There’s so much talk nowadays about having one great marketing/PR strategy. Sometimes all the bits and bobs underpinning a great scheme can seem disjointed to your actual goals. In the most cliche explanation, brand development and growth is a roller coaster ride so expect the ups and downs…
Depending on what stage you’re at, the areas of focus are going to vary significantly to other brands. Not sure what the current stage of life entails? Read on for a personalised ‘focus-checklist’:
Feeling out of touch entering into the unknown? The birth of your brand should be an exciting time! With a blank slate there’s endless opportunities in developing brand identity from the ground up. Use this time wisely – essentially you may not have the resources to begin large-scale marketing campaigns. Think of this period more like ‘speed dating’ yourself, gaining insight into your potential as a competitor within your industry.
1. Outline your identity
What have you got that others don’t? Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Not sure where to begin? Tools such as Creately offer web based tools and template so you may build your own SWOT analysis fuss-free. Don’t let the ‘first year curse’ story undermine your determination. With sensibility, comes success.
2. DIY PR – no money, no worries!
Thanks to social media, gone are the days where the only way you could grab first media attention was forking out big bucks or waiting for some kind of investment to come along your way. A social strategy gives you the opportunity to tailor your brand identity to a larger audience. Design a plan best suited for your brand needs and consider the following:
- What kind of social media accounts will be best fit?
- Visually do you have a specific image you want to create/portray and what does this look like?
- Do you need assistance in building a base following through collaboration or partnerships with influencers etc?
The newly established
It’s time to shine. Brand expansion doesn’t have to be some tiresome process. Becoming established within an industry is a continual process. At this stage there are some key areas you’ll need to cover in securing your best chance at scraping some interest:
1. Content quality & types
We all know by now that quality imagery is an essential tool for being noticed and published online and in print. With a launch in mind, one of your primary goals is media attention and you’ll need to have your content at the ready. Make sure you have professional high res images (minimum 300dpi), social media accounts up and running with streamline artistic flair and a clear-cut brand identity to match.
2. Content release
Outline your launch avenues and have them released all at once. This includes:
- Social media accounts
- A functioning e-commerce website – (that’s user-friendly and multi-device accessible)
- Any media/influencers you’ve managed to grab a hold of
3. Finding and sourcing your customer base
By now you should have a good idea of who you’re pitching to. Although social media is the speedy way of building a large potential customer base, it’s may be wise to consider growing some more authentic audiences – especially for those left of centre or handcrafted brands. This not only allows you to establish and maintain good relationships but provides some great insider sleuthing. For something a little more face to face, there are plenty of design markets such as The Finder’s Keeper’s, where budding brands can showcase their wares and sell their pieces to the wallet-wielding masses. Exposure – tick, authenticity- tick!
The established & growing
As an established brand, you’re sure to know that productivity and adaptability are two key survival strategies in an ever-changing environment. There’s really no secret formula in maintaining your brand integrity. The key here is staying focused on progression through keeping tabs on customers and any potential opportunities for expansion.
1. Maintaining customer relationships
Assess your customer services! Face to face sales is only one part of the equation, particularly if you’re running an online store using Saas type operations. At the very minimum, customers expect user-friendly and safe money systems or they simply won’t purchase from you.
2. Outside the box marketing and PR
Brands are always looking for new and innovative ways of maintaining relevance. There’s really only one way in gauging where you sit on the playing field and it requires looking to consumer cultural trends and matching it against the competition.
- Creative avenues – Particular beneficial for fashion and interiors labels. Think collaboration with artists on new collections. This is a great way of sourcing your partner’s customer base, adding growth and value to your existing.
- Growth Hacks – Social media driven competitions are a great way of gaining instant traction and diverting traffic to your domain. By encouraging anyone to get involved whether it be a for a prize or cause, you may unconsciously convert a person into a customer. Genius!
- Authentic influencer marketing- Influencer marketing is undoubtedly a great way of building upon your customer base, although it’s important you’re entering into a meaningful relationship between your audience and a potential influencer. There’s SO many influencer platforms that will help you choose the right person to align your brand with so make sure you take the time to research thoroughly!
- Flaunt yourself – Flaunter gives you a way to reach media in the most efficient way, with full visibility of your results. It is a beautiful digital library of brand images that media, stylists, bloggers and retailers can browse and download on demand! This means that your PR assets are ALWAYS working for you and you never miss an opportunity to get published, even when you’re busy packing all those online orders 😉
Image credit: Kartell Stacking Chair