When it comes to business, we are not in the same boat, but rather in the same storm. So now, more than ever is the time to take a good look at your boat, to come out stronger on the other side.
You need to think it through, then develop a plan to follow. Your strategy needs to be created with focus, and you need to borrow from your years of first-hand experiences—things that can never be taught, but something that you have learned from the pain, loss, or even success from your actions in the real world. Yes, we are in a crisis. You might think that this is the worst time ever to work on your brand strategy. However, it has been my experience that now can be the best time to do so. Consider it as a significant upgrade to your boat. In times of crisis, you think more clearly, and the sense of urgency helps you to be a better editor of your work. It enables you to focus on what is most important, bottom line.
As a business owner myself, I have come up with five ways to help you get you started on your brand development strategy. As you begin this process, keep in mind, a brand isn’t what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.
How you build your business’ brand development strategy is just as important as how you market your company. People often confuse these two approaches and think they are one of the same. They do need to work together, but they are two different strategies that have very different goals in mind. Your brand strategy needs to last for the long term, so it is vital to get this right. If your focus is too narrow, it could limit your ability to grow. Your marketing plan should focus on the day to day – that directly impacts sales goals.
Failure to create a well-honed two-pronged strategy for building your brand can result in an early demise for your company. Knowing the essentials of business brand development will help you build a company growth strategy, you can be proud of as you attempt to increase revenues for your business. If you want to contribute to building a brand development strategy for your small business, remember the following five tips.
1) If you want your brand development strategy to work over the long haul, your game plan must be devised around your core purpose. You must understand who you are as a business owner, what you want to achieve with your company, and the goal you want your business to serve. It’s not enough to know what you hope to do to make your small business grow; you must understand why you want to do it. Have a deep understanding of yourself, your strengths, and the purpose of your company if you’re going to create a brand development strategy that is relevant now and into the future.
2) One of the best moves you can make when creating your brand development strategy is to build your business plan from a place of authenticity. If you are attempting to follow the latest trends or create a marketing strategy that isn’t true to who you are, your customers will inevitably sense your brand isn’t authentic. Integrate authenticity into everything from your social media marketing strategy to your business blogging and content marketing strategy, and your odds of long-term success will increase.
3) Understanding your core audience is crucial when honing your brand development strategy. You can have a perfect product or stellar service, but if you are marketing your wares to the wrong target audience, your small business is likely to fail ultimately. Know who your core audience is, where they get their information online, and which networking platforms they congregate on (e.g., Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram). The more effort you put into researching your audience, the likelier it is you will be able to deliver a product/service that meets their needs.
4) Create a long-term vision for your company and regularly revisit your plans to see if your business’ current trajectory is in harmony with your initial idea. Small business owners who make an effort to build their companies with a long-term vision in mind are more likely to achieve success than those who fly by the seat of their proverbial pants.
5) When creating your brand development strategy, understand how your target customers like to be marketed to. Do they prefer receiving your company’s information via a weekly newsletter update? Are they social media users who want to interact with your brand on social networks? Unless you know how your customers like to be marketed to, you can’t possibly meet their needs as you attempt to grow your company
If you use this time to focus on your brand development strategy, you must take a multi-pronged approach. You can’t hope to reach your goals if you don’t develop a strategic pathway to profits. Integrate these five ideas into your growth acceleration plans, and chances are right; you will have built yourself a more reliable, more effective boat that will allow you to come out stronger on the other side of this disruption.