Branding isn't just for iconic corporations. It's important to think of your business as a brand. Consistent branding across all channels can increase your revenue by as much as 23%. Building a brand is about so much more than just a logo--but for many businesses, the process is a mystery. Are you ready to start building your brand? Check out these basics of branding strategy.
What is a brand, anyway?
A brand isn't solely your name or your logo, though those things represent and connect with your customers. Instead, it's all the factors that help set your business apart: the features consumers use to identify you when compared to your competitors.
Several businesses do a great job of establishing and setting their brands apart. Dropbox, for example, has a clear logo, design, and attributes that have remained consistent throughout the life of the company. Financial institution Wells Fargo maintains clear, old-fashioned values that focus on the importance of a trustworthy banking establishment.
In order to have the same level of solid branding for your business, you need a clear brand strategy. The goal of your branding, simply put, is to create a clear, positive impression of your business across as many touch points as you can control.
How can branding help your business?
A strong brand helps elevate your business in the market. It sets you apart from your competitors and creates a level of trust in consumers, increasing the likelihood that they will choose your brand, rather than your competitors'. A solid brand increases consumer recognition and helps them identify why they should choose your business.
Branding can also enhance consumer loyalty, helping you create value to keep your existing customer base engaged. It helps them better understand your corporate identity and the things that your company stands for. Your brand shows consumers what you believe in and establishes your expertise, all of which increase trust in your business.
What are the components of a branding strategy?
An effective branding strategy contains several clear components that identify who your business is and what your values are. As you bring together these key components, you can shape a brand strategy that will help you better achieve your goals.
What is the purpose of your brand? Why do you do what you do? Explain the driving purpose behind your brand, including what makes you different from your competitors. What do you believe in? Why is it important--and why should it convince consumers to trust you? Do you support a cause or aim to provide value to your customers in a specific way? Clearly express that purpose to your consumers through your brand strategy.
In order to create an effective brand, you need to be consistent. Establishing your brand means showing your customers who and what you are. If you're inconsistent, consumers will lose trust in you and what you have to offer. On the other hand, when you provide consistent messaging and the same experience for consumers regardless of how they connect with your brand, you can build higher levels of trust.
It's important to connect with your audience on an emotional level. Give them a reason to connect with and trust in your brand. Use your marketing to tell your brand story in a way that elicits an emotional response.
Brands are ever-evolving and require flexibility as they grow. You may need to pivot or adapt your marketing strategy or your offerings based on current market needs at any time. At the same time, however, you must remain focused on the "why" behind what you do.
Your employees are one of the most valuable tools in your marketing arsenal. Employee buy-in is a critical part of your brand strategy. When your employees are just as passionate about your business as you are, you'll find that you're in an overall better position to grow. Employees spread the word about your brand. They interact with your customers. They provide the driving force behind your vision. When they buy in, your business is better prepared to grow.
Eighty percent of your company's future revenue will come from just 20% of your current customers. Many businesses struggle to retain customers, especially since those customers often know that further options are just a few clicks away. A branding strategy that builds loyalty, however, can help you keep your customers and add value to their purchases.
Building an effective branding strategy helps you stand out from the competition and makes your business memorable. Over time, it will increase the return on your marketing investment and allow you to grow customer value. If you're ready to get started on your branding strategy or to take it to the next level, work with a media partner to learn more about how to grow your brand.