5-point brand devpt strategy for the entrepreneur universe
Guest Column: Himani Ahuja, Communications Specialist & Founder at One Digital, says the strength of a brand is identified via reputation multiplied by visibility & how relevant it is to the audience
To be or not to be; is no longer a question anyone asks in the year 2020. This Shakespearean soliloquy holds little utility in current times as everyone wants to make a mark and leave a legacy behind. Mankind works day in and day out, with the ambition to be known & recognized by the whole world. With billions of businesses trying to carve a niche for themselves, having a strong brand has become crucial for businesses to differentiate themselves from their competition. The idea of a brand has evolved to encompass much more than just a name or symbol. Especially for architects and designers running their own firms, it is imperative to invest their time in brand building activities. Not only will it alleviate their presence in the market, but also put them on the map forever. Whether you’re developing your first brand or creating brand strategy for a client or your own business at large, it’s vital to understand what a brand is & what it takes to create one. Your brand identity is perhaps your firm’s most valuable asset. Hence, developing a stronger brand should be on the top of your priority list.
For an architect and designer, the motive is to encourage maximum people to engage with their firm. It’s a way to communicate with the world whilst differentiating yourself from potential competition. The strength of your brand is typically identified via reputation multiplied by visibility and how relevant it is to your target audience. The services your firm offers leaves an everlasting impression on your customers long after you’ve fulfilled it. Building a brand’s identity doesn’t only involve a logo & colour palette, it requires curating a comprehensive visual language that can be applied to even your website. Firms that establish a face & maintain it consistently over time, develop credibility among their competitors & trust among clients.
5-Step Brand Development Strategy:
Consider your overall business strategy
A strong, well transformed brand will aid in expanding your firm much easily. The overall business strategy of your firm should embody the core of what your practice stands for and its values, so that serves as a starting point. In addition to that, it’s necessary to consider value propositions, identifying competition, mission & personality of your firm. Architects should be aware of all the know-hows of their business in order to create a brand out of their firm. Along with designing structures, architects need to cover all areas that consolidate a firm for instance, human resources, business development and so on.
Identify your target clients
Architects cater to a plethora of genres, for instance residential, commercial or retail projects. The narrower the focus, faster is the growth. Identify the target clients & prepare a full fledged research based on their likes & dislikes. It helps in understanding the target client’s perspective & priorities and this way you will be able to anticipate their needs. After due diligence, you will be able to put forward your ideas in a language that resonates with them. Doing this dramatically reduces the marketing risk associated with brand development of your firm.
Develop your name, logo and tagline
Once you know your firm’s business inside out, the next step is to bring the brand to life. In the words of famous graphic designer Paul Rand, ‘Design is the silent ambassador of your brand’. Each element has its own specific importance, but it starts with your logo. Every visual element should bestow a cohesive visible language that complements each other. Your firm’s name, logo & tagline are a way to communicate or symbolize your brand. The goal is to design an intuitive logo and layout that makes an everlasting impression on the clients.
Develop your website
A website is beneficial to promote skills & services, also serving as the place where most clients will form their first opinion about your firm. If you still haven’t focused on this area, now is the perfect time to do so. Architects strive to make sure their brand gains as much visibility as it is the place where all the prospective clients turn to figure out the services your firm provides.
Further, the website will be home to your valuable content. That content will become the focal point of your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts so that your clients & referral sources will find you and learn about your firm.
Advertising & Social Media
Designing ads, whether traditional or digital, is the most efficient way of introducing your firm’s services to the world. It's a way to get the message of your brand noticed and understood by your target audience. Another great way to establish a connection with your consumers is through social media. The plethora of platforms on the internet offers up a ton of digital content you can use to consolidate your brand identity. By regularly posting about your work & completed projects, you can build a strong following of your firm.
The final step though, in the brand development process may be the toughest one. A successful brand development strategy doesn’t do much good if it is never implemented. I recommend tracking the entire process and compiling them. It’s essential to figure out entities like search traffic, web visitors, number of leads, partnering opportunities et al. Only by keeping a track on the entire process can you see the desired results and motivate yourself to do better by making the right adjustments.
Disclaimer: The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not in any way represent the views of exchange4media.com.
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