No matter what kind of business you have, developing your brand has to be a priority. Brand development isn’t something that you only do once; it’s an ongoing process. Hopefully, you strengthen your brand over time and reinforce the qualities you want to emphasize. Let’s look at some of the key elements of a brand development strategy.
The Importance of Branding
Your brand is more than just your business and products. It’s also the image that people have of you based on everything you say, do and stand for. When many people think of branding, the first thing that comes to mind is a logo. Next, perhaps, is a company slogan. While these are certainly a part of branding, they are far from the whole picture. By itself, a logo is a mere symbol on paper or a computer screen. What really counts are what ideas and emotions your brand name evokes in the people who encounter it.
Think about some of the best-known brands in the world, such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Apple, Budweiser, Nike and any others that come to mind. It doesn’t matter whether you like or use these companies’ products. What matters is that you instantly recognize their names and logos and connect them with certain products, experiences, and feelings. Most businesses can only dream of achieving the type of branding that such global companies have attained. Still, even the smallest startup has to think of ways to build brands that create a sense of familiarity in the public’s eyes. Now let’s look at a few crucial aspects of branding.
1 – Know Your Audience
Your brand development strategy has to be created with your particular audience in mind. Who are your customers? Knowing the demographics of your customers and constructing a buyer persona helps you find the right branding tactics. You have to consider whether your typical customers are millennials, middle-aged professionals, moms in their 30s, or members of another demographic.
When building your brand, make sure you consider the particular needs and preferences of your target audience. This takes a certain amount of research. Study demographic data and take steps to question and poll your customers to find out who they are. Of course, you may have multiple buyer personas, in which case you need to target different segments of your audience. However, you still need an overriding brand that encompasses all of your customers.
2- Provide Exceptional Customer Service
Customer service is an intrinsic part of brand building. People will forgive mistakes and issues but they don’t forget poor customer service. Many businesses today depend a great deal on positive online reviews. Customers are most often motivated to leave great feedback when they get attentive and helpful service, whether in person, online or on the phone. Make sure everyone who works for you and interacts with your customers is courteous, eager to help and knowledgeable. When you provide memorable service to people, they will do their part to help you build your brand by recommending you to their friends and leaving great feedback for you.
3 – Be Ever-present in Customer’s Minds
Customers need gentle reminders that you are there. There are plenty of ways to go about this, for example emails, calls to check up on them (depending on the type of business and relationship), and our favorite method at Brandables, give them gifts! Promotional products with your logo on them will help you stay on their minds. We recommend that you use branded swag that they will find useful. Try a set of logo-branded Titleist golf balls, but again, know your audience.
4 – Building Your Brand With Web Design
One of the key differences between building a brand today compared with a few decades ago is the internet. Whether or not you have a physical space such as a storefront, your website is now one of the critical branding tools that you have to focus on. In a way, this is good news. Quality and creative web design are more feasible and affordable to most people than building a spectacular store or showroom in a prime location. With a website, you can display your uniqueness without needing a huge budget. At the same time, it’s essential to focus on some key principles.
Your website is, in many cases, the way customers and prospects are introduced to your business. It’s your virtual office or storefront. People’s very first impression of your website will not have much to do with your products or prices. What they’ll notice first is your web design. This includes the colors, fonts, layout, graphics, and other elements on your site. The snapshot first impression that visitors have of your website can have a huge impact on their future behavior. You can win over or lose a customer in those first few seconds of them landing on your site.
- Color – One of the first elements people notice on a website is the colors. Each color evokes a different emotion and the way you blend color creates an overall effect. For example, green is often associated with nature, purity and, in another context, money. Red stands for passion and excitement. Blue is relaxing and trustworthy.
- Images – Using high-quality, original images helps to make your web design distinctive. Whether you use photographs, infographics, or illustrations, choose ones that represent your brand. On the other hand, using stock images that are found all over the internet isn’t going to help you build your brand.
- Your Core Value Proposition – You should have a clearly stated value proposition prominently displayed on your site’s front page, close to your logo. This tells people at a glance what you’re all about. In some cases, this is a trademarked tagline such as “The Ultimate Driving Machine” for BMW. It can also be a simple statement of what you do, such as “Homecooked Italian food at fair prices,” or “Complete contracting services for the tristate area.”
- Uniqueness – You don’t want your website to look exactly like those of your competitors. Make sure you choose unique themes, images, and styles for your site.
- Consistency – It’s important to use similar elements and style throughout your website. This should, in turn, match all of your other branding efforts such as those you conduct offline, on social media, or anywhere else. If your copy, tone, and style are too different across platforms, it confuses people.
Creating a Brand Development Strategy Will Take Your Business to the Next Level
It’s hard to underestimate the importance of branding for businesses of all types and sizes. The image people have of your business is really based on the sum total of all your actions. This is a perception that’s always shifting, which explains why we see the popularity of big-name brands rise and fall in the public eye. The good news is that you are in control of your brand building strategy and can take steps to manage it.