The entrepreneurship class I am taking matched me with a client at the beginning of the year. Throughout the semester, I worked with my first ever client. The business was in need of a branding strategy that required me to create a branding strategy framework.
At its core, branding is simply these four components:
- Target Market
What do you want to be? The identity of a business starts with a vision statement. Then the vision statement (holding an identity inside) is the foundation for further strategic planning. Those who operate without one are not reaching their full potential.
Take marketing and strip it down to the absolute core. Marketing is differentiation. Businesses need to take their differentiators and leverage them in every way possible. The level of difficulty in finding differentiators will depend on the industry. Finding a differentiator for a restaurant business is a more difficult example. In any case, find them and include them in a vision statement. Also, it is important to research competitors to be aware of their differentiators.
There is often a certain type of consumer who is interested in a product or service. It is imperative to know this consumer inside and out. Know EVERYTHING about them and leverage it in communicating with them. Also, almost every business will have segments to their target market. Every segment has its own interests. Know as much as possible about each one.
Communicate to the target market the qualities that differentiate you from competitors. Use marketing channels to do this. If you are a restaurant, the make-up of the inside must communicate your differentiator qualities. If print ads are a marketing channel, be sure to use the qualities that differentiate you in the ad. Facebook can also be a useful way to communicate differentiators. Keep in mind, Facebook is NOT a hook strategy. A business often cannot generate new leads from Facebook. It is better used as a keep strategy. Use what you know about your target market to inspire your Facebook posts to keep existing customers interested.
Please share your thoughts of this branding framework in the comments below. If there is way to improve on it, do let me know!