A brand is your reputation, and as the old saying goes: a reputation takes a lifetime to create, and a minute to destroy. It is for this reason that due care and diligence must be taken with every single project that a developer undertakes. Every new development you undertake has the power to reinforce your name and pave the way to steady work for the rest of your working life, or it has the power to stunt your aspirations before they’ve even started.
In light of this, many developers have not fully realized the potential of their brand, and as a result, struggle with leveraging their brand for their benefit. In this article, we will outline the most basic approaches to branding, and cover some examples of how it affects a business. If you already feel comfortable with these concepts, feel free to skip ahead to the following posts.
This is the first installment in our continuing series on brand enhancement. In this series, we will touch on the basics of branding, why it is so important to a developer, and how a developer can use several strategies to increase long-term business through their perceived image. If you’ve found this article of use, you may find the rest of the rest of the series of use as well.
For the rest of the series, follow the links below:
In the simplest form, your brand is your reputation. A brand’s effect can be positive, negative, or neutral, and the degree of these effects is based on the brand’s strength.
A brand’s strength is a function of its relevance and visibility to a target audience, or to a combination of different target markets. With this information in mind, a development organization’s goal should be to have brand that communicates a positive image to their target audience.
So far, simple enough
Once a target audience has been identified, a plan can be set in motion to enhance a development organization’s brand in relation to that audience. However, developer’s may have more brand audiences than they initially realize.
Developing a brand strategy without being conscious of one or several audiences is not nearly as effective as an all-encompassing strategy. It is for this reason that identifying the relevant brand audiences ought to be a developer’s first move when devising a brand enhancement strategy. Relevant audiences include:
- The primary and secondary customers of the development products
- The operators and managers of the development products
- Lenders and investors
- The surrounding neighborhood of a product
- The municipality
- The public at large
Once a development organization understands how they affect and are affected by each of their audiences, then the development of a relevant implied brand can begin.
Brand communication is most commonly associated with marketing and public relations, but there is another communications channel that is often overlooked: the design and construction of a development product and its surrounding environment.
In order to better communicate a development organisation’s brand, a developer ought to consciously consider the brand during the decisions made in the design and construction stages of a development project.
The fundamental questions
Imbedded in a strong positive brand is a relevant implied brand promise to one or more target brand audiences. In order to raise visibility and drive better project opportunities, a development organization must first strengthen their brand and nurture their brand promise to their intended audiences.
So, who are your target brand audiences? What attributes about your brand is relevant to each of these audiences? What do your development products and their environment communicate about you to each of these audiences? Is there a delta between your current brand perceptions and your desired brand perceptions?
Please join us in our next post when we discuss the benefits of having clear answers to these questions.