In this article, you will learn the exact steps on how to create a long-term branding strategy and why this is important for your business. Nevertheless, many businesses do not have an idea how to build their long term strategy and leads them to confusion when they see the conversion rates drop down.
Creating long turn strategy is really important for your long success, and that is going to be your brand strategy, but more importantly the core of your brand. What exactly do I mean when I say that? Well… here we are going to focus on how to make your company stand out amongst every competitor and market change for your lasting and highest success. We are going to look at why and how to do it.
However, let us first look at the more important thing here – What is a brand? A brand is often mischaracterized to be just a logo or an image of a company. Of course, those elements are essential for your business. However, they are just a tiny part of what your brand actually is. Here is what actually the essence of your brand is: a brand is the ethos and the personality of your company.
You have to think of your business as a living and breathing being for a moment, not as a something static. Think about some person or a friend that you know from your life. When you think of a person, try to call whatever you know from their past and their character, and this is how this person has created a relationship with you.
For example, let’s think of a person named Martin and then let us create him up and add the ethos and the personality of Martin. Let us say that Martin tends to be a reserved person and he is very traditional. Let’s say that he has grown in a traditional home, and he has traditionally average grades, went to normal school and now is known for his strong work ethic. He also dresses conservatively and doesn’t tend to speak about controversial topics.
Moreover, from that description, you already know that Martin could be a reliable person if you ask him to do something for you, he is also really predictable and doesn’t tend to go out of the box. He is probably the guy who is more likely to get the task done. So here is the thing: If Martin owned a company, he would be known as a reliable person with traditional values and an excellent reputation.
Now lets’s go into some real life situations – Steve Jobs.
He has a really vibrant history in his life. He was born in San Francisco, California and he dropped out of college. He is known to be a tech guy. In 21 years, he and Wozniak started Apple Computer Company.
Three years after the release of Apple’s second model, the Apple II, the company’s sales increased by 700 percent to $139 million. Today he is known as an innovator, futurists and a man with a unique taste when it comes to computer and phone design. Steve was an eye for the future and Apple’s revolutionary products, which include the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, are now seen as dictating the evolution of modern computer and phone technology. So this would be enough for you to make a few connections.
He is definitely caring the mind of innovations as well the eye for beautiful design. He has definitely the relentless drive that prepared him for his entrepreneurship. Also, that same spirit is present in every business that he comes involved with.
So an ethos is a spirit around something. And the personality is the characteristics and values that something possesses. What that means is that your brand MUST have both – ethos and a personality. So why having a brand actually matters? You are probably wondering right now what does this have to do with your business to become successful?
Believed or not – EVERYTHING. Every industry eventually becomes saturated. Even if you do not have many competitions right now, whether your product or services is being new, your market is being young, or you have the biggest budget, sooner or later you will definitely have people competing and making money from your target market. So having a well-established brand can help you out to destroy your competitors every single day of the week, because your brand is what establishes a personal connection with your customer.
If you still have some doubts, then let us consider this for a moment. Let’s say that you do not have any of the special circumstances that we just listed. Now let us say that you and your competitors offer the same product with same benefits and features, then who do you think that the clients are going to buy from? Moreover, why?
When you and your competitors offer the same thing, then your brand is the reason of why the people choose you and not someone else. So guess what? NOBODY can have the same ethos and personality as the one that your company has. Almost all of the people make decisions from emotions first, and after that, they rationalize their decision. If you do not have any emotional connection with your target market, but your competitor does, then your target market will choose your competitor every single time – no doubt about it!
Let’s take again “Apple” as an example, but this time as a business company.
Apple originally started with the tagline “Think different” and it still stands to this day. Without the context of what Apple is, where the company comes from or what it stands for, “Think different” it just ambiguous saying without absolutely no meaning.
Now, adding images with the computers and their product with people that are happy to use them is giving you a perfect reason to believe that they think different and you should too. This is why they are the champions these days because the ethos and the character resonate perfectly well with their product. Moreover, “Think different” suddenly stands for the values of endurance, innovation, dedication, great imagination, prestige. You can easily associate these words with their brand name.
People buy the Apple products because they want to feel and be associated with those values and that community of people. That is Apple brand and personal connection with this target demographic and it is the spirit of what it is. So from now on branding blindly is not allowed. There is nothing that will sink your business ship faster than trying to brand your company blindly. So the good news is that you do not have to.
Here is what you also need to do:
- Research your target market and demographic in depth
- Make an in-depth competitor research
- Craft the essential elements of your core story (people relate to stories, not to products)
- Make sure that you give strong and consistent core story of your brand to give a life of your products and services outside of their material, benefits, and features. Give your stories emotional values and depth. In that way, you will have much stronger and lasting power.
- Name your brand in a ways that will give higher perceived value. What you name things within your business can have a lasting impact on what your clients perceive as your value. Naming is always about positioning and positioning can make the difference between a hundred and millions of dollars in value.
- Have a great Unique Value Proposition and Unique Selling Proposition. Know what your values are you proposing and know what unique selling proposition you have. Everyone should be aware of those terms (UVP and USP). The practice over the years shows that very few people actually craft a good USP. And almost nobody knows what UVP is.
With the examples that we gave you, you should already have a good idea of what exactly you need to do to destroy your competition and have a long-term branding strategy. Take your time to think about that and then start to execute each point that we discussed here. As Benjamin Franklin said: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”