Thursday, December 1, 2011

4 Key Steps to Branding a New Business

Launching a new business brand is more than just getting a logo designed. Building a brand begins with researching a clients target customer, market demand, and competition and look for a niche you can own based on your unique selling proposition.
Research your customer to fully understand their demographics, psychographics and buying habits. What colors appeal to them? What keywords can you use to connect to them? Where and why do they shop? Market demand research is important to see if there truly is a need for your product or service or if there is a need in a certain geographic location or within an industry.
After the research information is gathered, move to the action plan phase which includes developing a time line for what happens when in terms of the creative and communication process. It's important to stress that this phase is an action plan, focused on getting results. Marketing plans can be calendar based with timelines and real objectives. The action plan can also include the who, what, where and how of your advertising or marketing plan. Do billboard ads make sense for your business or is social media they best way to promote your services. This is the nuts and bolts of marketing.
Next, start the creative process by developing a name that stands out in a crowd, encompasses your company values and communicates what the product is or does. Take your action plan and combine it with a message that reaches the target audience using the platforms that are best. Typically, start with creating the logo, tagline and main marketing message first and then move on to the other marketing components and communication plan. Incorporate research in this stage to be sure that your name is not being currently used by another company and that the trademark is available to you.
After every marketing action is taken, it's important to evaluate your plan and see if it was successful. We're looking for real results here. How many calls were received? How many emails? What was the objective and how was it measured? Are sales up? In this age of social media, your results on those platforms like Facebook and Twitter should not be just in the number of people in your circle, but in the quality of the interaction. Social media is valuable in that it gives you're a platform to connect with and listen to your clients and respond to their needs.

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