So, this is the part you’ve been waiting for and working toward: Brand Implementation. The point of action. Where you get to take that brand strategy you’ve put on paper and make it a reality! But now what? How do you implement it?
Though many business owners want to rush into this part, there’s a reason why we made you go through the stages of Brand Discovery and Brand Strategy before getting to the “action step”. It’s the difference between driving to a destination with GPS, versus forging ahead, with no map and no direction. You may get there by fluke. But it will cost you more time, more money and more hassle than thinking ahead and planning your path.
That’s why brand implementation is one of the final planks in your Branding Bridge. But we’re finally here, so start your engines…
A Pre-Trip Checklist
Before your implementation, you’ve got to make sure you have everything you need to ensure a successful journey.
- Do you have your destination figured out? Those are your Brand Goals/Objectives.
- Do you have your roadmap or GPS? That’s your Brand Strategy, your “map” to get there.
- Do you have a fully functional vehicle that can get you from A to B? That’s your Brand Foundation Materials, such as a website, business cards, social media, signage, anything people will look for once your brand gains some customer awareness, interest, and recognition.
That last one is particularly important. The end goal isn’t just capturing your consumers’ interest. You have to keep it. And every brand material or communication you present will affect the “customer experience”, good or bad.
If all your materials are cohesive and follow a unified strategy and theme, then your brand will appear professional, trustworthy, and likeable. If you present a mish mash of unrelated content, clashing styles and conflicting messages, then you will undoubtedly turn some customers off and your brand will appear less than professional.
Next, Plan Your “Pit Stops“
Just like every great journey needs an end destination, you also need to pencil in some important pit stops along the way. These “pit stops” are what we like to call consumer touchpoints.
Touchpoints are any point in the Customer Value Journey where your brand reaches out to a customer, or they reach out to you. It could be when a customer emails you for information, or when you put out a radio ad to reach your ideal sales leads.
And every great journey must have planned touchpoints in order to be effective and to keep your campaign on track.
Touchpoints could include:
- Digital Advertising
- Content Marketing
- Events or Tradeshows
- Online Speaking Engagements
- Social Media Marketing Campaigns
Then, you need to plot out where these touchpoints will be in your overall journey. What would be the best place to “nudge” a prospective customer or provide them with an incentive to learn more about your brand?
By planning out these “touchpoint pit stops”, you’ll provide yourself with vital benchmarks, or a timeline, that can keep you on track with your goals and also serve as a step-by-step guide for whoever will be taking care of your brand implementation, whether that’s you, the business owner, or a marketing manager or staff.
Commit to a Comms Plan
Start by outlining your communications plan – this will force you to think about how you will communicate with your current and prospective customers and the best places to put a touchpoint.
A solid communication plan looks a little like this:
You launch your new website. Customer A sees it and wants to contact you for more info, how will they reach you?
Will it be by social media, email, phone, or in-store?
Will you use different options for easier access, such as online chat tools?
Plot Your Consumer Touchpoints
Look at that small first step in the “customer journey”. After they contact you, at which point could you add a touchpoint? How can you nudge this prospective customer into purchasing?
In this case, once they contact you, you can request their email, so that you can send them targeted messages with a special product offer that may interest them. Or send a follow up email asking them if they’d like to sign up for your free online newsletter – which can be a way of subtly nudging them toward a purchase or product.
What incentives will you give them and what branded materials should you use to attract sales leads?
Plot those out and then determine when might be a good time to deploy them.
Next Steps – Start Driving Toward Your Goals!
When you’ve plotted out where your consumer touchpoints would be most effective and what materials to present, actually create a timeline for these marketing activities.
We suggest creating a monthly content calendar, and/or a 1-year activity plan where you go month by month and figure out what marketing campaigns you’d like to try, how you’ll measure success or engagement, and when you’ll switch to another tactic if it doesn’t work as you’d hoped.
Sometimes it takes a while to get the “feel” of what your customers like and how they prefer to communicate. And sometimes you can plan a great campaign, but the timing just isn’t right (think of COVID-19 and how businesses had to quickly pivot their strategies in order to survive).
Just remember to follow the same steps we’ve outlined above, for any new brand implementation campaign.
#1. Determine where your prospective customers are and the best ways to reach them
#2. Create a communications plan that follows your brand strategy & plan out appropriate touchpoints
#3. Create a timeline, benchmarks and stick to them
Remember, there is no one way to reach your branding goals. If one campaign doesn’t work. Try, try again… It sometimes takes a few stumbles before you settle in for the win.
Want our help “planking it out”? We can help you design an effective brand strategy and communications plan. Get started with a consultation.
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