Brand Satellite

3-STAGE BRAND PROCESS

HELPING YOU
TO THINK, LOOK
AND ACT
LIKE A BRAND

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3-STAGE BRAND PROCESS

I believe there are three stages to a successful brand:
Stage 1: Brand Creation
Stage 2: Branding
Stage 3: Brand Communication

From my experience, many small businesses start at the Stage 2. They get someone to design them a logo (branding), the get someone to build them a website (branding) and – Hey presto! – they have started a business.

But having missed out the first, and most important, stage of creating their brand, they can find it difficult differentiating themselves from their competitors. And, they can find it difficult connecting with their customers. If this sounds like you, don’t worry, we can still help you create your unique brand.

You need to create your brand, before you do your branding. If you aren’t quite sure what the difference between your brand and your branding, don’t beat yourself up. It’s probably because no one has ever explained it to you properly. Visit my Brand v Branding page for my explanation.

STAGE 1: BRAND CREATION

The first, and most important, stage for creating a successful brand is creating your brand.

Brand creation is two things:

  1. It’s about really understanding your business by ascertaining who you are, what you do, how you do it and, most importantly, why you do it.
  2. It’s about really understanding your target audience. Who they are, what they are thinking and what emotions they are feeling, and how you can connect with those emotions and become relevant to them.

Creating a brand is about creating an emotional connection between you/your business and your customer. Human beings make decisions using the emotional part of their brain (the amygdalae, that forms part of the limbic system). If you can’t make an emotional connection with your customer, you are relying on their cerebral cortex making decisions and that is not what it is best at doing.

We can help you create your brand, by extracting what is unique about your business (your DNA) and communicating that to your target audience. You may provide the same products and services as your competitors, but there will be something about how or why you do what you do, that will be unique to your business. If we can work out what that is and work out how we can best tell that story in the most relevant way we can to your customers, then we will have completed the first stage of creating a successful brand.

You don’t need to be a new business to go through this process. We have taken businesses that have been trading for 10-15 years through it, all with the same reaction – “We should have done this years ago!”.

My brand creation process helps you to think like a brand. Giving you the clarity, focus and confidence to connect with you customers. If you would like to discuss how the brand creation process works, please get in touch.

It is only once you have defined and understand your brand, that you should then go on to develop your branding…

STAGE 2: BRANDING

This stage is where we help you create your branding. Your branding is the visual part of your brand. Basically, everything you do that your customers will see. This includes your brand identity (or logo). It includes the colours, typefaces and imagery your brand uses to tell your brand story.

And these days, developing your brand will almost certainly include designing and developing your online presence – website and social media pages.

The most important part of developing your branding is consistency. This is especially important for SMEs, whose exposure to their customers is limited. Consistency helps with recognition and familiarity. Familiarity builds trust. And trust is one of those extremely important emotions that you want to trigger during decision making.

Branding is about looking like a brand, so your target audience recognises your marketing messages and thinks about your brand.

If you would like to talk about creating the branding for your business, or rebranding your business, please get in touch.

Once your brand and branding have been created, you can then look at the best way of communicating your brand to your target audience/s…

STAGE 3: BRAND COMMUNICATION

As Seth Godin so eloquently put it: “A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

Stage 3 is the day in, day out part of building and maintaining a successful brand. What is the point of thinking and looking like a brand, if you then don’t act like one?

Brand communication is the combination of activities, under your control, that influence your customers’ opinions of your company and its products and services. It is the stories you tell in your advertising. It is the key messages you communicate in your marketing literature. It is the dialogue you start on social media. It is the way you answer the phone, or how you deal with a complaint.

Having completed the brand creation and branding stages will make brand communication much easier. It will help you make sure that all your communications are ‘on brand’, which will help you make sure your marketing budget (and time) is spent in the most effective way.

I can help you with your brand communications. Either by making sure your marketing activities remains on brand through regular brand communication meetings, or by doing your marketing activities for you. Or anything in between.

Having me at your side will:

  • Fill any gaps in expertise and resouces
  • Give you an outside perspective
  • Provide accountability to ensure things get done
  • Keep you on track for growing your business

If you would like to discuss how I can help you communicate your brand, please get in touch.

confidence

CHRISTINE HAMILTON - MANAGING DIRECTOR, CASTLEGATE NURSERY

LET’S HAVE A CHAT

If you would like help creation your brand and your branding, let’s chat.