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Brand Development: The Step-By-Step Playbook For Your Brand

Brand Development: The Step-By-Step Playbook For Your Brand cover

A company has an excellent idea for a new product or service, but how do they know if anyone else will want to buy it? That's where the brand development process comes in. A brand is an entity that represents the character of everything your business stands for and how it's differentiated from competitors.

A brand is an abstraction – in and of itself – there's something about your business or organization to your target market. It speaks to their emotions and subconsciously influences their decision-making process, so they choose you over your competition when making purchasing decisions.

The brand development process helps designers and marketers create a brand identity that expresses the core personality of a company. At the same time, it also It's what makes that personality unique. It’s helpful for companies trying to communicate several different ideas to set them apart from their competition.

What Is Brand Development?

Brand development is the process of creating a brand and developing an identity that both represents your business and differentiates you from your competition. It helps customers decide who they want to buy from based on how the company or brand speaks to their emotions and subconsciously influences them.

A brand is created by developing a visual symbol, logo, design element, phrase, or personality that demonstrates what makes your business unique. A brand communicates who you are as a company to its customer in a memorable way.

It’s one of the essential marketing factors because it establishes credibility for your business, making it more likely that people will trust you and choose you over another competitor.

How To Calculate Brand Development Index?

A brand development index (BDI) is calculated based on a company’s unique personality.

It helps to establish how unique or general the brand is, which can help companies establish what target audiences they should reach and which marketing strategies will be most effective for them.

To calculate your brand development index, simply take the percentage of people who would consider buying from a specific brand and divide it by the total population of the area you are measuring it.

BDI = [(Total sales of a specific brand in a group/area ÷ Total of people in a group/area) ÷ (Total brand sales ÷ Total people)] x 100

So, if 230,000 potential customers would buy from brand A for a total of 2.3M people in Houston, and 35 M bought from Brand A in the USA for a total of 329.5M people, the BDI score is 94.14. If the BDI were 100, it would show that Brand A in the State of Houston is as developed as it is in the USA.

The higher the score, the more unique a brand identity and personality are in a particular area or group.

Brand Development Strategies

There are four types of brand development strategies. Here we will give you a brief explanation of each one.

Inforgraphic showing the four types of brand development strategies
The four types of brand development strategies
  • Product Line Extension: The line extension is an addition of a new product to the current lineup to attend to a specific customer need. That way, the brand has more product variation and reaches a larger audience.
  • Brand Extension: Brand extension means expanding the brand by making a new brand in a new market after consolidating the brand name in a pre-existing market.
  • New Brand: New brand expansion occurs when a company develops a new brand for a new product.
  • Multi-Brand: In the multi-brand expansion, the company launches other brands or subbrands to play in different markets by geography or demographics. For example, a product with an entry price would have a different brand than a similar product for high-end consumers.

Brand Development Process

We hear about the importance of brand development all the time. The process is lengthy and extensive, and it lays down to developing the strategy, promise, and values; the colors, fonts, designs, and words give off the right vibe for our brand.

Going through the branding process can be exhausting, but you will reap the benefits when your brand can leave a footprint behind everywhere it reaches.

What does that mean?

Think about small businesses in your area that are advertising. When a company is well branded with a specific color and look, a catchy jingle, and a definite meaning behind it, you will spot its sign or billboard from a mile away. Some of these advertisements are going to be one-offs and not very memorable.

Oddly, you aren't the only business offering the services or products you provide, which means you have to separate yourself from the competition and stand out from the crowd. Are you wondering how to accomplish the results mentioned above?

Start by taking yourself through a branding process by using the steps below or working with a professional branding strategist. Defining your business, what it stands for, and who your target audience is essential. Here are the nine steps to brand your business inside and out.

1) Apply The Business Strategy To Plan the Brand Development Process

Before you even start the brand development process, it’s important to consider your overall business strategy.

When you have that clearly defined in mind, it will help guide your decisions throughout the process.

  1. What are your goals?
  2. How do you want people to perceive your company?

These are just a few things you should consider before starting this process.

The first step in the brand development process is defining what your ideal customer looks like and how they behave. This is an initial insight into who will buy your product or service.

You need to define different personas for potential customers so that when you design a logo or create marketing materials, those personas are represented in some way.

One of the first steps in developing a brand identity is finding out what makes your company's personality unique from other similar companies or organizations. When it comes to branding, there are many ways to communicate specific ideas about a company's core personality or set of values- whether that means using colors, shapes, symbols, elements, textures, etc.

2) Research Your Target Client Group

The second step in the development process is research. This includes finding out what your target client group wants, needs, and values.

You must know your target market and what they want befoIt'sou start creating your brand identity.

To do this, you can ask for feedback from focus groups or hire a professional marketer to help determine your ideal prospective customers' most important personality traits. You can also conduct surveys or interviews with people in the industry to find out what they think of your competitors and their offerings.

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That’s when you feel the need to segment the different customer targets.

3) Segment Into Different Targets

After collecting consumer data, you will need to cluster similar ones. You will do it by behavior, demography, geography, or habit. The segmentation process is essential to your brand because it will give you the main characteristics of your target group besides its potential size.

4) Select Your Customer Segment

Once you've identified your target audience, the next step is to select which customer segment you would like to reach. To do this, you must understand who you're targeting and their needs.

  1. What kind of customers are they?
  2. Are they a specific demographic?
  3. Do they have particular needs or characteristics that make them desirable customers for your company?

Now that you've decided on your target audience and the needs or characteristics of that group, it's time to create something that will resonate with them and help them know why they should choose your company over your competitors.

Before moving into outward branding, you must brand your business from the inside. Every business needs a target audience, the audience that you focus on attracting and gaining as customers in everything you do.

Define your audience based on who loves your brand

Huge mistakes companies make targeting anyone and everyone they can get as customers. On the other hand, focusing on a specific audience, you would love to have as customers increase your chances of working with them by a landslide.

5) Research Your Audience Needs And Problems

Many small businesses and startups are making the mistake of never understanding their market needs. Most of them ignore that they should look for their market first and then product second.

Filling out consumer needs is essential for your company and brand development. You don't want a "me too" product or a "me too" message.

Understanding your audience's needs will help you develop your brand

Conducting market research is crucial when venturing into a new business. Here is a list of a few ideas for finding a need in your market.

  • Consumer research: Deep interviews, focus groups, or observation studies are some examples of efficient consumer research.
  • Checking out your competitors: This is the sneakiest way to check if there's a need for your market. When your customers are going after competitors, there's a need.
  • Trends research: Looking at what has been selling well or increasing the search index on Google Trends can give you a good idea of ways to fulfill your audience's needs.
  • Visit online forums: With online forums, you'll be able to find out what most of them are asking about and what they are trying to solve.
  • Keyword research: Another way is by doing keyword research. Search for ideas or keywords that people are searching for in search engines.

Once you've identified the need of your market, find products or services to fill their needs. By understanding what the market is offering to fill the demand, you'll discover what you can do to become better than your competitor.

You can create a better product for an existing market with the information you get from checking your competitors.

6) Develop Your Brand Positioning and Messaging

This is an iterative process and typically involves several rounds of communication.

If you have yet to develop a positioning strategy and message for your brand, this will be a significant step. The final step in the brand development process is creating your branding strategy.

This includes what you want your brand to look like, such as color or shape, and how it communicates its core personality. This can include your logo, name, tagline, slogan, and visual design elements like fonts and imagery ( products represented in photos).

It’s also essential to think about how you want people to experience your brand when they interact with it online.

That means developing goals and objectives for each engagement area: website, social media pages, advertising campaigns, etc.

7) Define Your Brand Promise and Identity

Your brand promise defines what makes your company unique and what values your company holds that differentiate your brand from the competition. These words will help you position your brand in the market.

Your brand's identity is all about what people see and hear from it. It includes your slogan, logo, tone of voice, and brand guidelines. Your motto should define what your business stands for in a short, concise sentence.

Facebook’s brand promise

Facebook’s brand promise is seen in its mission statement:

“To give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”

And it shows it on its sign-up page as a message to its new users:

Connect with friends and the world around you on Facebook

Apple’s brand promise

Apple summarizes its brand promise in its slogan with just two words, "Think Different", which serves as a basis for its innovation purpose and its products. It also connects with their consumers by implying that those Apple fans are innovators and want the world because they think differently from others.

The apple logo was also a basis for its brand value and promises, representing the meaning and power of the creation.

Apple’s Brand Promise

A lot of copywriting magic happens here. Your logo should be clear and easy to understand to represent your business accurately. It should be catchy and memorable and serve its purpose of defining your business to the outside world.

This imagery will appear everywhere when your brand is presented, making it extremely important in your brand development process. Your tone of voice and brand guidelines go hand in hand. When you are forming your brand, you are building a personality.

The branding process is a great time to define how your brand will present itself in advertisements, customer service situations, and public relations opportunities.

8) Develop Your Brand Guidelines And Assets

Once you have a vision of what your brand identity should look like and you’ve identified the most important messages that need to be communicated, it’s time to create guidelines for your brand design.

Before jumping into this step, it’s important to note that your brand guidelines will serve as a starting point for designers looking to create new brand assets. Your brand guidelines will also serve as a reference for the entire team—from marketing departments to customer support staff.

At this point, you can start creating assets for your brand. Before diving into designing logos and other visuals, it might be helpful to brainstorm and share some of your ideas with others.

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That way, everyone on the team is on the same page and understands what they're working towards. Designs may vary depending on what type of company you are in – but these are generally the steps involved in doing your brand visuals.

  1. Consider Your Brand Personality And Values
  2. Identify The Core Concepts For Your Brand
  3. Create A Foundation For Layout Designers
  4. Develop Brand Guidelines And Assets (Logos, Colors, etc.)

Pay Attention to the Details

You want your brand to be something you are proud of! It means you should admire your logo, recommend your products, and enjoy your website. The small details that go on behind the scenes will be something that will return on your investment.

These details resonate with you and that you believe. In summary, when designing a brand, you create a personality to last for a long time.

A lot of buzzes was created around the official White House logo in 2016. There was an error in the arches' pattern and pyramids over each window on the ground floor.

White House logo error

Here you see how it should be:

White House, image by Tom Lohdan

Your audience, brand promise, brand identity, and all of the small details will always stick around and be followed throughout all advertising, content, and public relations endeavors. Create something you love now, and the years ahead will be smoother.

9) Develop Your Marketing Strategy

When you’ve finished developing your brand identity, you can begin to build your marketing strategy. A marketing strategy is a plan that outlines how your company will reach its target audience and what steps it will take to do so.

The marketing strategy defines how new products or services will be introduced and the goals set. It also helps you determine whether or not a new product or service is worth investing in.

This step of the brand development process is about aligning the branding with your marketing strategy so that everything falls into place as planned.

It means aligning the symbol for your brand with the language used in your marketing material, determining which promotional channels would be most effective for reaching your target market, and effectively communicating what you want them to know about you.

10) Establish You Brand Marketing KPIs

The brand development process helps designers and marketers create a brand identity that expresses a company's core personality while also clarifying what makes that personality unique.

It’s helpful for companies looking to communicate several different ideas, such as what sets them apart from their competition, in a single symbol or design element.

A brand is an abstraction – in and of itself – to communicate something about your business or organization to your target market. It speaks to their emotions and subconsciously influences their decision-making process, so they choose you over your competition when making purchasing decisions. Establishing KPIs is a step in the brand development process.

Once you have created your overall brand concept, it’s time to establish performance indicators (KPIs).

These measurable metrics tell you how well you meet your overarching and specific goals. One way of doing this is by having surveys completed by customers or prospects.

This will help you identify areas where you need improvement – which is important because sometimes it's not just about creating the perfect product or service but rather about improving aspects like customer satisfaction, sales conversion rates, etc.

You'll want to gather feedback from those who have experience working with you so that you can get feedback on whether they're satisfied with your offerings and if they'd recommend them to others. This will also help inform other areas like marketing strategies, pricing models, etc.

11) Implement Your Marketing Strategy

This is critical, as you must start executing your marketing strategy.

You will have to take action and ensure that you're doing everything possible to spread your brand awareness.

For example, suppose you consider yourself a B2B company and sell products or services through wholesale channels. In that case, you might consider developing an event showcasing your company and its offerings. With this event, you can invite potential clients, vendors, and partners who can help build your brand even further.

Once you've organized your team and developed a marketing strategy, it's time to implement it.

This means ensuring that all of your employees are on board with the plan so they know exactly what they should be doing daily. They must understand how their day-to-day activities will benefit the business and their roles in achieving this goal.

Here are some standard implementations of your brand development process.

Build Your Website

Your website is vital for your online business and brand development. Once you have established your market and product, build your website. If you are already good at designing websites, do it yourself. You can use DIY platforms such as Wix or WordPress. If not, hire a freelancer to do it for you.

DIY Website Platforms

It will serve as a venue where your customers can learn more about your brand, product, or service.

According to a study by Microsoft, human beings have a shorter attention span than goldfish.

The average attention span of a person is now 8 seconds from 12 seconds last year. For you to grab your customer's attention:

  • Build a website with one or two plain fonts on a white background.
  • Ensure that your navigation is easy to figure out by making it clear and straightforward on every page.
  • Use graphics, audio, or video only when you enhance your message.
  • Add an opt-in offer to collect emails for future product or service offers.
  • Make it easy for them to buy. Don't bury your offer-they should find out what they're looking for after two clicks.
  • Design a customer-friendly website.

Write Copies That Sell [and Optimize For Search Engines]

Your copy is your salesman. The effectiveness of your copy will depend on how you write it. Here's how you can compose a captivating text:

  1. Write a compelling headline.
  2. Illustrate the problems your product solves.
  3. Establish your credibility as a problem solver.
  4. Include proof or testimonials from people who have used your product.
  5. Talk about the product and how it can benefit them.
  6. Make your offer.
  7. Offer a guarantee.
  8. Create urgency.
  9. Ask for the sale.
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Your copy should primarily focus on how your product or service can solve their problems and improve their lives.

For the brand development process to work, you have to keep your brand values and always promise clear within your company to don't fall into mistakes in your copies.

When writing a text, think like your customer and ask, "What's in it for me?".

One good example of a brand and sales copy is J.Peterson, an e-commerce that offers a unique experience where clothes are displayed in the form of vintage.

Brand Development ad

Matching the style, the brand voice, message, colors, and font style is essential for your company's brand development. This other one clearly shows the offer and keeps the vintage brand style.

J.Peterson's Sales Copy

Paid Media And Organic SEO

The fastest way to get traffic to your brand-new website is through pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, while the organic search is the most challenging but worthy.

So the question arises: PPC Ads or Organic?

With PPC, your ad shows immediately on search pages, and PPC ads allow you to try out various keywords, headlines, prices, and selling approaches. PPC ads will help you find the highest-converting keywords you can use in your copy.

Organic will take time but think about writing a copy for the searcher, not the search engines. If you need to understand how to increase organic traffic, check out this SEO article.

An example is Fiverr showing up on top, before Upwork, on SERP for the keyword "hire a freelancer." Upwork, on the other hand, is the first URL of the organic results.

SERP example

Remember to not worry so much about optimizing for a specific keyword but be thoughtful about giving what your audience is looking for, which will help you rank organic search results.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is still useful for anyone who pursues entrepreneurship through their online business. As mentioned earlier, create an opt-in page where your potential customers give their email addresses in exchange for free, expert content.

With email, you'll be able to develop lifetime relationships with them, which is much cheaper and more effective than print, TV, or radio.

Mailchimp is a good option and has a freemium model that can work well for you if you are starting.

And don't forget to follow up. About 36% of people who have purchased your product or services will buy from you again, which will only happen if you follow them up.

Follow-up usually helps in any leads that you're looking for:

  • Subscription
  • Link building
  • Upselling and cross-selling
  • Coupon Sales
  • Etc.

For example, offer products that complement their original purchase. You can also send out coupons they can redeem on their next visit.

And finally, make use of your Thank You page after they make a purchase.

When emailing your customers, your intention should focus on rewarding them for their loyalty. In effect, they will become more loyal to your business.

Social Media

In the report published by the Social Media Examiner, 92% of marketers see the importance of social media in their businesses, 92% indicated that their social media efforts had generated more company exposure, and 80% revealed that traffic to their websites increased because of social media.

Build excellent content your audience is looking for, and build your reputation on social media. There are a lot of ways you can do that, and here are a few of them:

  • Give away expert content for free. You can offer a free ebook, write as a guest writer (not a ghostwriter), make videos, and try to be somehow helpful to your market.
Give away expert content for free.
  • Encourage your readers to share your content.
  • Be active on social networking sites related to your niche and where your market exists.
  • Be consistent.
  • Keep your content quality high using original images and videos, and keep the brand message alignment.

Here you can find more information about how to grow your social media organically:

totempool.com/blog/social-media-organic-reach

And you will find detailed examples of successful ways to use social media marketing on the right path for your business:

totempool.com/blog/market-company-social-media

Always be consistent. You don't want to offer your market another product they won't be interested in.

12) Align And Communicate The Process With Your Employees

After spending so much time on your brand, you do not want to risk your employees and decision-makers not being in line with what stands for your brand.

Communicate The Results With Your Employees

Everyone should be involved in branding and should be expected to follow the guidelines set.

13) Measure Results, Evaluate And Implement Improvements

The last step in the brand development process is measuring your work's results.

If you've done an excellent job, you should clearly indicate what worked and what didn't. You can also use this information to make incremental improvements over time.

Let your brand continuously evolve and grow with time.

Wrapping up Your Branding Development Process

Is developing a brand difficult? With so many brands out there, it can be challenging. These challenges will determine your failure or success.

For example, companies tend to forget about what is their target audience or what their needs are. In some cases, they go to the market offering "me-too" products/campaigns to their customers, which will undoubtedly drive them to a sad end.

This article shows how to get through these challenges the right way. You will find resources for branding your business considering the whole process:

  1. Apply The Business Strategy To Plan the Brand Development Process
  2. Research Your Target Client Group
  3. Segment Into Different Targets
  4. Select Your Customer Segment
  5. Research Your Audience Needs And Problems
  6. Develop Your Brand Positioning and Messaging
  7. Define Your Brand Promise and Identity
  8. Develop Your Brand Guidelines And Assets
  9. Develop Your Marketing Strategy
  10. Establish You Brand Marketing KPIs
  11. Align And Communicate The Process With Your Employees

After observing a business becoming successful using marketing and branding techniques, being thoughtful about each step's details can improve your business.

Whether a newbie or a seasoned entrepreneur, you can benefit from this process.

11 thoughts on “Brand Development: The Step-By-Step Playbook For Your Brand”

  1. garlandmakowski

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    I just needed to ask. Kudos!

  2. Leroy

    This article is beneficial and informative! I really learned a lot about branding, optimization & digital marketing …I would like to know more about this. I hope we can establish a good working relationship soon.

    1. By Totempool

      Thank you, Leroy. Let me know how I can help you. Feel free to reach out through our contact page.

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