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.
The simple answer is when your social media management begins to take too much time from managing your business or it is not experiencing growth.
Social media is an important communication tool that allows a business to get in front of customers. An active social media program allows you to introduce new products and services, build relationships with potential customers and promote trust, potentially leading to sales.
Besides being time-consuming, social media management can be a complex process. Not every business has a dedicated team with the necessary skills to grow a business’s social media “following”.
That’s where a social media marketing agency comes in.
It is important that your business consistently posts on social media. It allows your customers to know what you are promoting and what you care about. When you post about things other than sales it gains trust with your customers. Business posts let your customers know what your company cares about and that you are “human.”
Being “human” in social media is important. “Human” posts gain a sense of trust with the customer which is essential for future sales. I mean if you think about it, how many sales people really get a sale by telling a customer all about a product without establishing a rapport with the customer first. It works the same way with social media.
To increase sales you have to build the rapport through regular communication in organic social media. So, while you may think “human” posts are not gaining sales, think of them as the communication that takes place before the sale.
However, this all takes time and thought. A social media marketing agency has dedicated people to commit to this process and are trained to respond to notifications from interested customers.
Many businesses do not have the time or the staff to commit to their social media presence.
By understanding the importance of organic social media, you may want to look into paid social media. This is where you pay for ads to show on social media. Ads are designed and budgeted to fit your business’s needs and can be particularly helpful If you have a new product launch, a new service or want to revive an older product. A social media marketing agency can easily manage this for you.
However, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself before you post ads for your business on social media. “Who is my audience?” “Where do they hang out?” “What do they like?” “How often should I post?” “Where do I post?” There is a lot to research and that is difficult when you are trying to manage your business. By answering the above questions realistically, you will be able to invest in the proper ads that reach your intended audience.
The good news is that you can hire a social media marketing agency to help you answer those questions and develop a strategy before posting so you reach the right audience and grow your social media “following.”
Maybe you are thinking “Why should I do any of this?” Very simply, for brand awareness. Several social media case studies have shown that social media has a big influence on brand awareness not just through organic and paid social but also through influencer marketing. Managing social media goes beyond just simply crafting a post. Social media is as big today for spreading brand awareness as TV was years ago. Don’t get me wrong, TV still brings awareness, but it is good to embrace new technology and tools to promote your business in today’s world.
Influencer marketing has a huge impact on brand awareness. It allows your content to reach large audiences similar to your market with people who already trust the person reposting your content. Although a money maker, it is time-consuming to manage on your own. A social media marketing agency can help establish the right person to represent your brand, manage the content and monitor your budget.
The world of social media is a wide-open door. There are new avenues to help promote your brand every day. Keeping up with the trends can be exhausting for businesses but it is a social media marketing agency’s job to remain up-to-date on trends.
Strategic Marketing is a traditional and digital marketing agency that has been in business for 28 years. We are not just a social media marketing agency, but an agency that offers multiple marketing and advertising services that most businesses require today to remain competitive. If you would like to learn more about what we do, you can contact us at (561) 688-8155 or visit us at www.thinkstrategic.com.
Many logo designer apps and DIY services allow you to design your logo for free, or almost free, without needing any design knowledge or prior experience. This may seem like a bargain when it comes to saving time and money, but it may not be the best option to pursue when creating a logo. There are a number of disadvantages to designing your organization’s logo on your own. Whether your business is a startup or you’re in the process of rebranding, it’s often best to consult with an expert logo designer. Below are some reasons why you should avoid DIY logo design services and apps.
Lack of Creativity and Originality
When you choose to make a logo without the help of expert designers, you’re most likely going to be limited to existing templates, layouts and design schemes. Consequently, there may be other businesses or organizations with logos that end up looking very similar to yours. If your logo blends into the market and lacks originality, consumers are less likely to distinguish you from competitors. Consulting with an expert can ensure your logo is as unique and original as the brand itself. Expert logo designers will also have a number of other resources available to them and won’t be limited to preformatted images and graphics, meaning there are no creative restrictions and your design will be truly unique.
It Doesn’t Reflect Your Brand’s Identity
Your logo is the face of your brand and a large part of your business’s image and identity. When consumers see your logo, they should immediately think of your business. Creating a logo without a complete and comprehensive knowledge of the entire branding process can end up hurting your business later on. A logo that doesn’t properly reflect your brand’s identity can prevent brand recognition and make boosting brand awareness a difficult task. Essentially, the growth of your business may suffer because consumers are less likely to remember your logo over your competitors, costing you prospective customers and potential sales.
Although many apps and DIY logo designers may claim to be free, you could be subject to hidden charges that aren’t disclosed until after you’ve started the process or have created your logo. In some instances, you could be charged additional fees if you wish to widen your customization options, limiting the design of your logo to the most basic template or model.
Copyright and Trademark Procedures
Creating your logo on your own also means you are responsible for taking care of all of the copyright and trademark procedures, which is a task that must be done in order to protect your corporate identity from being copied or stolen. If you don’t know the process, this can be extremely overwhelming and time consuming. In other words, any time or money you thought you saved by creating your own logo will be lost when having to seek legal expertise and commit time to this tedious process. Hiring an agency with an in-house design team to handle your logo creation will make this process easier and more seamless. Even if the agency doesn’t take care of the process for you, you will have more time to research and prepare for this process while the agency handles all of the creative matters.
Need a Logo Designer? We Have Your Brand in Mind
Strategic Marketing is a full-service advertising and marketing agency that has been in business for over 25 years. In that time, we have designed logos for countless clients, all with each individual brand and business in mind. Our experienced creative team designs logos that stand out and showcase your brand, all while working synergistically with any existing or upcoming marketing and advertising campaigns. To learn more about our logo design services, give us a call today at (561) 688-8155 or contact us by filling out the form on our contact page.