Brand Building for a New Business

It can take years to develop a firmly established brand. And for good reason. A brand is more than a logo or an advertisement or even an entire ad campaign. A brand is how the market sees your business based on the totality of the information available to them: your marketing efforts, media coverage of your organization – including social media, stories from friends and family – and their own personal experiences.

For new startups, the brand is essentially non-existent. The market may be familiar with the entrepreneurs behind the company, which can add some element of a brand, but for the startup itself, the brand is a blank slate. That’s both a curse and a blessing. The curse is that nobody knows anything about your company: your story, your values, your mission, etc. The flip side to this – the blessing – is that you have the opportunity to attempt to build a brand as you see fit.

As we’ve said many times before, it’s consumers that truly define a brand. The company can only seek to influence the brand perception. Starting with a blank slate means you can set the agenda and make the first move – being proactive instead of reactive. Here are some basic steps to establishing a brand for a new company.

 

Get the Lay of the Land

 

Start by firmly understanding your target audience and what is important to them, or what they value. You should also seek to gather information to help you firmly understand the competitive landscape. Then, given what you know about your target audience and your competitors, you can identify areas where there are gaps in terms of what the competition offers or how the competition is positioned—gaps that you can fill.

 

Craft Your Dream Brand Image

 

With a foundation focused on meeting target audience needs in ways that position you favorably when compared to competitors, you can then begin to consider the brand image you wish to convey and build toward delivering on that “brand promise” to your audience. Importantly, building a brand is not simply about coming up with a logo or creating advertising materials (although this is part of the process). As noted above, the brand is shaped by all of the experiences that a consumer has with the organization – product, price, place and promotion — all must be aligned to create the desired impression among the target audience.

 

Consistently Manage Touchpoints to Constantly Reinforce Your Brand

 

Once you’ve defined your desired brand, you need to manage all of the various touchpoints you have with your customers over time to maintain consistency and deliver on the brand promise. At some point – perhaps a year or so after launch – you will want to conduct research to determine how you are actually perceived by your market, how those perceptions stack up against your desired brand image, and what the gaps are. Your future efforts will then be designed to close those gaps – and the process continues.

Starting a new business can be challenging from a branding perspective, because nobody knows anything about who you are, what you stand for and what you offer. At the same time, this blank slate can be an advantage if your branding efforts are managed properly.

 

Are you ready to begin building your brand?

 

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About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We are adept at evaluating and analyzing communication efforts and working with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content, through both on- and offline media to achieve desired results. Our background in business journalism, marketing, PR/media relations and online communications makes us well-positioned to serve the needs of 21st-century marketers.

We serve clients who are looking for help creating content for a wide array of channels—from social media posts to full-length manuscripts, and everything in between. We focus primarily on service-related B2B topics and work with a number of independent consultants interested in building their thought leadership through online channels. For ongoing content management, our first step is to fully understand your goals, objectives and competitive landscape.

Then we’ll conduct a thorough analysis and assessment of your digital presence, compared to competitors, and recommend a communication strategy to achieve your goals. But, we also regularly take on individual projects – white papers, blog posts, contributed articles, etc. If you’re interested in learning more, let us know!

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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