When most people think of branding, they think of a company’s logo and tagline. However, that’s just the beginning. An effective branding strategy can give a company a major edge in competitive markets. The key to a successful branding strategy isn’t having the prettiest logo; it’s creating a connection between your product and your customers. Most purchase decisions are influenced by the consumer’s emotional responses to your product, so you want to create a branding strategy with an array of components to help your target customer understand, appreciate, and connect to your brand and your products. Here are five essentials to keep in mind to help you build a strong brand.
1. Know Who Your Target Customer Is
Your branding should center around your target customer. Identify their needs, lifestyles, concerns, and preferences. Figure out the niche you want to target, and focus on that target customer. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be exactly what your specific target customer needs and wants. To figure out everything you need to know about your target customer, you will need to do research and analyze data to fully understand their likes, dislikes, and buying trends. It is also important to research similar products sold to your target market so that you can find opportunities to make your brand shine.
2. Tell Your Story
A strong brand tells consumers a story. A great way to start telling your story is by defining your company’s mission, vision, and values. Focus on the positive difference your product makes in the world and what inspired you to create it. This line of thinking will help you figure out your company’s compelling story. It’s important, though, that you refrain from making your story about what is wrong with the other products in your product category. Keep your message positive and about your product/company and what makes it great.
3. Consider Associate Branding
The venues where products are sold carry messages, so you should carefully consider where you want to sell your product. A trendy boutique, farmer’s market, and discount outlet all send different messages to consumers about the products sold there. The retail location you choose is critical in setting the tone for your brand. If building trust with your customer is important, such as if you are selling natural skincare products, you should choose a store that has a reputation for high standards and quality. If you want your brand to be seen as premium, avoid discount outlets. Present your product in a venue that matches the quality message that you want customers to associate with your brand. This is especially important for the first year or two you are in business.
4. Develop Brand Ambassadors to Build Customer Loyalty
The strongest brands have the greatest customer loyalty. When a brand becomes really strong, customers become more than loyal; they become brand evangelists, telling everyone about their favorite brand and continually recommending its products to other customers. One of the strongest influences of purchase behavior is word of mouth, and loyal customers are much more likely to spread the word about your products. This is why it’s important to focus on customer loyalty and developing brand ambassadors who will encourage customer loyalty in others.
Social media has become a powerful tool in developing brand ambassadors. Use social media influencers and influential bloggers in your product category to create brand ambassadors who will spread the word about your brand and products. If these influencers recommend your products, their followers will be more receptive to their recommendations and will be more likely to become customers themselves.
5. Be Consistent
With branding, as with most things in life, consistency is key. Once you figure out the message you want your brand to portray, all of your branding should be consistent with that message. Your brand strategy should clearly tell your story and create your desired emotional connection with your target audience. Everything your brand says and does should reflect its story as well as its mission, vision, and values. If your brand is centered around being natural, then make sure ‘natural’ is evident in everything, from the product and its packaging to company culture and customer relations. To build a strong and impactful brand, infuse your brand strategy into every point of contact with customers.
Brand Management and Small Business Marketing Assistance
Starting a new business is stressful. You have to think about what product or service you will offer, production and distribution channels, hiring employees, balancing accounts, etc. With everything going on, it’s easy to push branding and marketing to the sidelines. However, these are essential to the success of your new business. Branding makes sure your company and product will be recognizable, and marketing makes sure potential customers know about your brand and products. Without branding and marketing, you won’t be able to sell what you’re offering to the people who need it.
This is where Smarketing can help. Smarketing is a local Knoxville marketing firm that specializes in small business marketing and brand management. We can help you build a strong brand and make your potential customers aware of your products and services. We’ll take care of everything, from your logo to your website to advertisements, so that you can focus on the operational aspects of your business. To start building a strong brand and attracting more customers, reach out to Smarketing today at 865-963-0642 or online.