Every building needs a good foundation – that’s Architecture 101. And it’s the same when you’re building anything else too. In business, you’ve got to have a strong foundation, a solid idea that you can build a brand creation strategy around to help your efforts stand the test of time.
Those who don’t dedicate time to their brand identity and strategy won’t reach the heights they hoped for. So, in this article, we’re offering some free business advice for you:
- What is brand development?
- Four essential steps to brand creation
- Business logo creation – The good, the bad and the uninspiring
Ready to learn how to build a brand with us? Well, let’s get started…
What is brand development?
Brand development is all about building consumer trust through consistent quality, marketing and customer service.
It’s not something that you should ever really finish – no one ever says, “yep, my brand development is all done”. It’s a continuous effort as the business progresses to reinforce and maintain your brand position in your customers' mind.
Think of it as a friendship. You don’t go to all that effort of approaching someone, finding things in common and becoming friends only to stop speaking and stop trying as soon as you are. That’s the definition of a bad friendship.
It’s important that you continually reassess and develop your brand to remain relevant to your customers.
But what is brand development? Here’s a quick glossary of terms you may have heard with it:
- Brand development – uncovering your business’s and brand’s individual qualities and working out ways to share those with your audience
- Branding – the implementation of brand development ideas and qualities in your marketing activities
- Brand Identity – The appearance of your brand including brand name creation, logo designs, colours which you use in your branding activity
- Brand strategy – The long-term plan to help you achieve your brand development goals
- Brand Management – Exactly what it says, it’s the act of monitoring and managing all aspects of your brand development to ensure it’s still successful. A good brand manager will be able to manage the majority of all this for you and generate a good brand strategy.
Do you see how they’re all a part of your brand development? It’s the centre point of your business and helps your customers identify and relate to you. So, make the effort for a larger, long-term reward.
Four essential steps to brand creation
What is your business message?
Defining this is paramount to differentiate you from your competitors and finding your ideal audience.
To start, conduct an analysis of your own business and one of your top competitors and look at the differences. Ask questions such as:
- What is done well?
- What could be done better?
- What do any competitors do better?
- What opportunities are there in the industry? Are there any trends? Any gaps to be plugged?
- Are there any threats to the business?
A simple analysis technique, such as S.W.O.T may be useful here.
Once you’ve done this, you should have a clearer unique selling point, your message should be more identifiable and it’ll give you a better idea of where you stand in the market. This will help inform your brand development later on.
Research your target audience
Similarly, with your audience, you need to consider their needs and requirements as well. Start by asking how you can help them. Think about how they’re already solving the problem and figure out how you might be more equipped to help.
Knowing these things will help you better target your branding in the right places.
You should regularly reassess too. Your customers wants and needs change daily – they are human after all – so keep an eye on things like:
- Social media
- Anywhere they might give their feedback and opinions
You can use the information you find there to inform your marketing activity and to influence your purchasing decisions as well.
“Defining your target audience is the first and most essential step towards success for any company or business, especially if you are just getting started.” Neil Patel
Start spreading the word
This is where you get creative. Create your designer logos, decide on your colours and tone of voice, choose what marketing methods are best for your business.
Make all these decisions based on what you’ve learnt from your research and analysis so far and you’ll be well-placed for brand development.
Once you have all this in place, start sharing your content and promoting your business:
- Post on social media
- Write blogs on your industry
- Create video content
- Generate infographics for reuse by your customers
- Host events
- Make use of SEO to find new customers
- Try paid targeted ads
The idea is to spread your brand and reach more of your ideal consumers whatever way you can help your brand grow.
Manage the growth
It’s all well and good growing your audience and reach, but are you keeping an eye on the impact on your business?
You need to make sure that all your efforts are worth it, so check up on things like these:
- Do the paid ads bring in revenue?
- Has your social media generated any click-throughs to your site?
- Have your sales increased?
- Are your website analytics affected at all?
If something isn’t working as expected, adjust your expectations and your brand strategy to maximise your brand development.
Business logo creation – The good, the bad and the uninspiring
To finish off, let’s take a look at some brand logos which are considered and fed into the overall brand development. There’s some great guidance here on how to create yours, but a great rule of thumb is to make it simple, memorable and reliable. By this we mean it’s a simple design, with a distinctive enough style and that it’s flexible enough for all media. For example, if it’ll look good as a stamp, it’s more than likely a decent logo design.
Here are some examples:
- The Red Cross: This is simple and completely effective. It’s exactly what it says and is instantly recognisable.
- Apple: What other tech giant has such a familiar and basic logo? It doesn’t even say the name, but you know what brand it is immediately. What’s great is that this logo has a lot of technical specifications behind it hinting at the precision and quality of the products. For example, the apple leaf is the same size and shape of the bite.
- The 2012 Olympics: Then there’s this from London 2012. Widely derided by fans and sportspeople alike, there was even a petition to have it replaced. Its yellow outline was unnecessary, and the poorly drawn shapes are almost unrecognisable – particularly in the final number two. But they persevered and developed the brand using it. They focused on the spirit of the games and rejected clichés, so the logo fulfilled its purpose in the end.
In summary, your brand development strategy has to be well thought out and well-researched. You can’t simply get a designer logo and be done with it. It’s careful, considered and a long-term goal, so use this free business advice and start your brand creation the right way – with a good foundation.