You have an idea for a fantastic new company. You’ve researched it well, done a competitive analysis and are convinced that it will be successful. Now all you need to do is construct a business plan to pitch to your investors. Right? Wrong! Gone are the days where all you need is a business plan. Today the climate is much different and branding has become a key element in corporate success. So, how do you develop a marketing or brand plan, and how does it relate to your business plan? Is one more important than the other? I mean, you need both now…right? The answer is yes, you do need both and we’re going to take a look at how each serves its purpose and how they interact.
Why is Your Brand Important?
Your brand is important because these days everyone Googles you before they purchase your goods, hire you, or visit your establishment. Your brand is basically your reputation. Any on- or off-line engagement involves your brand. Because your brand is your professional introduction you need to make sure that you have a plan in place to keep your message clean, concise, consistent and above all constant. Out is advertising for the sake of gathering higher numbers in your audience. The internet and social media have taken over and it isn’t just bout numbers any more. It’s about engagement and how your brand reaches your market on a personal and emotional level.
What is Included in a Brand Plan?
When developing your business plan you need to incorporate a brand plan (also referred to as a brand strategy). They are separate entities, but intertwined. Your brand plan/strategy should include, but not be limited to:
- Your vision – ideas about what your brand represents
- A consistent message – how/where you will communicate with your chosen target audience
- Goals – what it is you want to achieve
- Tactics – the measures will you take to achieve your brand goals
Your Brand Plan is Actually Part of Your Business Plan
Once you’ve created your brand plan, it becomes a part of your overall business plan. Now you can get started with the nuts and bolts of your new venture. Your business plan should include, but again not be limited to:
- Company profile – the overall snapshot of your business
- Market analysis – your industry and your competitors
- Service or product – what your company is based on
- Brand plan – ideals for your company
- Marketing plan – tactics for reaching your target audience
- Financials – forecast
As you can see, your brand plan and business plan serve two different purposes but are equally important as they support one another. Being interwoven, it can sometimes be confusing in defining each. Should you find that you need help creating a brand plan, a business plan or both, Marketing Relevance can help. Contact us for support. We can coach you through the development or create the plans with you. Call 847-259-7312 or visit our website.