What is Branding and Why Should You Focus on Branding Your Business?
If you own a business, you’ve heard about branding. But what is branding? And how important is it to the success of your business? A simple look at the major, well-known brands and you begin to see the importance of branding and how a branding strategy can take your business to the next level.
Branding is to a business what personality and character are to people. Branding is the “story” of your business. It’s what connects with your customers and helps them instantly understand and recognize your company.
In the strictest terms, branding involves elements such as: a logo, color palette, overall design, fonts, theme, and message or mission statement. But, branding is so much more than just the sum of these elements. It is the essence of your company. That intangible “feeling” you want your target audience to get when they interact with your business.
So it’s important that you take the time to really think about how you want your business to be perceived. To do this, you have to know your company and you have to know your target audience. What are their needs? And how does your business meet those needs?
Once you understand this, you can begin building your brand around the values and qualities that resonate with your customers. Good products and services can only take you so far. Successful branding will help establish relationships with your target audience, which will drive them to come back to your brand again and again.
Branding builds relationships through what customers see as shared values, and that helps to build trust. If customers trust that your brand is honest, stays true to its values, and always delivers on its promises, then they will follow your brand.
What you don’t want in branding is inconsistency! Although most businesses say they have a branding strategy, the truth is only about 25% are consistent in their branding strategy. The only “feeling” inconsistent branding will leave your customers with is confusion and that is definitely not the end result you want.
How Do You Create a Consistent Branding Strategy That Works?
So, how do you brand your business for success? With a consistent, effective branding and digital marketing strategy. First, create your brand and then increase brand awareness, visibility, and engagement across all marketing channels. An effective branding strategy will convert potential leads into loyal customers.
Here’s how to create a solid brand and digital marketing strategy that works.
1.Know Your Customers
In order to brand your business successfully, you need to really know and understand your customers. If you know your target audience; their values, their likes and dislikes, and their needs, then you can brand your business to reflect what your customers love and value.
The best way to do this is to create buyer personas. These include things like: What do they like? Where do they like to go? What motivates them? What are their goals? What problem or need does your brand solve or fill for them? This will help you identify key factors that influence your target customers and will allow you to communicate your brand message more effectively.
Whenever possible, try to use real customer data when creating your buyer personas.
2.Define Your Brand Voice and Tone
Once you understand who your customers are, you can now create and define your brand voice and tone, which is how you will communicate with your target audience. Don’t take this step lightly! Voice and tone are an extremely important part of your branding.
Your brand voice and tone should reflect your brand values and qualities, which should resonate and connect with your target audience. Draw inspiration from your mission statement to create a brand story and voice that your customers can relate to.
Make sure your voice and tone is consistent throughout all your touch points.
3.Create and Refine Your Visual Resources
Now you can focus on your brand’s visual resources. Things like website design, logo, fonts and typography, color palette, packaging, and ad designs.
Visual resources are powerful branding tools. They are front facing elements that can deliver an impressive punch when all the different elements are working together in harmony and are consistent. It’s especially important not to skimp or cut corners on this step of your branding!
You want your brand to be memorable and instantly recognizable.
4.Cultivate the Customer Experience
Branding is not only about how your customers see your business. It’s also very much about the experience they have while interacting with all aspects of your brand. Effective branding is all about the customer experience and making sure that every interaction and touch point reflects your brand and its values.
How can you improve customer experience? Research shows that 69% of consumers think the most important thing a brand can do to improve customer experience is by knowing their customers.
So, everything from shipping arrangements to return policies and email marketing communications should be in line with what you know about your customers and should be tailored to fit their needs.
Don’t forget the small, simple touches like saying thank you to your loyal customers or showing gratitude with loyalty programs and promotions. These are good ways of strengthening your brand image and building long-term relationships with your customers.
5.Create the Perfect Website Experience
When it comes to branding your business online, having a responsive website is a key factor for success. Your website is the starting point and foundation for branding your business online. If your website is slow, difficult to navigate or not mobile-friendly, it will negatively impact your brand.
If people have a bad experience with your website, they will not come back. Your sales will suffer and so will your brand. Marketing Websites understands this and will help you create the perfect website experience to keep people coming back to your brand every time!
Everything you do, from sending emails to sharing content on any of the social media platforms and running ads, you will always direct people back to your website. This is where they can review your services, buy, sign up for trials, and learn all about your brand and what you have to offer.
A responsive website is paramount when branding your business, whether your business is an online store or a brick-and-mortar one.
6.Be Visible in Search Results
It’s no secret that in order for people to recognize your brand, you need to be visible. You can’t build a recognizable brand if you don’t put yourself in front of as many people as you can. Research shows that over 50% of website traffic comes in through “organic” search results on search engines like Google.
Google uses an algorithm to rank websites and the higher your rank, the closer you appear to the top of the first page. Over 90% of organic search clicks happen on page one.
How does this tie in with branding? Well, the more places people see your brand, the higher the chances you have to earn clicks toward your brand. If you want to generate interest, you need to rank high and be visible. With a dynamic approach to SEO services, designed to boost your website to rank higher, Marketing Websites ensures your website’s visibility among search engines.
This creates a cycle that’s extremely advantageous to growing your brand: you’re visible, so more people recognize your brand and then your brand becomes more visible because Google sees that people like your brand.
7.Use Website Analytics
Of all the things consumers say about brands, one of the key factors that keeps popping up is that brands should listen. You need to pay attention to what people are saying about your brand online. Look at comments and reviews and try to fix any problems you might have.
Other ways you can listen are through analytical tools. Take advantage of our analytics audit to gain precious insight into how your customers perceive you and your website and how you can improve and develop your brand accordingly.
8.Start Creating Branded Content
Once your branding is done, you can start generating content. Be sure that any content you create follows all the guidelines of your brand. As mentioned earlier, consistency is key. Stick to your brand voice and tone, color scheme, fonts, message and style.
This includes any and all content that you create on all your social media platforms, blogs, ads, videos, and landing pages.
9.Build Your Brand Through Multi-Channel Marketing
How does multi-channel marketing help you build your brand? Multi-channel marketing helps you reach more people through different types of channels online. Some people are on various channels, while some prefer a certain channel over others.
Some channels are more effective for certain things like showcasing your brand, while others may help you to better connect with your customers at various stages of your interactions with them.
Being on multiple channels also increases your touch points and makes you more credible as a brand.
Our expertise in social media management can help you utilize each channel to your brand’s advantage. Each platform has a different way to connect with customers and we can help you brand your business across channels and build a loyal audience.
Social media platforms are not the only channels at your disposal. Others can include display ads on websites, email marketing, and Ads.
Branding for Success
Are you looking to brand your business for success? Do you want to get the most out of your branding efforts? Let us help you create a clear branding strategy, increase your visibility, and build your brand across channels.