Brand Development fundamentals start with the business industry and the target audience
When putting together a business plan or strategy for a business. It is best to start with the target audience and the industry.
The industry will speak to competitors and how crowded the market is at the time. Which is important to check when you’re starting your business. The level of competition in the industry should define your niche and strategy. If there’s already a number one brand in the market it doesn’t make a lot of sense to try to compete against them head-on. There are smarter ways to go about winning your share of the market.
Do your research and due diligence on established businesses. This is where social listening can help you and you can do it for free. The cost is in time and knowing what to look for and listen for in your research. You’re looking at reviews and feedback for where they may have fallen short or received complaints. Keeping in mind that some people will never be happy with their purchase. There are some that pass the time leaving middling and negative reviews.
Take tone and the circumstances into consideration. Look at the people who left reviews and comments. People who seem more like the kind of people that you’d like as customers. Those that have issues that you believe that you can address.
This segways into identifying your target audience. It gives you a starting point and framework for who you see as a valuable potential customer. The framework will give you what you need to put together an outline for a customer persona. A customer persona is an overview of a type of ideal customer. The more you learn about that type of person the stronger and more detailed your persona becomes.
The customer persona is what is going to allow you to narrow down your marketing strategy. Narrowing it from trying to reach anyone and everyone. Over to people, you feel pretty confident are your ideal customers. The people you researched and identified their struggles and expectations. Expectations for someone trying to ease them.
Each persona will be a segment that you can target when marketing your product/services. When you’re dealing with a limited budget. It’s better to take the time to get your audience right. This helps you spend less time trying to figure out who they are and how to connect with them. The work you put in will be rewarded with target audience engagement. You can base your messaging around connecting with the segment. Using their words, struggles, and expectations. Use it to speak to why they should choose you over others in crowded markets.
Brand Messaging & Brand Clarity are going to be the next selling points
Allow me to share portions of my 5,4,3 Method for Brand Clarity Framework. The framework is part of what goes into my Business Model Evaluations.
Once you have a clear idea of who your audience is it makes it easier to start putting together brand messaging. Messaging that will resonate with your target audience. It makes a difference because you’ve already done the research and taken notes on what they need and why.
The goal at this point will be to speak to who you are and why they should care. Highlighting what makes you different. As a new business, you don’t have the track record to compete against more established businesses. What you do have is your story and your journey up to this point. This can serve as another key differentiator for you in the selected market.
Brand Clarity is where you speak to your vision and why it matters to you. By extension why it should matter to them. Things that you’ll want to speak to is what made you want to start the business. What are you hoping to accomplish with the business and why.
People may not invest in products and services that they aren’t familiar with. But they can relate to a brand story and journey. More than not when they do invest. It is because they see themselves in your story and helping you becomes less of a risk. You’ve given them something that they can connect with and feel good about.
Brand Messaging and Brand Clarity are designed to tell a story. Your story… The better that you tell your story. Tell how it connects with helping the target audience overcome their struggles. The more you increase your chance of getting engagement. Engagement doesn’t always have to be through paid advertising.
Telling your story several ways. Podcast interviews, speaking engagements, and social media posts. The beauty of this era of entrepreneurship is that there are more outlets. More options than ever before. Social media, platforms, tools, and apps are making it easier than ever. Easier to venture into owning and running your own business.
Relationship Management Can Save You Time and Money
One of the biggest mistakes that new businesses make is that they think it’s them against the world. Which leads to working harder instead of smarter.
If you’re in selling a lower ticket-priced item. The temptation would be to go for high-volume traffic strategies. But you can also enjoy relationship building. Look for businesses that complement what you’re doing. Not as competition or not worth your attention. These businesses are part of a genre and flow of a buyer’s journey.
Candles for a lot of people are mood-setting products. What else can fall into that genre? Those are your potential partners. For example, someone selling candles. They would enjoy partnering with a business selling soaps, oils and lotions. You can promote each other’s products without stepping on toes. As a vibe and increase the number of mentions. Forcing social algorithms to leave you in the feed longer. The longer that you’re in the feed on that social platform. The more brand awareness you earn for your business.
Add Reputation Management and Brand Champions into Your Business Model Strategy
Relationship management can take many forms. I’m focused on new businesses and establishing a solid reputation. A reputation that helps build up your business.
Focus on trying to get your first 20+ clients and then secure testimonials and reviews. Look beyond the initial sale. In a high-volume niche with a low-ticket price, repeat business is going to be what keeps the lights on. It is important to have a business strategy that addresses this in your business model.
It is important to have a plan for how you will stay in contact with your customers. You want to turn them into brand champions. Brand champions are people you don’t have to pay or provide incentives to sing your praises.
When operating with a grassroots budget. You should focus on the repeat customers over pursuing new customers. It is more cost-efficient. They’ve already been through your buying process. They know what your products and services can do for them.
Brand Champions drive in more sales by talking you up. Sharing images using your products and or services. More than you can earn with paid ads. Starting from the beginning with someone who knows nothing about you.
Strategy wise you can take that money that you saved. You can pay that forward with a discount on the next purchase. Two things happen with that approach.
- You increase your chance of repeat business with that existing customer.
- You build up brand awareness and a reputation with customers. Sharing themselves using your products and or services.
People see themselves in brand champions’ posts and shares. It helps them lower their guard. They’re not looking at a paid ad or the business talking themselves up. They’re seeing actual customers speaking to their experience. Why they’re comfortable remaining loyal customers. Opening the door for new people to see themselves in those existing customers. A reason to want to have that same experience.
Summary of what is the best path to brand development on a grassroots budget and still competing in your market?
When you start with the fundamentals. You create opportunities for your business. Opportunities that you don’t have to burn through your savings to experience. You establish a strong foundation that you can build on with your business.
Take the time to get to know your target audience and their needs. You can identify who among them are the people you’d like to serve the most. The people whose expectations you can meet. The ones that will appreciate what makes you different from others in the market.
Create customer personas to help you narrow your focus from anyone and everyone. Over to the people who you know you can help the most.
Tell the story of your business journey and why you started your business. Your brand messaging is what will help people resonate with you. It will differentiate you from the competition. Be clear on your vision and your goals. Brand clarity tells people who you are and your values. That serves as a key differentiator with your specific audience. Creating a niche and segment that you can market to with confidence.
Build up a reputation for great experiences with your new customers. Ensure that they feel comfortable sharing it with others. More brand champions that you have to share their experience with your business. The more money you save on your marketing budget.
Pay that forward with your existing audience and show that you value them. Value beyond their initial purchase. You create customer loyalty and repeat sales. This helps you keep the lights on…
If you’re interested in learning more about the 5,4,3 Method for Brand Clarity framework. If you have follow-up questions. I invite you to Book A Free Consultation. Let’s take a look at how this can be applied to your business plan and strategy for establishing your business.
You can also learn at your own pace by taking a look at my Resource Library. Where I share eBooks, checklists, and more that can help you on your way to business longevity and success.