We’re constantly working with start-ups and entrepreneurs looking to get their brand up and running on limited funding. Wondering what they can do to guarantee value from the process and ways to use the budget as efficiently as possible.
Over my next two blogs, I’m going to give you the first few steps to ensure your new brand is targeted and differentiated. These are two of the cornerstones of any good brand strategy and they’re not complicated to do, we’ve lead plenty of clients through the process and now I’ll lead you so you can do this yourself. I’ll presume you’ve done your homework on your primary audience from step one and have a target for all your brand efforts. Now step two will ensure your brand is differentiated.
Step Two: Know what you need to be different from
To be unique you need to strategically differentiate your brand from all your competitors. It’s not enough to just be a different flavour of the same thing, it needs to be a new take. It’s the difference, the delta between you and your competitors that will become your brand value. The only way you can know your different is to know your market. It’s time for some research. Now I know you don’t have budgets for focus groups or surveys and you need to get things going. But this isn’t going to take time and you can learn lots about your market without having to spend a dollar.
Draw up a list of all your competitors, both direct and indirect. Any overseas brands that would be competitors focus on the best of breed here and any brands from other categories that are doing something interesting that relates to your prime audience. Now create a report of all their strategic and creative brand features like Brandmark, Visual language, Colour palette, Messaging, Proof points, Values, Personality, Target audience, Price range, Quality etc. Try and focus on the traits you think will be important for your brand. Now you can start to compile your findings into simple Axis chart with ranges that are important to your audience persona and appropriate to the category. Plot where all your competitors are, add where the best of breed are. Now you should have a clear guide to where your brand needs to be to fundamentally differentiate yourself both strategically and creatively.
Now you have two of the important keystones of a brand strategy and now it’s time to create some brand positioning to define what the brand will become. To find out more about creating a sound brand strategy give us a call, we’re always happy to talk brand.
Derek is the Creative Partner at Truly Deeply, a brand agency with 25 years experience working with brands to position them for growth. His deep expertise is in creating beautiful, effective and unique brand identities that bring strategy to life and resonate with audiences. Derek has extensive experience developing consumer, business, community and government brands.
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