Let’s break down some marketing jargon for you, because there are plenty of terms out there that are thrown around and it is assumed that there is an understanding of them. The following 8 terms are important parts of building your brand. We attempted to give you a summary of each concept, but feel free to reach out if you have any questions about something on the list and want to dive deeper.
Haven't heard of some of them yet? That might mean you've gotten ahead of yourself and a little back peddling might be necessary to ensure long term success for your business.
1) SWOT analysis - strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This is a basic business term you would have heard if you went to business school, but it's one of the first steps in making any major business decisions. This is about being honest with yourself- no pride here. Truthfully write down your strengths as a business. And then your strengths as a business owner. Now the same for weaknesses.
For opportunities- think about the market you are entering. Are there holes in the market that you can fill with your business? Are there mistakes you've seen that you can avoid and a product or service that you can do better than what's out there- whether it's quality, functionality, design, etc.?
Lastly, you need to think about your threats. Who is already taking up a large share of the market you're trying to enter? Think about your overall barriers to enter the market as a whole- what will slow you down, what might prevent you from entering. And once you're in, back to the threats- why might you fail? Your SWOT is essential to creating your brand and your brand strategy. You cannot expect to create or grow a business without doing the necessary research.
2) Competitive analysis- this is where you truly do a deep dive into your direct competition. It's best to make a spreadsheet to really analyze each attribute. Make the headers of your spreadsheet the following:
Website active (write comments on functionality and design)
Instagram account active and how often are posts
Average instagram engagement (look at the last 15-20 reels and last 15-20 photo posts and see how many likes they get compared to how many followers. Also look at how many comments compared to How many likes. Record these numbers)
Instagram shopping (if applicable) - do they have it and if so, how is the set up.
Facebook - do they have an active business page
Pinterest- are they utilizing this and in what way
TikTok - are they utilizing this and note engagement like you did for instagram
Blog- do they blog and how often
Now that you've recorded their social media info, make some observations about their product offering and their branding.
Do they have a cohesive brand across all platforms?
How are their products different and similar to yours.
Now look up some "best of" lists through blogs and online magazines.
Do any of the businesses you believed to be your competition make these lists?
Are there others from these lists that you can now research.
Refine your competition list and see who truly are your direct competition.
3) Target market- who is your customer that you are trying to reach. Where do they live? How do they consume media? Where do they learn about new things? What are trends and keywords that appeal to them? What do they prioritize when they buy something? What are their pain points? Who do they trust? Where do they shop? Does sexual orientation, age, or geographical location come into play? Write all this down!
4) Brand story - this is your voice and what you want to share with the world. Who are you as a business owner? What is your message to communicate with your audience and how can you incorporate that message across all of your platforms. Remember- the way you write your captions and what is in your caption is a part of your brand story.
5) Mood board- this is also referred to as inspiration board and is used by designers, businesses, or even people planning out their life goals! It's a common tool utilized by many who have a similar objective of writing what inspires them and what they're wanting to achieve. In terms of branding, a mood board is often a first step to create what will ultimately be your brand image- fonts, colors, style of art, style of photo/video, inspiration towards creating your logo, and maybe even help in selecting the name of your business. Have fun with these. Pinterest is a great way to make a version of a mood board and each board can be a different one. Create different styles so you can compare and even ask trusted friends or family members. Put time in to researching this and have these ready to present to any design or market team you decide to work with- or even just to help you if you choose to do the creative yourself.
6) Brand guide - this will be a saving grace to make sure to keep all your marketing materials on brand and professional looking. You can build and store this right in Canva but you can also create a collage or sorts that functions as a brand guide and includes other elements you single out while creating your mood board. Your brand guide will contain the final selection of your brand colors, your title font, your body font, and your logo. If you want to elaborate on this and make a more detailed brand guide on a document, you can also include art styles you will utilize, photo editing style that will guide you, shapes or other graphic elements you will integrate, and key words you want to focus on in your branding. This is essentially part two of creating your brand design, with part one being the mood board.
7) CTA- hopefully you have seen this acronym a lot. Your Call to Action is what you're asking of your viewers. You need to be direct with your ask so that it's clear what you want. "Click here" "Shop here" "Contact us for rates." There is nothing fancy here, it's just a way to get your viewers to do a specific action.
8) Brand strategy- let's start off with saying, every brand strategy will be slightly different. Sure similar businesses in similar markets with similar target markets might have a similar strategy..... but it's hard to know quite what someone else's strategy is, so it's best to observe what you can and create your own.
So what is a brand strategy?
It's essentially your plan. It's figuring out, based on who your target market is, how you will get your product to them. It's figuring out, based on who your competitors are, how you can compete with them. It's utilizing and integrating elements of your brand guide across all that you put out to the world. It's about creating a voice and sticking to that voice through all that you present- website, social media outlets, the events you attend and how you present yourself, etc.
This is a little crash course on marketing for you but I realize there is a lot to process!
Feeling overwhelmed by these business concepts and want to have us coach you through the process? Inquire today about our remote brand one on one coaching or downloadable brand course- a new offering coming in 2024!
Your consult session is free with no commitment to proceed unless interested!