Your brand is the public perception of your organization. It is what gives your business a voice and makes you easily identifiable as you. Your brand helps establish credibility and elicits emotion during the purchasing journey. Your branding also holds internal value as it provides direction and motivation to your employees.
Branding used to be all about the products. Today, branding is more about how a product reflects on consumers, what it says about them, and how it helps people achieve their goals or solve a problem. Customers don’t just want to buy a product, they want to buy an experience from as early as when they are browsing the web to until long after they make a purchase.
Social media and user-generated content have changed the role consumers play in branding – they have become a part of the brand building process. The images they show and the conversations they have on social media reflect on your brand and influence public perception of your products, services, and your business. The most successful companies will strike a balance between maintaining brand consistency and keeping up with changes in technology and consumers wants.
Brand consistency is important to influence how people experience your brand and to manage the perceptions they will form. Excellent brands take time to build and require an in-depth strategy to ensure all aspects of the organization are being consistently represented in everything the company does. An unwavering commitment to sticking with brand norms across the board is essential in order to project a sense of professionalism, stability, and purpose.
There are standard items and documents that should be established to assist an organization’s efforts to maintain brand consistency. The first item is a logo that looks incredible, is memorable, and can be displayed flawlessly on multiple platforms. Next, create a style guide that lays out the elements of your brand’s style to include colors, typefaces, image styling, and so on. A style guide is especially important as a brand grows. It helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and that details are handled in exactly the same way every time.
Other standard items that should be created to maintain brand consistency are the company letterhead, presentation templates, and email signatures. The establishment and perpetual use of these items make it immediately clear that they are a part of your brand no matter who the communication is from or who is making the presentation. Finally, an “About Us” statement that imparts the history and personality of your brand, as well as its goals and objectives, ensures that the same information is put forward every time your brand interacts with consumers.
Beyond the basic creation of branding materials comes the important task of ensuring that your brand stands out. Well executed branding materials are a powerful form of marketing. They are a key component in the effort to build brand visibility and recognition among consumers. They should reflect your brand’s identity, purpose, and message. Keep it simple in color and design so it is easily displayed on different platforms and in various forms of print. Make it memorable, in a good way.
Embed social sharing into your branding materials. If you design your materials to be shareable, it will help create a strong network effect and ultimately help build brand recognition more quickly. Another idea is to leverage the power of personalization. Branded materials that identify customers by name will more effectively capture their attention and make the recipient of the materials more likely to buy from your brand. The more your materials stand out, the better your brand recognition and the better your ROI.
It is a well-known fact that video is becoming more and more popular on social media and across the Internet. Brand videos are an excellent way to take advantage of this trend. There are a number of ways to incorporate video into your branding strategy. You can feature how-to videos, product ads, behind the scenes looks, video blogs and more. A study by eyeviewdigital.com shows that using video on landing pages can increase conversion by 80%. Need more convincing?
73% of people used videos to buy a product.
93% of people used videos in comparison shopping.
87% of people used videos while researching additional products from a single brand.
93% of people used video for instructions after making a purchase.
These videos don’t have to stay on your website. They can be shared in a newsletter, via email, and on social media. Brand videos have immense value as content on all of your communication channels. They are an effective way to make a human connection between your brand and its consumers. The videos provide an opportunity for your brand to tell its story, to clarify its products, and demonstrate its variety of services. Brand videos will also assist your SEO efforts. Google bots and algorithms love videos almost as much as consumers do!
And don’t feel like you have to be fancy or invest in a videographer or hire a full video team. If you have access to a smartphone, you have the means to create a video. Don’t overthink it. Use your videos to communicate the value of your products and services. Put your brand in front of the public. Be real, be concise, and be engaging.
That being said, investing in professional assistance for your branding efforts is certainly something for your organization to consider. An outside resource can help you understand what your brand looks like to consumers and avoid any internally held assumptions about public perception. Professional designers will help your brand display itself in the best possible light and enhance your customers’ experience by incorporating elements you might have missed or might not have considered.
A professional branding resource can also help you monitor reviews and comments being posted about your services, products, and business in general. Understand that despite your best efforts, your brand will never be entirely in your control. But, by keeping a thumb on the pulse of public perception, you can proactively and positively handle your brand name.
Branding should be visible in every aspect of your business. Integrate your brand into how phones are answered, what employees wear, email signatures, website, social media, blogs, etc. And get your brand out into the public. Establish your organization as an authority through blogs, posts, and comments and create opportunities for promotional giveaways.
Branding isn’t just about your products and services, it needs to be value-added and incorporate how you help consumers solve a problem or meet a goal.
Utilize user-generated content – let your loyal customers help build your brand.
Consistency is imperative.
Establish branding guides to be used by everyone in every part of your organization.
Use social media to your advantage.
Video isn’t going anywhere, it just keeps growing. This is one bandwagon you definitely need to jump on.
Professional guidance and assistance are never a bad idea.
The experts at Strategy Driven Marketing can help create a unique, cohesive tone for your brand. Contact us to learn more about our small business brand development and design services, and how our team can help you develop a professional brand identity.