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Building a strong, effective and credible brand strategy requires an expert’s approach. That means that in order to build the best brand possible, you not only need to become a branding expert yourself; you also need to ensure that the brands you create are represent expert products and services.
In order to do that, the best place to start is with pros like Marcia Hoeck and Ed Roach, who will present their live design tutorial, How to Position Yourself as a Branding Expert (Even if You’ve Never Done it Before), on June 23 from 1pm-2pm ET.
In this webinar—the second one by Marcia and Ed on branding—these branding veterans will explore the basic concept of positioning your firm, what it really is and why it’s critical to your growth, why you’re reluctant to do it, and why and how to steer that positioning towards the very profitable branding niche. They’ll also cover how to segue gracefully into the role of branding expert, even if you’ve never done the complete kind of high-revenue-producing branding programs Marcia and Ed recommend. Learn what qualifies you as a branding expert and how to position yourself in the market as a top dog.
Attending their first webinar isn’t necessary to learn from this one, but if you’d like to start with the first, you can check out Common Mistakes Designers Make with Branding OnDemand at MyDesignShop.com.
In the meantime, check out these branding tips from well-established brand experts.
photo from Shutterstock
3 Expert Brand Strategy Tips
1. Establish expert brands.
Normally, we think of people as being experts in their field, but brands can be experts too. According to John Parham, President and Director of Branding at Parham Santana, an expert brand is one that consumers look to for trusted knowledge on a specific topic. Brands can be experts on cooking, travel, fitness, health, money, beauty, or just about anything else.
According to Parham, “An expert brand succeeds in just about any product category where consumers value that brand’s special knowledge.”
For example: “Starbucks tapped into its coffee expertise to launch the Starbucks Verismo coffee brewer. The America Red Cross leveraged its knowledge of emergencies to sell first aid kits. And Gold’s Gym drew on its fitness expertise to move into at-home fitness equipment.”
This expertise gives your brand an edge and is a surefire way to launch successful brand extensions. In How to Position Yourself as a Branding Expert, Marcia and Ed will provide tips for using your own expertise to establish expert brands for your clients.
2. Make every piece of your client’s brand sing together.
Brand copywriter and freelancer Michelle Taute advises designers to harmonize every aspect of a client’s brand.
In her HOW Magazine article “Brands in Perfect Harmony,” Taute writes: “Life would be a lot easier if all the brands you worked on only lived in one place. But even small brands often resemble groups of wandering nomads—with websites, social media accounts, print materials and more. All of these different elements can easily take on their own personalities, but as a designer, it’s your job to make sure there’s a unified effort across the entire brand.”
Implementing a brand strategy like this is easier said than done, of course, but brands such as Sesame Street, Guitar Hero and Coca-Cola have manages to create a harmonious look and feel by creating comprehensive brand style guides, unifying their web platforms, and working in small teams toward one end goal.
3. Strengthen your own brand.
In order to establish your firm—or yourself—as a brand strategy expert, your own brand needs to be a titan in its field. How do you strengthen your own brand?
Ignition Consulting Group principal Tim Williams advises designers and firms to begin by deciding what they’re not.
“Many creative-agency professionals… [are] so eager to convince clients they’re ‘full-service’ that they try to stand for everything. But standing for everything is the same as standing for nothing,” Williams wrote in an article for HOW Magazine. “The goal of defining a strong agency brand isn’t to appeal to a larger number of clients, but fewer.”
After that, discovering the true purpose and goals of your brand is key. Ask yourself these questions:
- What kind of clients have you been most successful in attracting?
- In what areas do you have superior knowledge or expertise?
- What target audiences have you come to know and understand?
- What methods, approaches or philosophies is the firm known for?
Strengthening your own brand will help you establish yourself and your firm as a branding expert. Explore more ways to do this with Marcia and Ed in How to Position Yourself as a Branding Expert on June 23.