There is a reason why you will never confuse Walmart and Target or mistake Chick-fil-A for McDonald’s. These companies go through great trouble to develop branding strategies that are woven into the fabric of their operations, sales, and marketing. Cohesive branding will increase your credibility, reputation, recognizability and overall awareness of your product or service with your audience. Even your employees are likely to be proud of, and be more organized behind, a strong brand presence. This process of creating a unique voice and image of your company helps to distinguish your business from your competitors, builds value in the eyes of the consumer and communicates trust. As a marketing agency that has been helping brands establish themselves for almost 30 years, Strategic Marketing is keenly aware of the branding strategies necessary to build a business vision. Below are nine branding strategies that really work if you work them.
Develop Your Brand Assets
Step one to building any brand is to come up with unique, relatable and impressive brand assets like a logo, color scheme, tagline, established values and mottos. Identify what you want your company to convey and what your ideal customer is interested in. Is it trust? Is it adventure? Is it leadership? Develop your logo and other brand elements with your identity in mind and then implement these assets throughout all parts of your business. Creating taglines and catchy brand elements will help your audience to tie a catchy phrase with the quality of your product or service. This image that you build with your assets will be how your customer views your business and will be the first interaction people have with you (whether they buy or not). This initial exchange of perceived value will dictate the interest you spark in someone who runs across your business. Once you have all your assets in place – use them!
Consistency in branding refers to ensuring that employees, partners and customers of your business will hear and see a cohesive brand and message at every interaction with you. Consistency helps to create customer loyalty as people begin to expect a certain experience from your business. Extend this thought to delivering this brand consistency through all parts of your business including your accounting department, paid marketing efforts or customer support. Anything related to your organization should be branded, leverage your chosen colors and support your company image to build familiarity with your customers and employees.
It all sounds like a lot! All too often, companies get carried away with this and brand strategies become disjointed or cluttered. Keeping it simple will help you to carry one concise message to the consumer. An agency partner like Strategic Marketing can help you develop brand continuity that builds trust with your audience. Once your assets are all in place, the story you tell about your business will thread all these pieces together.
Branding Strategies That Tell Your Story
Today’s consumer craves value with their purchase. The days of hard-selling are over and the days of cultivating relationships are here. Stop bragging and start relating to your audience. Building a story for your brand helps customers understand why they should buy from you, what you’re all about and emotionally connect to your product or service. This is what makes your company memorable in the sea of other competitors. Share your circumstance, characters and conflict while encouraging conversations and curiosity. These 5 C’s will help your business communicate what matters to your audience. Use every opportunity to tell your story whether you’re piquing curiosity through your email subject lines or serving relatable content on your Facebook page. Sometimes, a good story will yield more results than a great product on its own. Brands that customers are proud to shop from tend to have high customer loyalty and repeat business. The question becomes – What does your audience want to hear?
Know Yourself Well. Know Your Audience Better.
To truly understand the positioning your company should take, it’s important to evaluate yourself first. Why do your customers choose you? Do not confuse this with why you think customers SHOULD choose you. Look at the numbers, listen to the feedback and identify why customers purchase from you instead of a competitor. More importantly, identify what your audience relates to. What does your customer look like? What are their interests, concerns, goals and aspirations? Where do they live and work and how does the local environment factor into their purchase behavior? Answering important questions like this can help you tailor your message, products/services and branding to relate directly to the customers you’re looking for. Marketing companies like Strategic Marketing will help you pair your brand identity with the needs of your audience so that your branding strategies have the maximum impact on your results. From here, transfer your voice to the platforms that your customers use most.
Branding Strategies in Social Media
The average customer now evaluates brands on several different platforms. This means you need to meet your customers on the apps they use most with the same authenticity you show on your website or other advertising platforms. Decide what your “voice” should be on your business social media pages by mirroring the interests of your audience. Are you funny? Are you informational? Unlike paid advertising, your goal in organic social media is to relate – not sell. Dividends from a thorough organic social media campaign will come from brand awareness and engagement. Provide content your audience wants to click on, even if it’s from someone else. For the pros, go ahead and develop your own content to drive website traffic.
If you want to really engage your audience with your brand, develop content they want to see and develop it in varied, digestible formats. Once you know what interests your audience, work on creating infographics, whitepapers, articles or blogs that relate to what they like. By keeping your branding at the forefront of these materials, you can cater to their interests and establish yourself as a source of information, fun or other identity. The best part about this type of content is that you can use it for a variety of purposes. You can add it as a downloadable element on your website to get signups, post it as a link on your social media account, share it as part of an email campaign or add it to your Pay-Per-Click landing page. This does get time consuming so working with an agency like Strategic Marketing can help you save valuable time by having us focus on content strategy and development.
This one is fairly simple. Participating in your community, fundraising, sponsoring events or other altruistic company endeavors favors greatly with buyers. Not only is it trust-building, but it’s an opportunity to cultivate brand awareness and word-of-mouth advertising through things that help the community! Your brand being featured in the local paper or on sponsored flyers is a simple way to build goodwill with local shoppers.
Choose Your Channels
Once you have developed brand assets, created a voice, found your story and your audience, you can begin to expand your brand to your paid tactics. Get your brand out in front of new people on as many channels as you can (keeping your audience in mind). You can no longer just rely on one or two paid tactics to get the same results. If you take the average radio listener, this person no longer just listens to radio. They stream music on different platforms, watch videos on YouTube and scroll through social media. Make sure you reach new and existing customers in a variety of different methods with your branding elements. The more they are seen, the more recall a potential customer will have.
Be a “Purple Cow”
Seth Godin, author and entrepreneur, writes “The world is full of boring stuff — brown cows — which is why so few people pay attention. Remarkable marketing is the art of building things worth noticing right into your product or service. Not just slapping on the marketing function as a last-minute add-on, but also understanding from the outset that if your offering itself isn’t remarkable, then it’s invisible — no matter how much you spend on well-crafted advertising.” The moral here? Be a purple cow. Strive to be a leader with a unique brand value and something interesting to say.
If you need help becoming a “purple cow,” let Strategic Marketing help turn your brand into something truly remarkable. From concept development and initial branding elements to content creation and paid tactics, Strategic Marketing is a partner to help you manage branding end-to-end. Fill out the form below for a free marketing evaluation to stop your brand from being invisible.