Every brand has a beginning and often times those beginnings mean a lack of funding. Sometimes, despite providing a quality product or service, a brand just isn’t doing as well as it could be, but can’t afford to hire some to develop the brand. Fortunately, there are things companies can do at minimal cost to develop and improve brand strategy.
Sitting down and thinking about how you can develop your brand strategy is overwhelming and stressful. A lot is at stake when it comes to a company’s brand and there’s plenty of room to not get it right. What’s worse is thinking you’ll need a lot of money to make a brand successful. Fortunately, that’s not the case and there are ways of getting around the problem of money and improve your brand strategy at a minimal monetary cost.
6 Ways to Improve Brand Strategy on a Budget
1. Work on your brand voice
One of the first things you can do to improve brand strategy is to work on your brand voice. Your brand voice is the attitude and value your brand gives when addressing its audience. Brand voice is your brand’s personality and if people can’t seem to hear it or simply don’t like it, you’ve got to make changes.
In order to do anything about your brand’s voice, you first need to define your audience and what that audience thinks. Use brand awareness metrics to do just that. Get to know and understand your audience better by using focus groups and conducting surveys, or better yet, talk to different departments and team members within your company who speak directly with your audience.
Think customer support or business development as they will have the greatest insights into what your audience needs and wants. After you’ve gathered valuable information on your audience, sit down and define what your brand’s unique selling point (USP) is. Once you clearly know what your USP is it’ll be easier to create a voice and establish a personality that represents your brand.
2. Get to know your competitors
To improve brand strategy involves knowing how it compares to your competitors. Competitor data from brand monitoring is extremely relevant in developing your brand strategy by guiding you to make better decisions. See what your competitors have done right or wrong and learn from their trial and errors. Have the upper hand by making the right decisions first.
Gathering information about your competitors is certainly made easier with the help of tools, but it can definitely be done at a minimal cost. Conduct your own research and choose brands similar to yours. See what they’re doing or not doing, how people react to them online, what their prices are, the type of resources they have access to, rewards they may offer to their audience or even the security measures they take. Consider which of these different actions you could easily integrate into your brand and look towards in the future.
3. Update and optimize your website
If there’s one thing that could kill a brand or at least severely diminish its popularity is a bad website. And a bad website means unfriendly user experience, poorly written content, outdated information, an unattractive design, plus more. Your website serves a lot of different purposes. It’s your brand’s online business card, a platform for you to communicate with your audience, and the place where your products or services are actually offered.
This is the one place that needs to be up to date and really reflect your brand. It’s also the place where you can do a lot of the work yourself. Perform your own audit to make sure the website is coherent, has consistent branding, and provides meaningful content. Your website should tell a story, start to finish, about what your brand is to why your audience should choose it and hopefully result in a transaction.
4. Make changes and embrace them
The last three points lead up to one big point of change that helps improve brand strategy. It’s easy enough to go through and decide on what adjustments could be made. The hard part is actually implementing them. Old habits die hard, but sometimes it’s better to be out with the old and in with the new. Do not be afraid of making adjustments or even performing an overhaul if needed. If something isn’t working, then switch it up.
Think of major companies who were able to bounce back because of the significant changes they made. McDonald’s began offering a more diverse menu after facing criticism about its lack of diversity in options. Taco Bell rebranded and updated the logo only to go from typical fast-food to one of the healthiest fast-food options out there. Mastercard refreshed its logo to match the quickly evolving world of online financing. Change is good and even the brands you think are the most successful are doing it.
5. Keep at pace with your brand’s industry
You always want to be up to date and keep on top of your brand’s industry. That doesn’t mean just checking in once in a while and making sure your brand is still relevant though. It’s important to keep at pace with the industry.
The world is forever changing and you definitely don’t want to get stuck with old fashioned ways of doing things. There are a ton of resources out there available for you to learn from. Check out Latana, Hubspot, or Neil Patel to know what the latest developments and trends are and how to incorporate them.
6. Be consistent
If you’re going to create a brand and want to develop it, your brand needs to be consistent. Consistency is key to developing a relationship with your audience. It provides a level of trust and transparency audiences need when it comes down to picking one brand over another. That said, building that relationship takes time.
The likelihood of your brand seeing results instantly are slim to none so be patient and don’t give up. You need to establish your brand’s presence and keep its voice and appearance consistent across all channels. While waiting, use the opportunity to establish a method of measuring brand awareness. Let your audience have the chance to get to know your brand and track their engagement.
Don’t Stress Over a Limited Budget
Don’t stress over a limited budget. With hard work and patience, developing and improving your brand strategy can be done without the use of expensive tools. There are lots of resources out there full of tips and suggestions on how your brand could do better. Start implementing those six ways to improve your brand strategy to get started.