In a consumerism-driven world that offers affordability, quality, and speed at the click of a mouse, it’s more important than ever for businesses to stand out.
Value–for–money is no longer a scarce commodity; in a highly digitised environment, we’re all looking for people and organisations that make us feel something. This is where branding comes in.
Your brand isn’t just what you sell. It’s the feeling you evoke in people and s how they perceive your business.
A great product will only take you so far without having a memorable brand. Building a strong brand identity helps spread awareness, attract new customers, inspire loyalty, and save you marketing costs by getting people to talk about you.
Here are 5 ways how you can elevate your business to become a powerful brand.
Get to know your customers
Being memorable to your customers requires connecting with them meaningfully, which is only possible if you know them really well.
Understanding your customers, their interests, and what kind of lives they lead, lets you deliver a targeted message through the right channels.
Buyer personas are at the heart of every business effort, be it sales or marketing. You need to create different personas for each of your ideal customer types to communicate effectively with them.
These don’t only include their demographics such as age, location, income, occupation, and family status, but also how they spend their money, what their hopes and values are, what they are passionate about, and which social media or content channels they are most active on.
Buyer personas help you be where your customers are. The more you’re able to cater to their needs and the more they can relate to you, the more memorable your brand will be.
Standing out is hard, especially when you’re trying to be memorable on different platforms.
You need to ensure that people recognise you no matter where you are. While you can adapt to different marketing approaches tailored to the platform you prefer, your identity needs to have a common thread.
Everything, from your logo to your tone, needs to be consistent.
Here are a few ways of building a cohesive brand identity:
- Use your logo as your profile picture on all your social media accounts.
- Develop a style guide that specifies the fonts, colours, and other visual elements you can use on your website, your digital ads, emails, and social media posts. Be consistent in using it even on your offline collaterals like your storefront, business cards, banners, and brochures.
- Use the same brand name everywhere, especially in your social media handles and domain name.
- Create templates for different types of social media posts or content banners, such as for brand announcements, new products, sales, and contests. For social media, you can create unique hashtags that can easily be associated to your brand.
- Be consistent in what you say and how you say it. Find a tone, whether it’s friendly, empathetic, assertive, or humorous, and try to maintain it in all your communications.
Get a memorable domain name
Your domain name is the foundation of your online brand. It’s usually the first thing people come across when they search for you online.
When existing customers encounter your domain name, they should instantly recognise it as yours. When new customers come across it, it should pique their interest enough for them to want to visit your website.
Your domain name needs to be simple yet unique. The right combination of your brand name and industry-specific keywords can make your domain name informative and easily recognisable.
By using new top-level domains like .store, .tech, .online or .site – that cater to your business interests, you can make your domain name relevant, communicative, and trendy. Moreover, it saves you from the hassle of adding additional keywords, allowing you to keep your domain name short and simple.
For instance, domain names like www.mycookie.store, www.allorganic.store, www.dailynews.tech, etc. are simple yet unique, keyword-rich yet easy-to-remember and type.
With automation and online interactions at an all-time high, you must go out of your way to ensure that your communication and message don’t seem impersonal. Your customers don’t want to feel like they’re talking to a bot.
While it’s okay to have templates for frequently asked questions so that your customers don’t miss out on important information, every customer interaction needs to be unique to the customer.
While this is easier to achieve in a face-to-face interaction at a store or at the office, your online customer service team should also be trained to interact in a friendly and empathetic manner.
Similarly, social media comments need to be replied to individually, keeping up with the tone of the customer/follower. You need to tag the person you are responding to, and, if possible, include the name of the person who is responding from your end to make it more genuine.
Be a little daring
Normal gets boring after a while. To keep your customers engaged and earn new followers, it’s important to push yourself every now and then.
You need to be a brand that cares about people, and you need not hesitate to show them your fun side. Moreover, being different, not just through your product but also through your personality, is what will help you stand out from your competitors.
Here are quick tips to help you:
- Try a tongue-in-cheek post or ad campaign.
- Tell a funny story, or maybe even find humour in one of your business failures.
- Be witty when responding to mentions and comments on social media.
- Come up with a weird, even outrageous, concept that gets people thinking but doesn’t make it over the top.
- If you are passionate about a cause, take a stand or spread some awareness.
- Find people who share a similar passion and help them gravitate towards you.
Be a brand that’s authentic and people will love you all the more for it.
Establish a unique brand that leaves a lasting impression
You could be a small family business, in a niche industry, with an ardent base of followers because you put your heart and soul into all of your customer interactions. Or you could be a brand like Apple or Nike, known for its cutting-edge technology and slick advertisements that excite and entice people.
Branding is a tool that every business has in its arsenal, whether it’s a small local business or a global behemoth. How you use it determines your success.
Rebecca Scott is a Sr. Content Marketing Specialist at Radix Web Services. A marketing enthusiast, she describes her role as one part creative explorer and one part strategic alchemist. Her contributions feature in publications related to social media and online marketing.