Fusion Creative Director
Originally Published in the Valdosta Chamber’s Progress Magazine
Advances in technology and communications over the last 20 years have changed how consumers interact with companies and their brands. For many businesses, globalization, improved industrial productivity, and international investment have allowed local customers to shop worldwide for goods and services, increasing competition and shrinking market share. Consumers now make over half of their purchases online. While this business environment can be viewed as challenging, the upside is that even small to medium sized businesses can have a global customer base.
To get your product or service to stand out and be noticed in a highly competitive market, it is essential to have a strong marketing plan. This includes a clear brand identity and a clear strategic path to accomplish your goals.
Prior to creating a memorable brand for your business, there are some strategic considerations.
Know your target market and how to best communicate your brand to them. You have to be able to perceive your customers’ needs. A need can be viewed as a problem to be solved, and your task is to position your company to be the best solution for your customers’ problems.
Defining your competitive advantage is essential to creating an effective marketing plan. As a part of this process, you also have to clarify your brand personality, which is best defined as a set of desirable human qualities that are associated with your company. Subaru has done a great job with this by associating their brand with “love.” The underlying thought is “You buy a safe car for someone you love and with whom you share a spirit of adventure.” Subaru has created a strong brand platform that communicates through messaging and imagery who they are. This allows customers to understand how Subaru’s products can improve their lives and this creates brand loyalty and sells cars.
There are multiple steps involved in coming up with the right strategy to promote your business. And it’s essential to go through the process prior to creating your visual identity and messaging, such as your logo, tagline, ads, website, and other marketing materials. Otherwise, you may find yourself without a consistent, genuine, meaningful brand.
To look for success in this business environment without a strong brand is stacking the deck against you. Prioritize quality and be authentic. Customers will buy from you because they trust you, and they will trust you if you understand who they are and what drives their purchasing decisions.
This global business environment is an opportunity, but you must not squander it due to poor planning.