What is your brand?
Your brand is far more than just your corporate logo.
It’s a conscious association connected to the products or service you offer, it’s features, price, name, ads and marketing. The unconscious side is the underlying ‘feeling’ connected to your brand.
This feeling is built over time. It’s the gut feeling your customers get when they think of your brand and what it has to offer, who or what they see it with, its colours, and the emotional connection they can have with it.
In essence, it’s every part of your business with which the customer connects (or is exposed to), from how the product is distributed to the company’s history, culture, values and employees.
All of this will influence the customer’s feelings towards your brand.
Taking this into consideration means you must employ people who want to be the life and sole of the brand.
They must buy into what you want your brand to be, how you want it to feel and it’s core values.
Ask yourself these questions:
Are your staff enthusiastic about your company?
Are they open and talkative to the general public?
If the answer’s no, then you need to be looking elsewhere.
Build a strategy
Once your staff are selling it as best they can, you’re halfway to success.
The next job is to build a strategy that works.
A strategy will help you define all of the above, and ensure you start selling. A typical strategy would include;
- Customers / target customers
This section describes the customers you are targeting. It defines their demographic profile (e.g., age, gender), psychographic profile (e.g., their interests) and their precise wants and needs as they relate to the products and/or services you offer.
- Unique selling points
What do you offer that nobody else does?
Having a strong unique selling proposition (USP) is of critical importance as it distinguishes your company from competitors.
- An executive summary
Complete this last and make sure it reflects upon everything you’ve detailed within the strategy.
From your summary you will also be able to develop a company manifesto which reflects core values.
- Pricing & Positioning Strategy
Your pricing and positioning strategy must be aligned. For example, if you want your company to be known as the premier brand in your industry, having too low a price might dissuade customers from purchasing.
In this section of your marketing plan, detail the positioning you desire and how your pricing will support it.
- Distribution Plan
Your distribution plan details how customers will buy from you.
For example, will customers purchase directly from you on your website? Will they buy from distributors or other retailers? And so on.
- Your Offers
Offers are special deals you put together to secure more new customers and drive past customers back to you.
Offers may include free trials, money-back guarantees, packages (e.g., combining different products and/or services) and discount offers.
- Marketing Materials
Your marketing materials are the collateral you use to promote your business to current and prospective customers.
Among others, they include your website, print brochures, business cards, and catalogs etc.
The promotions section is one of the most important sections of your marketing plan and details how you will reach new customers.
There are numerous promotional tactics, such as television and radio ads, press releases, online advertising, and event marketing.
Online Marketing Strategy
The four key components to your online marketing strategy are as follows:
- Keyword Strategy: identify what keywords you would like to optimize your website for.
- Search Engine Optimization Strategy: document updates you will make to your website so it shows up more prominently for your top keywords.
- Paid Online Advertising Strategy: write down the online advertising programs will you use to reach target customers.
- Social Media Strategy: document how you will use social media websites to attract customers.
Conversion strategies refer to the techniques you employ to turn prospective customers into paying customers.
This is a guide strategy. If you specialise in a particular product or service, your strategy may need to include additional points/items. Ask professionals from your line of work for further information.