Successful Branding Requires Careful PlanningBy
Initially, this requires analyzing information, like who your target market is, what makes you unique as a business, what solutions you offer, and what message you want to reach your audience.
It also includes writing mission statements, defining your goals, and thoroughly understanding your competition. You need to decide what your communication and marketing objectives are and specific benchmarks you will use to evaluate these objectives.
Successful planning for your brand encompasses three steps:
- a business plan
- a marketing plan
- a strategic brand strategy.
There are many ways you can do a business plan. Initially, I made my first one using a PowerPoint template. It had everything I wanted.
What should be included in a business plan? Your mission, your USP, your goals, milestones, target market, competition, strategies, revenue and expense projection, just to name a few ideas. Ask yourself, what is your business model? Is it online exclusively? Is it a party business? Retail? Wholesale?
Basically, you are writing this to prove that your business is viable. Think of your audience as investors and you are trying to convince them to be stakeholders.
Many companies offer business plan templates. You can find them off of the Internet, download an App for your smart phone or tablet, or hire a firm to help you.
You may need a business plan for investors to raise capital. If you do, you will want that business plan to be as professional as possible!
Just remember, as with any plan, often the more complicated it is, the harder it is to implement. Because the most brilliant plan in the world is useless unless you take action on it!
I like to think of these plans as drilling down. The business plan is an overview of your mission, vision, goals, products/services, objectives, and projected revenue/costs, while a marketing plan takes it a step further. A marketing plan helps you choose specific strategies and tactics you will use to gain exposure about your business.
You will want to think about pricing, distribution, your marketing materials, and most of all, promotions strategy. How will you get referrals? How will you retain your current customers? What partnerships will you form? What are your revenue projections and marketing costs?
What I like about my marketing plan is that I included keywords. Now I have a framework to do keyword research and I don’t have to start from scratch every time! It is extremely useful to have!
Brand Strategy Plan
The brand strategy plan takes your business plan and marketing plan and makes it even more specific. How are you going to get your brand image out there? What specifically are you going to do? What mix of online, traditional, and promotional products marketing will you engage in? How often? These are specific strategies that you plan on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis.
The goal of your brand strategy plan is to achieve maximum exposure so you will be top of mind in your customers’ thoughts. The goal is to build familiarity, credibility, and trust. You want to be the top brand that your customer thinks of when needing what you have to offer. This is called brand positioning. Think about Kleenex. This brand has the enviable position of being a top product in its market. When you think of tissue, you most likely think Kleenex. I know I do. In fact, Kleenex has become a generic term for facial tissue but it actually is a specific brand name.
What I love about my brand strategy plan is that I turned it into a blueprint. So now I have all my specific tasks written out for me for each day, week, month, quarter, and year. It helps me keep focused and it has helped me get my brand out to an audience over and over again on a consistent basis.
As you can see, careful planning will bring you success, in your brand and ultimately your business.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dana Susan Beasley is the creator of an online training program called Brand Identity Quest, helps Christian families create sizzling brands so they can build dazzling futures. A graphic artist, writer, and homeschooling mom to a special needs son, she is the owner of AngelArts, an arts agency and publishing house. It’s purpose is to inspire audiences to reach for new heights in their lives and beyond through excellently-designed publications and products using original art and literature. To take her free mini-course, 5 Steps to a Wildly Successful Home Business, click here to start now.