The following is an excerpt from “Branding Without Limits,” a free white paper offered by MarketMatch.

Before you begin any project, you should know what you intend to gain. Define your objectives. Do you want to:

  • Branding StatisticsIncrease awareness?
  • Appeal to a new demographic?
  • Position yourself for expansion into new markets?
  • Change a perception?
  • Align your company culture?

Data-Driven Differentiation 

A brand is a true reflection of your persona. It must build on your strengths, reflect your culture, and exploit competitive weaknesses to best differentiate you in the marketplace.

To get to the root of your true brand, you need to collect and reflect on a lot of data. Think of it as putting yourself on a therapist’s couch.

You can identify existing perceptions, processes, and goals through: 

  • Conversations with senior management and internal surveys with board members, senior management, middle management and front-line staff.
  • Focus groups with existing and potential customers to determine perceptions, purchase criteria, desired usage and competitive strengths or weaknesses.
  • Branch experience evaluations: Shop your competition and your own locations. How do they look? Are they easy to get to? Are they friendly? Do they build rapport or are they fast food? How do you feel when you leave?
  • In-depth personal phone interviews with existing and potential customers to measure: awareness, perceptions, wants, needs, and expectations of key target demographics.

You should gather enough information to fully understand:

  • Competitive analysis
  • Messaging
  • Branch appearance
  • Market share
  • Sales/service processes SWOT analysis
  • Staff capabilities SWOT analysis
  • Key differentiators and opportunities

The Fundamentals: 

The data that you collect will begin to paint a picture of who you are and the image the market receives. Now you can start to define how you want to evolve by building your brand foundation:

  • Mission: What do you do and for whom do you do it?
  • Values: What do you hold sacred? How do you act when no one is looking?
  • Vision: Where are you going? Why do you want to get there? What challenge are you solving?
  • Brand Essence: The soul of the brand – The central meaning behind who and what you are and how you act.
  • Positioning: The space you will seek to own in the hearts and minds of your clients. This is an internal statement that provides inspiration for product development, marketing communications, and staff hiring and training.
  • Brand Expression or “Personality”: The human characteristics that embody the brand, setting the tone for the attitude of the brand, how you will act, the target relevancy, and the emotional connection.
  • Brand Promise: The ultimate goal is to use detailed strategic research and analysis to identify a Brand Promise. This promise will drive every management decision and staff interaction moving forward.
  • Tag Line: A tight, summation statement that reflects the wants and needs of your current and potential market.
  • Brand Mark (logo): This also includes any associated visual brand graphical standards and elements.

Click here to download the entire white paper, including: 

  • Should you change your name?
  • The ROI of branding
  • Acquisition

More Branding Articles:

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