In the ideal world, you will start consciously thinking about your brand at the same time as you are working on starting your business.
Many businesses have long been in operation before their brand is contemplated, which means a brand of sorts already exists.
The advantage of thinking about your brand at the outset, is that some of the questions you should ask, could influence the nature of your business.
In order to maximise the success of your business, you need to think about your market and what your ideal client looks like. By doing this at the outset, you have the potential to create a business that is just what the market is looking for! If your business is already going, you can still do it all, but it may mean you need to make some changes to your business to better cater for your market.
The more “in tune” your branding is with your target market, the more likely you are to be seen as the “go to” in the industry.
The questions are not complicated, but they are important and should be thought provoking! So, what are they?
1.What problem are you solving?
Two seemingly similar businesses could take different views, which could make a significant difference to what they offer and what their brand stands for.
Take a tyre repair shop. Is it in the business of fixing tyres, or is it in the business of car safety? Depending on the answer, you could have two very different brands and businesses.
2. What is your target market?
Taking the above example, the answer could either be anyone that needs a tyre repaired/replaced, of it could be anyone that owns a car and is concerned about their safety. Those two markets are quite different in size.
3. What does your ideal client look like?
Through research you want to identify what the different segments of your market look like and decide which one for you is an ideal client. Could it be young people who my need to replace their tyres more often and are into mag wheels, or could it be older people who are safety conscious and with less budget constraints?
4. Who are your competitors?
You want to consider how many competitors you have and what they actually do. By understanding your competitors well, it can help you find your niche in the market and enable you to define your brand accordingly!
5. Why do you do what you do?
The answer to this could help to differentiate you from your competitors. No matter what, you need to be different to your competitors or you will just get lost in the crowd! Your brand needs to have a unique personality!
6. What is different and or better than your competitors?
You need to have a point of difference to stand out. If its not immediately obvious, you need to spend some time working on what that could be, ensuring its meaningful so your customers will care.
There is no point just building a business that suits you, as you may not be your ideal customer in which case your business may not do well.
If you spend the time to deeply understand your ideal customer and target them both with what you do and branding that is most likely to appeal to them, then you are bettered positioned to succeed.
Answering all these questions will then influence everything that defines your brand which includes anything from the brand design, colours, positioning statement, presentation and conduct of staff, where and how you advertise, pricing, location, how you sell and more!
You may have a vision for your brand, but ultimately it is the public that will decide what your brand stands for. Your challenge is to get people to see your brand in accordance with your brand vision which ideally should be aligned with making your business as successful as possible! By answering the questions we have here, it will put you on your way to creating a brand that works for you!
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