We live in a world of easy digital exchange and rapid communication. We are all exposed to thousands of different images and ideas every day. A large proportion of these will originate from companies and be related to their branding. We will probably forget most of these impressions and, as the deluge of information, ideas and images increases, how on earth do you ensure your business gets noticed?
One thing is clear, an unthought out and fragmentary approach to social media and marketing is unlikely to make much of an impression.
Why is branding so important?
We hear the word ‘brand’ and ‘branding’ a lot in modern marketing. There’s a number of different definitions but branding can be helpfully considered as the overall identity of your company and how it makes people feel.
Branding is important, as even if you give no consideration to branding, a company brand will eventually assert itself in association with your products and services in the minds of your potential customers. Either that, or your business identity will be so nondescript that people have no idea what your company actually stands for.
Thinking through your brand identity gives you the opportunity to try and shape how your business is perceived by customers.
Branding not only makes a memorable impression on consumers, it also communicates to consumers what they should expect from your business. It’s a way of clarifying what your business offers and what makes it different from its competitors. It stands to reason therefore, that a key part of any branding should be to make your company stand out from the crowd.
So, how exactly do you achieve that?
What’s your strategy?
As part of creating and developing your brand you should think strategically about what makes your brand different. How does what your brand offers better meet the needs of your target market than that of your competitors? Once you’ve identified your key differences and advantages you can set about ensuring your brand conveys them to your target market.
What to think about when developing your brand?
1. Understand your customers
Many businesses make the simple mistake of thinking that their brand story is all about them. While this may be personally satisfying, it runs the risk of alienating potential customers. Instead, you need to place your customer’s needs and expectations at the heart of your brand story. Who are your target markets and what motivates them?
2. Positioning your brand
As touched on above, thinking about what makes your brand different is key to successful branding. This is known as ‘positioning’. Your goal should be to position your brand in the minds of target customers as something which is more valuable than that of your competitors.
3. Brand personality
It’s personality that gives your brand human characteristics. It’s what makes your brand more relatable. You can communicate this personality through your marketing tone of voice, your visual identity and how you present yourself through social media channels.
Creating a brand experience
Brand experience is all about the emotions that are created when someone interacts with your brand. How does your brand make a customer feel? When they see your social media feed are they amused or reassured? Do you inspire them or spark their creativity? Social media allows businesses to express their brand identity in new ways creating a brand experience for their target audience.
What makes up a brand experience?
Your brand purpose
A key part of fostering a brand experience will be your brand purpose. This is essentially the reason why your brand exists beyond making money. What inspired you to set up in business? Your brand purpose helps your customers engage with your brand on a more emotional level.
Your brand story
Your brand story is usually closely related to your brand purpose. This is how your brand came to be and where it’s going. Were you made redundant and decided to turn a hobby into a business? Did you have a passion for a product or a service that no one else was providing in quite the same way? Did you want to make something that was sustainable?
Your brand experience will be developed and supported through consistency. Your branding has to be consistent across social media channels, email and other marketing and customer engagement tools. This will ensure that your message isn’t contradictory and confusing. The more you reinforce your brand story, purpose and identity, the easier it will be to offer a coherent and meaningful brand experience.
A way to deepen your customer’s experience of your brand is through engagement. Think about how you can get your customers to engage with your brand beyond just buying your products or using your services. Social media quizzes and competitions can be popular. Surveys with a reward for taking part can drive engagement too.
Explore customer experience
Connected to driving engagement is exploring how customer’s report their own experience of your brand. How do they review your products and customer service? What do they say about your brand in surveys or on social media? Asking your customer’s opinions not only helps you ascertain how they are experiencing and relating to your brand, it also encourages engagement.
Allow your brand to adapt and evolve
Your brand should never be static. While too much change and inconsistency will undermine your ability to convey and establish a meaningful brand identity, a static brand can soon become stale and outdated. If the expectations of your customers change, then an intelligent brand needs to evolve in line with those expectations.
As a brand agency, Dawn Creative can help you develop a stand-out brand which resonates with your target audience. Find out how by contacting us today.