A common misconception that we have come across, when discussing branding with people, is that a brand is just the name or logo of a business. Whilst in actual fact, these two elements are just mere components of branding. The tip of the iceberg, if you will.
The decisions you make when on your branding journey can have emotional and psychological affects on an individual, and the way they engage with your business, product or service. So with the chance of interaction taking place either on your website, via a telephone call or face to face, by keeping a consistent tone across all forms of communication, will positively differentiate you and your company, from the competition.
As a majority of businesses fail to plan and execute this process, which as a result has detrimental consequences on their brand, holding them back from achieving a true level of success. Ergo, if these elements are overlooked or underestimated, it can end up sinking your (business) ship.
What are the aims of developing a strong brand?
Defining your brand, will allow your business to have a platform to interact with your desired target audience. That ideally, will stay in a potential customer’s mind when they require such services, remembering that your brand is the only one they need, because of the foundation you laid prior. Identifying that whenever they have a specific problem, your brand will facilitate a personalized solution.
Although honing brand is not easy. Moreover, it should be noted that this process will require you to objectively evaluate not only yourself as a business owner but also your overall business model.
This process should be expected to be continuously implemented, over a period of time and be agreed by the main individuals in your organisation.
For example, let’s assume you are the founder, it would advised to have constant contact with the members of your team or to have acquire the services of business coach, to discuss such matters. In addition to referring daily, to the market research on your desire target audience, to ensure that every decision made is in the interest of your audience.
Some key questions you need to be able to answer about your brand are:
• What is your company’s mission?
• What are the benefits and features of your products or services?
• What do your customers and prospects already think of your company?
• What qualities do you want them to associate with your company?
Once your brand has been defined, selecting the right touch points to bring to the surface, will be easier.
Here are some short insights into some of the key touch points on which your brand can use to grow.
A reliable marketing tool, above anything else, is client. As it is a well-known fact, that word of mouth advertising, is the most effective. For the following reasons: it add an element of trust to the aims of the company, shows how experienced the brand is to have a plethora of clients positively recommending them and lowers the amount time, effort, and money – saving more time to be put back into enhancing your brand.
So by offering the best service or product to your ability, will allow the rest will take care of itself.
Staff members are often one of the most underused aspects of a company’s “brand”. Though instead as they are living representatives of your brand, you should spend time refining this image, to aid you to differentiate away your competitors, delivering the best experience that your business is known for.
A compelling and passionate purpose
Above all, a company’s vision (brand) must be compelling for those who create it, and for those who are asked to buy into it; staff, management and shareholders alike. Unless it fuels the ambition for everyone involved to engage their passion, to create the thing that the vision represents, it is not yet fit for purpose. And, this too, the authors of the vision must adopt the behaviours of the company they have envisioned immediately, not wait until they get close to it. Only then will the behaviours and actions of those who are co-creating the business align to fully realise its purpose.
This excerpt from an article written by Lee Bernard from Coach Directors captures ‘The Vision of your Company’.
Click here to read the whole article here >
Your website is the online face that you show to the world, just like you would dress up smart for a meeting to portray a level of professionalism, your website is just the same. So to avoid losing potential clients, investing in a clean and professional website appropriate to your field, will have positive affects in the long run. As most consumers are now known to be researching products and services solely online, more than ever before.
The simplest things such as your business card and letterhead are so important, from the design that’s printed to the paper that it’s printed on.
Never underestimate personalised tangible objects, as they will provide an individual with a token to keep your brand in mind, in unexpected circumstances.
Social media is a way to showcase the knowledge your brand acquires and to update potential clients on a daily basis.
Although to some businesses in the past, social media has been perceived as easy marketing without pre-planned strategy, resulting in irrelevant or misdirected content being published – showcasing the brand in a negative light.
However when used correctly, social can actually earn your brand trust and authority. It’s not about what you want to say, it’s about what people want to hear – maybe change as it can insinuate lying being acceptable.
Some good examples to look at are Cadbury, Virgin America and Mercedes Benz.
PR (Public Relations)
The use PR as a branding tool can help you define and communicate your brand’s values, qualities, and philosophies to your target audience.
In some cases, this is a helpful move that can help infiltrate an untapped audience, so by developing a clear PR strategy, can be key to creating a successful marketing campaign.
If used correctly PR can build your brand’s credibility to help your business grow, as Richard Branson once said,“A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.”
Holding a live event is a great way to get the attention of clients and prospects, no matter which business field you are in. Whether the event is purely social or structured around business development, such as the launch of a new product or service. Workshops are a great way to showcase your industry expertise and share helpful knowledge.
Holding a live event gives you valuable ‘face time’ with potential customers and offers the opportunity for them to experience the look, feel and personality of your brand.
Also why not consider raising funds for charity at your event – it’s the perfect way to give back.
Moving image is a great way to capture the heart of your brand’s message across simply and in turn invites more engagement from viewers. There is also a main reason why brands see more shares on social media, when they add video to their marketing, and it’s all about the story. Stories engage people. Stories can help your brand a culture.
Nothing can match the impact of mixing powerful imagery, music, or animation with text or voice-over that creates a world that captures the imagination and the story of your brand.