What's in a name?
In business, a lot. 68% of consumers prefer to buy from brand names they are familiar with. That means a company's brand is one of its most valuable assets.
Making your brand a household name requires more than a good logo. For your brand name to be effective, your customer must have a good impression of your entire business.
What branding steps should your company take to build a connection with your audience? Here are ten steps to building a successful brand:
1. Define Your Target Audience
Who is your customer? Deciding exactly who will be interested in your company's product should be the core of your branding efforts.
You should focus on a distinct audience. One company can't be all things to all people, and if you try, you'll end up sending a weak message.
Be very specific when evaluating your target audience-the more specific the better.
Is your ideal customer a single mother? A twenty-something basketball player? A retirement-aged male?
Once you've identified your ideal customer, fit your message to that person's exact wants or needs.
2. Develop a Consistent Message
The best brands are consistent across all platforms. Develop your message, then use the same message on everything a potential customer might see.
Your website, social media presence, storefront signs, and print materials should all have the same look and feel. Your ad copy should all come from the same place to ensure that your message is consistent.
Create specific guidelines for your brand, document those guidelines, and make sure that everyone in your company abides by them at all times.
3. Provide Excellent Customer Service
Customer service might not seem like marketing, but there is no better way to establish a connection with your customers than to solve their problems. Every time you make a good impression on a customer, you build your brand.
Provide FAQs, live customer support, and a place for customers to review your product or service. Develop consumer-friendly policies for when your customer has a problem with your product or service.
All of these will help you connect with your customer, which will improve their perception of your business.
4. Find Out What the Competition Is Doing
Research your competitors and find out what they do well and what they've done poorly. Your goal is to distinguish yourself from your competitors.
Make yourself stand out. Show how you are similar to your competition in the ways customers like but different in the ways they don't. If customers aren't happy with your competition, give them a reason to try you instead.
5. Develop a Logo and Tagline
People remember images and short, catchy phrases. Your logo and your tagline will be the two things that come to mind first when it comes to your business.
Get professional help designing your logo. It will appear on everything related to your business, so you want something memorable that will reinforce your identity.
The best tagline should cause an emotional response that engages your customer. Your goal is to combine your mission, your brand, and your image in one, short sentence.
6. Decide On Your Personality
How do you want customers to see you? Edgy? Casual? Professional? Intellectual?
Your personality will help you connect with your target audience, so choosing the right one is important. If you have a detailed understanding of your target audience, you can use that information to decide what your target audience will expect when purchasing your products.
7. Market Your Brand
There are a number of marketing channels you can use to advertise your business. Decide which ones are most likely to reach your target audience, then develop an approach for each that is consistent with your brand and style.
Social media, websites, e-mails, and blogs are common forms of marketing. Don't forget about other forms of advertising, though, such as employee T-shirts, signage, and business cards.
All of these forms of advertising should send the same, consistent, branding message. If you don't have a plan that takes all of these channels into account, you could be sending a mixed message.
8. Use Content Marketing
Traditional marketing focuses on brand awareness. Brand awareness means increasing your company's visibility in the marketplace.
However, being visible doesn't help if potential customers don't know if they will like your products or if they can trust you as a company.
Content marketing does more than make you visible. It also builds your reputation. By providing content, you make your company an authority in your field and establish trust with your customers.
9. Create a Digital Presence
Whether your business is physical or online, a website is a must.
Your website is the place where your customers will find out what you offer. Consumers will use your website to research you and your products, compare them to your competitors, and determine whether you are good at what you do.
In fact, your website could form the basis for whether potential customers will do business with you at all.
Therefore, you should put a lot of effort into your website. Plan it carefully, and make sure it is informative and professional.
10. Be Patient
Good branding takes time.
Your goal is to establish a connection between your company and your customers, and you can't do that overnight. Approach branding as a long term project, and not as an investment that should yield quick returns.
Branding Steps For Success
Branding your business requires careful thought, research, and planning. However, branding is one of the most important things you can do to establish a successful business.
Combine these branding steps, and your company will have a solid plan that will build customer loyalty for your product.
Check out our blog for more tips on marketing and promoting your online business.