Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business, large or small, B2C or B2B. An effective brand strategy provides you the competitive advantage over competitors by offering consumers a greater value.
This includes everything from your website to your logo to the message you put out on your social media platforms. It is important for your branding to be consistent, appealing and yet professional.
Here are 5 tips on how to successfully implement a killer brand strategy for your business:
Start by defining your Brand since day one
Your brand strategy must be constant across all your online and offline presence. That is because it is important for your customers to be able to recognize and remember your business since day one. Your brand is made up of beliefs, values and purposes that define your business. That is why it is important for the branding strategist to understand the business inside out and to have experience and knowledge in the area of branding.
In the long run, customers would also be able to relate to your business via your brand image which helps you to build your brand loyalty. Which in another words, bring in more leads and thus more sales.
A good Logo and Visual Style Guide
Your logo is the visual symbol of your brand or business. It represents your identity and creates a sense of confidence and familiarity in the minds of your customers – the most prominent branding elements that people will think of when someone mentions your business. Whether you are starting a new business or revamping your current branding, your logo is one of the main fundamentals, you must look into when building a killer brand. A business without a logo has no chance of making an impact on its target audience.
Complimentary to a good logo would be a visual style guide that is used for your marketing collateral. They ensure brand consistency throughout any collateral you produce – no matter who created it. Whether it be a website, advertising campaign, internal memo, or whatever else, this little document (or bible) will make your life easier and it also creates a strict guideline for your brand to stay consistent.
Some elements that may be present in the Visual Style Guide are:
- Logo Size and Placement
- Color Palette (Corporate Color)
- Fonts that reflect your Brand Identity
- Photography Style
- Brand Voice
A Website that communicates your Brand
It is simply not good enough just to have a website, your website must also reflect your brand image (and comply with the Visual Style Guide). If your business is well-established or trying to portray that it is an established brand, it is important for your website to be able to represent this kind of brand image.
Everyone uses the internet today to check on businesses, whether for products or services. If someone recommends your services, you can almost guarantee that they will go online to look for your business. Furthermore, technologies and trends change every now and then. A website that is created a few years ago might not be supported by technologies now and might be replaced by newer technologies. One good example is HTML5 replacing Flash by offering mobile capabilities and semantic markup. The growth of mobile engagement and HTML5’s open structure all combine to create the future of an HTML5-based website, leaving Flash to eventually shuffle into its place in the Retired Tech Hall of Fame.
In recent years, it is also important to look into mobile-friendly (responsive) websites, to improve your customers’ experience which will affect your business’s Brand Identity.
Thus, it is vital for your website to stay current and be updated at least once every two years, to reflect your brand’s current standing.
Social Media platforms to promote your Brand
Your brand must be consistent throughout all your Social Media platforms and marketing campaigns. You must evaluate the key digital channels appropriate for your market, target customer, and demographics. If you are in a Business-to-Business (B2B) business, it is more effective to build a brand identity around Linkedin. Likewise, if you are in a Business-to-Consumer (B2C) business, it is more advisable to build your brand using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. By knowing where the target audience frequents, businesses will be able to implement their branding strategies more effectively.
Businesses should also develop branding through the customers they currently have. Focusing more towards client involvement and maintenance, and work with their existing customers to acquire recurring business and more recommendations.
When they actually engage their customers, they will help businesses spread their brand, which in turn, makes them the “brand ambassador” to the business. It is always better for customers to associate with the business as the representative of the brand and help spread the brand awareness through the Social Media and Word-of-Mouth marketing.
Engaging a Professional
It is crucial for businesses to appreciate the relationship between building a strong brand and a successful business. In today’s competitive market, a great branding strategy will help make sure that customers remember your business as the “go-to” source for their needs.
Having said this, establishing a great branding strategy is not an easy feat. It is complex and involves the customer’s total experience with your business, your products or your services. The most effective branding combines both online and offline elements.
Therefore, businesses should consider engaging branding strategist to help them to establish a strong branding strategy. A branding strategist would be able to understand the business thoroughly and then craft out branding plans for them. As I (Vincent) always say: there is no hard and fast rules in branding.
Branding your business is key to influencing a remarkable response in the minds of your customers. It is not only the name recognition of your business, but also the perceived value of your organization. Having a good branding strategy since day one, will help you accelerate your business’s growth. If you have not done any branding for your business before, it is time to start thinking of it now.