There are countless definitions of branding, but regardless of how you word it ultimately boils down to what sticks in the mind of your audience in association with your product, service or organization. It’s more than just a logo, a photo or the colour theme outlined in your company style guide. It’s the feelings you generate, or that you want your audience to feel, when they see and interact with your brand.
Specifically – the feeling of trust. That’s where your business needs to focus when it comes to developing your brand. Here are 7 tips to set you on the path to building a solid brand your customers and business partners can grow to trust.
- They will ask “why”. How will you answer?
A good brand can help express to your customers the benefits of doing business with you. This starts with understanding why you do what you do, what you bring to the table, and what kind of solution you offer to your audience. Understanding the why allows you to craft a compelling mission statement, create compelling benefit statements, and tell a story that paints your business in a more human light – rather than a dull and unimpressive shade of corporate blue.
- Know who “they” are
It’s easy to get stuck trying to figure out who your target audience is. The most important thing to remember is that regardless of your industry the answer is never “everyone.” You can’t create effective products, services or marketing material if you don’t know what problems you’re trying to solve, who is experiencing the problem, and how your products or services provide the solution.
Take the time to research your target audience(s) to help focus your brand messaging.
- One line for infinite recognition
Your tag line can be one of the single most powerful parts of your branding. It is a memorable, positive, and enticing statement that sums up everything about what you do, who you are and what you represent or offer. Using the knowledge you develop from your research, studying the solution you provide, and the understanding of your target audience you should be able to develop a powerful and lasting statement that your customers will always associate with you.
- Emphasize what makes you different
Your business is unique, even if you manufacture the same widgets as a dozen other upstarts. Part of branding is developing a narrative and unique selling point (USP) that details your story, paints the human picture behind the brand, and tells your audience why you’re different. That USP will be the reason why so many of your customers choose you over competitors.
- Participation creates a living, breathing brand
You never want your customers to see you as a faceless, heartless, cold company. Building a brand is easy, but maintaining it is critical. It’s critical that you communicate with your audience and give your brand personality, both online and offline. Listen to the buzz around your business, respond, engage and let them see the people behind your brand.
- Embrace technology in branding
With advances in technology, your branding goes beyond traditional media like TV, print and radio. All marketing channels provide opportunities to reinforce your brand as you grow. Popular platforms like social media, email marketing, websites, SMS are all ways to keep your message fresh, stay in touch with your audience, and remind them that you’re still here.
- Be excellent
One of the best ways to ensure a positive branding experience with your audience is to provide above par customer service. This turns each customer into a brand advocate for your business. Modern technology has improved the reach of word of mouth by a thousand fold, and it’s the best free marketing any brand could get. Be resourceful, be responsive, and be respectful and you’ll reap the benefits of continuous growth.