Whether you are selling medical devices or coffee mugs you need a compelling brand to grab attention. Star by creating a brand strategy that incorporates specific and long goals that can be achieved with a successful brand. Don’t get your branding strategy confused with your overall business goals, this is not about your companies quarterly profits the number of customers you have.
Your brand strategy is connected to your customer needs, emotions and competitive environments. Don’t get this confused, your brand is not your product or your logo or your website, your brand is the intangible ‘stuff’. Your brand is how it makes people feel, how it portrays itself in its environment. We have put together a list of what we recognise to be essential for strong company branding.
Start by defining your business’ purpose. Does your business have a functional or intentional purpose?
- Functional – Purpose of the business is to make money (commercial reasons)
- Intentional – Focus on success to make money and do good in the world
While money is a priority for every business, do not operate on that notion alone, do that little bit more and dig deep to figure out what sets your brand apart from your competition. Find inspiration in brands you admire and look at how they portray their mission and vision statements.
Consistency is key! Make sure all of your messaging is cohesive, as at the end of the day consistency contributes to brand recognition and fuels customer loyalty. If you were to think of one brand that does this well, I am sure Coca-Cola comes to mind for most of you. They filter their brand into every element of their marketing and this has helped them become one of the most recognised brands in the world.
Have a look at your website, does this flow consistently with your social media accounts? Are you using the same messages throughout? Us a style guide to plan out your tone of voice, the colour scheme or the way you position products.
Research from psychologist Roy Baumeister and Mark Leary describe emotion in their “belongingness hypothesis”, which states, “People have a basic psychological need to feel closely connected to others, and that caring, affectionate bonds form close relationships are a major part of human behaviour”. Get your customers involved with your brand as much as you can, create a sense of community and belonging. Connecting your customers with other customers is also a great way to boost your brand recognition.
Keep up with the times and the ever changing needs and wants of your customer, keep on top of what your competitors are doing and be flexible in the sense that you can create a better brand identity than they can.
Remember consistency will set the baseline of your business’ identity but being flexible is important to make the necessary adjustments to create more interest and distinguish your approach from that of your competitor.
If customers are going out of their way to write great reviews about your company or are telling their friends and family and essentially acting as your brand ambassadors, reward them. As you would in your normal daily life, a quick thank you will make all the difference, even better make a personalised thank you email directly to them and if you are in the position to do so, send them on some free stuff! We all love free stuff!
Try out sending them a new product they are selling before it goes on the shelves and ask them to write a review on it, not only will this be free marketing, but it will also give your customer a sense of importance and in turn an emotional belonging with you brand.
In summary, make sure you have a clear understanding of your business’ purpose, how you plan to emotionally portray your business to your customers, staying loyal and true to your brand’s mission which is reinforced with consistent messaging and flexibility to adapt to changing marketing needs and wants.