Let’s say you’ve come to the sad realization that your brand – if you can even call it that – is all over the place. Maybe even worse, you have a defined brand, but you’re feeling that it just doesn’t seem to mesh with who you really are and what you really do.
Don’t stress. Before you get all hung up on what shade of blue to use for your logo or what tone you’re going to use when engaging with people on Facebook, we’d suggest that you need to step back and take a look at the bigger picture.
Ways Your Company Can Present a Stronger Brand
To help you rein in what many marketers consider more of an art and less of a science, we’ve broken down seven important factors of a brand strategy that will help keep your company present the best possible company brand.
Don’t think about what you sell or how you sell your product or service, it’s much more than that. Purpose can be viewed in two ways:
Functional: This concept focuses on the evaluations of success regarding immediate and commercial reasons — i.e. the purpose of the business is to make money.
Intentional: This concept focuses on success as it relates to the ability to make money and do good in the world.
A great example would be IKEA’s vision statement, which in a nutshell isn’t just to sell furniture, but rather, to “create a better everyday life.” This approach is appealing to potential customers, as it demonstrates their commitment to providing value beyond the point of sale. Keep this in mind when defining your business’ purpose.
The key to consistency is to avoid talking about things that don’t relate to or enhance your brand. Have you added a new photo to your business’ Instagram? What does it mean for your brand? Does it align with your message, or was it just something funny that would, quite frankly, confuse your audience?
It’s important that your message across all channels are consistent, starting from your social media efforts and all the way down to the way you conduct your customer service.
Customers aren’t always rational.
Think about it. Why would customers pay more for brand names when you could get the same product for a lower price point? That’s because certain brands can evoke emotions that really resonate with their customers, whether it provides a sense of belonging or using that product simply makes the customer happy.
Find a way to connect with your customers on a deeper, more emotional level. Make them feel like part of the family. Perhaps you make life easier, or just give them peace of mind. Use emotional triggers like these to reinforce your relationship and promote loyalty.
4. Employee Involvement
As mentioned before, accomplishing a sense of consistency is important if you wish to build brand recognition. And while a style guide can help you reach a cohesive digital experience, it’s just as important for your employees to be knowledgeable in the how they should be communicating with customers and representing the brand.
If your brand is bubbly and playful on Twitter, then it wouldn’t make sense if a customer called in and was connected with a grumpy and unenthusiastic representative.
In the ever-changing world, marketers must remain adaptable to stay relevant. On the plus side, this frees you to be creative with your campaigns.
You may be thinking, “Wait a minute, how am I supposed to remain consistent while also being adaptable?”
Good question. While consistency aims to set the standard for your brand, adaptability enables you to make adjustments that build interest and distinguish your approach from that of your competition.
So if your old strategies aren’t working anymore, don’t be scared to change. Just because it worked before doesn’t mean it’ll work now.
Take this opportunity to engage your followers in a fresh, new way. Are there some out-of-the-box partnerships your brand can make? Are there features about your product you never highlighted? Use those to connect with new customers and remind your old ones why they love you.
If you already have people that love you, your product, and your brand, don’t just sit there. Reward them for that love!
These customers have gone out their way to write about you, to tell their friends about you, and to act as your brand ambassadors. Fostering loyalty from these people early on will return more returning customers — and more profit for your business.
Loyalty is a crucial aspect of every brand strategy, especially if you’re looking to support your sales organization. At the end of the day, emphasizing a positive relationship between your existing customers and your brand sets the tone for what potential customers can expect if they choose to do business with you.
7. Competitive Awareness
Take the competition as a challenge to develop your own strategy and create greater value in your overall brand. You are in the same business and going after the same customers, right? So keep an eye on what they do.
Do some of their strategies succeed? Which ones fail? Tailor your brand positioning based on their experience to better your company.
Sure, you probably sell a comparable product or service like many other companies, but you’re in business because your brand is distinctive. By harping on every move your competitor makes, you lose that differentiation.
This post has been adapted from a post published at blog.hubspot.com
Image credit: bigstockphoto.com
J. Fitzgerald Group is a full-service traditional and digital marketing communications firm based in suburban Buffalo, N.Y.