At a time when high street and online competition has never been greater, building a strong brand for your business is absolutely critical.
Nevermind your size, industry or revenue, a solid branding strategy is key to driving new business and increasing awareness.
If you’re working to develop your first brand identity or just want to rebrand, you must understand what branding is and how it will positively impact your business.
According to a recent study, when searching for products and services online, 82% of internet users click first on brands that they recognise. People are more likely to do business with a company they’re familiar with, so building awareness is your first step to success. Display platforms like online, print and video advertising are the most effective for building awareness.
Branding is all about how people perceive your business, so think your visual identity through carefully. Make sure your colour scheme, tagline and logo clearly convey what you do and have the right imagery to stick in the minds of people who see it.
Have a look at how other businesses do it. Whether they are businesses you admire or competitors, let the way they present themselves inspire your own visual signature.
Be careful not to let small details put the customer off. For example, if you’re a funeral home, bright colours and a jovial tagline may be seen as inappropriate by your target customers.
Before people can even consider buying something from you, they need to be able to trust you. When a company presents themselves in a professional and likeable way, potential customers will take notice.
Providing audiences with social proof is a great way to prove your company can be trusted. Start by making sure you are present on all online business directories, such as Google My Business. Double check that your contact information is consistent and accurate. If you have recently changed location, or opening times, update all your online platforms with the correct details.
Plus, adding a ‘contact us’ box to your website will also not only help you answer customer queries quickly, but show you exist and that you care.
In this competitive marketplace, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. Developing a unique brand identity is an effective way to ensure customers prefer your company over others.
Communicate to customers what makes you (and your product) unique. Start with creating a brand story, which will describe your journey and how your product will shape the lives of people who buy it.
If you have principles or values that guide your business, don’t hesitate to share these with your customers. For example, Blake Mycoskie founded his footwear company, TOMS, after witnessing the hardships faced by children in Argentina. The company now helps a person in need with every product purchased. This altruistic mission has inspired both the company’s popularity and its growth in revenue. Win, win!
People love telling others about the brands they like, the ones they love and those they’ve condemned. The more customer recommendations your business receives, the easier it will be to inspire new ones to make a purchase.
On the flip side, you can’t tell someone about a brand you can’t remember. Branding will get word-of-mouth referrals, helping you build up your customer base and grow your reputation.
Opening your company up to social media is an easy way to get people sharing your updates and recommending you to their friends. Read our handy explainer and start targeting the right users on the right social platform.
A strong brand encourages customer loyalty, and repeat customers are more valuable than one-time customers. Make sure you capitalise on the groundwork laid by our earlier tips with Google Ads presence, to get that first click, and the first of (hopefully) many purchases.
We’ve taken you through the four stages of the customer journey, from Awareness through Consideration, Preference and finally to Purchase. So now that people like you and talk about you, a well-managed brand will keep them doing so for the foreseeable future.
Branding is a valuable asset, helping your company grow its reputation and guarantee future business.
It’s important to remember that a strong brand doesn’t just ‘happen’; it’s the result of a well thought-out, strategic plan. You won’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so think carefully how you define what you stand for. Contact us for help getting started!
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