into your brand logo. Make sure to do it in a way that is relevant to your brand personality.

What if, for example, your brand’s personality includes professional and driven. In that case, you could use a sleek, streamlined font and a sharp symbol.

To choose brand colors, you should consider brand associations such as:

  • fun;
  • relaxed; and
  • modern.

Examples of brand colors include:

  • green (relaxed);
  • red (exciting);
  • orange-yellow (warm) and
  • blue-green (modern).

Creating a branded logo is quick and easy with online tools like Canva.

Brand Development Tip – Creating A Slogan

The brand slogan is also an important brand element. It should help to establish a unique brand identity.

Mailvio Creating A Slogan

Your brand slogan should complement the brand logo and capture brand values.

It should also be short and catchy yet true to your brand’s core values and philosophy.

Pepsi’s slogan “Come Alive with the Pepsi Generation” reflects its brand personality (fun-loving). But, at the same time, it demonstrates the company’s brand position (a brand for young people).

To create a brand slogan, you need to carefully consider your:

  • word-choice;
  • sentence structure; and
  • emotional tone.

Let’s say your brand’s personality includes “relaxed” and “modern”. In that case, you could use a casual, conversational tone and short sentences.

For example, “Wine not? Sometimes you have to” for a brand of wine.

Be Consistent With Brand Assets

Consistency across brand assets has a positive impact on brand recognition and recall.

Brand logos that appear similar over time help build brand awareness among customers. They also promote brand loyalty.

Think of Coca-Cola’s and Starbucks’ logos. Both have evolved over time, but both remain instantly recognizable to this day.

Consider setting up brand guidelines to achieve consistency in your brand development process.

Brand guidelines include brand design rules across all brand assets.

Email Automation & Brand Consistency

Email automation tools can help maintain brand consistency at all times.

Customers will recognize your brand assets if they are routinely exposed to them. 

Engaging with your customers consistently will increase brand loyalty and awareness. This is possible through email marketing AND automation.

With the right email marketing too,l it’s possible to adjust your brand’s message based on customers’ reactions to your marketing campaigns.

Which makes for a more branded, memorable, and personalized experience.

Outdated brand strategies tend to cause low conversions, low customer retention, and limited growth.

That’s why we use Mailvio to automate all interactions with our customers.

Mailvio Inboxing Image

With Mailvio more of our emails are delivered and opened.

Email marketing is all about engagement and you can’t engage if you are not landing in your customers’ inboxes.

More importantly, with Mailvio’s detailed analytic tools you’ll be able to monitor your brand’s entire performance. 

This way you will know what works and what needs improvements. 

On top of that, there are tons of unique features that will help you to customize your customer’s entire journey with your brand. 

Common Brand Development Mistakes

1. Brand Fatigue

Brand development will always be an ongoing process.

Markets evolve with innovation and have necessities arise. So people’s needs tend to change over time.

Your brand needs to evolve with the markets otherwise, it will be forgotten. This is known as brand fatigue.

To avoid this you can update your brand strategies on a routine basis or as the need arise.

For example, you can take a look at your brand’s performance every  3 months and see what needs improvement.

2. Marketing To Everyone

If you fail to define and connect with the ideal customer it will be impossible to scale your business.

There is no product or service that suits everyone’s needs. And trying to sell to everyone is a common pitfall that will burn your pockets.

Common Brand Development Mistakes

3. Expanding Too Fast

Slow and steady wins the race.

Initial success may motivate you to expand your brand into different markets quickly.

But is it the right time?

As your brand expands you will have to:

  • Consider overhead costs and employee budgets
  • Develop new brand strategies
  • Hire new people
  • Improve your management team
  • Improve customer support systems

It’s more than just selling more products to more people.

Without carefully considering the above you may dilute your brand’s impact and authority.

4. Ignoring Analytics

A brand can’t afford to ignore analytics. That would be like ignoring your sense of sight.

It’s easy to neglect crucial data such as market trends and brand performance.

But it can be hard to know what data to analyze.

That’s why most people rely on tools like Mailvio to help highlight important data.

These include:

  • brand asset performance;
  • conversions;
  • brand performance vs. competitors;
  • brand sentiment;
  • awareness; and
  • engagement.

Business owners can use these metrics to identify:

  • strengths and weaknesses;
  • opportunities and threats.

Conclusion

Staying relevant as a business depends on how well you distinguish your brand.

Putting brand development strategies in place requires time and careful thought but…

Should never be ignored.

This will help your brand to stay relevant amidst all the noise of the competition.

Ensure that your company values speak to your customers and address their concerns.

Remain consistent in your effort to refine the whole process and learn from your results.

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