Brand development is a process of building and cultivating a positive reputation among employees and the public. It is a critical long-term investment as it aids your target customer in easily identifying who you are and what you do. It also makes it easier for them to promote you organically in person or via the web.
Many small to medium businesses think brand development is creating a great logo then displaying it in as many places as they can afford. In reality, creating a successful brand requires much more.
Although it is important to have a great logo – after all, it visually defines who you are and provides a symbol for recognition of your brand, it is simply one component of brand development. A brand is also not a tagline, mission statement, color or typeface. Surprising to most small business owners it is not their product of service either.
According to the American Marketing Association, a brand is a “name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s product distinct from those of other sellers”.
From the way-and-where of how your product or service is displayed to the public, or how you answer your phone or sign your emails, your brand development is defined by both the big and the small. Your brand is the sum total of all your moving parts.
Successful brand development is defined by the customer’s positive experience. It’s how customers and potential customers feel when they buy your product or service and what they think about when they hear your name or see your logo.
A strong brand influences its target audience and engages those who may not have been targeted at all. A successful brand is self-promoting, stimulating a unique experience, breathing loyalty, and offering consistency in the quality of the service it offers.
In previous decades, a brand and it’s development was tightly controlled (and controllable) by the company. They chose what events were promoted to the media, how advertising was delivered, and what could be done with their logo. This rigid delivery system has been upended. In today’s world, customers have been empowered with tools never before seen. The internet allows anyone to download your logo and make any variation they choose. Your ads will be dissected and discussed by thousands or millions of people and praise or criticism can flow at will. Public and private events can be shared with the world instantly, as AOL experienced.
Ultimately it comes down to what they say you are – not what you say you are. And, remember, if you don’t brand yourself, someone else will, and the outcome might not be in your favor.
We have experience launching new brands and revitalizing brands with history. Our team will work with you toward the goal of brand development by utilizing a multi-tool approach including research, media, design, and event management. We help define who you are, what you offer, and how to project those core ideas to your target audience.
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