Did you know consistent branding increases revenue by up to 23 percent? Now that you do, are you terrified that yours is woefully inadequate?
You’re not the first and won’t be the last to worry you’re not leveraging brand awareness to the fullest. Even the biggest companies are constantly tracking and refining their business branding.
But knowing how to build a brand that resonates isn’t limited to the likes of Apple and Sephora. Companies of all sizes can use these branding tips to build a brand that brings home the bacon.
Be Unique — Authentically
Business branding is about standing out from the crowd. To do that, you have to identify what makes your product or service unique. It can be a feature of the product or service itself. But it can also be something like customer service, value or a social benefit (e.g., eco-friendliness).
Why should people buy from you instead of your competitor? If you can’t answer that question, people will go to someone who can.
But don’t start saying things because you think that’s what people want to hear.
According to a 2014 branding study by Cohen & Wolfe, there are three things that top consumers’ lists of what they want in a brand:
- Honest communication about products and services
- Not letting customers down
- Acting with integrity
It’s hard to do any of those things if you’re trying to be something you’re not. Create a brand you can live up to.
The great brands are instantly recognizable without saying or writing a word. You know what golden arches mean from a mile up the road before you can even read the word “McDonald’s."
Whether you’re building a brand from the ground up or rebranding an existing business, your logo communicates what you’re about.
Did you notice the forward-moving arrow in FedEx’s logo? What about the smile in Amazon’s? Like those companies, your logo should be simple and memorable — a reflection of what your customers can expect from you.
Find Your Voice
Your message is what you say to your customers. Your voice is how you talk to them.
Create a brand voice that resonates with your customer base. It will influence everything from your website and blog to broadcast advertising to the prerecorded messages customers hear when they call.
The mistake a lot of company’s make is always trying to sound ultra-professional. Instead, think about what kind of language reflects your brand.
If you’re fun, have fun. If you’re caring, be soothing. You might decide ultra-professional is exactly the way to go. And if that’s the case, lean in. But professional doesn’t necessarily mean $5 words and long sentences.
Start a Blog
Blogging is a fantastic way to demonstrate your expertise.
Ask yourself this: What burning questions does my customer base have about my product or service? That’s what you should be blogging about.
You don’t want to give away all your company secrets. But make sure your blog has real value to your customers.
If you’re stuck for what to write about, turn to your customers. What questions do they ask a lot? You can also look at the blogs of companies like your own to see what they’re writing about.
But your audience won’t appear overnight. You have to blog frequently and consistently — and provide real value — even when you think no one is listening.
Expand Your Social Influence
If all the cool kids, i.e., your customers, are on social media, that’s where you need to be. But this isn’t a “tweet it and they will come" situation.
People follow brands on social media when they provide value (there’s that phrase again), and that doesn’t mean only sharing useful tips and tricks.
Brands like Taco Bell and Wendy’s are well known for their hilarious social media presence. They post coupons and specials, yes. But they also interact with fans and share posts about pop culture phenomenons.
Make sure you choose the right platform. Instagram is best for a company that has lots of high-value visual imagery to share. Seniors are more likely to be on Facebook than Twitter.
You don’t have to pick one over the other, but don’t waste your time on a platform your customers don’t use.
Develop a Brand Strategy
Branding your business without a strategy in place is like fishing with a slingshot. You might hit a target, but the results aren’t going to feed your family every day.
A brand strategy involves identifying your target client base and researching them. You have to understand their perspective and priorities to tell them why you’re the company they should trust.
Once you know who they are, you can tailor your message for optimum impact.
Make sure you create a brand strategy that you can track for effectiveness. Then adjust your message as you gather more data on what works and what doesn’t.
Live Up to the Hype
You should design every part of your business to live up to the hype you’ve created. Train your employees to deliver on the brand promise and set up systems to track it. Everyone from the CEO to the janitor is part of your brand. Make sure they know how they fit into your brand strategy.
This is one of the most important aspects of branding. If you don’t meet the expectations you set for yourself, customers will let everyone know.
Get Customized Branding Tips
When you’re starting out, the branding tips you find on the internet are invaluable. But as you start to grow, it’s a good idea to invest in advice from professionals who know how to build a brand.
If you’re ready to take your brand strategy to the next level, contact Incricia at 310.880.7890 or email us to schedule a free consultation.