Branding Basics – Marketing Plan
If your business is going to survive and thrive, you will need to put together a marketing plan. Marketing plans can be complicated, without a doubt, but for the purposes of this article we’ll try to keep things pretty simple. A basic marketing plan will include:
- strategic focus: what you intend to sell and the appetite for that product or service
- target profile: who you are intending to target as potential customers
- target market: who is the target market and how you intend to sell it.
You will also need to include information on key competitors in your market.
There are lots of great books and other resources that can take you into detail on how to build an effective marketing plan. Suffice it to say, there will be a lot of data collection and analysis poured into a robust marketing plan. Once you have a plan, don’t forget to sync it with your brand concept.
Every one of your marketing efforts must be infused with your brand. For example business cards. How should they look? What quality of print stock? What about the design? Employing a cheap stock image, can be initially very cost effective, however, if you have a template design without your own logo you will not build much of a brand, as a number of other people/organizations will have the same logo.
Effective branding will speak to your target market in a language the ideal client will understand and to which they should respond. If you’re planning to attend events, what kind of trade show display materials and promotional items will you need to attract interest? Will you do media advertising? If so, what kind? Will you have company vehicles that would benefit from a vehicle wrap? Will you need a storefront with a custom sign or will you go to your clients’ homes? Where will you find clients? What about clothing? A quality shirt with your logo, is also a simple effective marketing tool. For some key pointers on logo design, check out our article – The importance of Logos.
The key to good branding is the development of an identity for your business that is greater than the products or services you sell – be it an experience, a social status, a civic or philanthropic appeal or something else – and then wrapping all of your activities related to growing your business and serving your clients in that brand blanket.
A business needs a logo, brand and brand concepts, tied to a clear strategic marketing plan. The time spent up front on a marketing plan can make a dramatic difference in the success of your business venture.
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