Brand Strategy: Build Your Brand Before Your Marketing
“I need a new website.”
It’s a common request in today’s web-centric world. Companies today recognize the value of building or updating their website to better market their brand.
Although many companies need to focus on updating their web presence, oftentimes, a website redesign should not be the first thing on their marketing agenda.
Good branding succinctly encapsulates your company’s mission and promise to your customers. Essentially, branding is the lifeblood of your business and it should permeate through everything you do.
That’s why branding is so important.
Without a strong brand in place, the best website or marketing effort won’t help you. You must get clear about who you are, what you do, whom you serve and what makes you different from everyone else in the market.
Otherwise, your marketing efforts will fall flat.
I liken it to building a house. Your brand strategy is the foundation. Although people can’t see the foundation, it’s the critical component to ensure your house will stay standing. Once the foundation is in place, you can build the house – your marketing efforts – on top of it.
Signs You Have Weak Branding
But, how do you know if you have a strong brand? If you’re not sure, here are some questions you should ask to determine if you have weak branding:
- Multiple identities. Do you have multiple names or monikers for your business? Does your logo say one thing and your team and clients say something else? If you go by too many names, you might need to refocus your branding.
- Name confusion. Does your company get confused with other businesses? Or, does the name suggest you do one thing, but you do something else? If people are unsure about who you are and what you do, you may need to solidify your company name.
- Unclear or inconsistent messaging. Do you know your brand’s elevator speech? Does your website and marketing materials say one thing, but your team says something else? Make sure you have strong messaging that is consistent throughout your marketing efforts.
- Generic design. Does your logo design use clip art or copy another company’s concept? If you want to stand out, generic design won’t help you get there.
- Dated design. Even the biggest brands in the world can get dated. Is your design is no longer fresh or relevant? Does it no longer represent your company or send the right message to your customers?
- Lack of personality or emotion. Do certain words or feelings come to mind when people think of your brand? Does your brand evoke emotion? If not, it should. If you want your brand to truly shine, it should have vivid personality that people can easily identify.
If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you need to focus on your brand strategy.
Then, once you have a strong brand in place, then you can move forward with building and implementing a marketing strategy.
If you focus on building your brand strategy first, your entire marketing effort – including your website, blogging, social media, media relations, etc. – will be way more successful.
What do you think about this? Do you have a strong brand in place?