This month, we’ll discuss how to create brand awareness and generate interest for online courses, programs, and even certifications. We’ll cover brand analysis, positioning, and messaging to strengthen your online brand and grow your business.
What is Brand Analysis?
If you’re reading this, I assume you’re already somewhat familiar with branding, marketing, and the role of the brand in generating interest and sales. If you’re new to the field, welcome! This session will refresh your memory on the fundamental concepts related to branding and help you better understand how to bring those concepts to bear in your everyday work life. You’ll learn how to conduct a brand analysis and how to use the information you gather to develop a strategic plan for branding and marketing your online course or business.
Why Conduct A Brand Analysis?
There are several good reasons why you might want to conduct a brand analysis. Perhaps you’re looking for inspiration on how to improve your marketing and branding efforts for an existing product or service, or you’re seeking to better understand the competition and decide which direction to take your product or service. Regardless of the reason, it’s essential to understand the nuances of your brand so you can improve your marketing and branding efforts and drive growth. To that end, let’s get started.
How To Conduct A Correctly
If you’re looking to conduct a brand analysis, here are some important things you should know and remember.
- Make sure you have a clear picture in mind of what your brand stands for
- Make sure you’re aware of any inconsistencies in your branding
- Make sure you’re using the same terminology throughout your analysis
- Make sure you’re aware of any relevant facts and figures about your brand’s history
- Make sure you’re not swayed by trendy language or slang
- Present objective and reliable information during your analysis
- Avoid using any slang or jargon
- Make sure you’re aware of any cultural differences in your target audience
- When reviewing social media posts, look for trends and note any noteworthy differences from past behavior
- Conduct a competitive analysis of the products or services you’re comparing your brand to
- Consult with legal counsel if you’re unsure about any of the rules and regulations pertaining to your industry
- The most effective way to find the “right” brand identity is through research
The Difference In Thinking When You’re In The Biz Vs. In The Market
When you’re in the business of selling a product or providing a service, you’re in the marketplace. When you’re in the marketplace, you’re competing for buyers and listeners with other brands and products. This is commonly referred to as “the competition.” When you’re in the marketplace, you must meet the customer’s expectations. This is commonly stated as “delivering value.” The key difference between business and marketing is that when you’re in the business of selling a product or providing a service, you’re in the marketplace. When you’re in the marketplace, you compete for buyers and listeners with other brands and products. When you’re in the marketplace, your goal is to provide value and make a profit. In the marketing world, your goal is to increase brand recognition, increase store sales, and make as much profit as possible. Sometimes this can mean marketing to those who are not yet a part of your target audience (yet your product may still appeal to them) in order to expand your reach. All three of these apply whether you’re marketing a physical product, a service, or a brand.
Your Product Or Service?
In the previous section, we discussed conducting a brand analysis. In this section, we’ll dive into the nuts and bolts of your product or service, describing what it is and how it works. For the purposes of our discussion, let’s assume you’re developing an online course or certificate program. This is your product, your service, or your brand. You’ll use the information you gather and the principles you learn to create a cohesive identity for your product, program, or brand.
Analogies and comparisons can be helpful here, so let’s use the example of Uber vs. Lyft. If you want to become a driver for Uber (or Lyft), you’ll need to pass a background check and a vehicle inspection. After that, you can begin working your legs off driving for those companies (hence the slogan “work hard, play hard”). Pretty standard stuff, right?
Now, let’s say you’re looking to enter the marketplace with your own company, Freshyarn. You want to offer a fresh, quality product at a more affordable price. To do this, you need to create a compelling offer that is compelling to your target audience. The question is, what exactly is your offer? What does it include? Your product? Your program? Your branding? What?
To be clear, it’s not enough to simply describe your product or service. You must also explain how it fits into your target audience’s needs and what benefits it provides. Remember, your goal is to win over potential customers with your offer. To do this, you’ll need to create a clear value proposition (the unique benefit your product or service provides) that is both succinct and compelling. Let’s see how this works in practice.
A value proposition is a clear, concise statement of the benefits a product or service provides for the customer. It should include both explicit and hidden aspects. Explicit aspects are observable, while hidden aspects are inferred from the observable. It’s important to note that a value proposition should be both comprehensive and unique. When a potential customer hears your value proposition, they should immediately understand what you offer and how it fits into their unique situation. This is difficult to do, especially if you’re trying to describe a complex idea in a few short sentences. To succeed, you’ll need to develop a clear picture in your head of how each part of your value proposition relates to the other parts.
The best practices for writing a value proposition include using active, vivid language and presenting both explicit and hidden aspects. While it’s important to learn how to write a value proposition, it’s also important to learn how to read a value proposition.
Active, Vivid Language
If you’re a stickler for grammar, you might want to take a step back. There are several good reasons why you might want to avoid using perfect, grammatically correct language in your value proposition. First, it’ll probably sound too much like a marketing monotone. Second, if you’re not familiar with the term, you might not know how to properly use it. Third, there are certain words and phrases that are too trendy, trendy language that is. In the previous section, we discussed conducting a brand analysis, which is important because it provides the foundation for developing a marketing and branding strategy. In your brand analysis, you’ll learn how to properly use certain words and phrases that are relevant to your industry and ensure your brand’s identity does not become diluted by overuse. When developing a strategy, you must maintain control over your brand’s image. This is especially important if your product or service is relatively unknown within your target audience. Using these words and phrases correctly will help ensure your brand does not become diluted by overuse.
Hiding Behind The Product
Often, when we’re describing a product or service, we’ll mention the features or the benefits the product or service provides without actually describing what the product or service is. When this happens, we are doing it wrong. A value proposition is the best guide to help you make this description consistent and clear.
If you want to write a value proposition, it helps to have a clear picture in mind of what your product or service is. Once you know what your product or service is, you can develop a value proposition that includes both its features and how it works. To write a value proposition, you must look at your product or service from the customer’s perspective and determine what they need in that situation. Let’s look at an example of how this works. If you’re a car shopper and you’re shopping for a new car, you’ll need to understand what the manufacturer’s offerings are in relation to your needs. You might look at features such as fuel economy, speed, and price. Then, you can decide what you need in terms of safety and reliability. From there, you can create a value proposition that includes everything you need and nothing you don’t.