When done correctly, the brand development process results in crafting your brand’s unique DNA. Just as no two fingerprints are alike, each brand should have its own specific markers that set it apart from its closest competitor. Defining each of the aspects below for your brand will breathe life into “who” your brand is, who it isn’t, who it’s trying to reach, and how.
Brand goals outline the key aspects that your brand needs to deliver for your business. They may include qualitative goals, such as creative, and quantitative goals, such as revenue.
Brand goals may include:
- Increasing audience awareness
- Selling new products or services
- Expanding online presence
- Improving brand equity
- Lifting profit margins
- Boosting brand trust
The brand purpose is the “why” of your existence, your business’ higher purpose. It’s not just about making money or business growth, but the change you want to create in the world for your customers, a community, or larger society.
For example, Apple’s main purpose is not to make money selling gadgets but to create products that enrich people’s daily lives. The “why” is what drives Apple®, which is the reason it not only developed entirely new product categories like the iPhone® and Apple Watch®, but it continually innovates within those categories.
Audience personas are representations of the main stakeholders your brand is designed to appeal to, including their pain points, needs, goals, fears, and frustrations.
These are fictional depictions, so let’s assume you’re a cosmetics brand that creates and distributes product samples for customers to try. You want to understand your target audience and create personas like:
Education: Bachelor’s degree
Job Title: Department manager
Family structure: Single; no spouse or children
Rachel cares about her career, appearance, and social standing. She spends time getting ready for the day but wants the process to be more efficient. She’s interested in products that save time and make her life easier.
What can your product or service address?
- High-quality cosmetics and skincare products that help Rachel maintain her appearance
- Products to retain a youthful look and streamline her morning routine
- Samples that allow Rachel to try the product before paying for the whole thing
- Rachel trusts influencer marketing. Once she becomes a customer, she is likely to promote products on her own through word-of-mouth recommendations.
Few businesses appeal to just one type of customer. Creating personas like this helps you pinpoint each type of customer who is most likely to enjoy your brand and brainstorm ways to connect with them authentically.
A competitive analysis evaluates the atmosphere in which you will compete. It studies your competitors and their offerings, showing your strengths and weaknesses. You can then use this information to find ways to outperform them.
At Rocket Launch, we recommend clients use competitive analysis not only in the initial brand development process but on an ongoing basis. Every brand can benefit from regularly examining its competition to:
- Discover gaps in the market
- Develop new products and services
- Reveal market trends
- Market and sell more effectively
One of the best ways to study your competition is with a SWOT analysis, which compares:
Use a SWOT analysis to assess your own brand and your competitors. Ask questions like:
- What do you do well?
- What are your competitors doing well?
- Where do you have an advantage?
- Where do your competitors have an advantage?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What are your competitors’ weaknesses?
- Where could they improve their offerings? Where could you?
- In what areas would you consider a competitor a threat?
- Are there opportunities in the market that your competitors are capitalizing on?
By doing this, you can discover areas where you can improve within your own brand and better position your company for success. You are at the nucleus. Though some companies choose to sway customers by taking the approach of trashing their competition, that doesn’t serve them in the long term. Instead, we recommend focusing on what you can do better to earn more customers.
One of the most important factors of success is how well people know your brand, which you can accomplish with strong brand positioning. And that is initiated with a statement.
Your brand positioning is a focused statement that establishes your unique value proposition in the market. Grounded in data, it includes a description of your target market and a holistic picture of how you want to be perceived.
In essence, the brand positioning statement is the who, when, where, why, and how of your brand. Here are some examples:
Verizon Wireless®: America’s Largest, Most Reliable 4G LTE Network. This position is emphasized through both the marketing messages and impressive data points that reinforce them with facts.
The Ellen Fund®: This nonprofit positioned itself as a way to protect endangered gorillas in Rwanda, as well as other wildlife, a commitment that’s augmented with grant support for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
Brand differentiators separate your brand from your competitors, making an argument for why customers should choose you over them. They’re the unique features, aspects, or benefits of your product or service that set it apart and offer a competitive advantage.
People have more choices and shorter attention spans than ever before, which makes brand differentiation more critical and more challenging.
Start with a list of the things that are unique to your brand, considering the target market, attributes of your product or service, ingredients or specifications, methods, claims, and brand heritage. You could also consider any awards, performance or efficiency benefits, endorsements from people or organizations, and proprietary technologies or patents.
While you’re considering these, think about how important the differentiators may be to your target audience. Just because you do something different doesn’t necessarily mean that matters to your customers. Also look for attributes that are more distinctive from your competitors and consider how easy those would be to maintain.
From there, choose three to five clear, specific differentiators.
Your brand personality is who you are as a brand using a set of human characteristics. Think of it as who your brand would be if it were a person.
- Is your brand ethical and sincere, like Patagonia®?
- Is it exciting, bold, and free-spirited, like Red Bull®?
- Is it intelligent and reliable, like Microsoft® or Volvo®?
- Is it luxurious and sophisticated, like Chanel® or Apple®?
- Is it rugged and outdoorsy, like Harley-Davidson® or Jeep®?
Each of these dimensions must be defined with more nuance, but you’re essentially combining a mix of characteristics that can be used to identify and reinforce the perception of your brand with your audience.
Brand personality fulfills a psychological need and allows consumers to either connect with it or project themselves onto it. Your brand personality will also guide the tone and style of your marketing.
Let’s Make Your Brand Unique
Defining a brand is like creating a snowflake. At Rocket Launch, we’ll work with you to define the unique aspects of your brand, what sets you apart from your competition, and how to connect with your target audience. Get in touch with us today.