NOTE: This content is old - Published: Wednesday, Apr 18th, 2012.
Pound shops, expensive parking, companies going under every hour and now to make things even bleaker, let’s mention the massive choice out there on the internet. How can you even think about starting up a new business or grow the one you have in these times?
The answer is simple: perfect your brand model and your marketing plan now because now is the time that you will not only win but you will also create brand loyalty for the future.
Thanks to these forward thinking guys at Wrexham.com you are about to receive a load of sound marketing advice free of charge.
Over the next few months I am going to be giving you 25 years of award winning marketing experience for free and I am going to help you with as much solid strategic thinking and planning that I can in order to help you through these difficult business times.
I will do the ‘about me’ bit in a nutshell. In order to give you some confidence in my experience, I have worked as a Creative Director on some of the UK’s biggest brands including The Co-operative, DFS, HBOS, Virgin, Sony and Volvo to name but a few and I have won awards here in the UK and in New York. So, the advice I will give you will make a difference.
So let’s get to it!
The selling landscape changes week on week. With so many ways to engage with a customer, it’s difficult to choose the right path to new and existing customers.
Within the articles that I am going to be writing, I will discuss everything that you will need to know in order to have a strong and successful marketing strategy which will help to position your brand at the forefront of the minds of your customers. I will cover all of the elements that you will need to address. I will also give you advice on
how to utilise all of the social network sites out there.
Your brand must reflect what you are selling and to whom. I have seen too many clients that have come to me with inherited problems because they jumped in feet first when they were starting up and had a logo designed without having an understanding of who they were selling to and more importantly, what their brand stood for.
Let’s just talk about a brand. A brand is not a logo, it is the set of promises your company will deliver to its customers.
Your brand must have the following:
- A set of promises that your brand will deliver
- A brand tone of voice (this is how your company is going to talk to its customers)
- A brand look (this is how your image is perceived by customers)
- A brand plan (do not mistake this for a marketing plan)
- A logo that matches all of the above
Here’s a quick example of how this works:
If you are setting up a company that sells a wide range of cheap booze and plenty of it, your brand promises will be based on value and your brand will engage the customers at all levels with benefit led communications. You will drum home the message of value and savings.
Your brand tone of voice would be honest, down-to- earth and always on the customer’s side when it comes to delivering value. It is worth mentioning customer demographics at this point. Your target market would be C1’s, C2’s D’s and E’s. These are typically customers who view saving money as a high priority. The Sun is a typical newspaper that this customer demographic would read. So, it’s easy to see how you would base a brand tone of voice.
If you want your brand to look very ‘retail’ and carry a real value look to it, think Tesco value packaging. Reds are great colours to reflect value and sales. You certainly wouldn’t want your brand’s look and feel to be that of Harrods. Your brand plan in this instance would be to ensure that all communications (whether it be press ads, point of sale, in-store or social marketing) would be benefit led and always talking about value and savings.
So, when you are looking to design the logo, your brand’s look and feel should provide you with the springboard with regard to colours, tone of voice and the market you are aiming at.
So, in short, before you even think about how to market your brand, ensure you have a single-minded vision of where your brand sits in the market place, how your brand will talk to consumers and also the look and feel of your brand.
The next stage we will talk about is how you implement your brand strategy in more detail and how you can start to engage customers to become loyal followers of your brand.
Always remember that consumers buy from brands they trust. It doesn’t matter what you sell. If you ensure that consumers love your brand and what it stands for, sales will happen time and time again.