Establish your brand & identify your niche market
So once you have established your product or service range you will need to establish your niche market for that product or service range.
Finding your niche in the market means researching the part of the market that interests you and your potential customers. Understanding what is your advantage over other businesses in your sector, in other words, why should customers choose you? Develop your brand and brand values. Branding – Top Ten Tips. Here are some ideas to help you develop a strong brand for your products or services. To stand out from the crowd and develop a loyal following of customers:
- Be thorough – From the very start. Before entertaining any design work, look inside yourself and your organisation; find out (if you don’t already know) what makes you special. You’ve got to find your ‘own special label’ Mission, values, beliefs and purpose . . .
- Be Yourself – Whatever you do – Though, don’t tell the world you’re one thing when – in fact – you’re something else. Make sure whatever you decide your positioning and brand characteristics are that they can be lived and breathed throughout your organisation.
- Be creative – Once you’ve found out what makes you tick (your collective character, values and market positioning) stick to it and make sure everything you do reflects it. Create a solid foundation on which to build the tangible assets of your brand and make it different so you stand out.
- Believe – Immerse yourself in your new vision and find key people internally to do the same. It may happen naturally and you may be lucky enough to have a team of people who are passionate about your business and want to help drive you forward, but more than likely you will have to ‘sell’ them your brand vision first. Think of creative ways to do that – a video that tells the story of your new brand and aspirations can be an inspiring and powerful tool.
- Be consistent – Make sure it’s all joined up – visually, verbally, online and offline. Everything from the basics like a logo, typography and colour palettes to the way people answer the phone or by creating a good smell in your reception area. All these things go into making your brand – the complete experience people get when they interact with you and your company.
- Be flexible – Once you’ve got everything set in stone, don’t set it in stone! Be brave and let your brand evolve and be versatile. Those that stand the test of time are the ones that seamlessly evolve and adapt to environments, technology and market challenges. Being creative along the way, whilst always staying true to your solid foundation is key.
- Be Seen – Sounds obvious but work out where your customers are and go there too; whether it’s via online, in print or in person. Being visible allows you to take ownership of space in peoples’ minds and gives you the opportunity to communicate all your messages and show off your new brand visual.
- Be Inventive – In the way you target your customers and in the places you want them to see you. Don’t be afraid of new media but equally don’t discard more traditional means of communication. Keep up to date with communication trends and adapt your approach accordingly.
- Be social – But not for the sake of it. Figure out what you want to say and who you want to say it to
and work out what part social media can play in that. Done correctly social media can be a tremendous conduit for your company and your brand establishing you as the master of your niche market, and getting customer “buy-in” and support as you go. Think of it as being a dinner party you’d been invited to – you wouldn’t just speak constantly about yourself to everyone as people would get bored, stop listening and you wouldn’t get round to making dessert!
- Be Knowledgeable – You obviously know your stuff, so let people know you know. They’re far more likely to engage with you if they see you as someone who has opinions and ideas and is open and willing to share. So, get yourself a blog and let people know what you’re doing, how you think and use it to make an informed comment on relevant industry stories.
This is just the starting point…other considerations are:
- Know yourself
- Know your audience
- Know your competition
- Build a brand experience
- Implementation is key
Remember to gather as much feedback as possible before proceeding. Be open and prepared to be flexible. Remember, focus on your target customers – ALWAYS – and you will never be far from the answers.