Here, we’re not going to look at the building blocks that make a strong brand. To put it simply, a powerful brand needs a good message that’s smoothly communicated, it needs relevance to its target market, and it needs some amount of market positioning. That’s the brand itself. But a good brand alone won’t win you all the leads and grow revenue. It needs an eye on the more practical applications of the brand to really have its impact. Consider the crafting of the brand itself to be the fuel of your marketing, but here we’re going to look at the nuts and bolts of the machine that really get it working.
Nowadays, it seems like most unique branding visual styles have been explored or used to some degree. There’s no doubt that it can be harder to find a style that’s unique to your branding alone. But that’s not such a terrible thing. We’ve created a brand language that allows your business to express itself in terms already known by the audience. For instance, if you want to create a visually striking brand identity, sometimes market research showing your branded materials or prototype packages to your potential customers can help you nail down the kind of brand image they’re most comfortable with. While you want to stand out, you don’t want to go too far and create brand imagery that communicates nothing to your audience.
Imagery is important, but it’s not the most important force in online marketing nowadays. Content is king, as they say now. You don’t necessarily have to produce a ton of content to stand out, but rather, finding a distinct voice for your brand can give it that extra sense of personality. For instance, in business 2 business industries, it’s more sensible to go with a brand voice that demonstrates authority and professionalism above all else. On the other hand, if you’re branding a lifestyle business like travel or food, then evocative, emotional brand voices can be much more tantalizing to the audience.
This is one of the easiest parts of a brand’s identity to get wrong, and one that many companies still do. The name should, first of all, be recognizable and easy to remember. If you’re using online marketing, like most businesses are, then you should also ensure that you can easily acquire a domain name that fits the business’s name. Expertise from sites like Nameperfection can help you break down the science of what different styles of names evoke, whether you want it to be cutesy, catchy or cool. The name very much has to be tied to the brand, after all, not something distinct and different. If you want a brand that feels comforting and emotionally warm, then you’re not going to communicate that very well if your name sounds rigid and formal by comparison.
Where you build your brand matters as much as the materials you use to build it. When it comes to the online world, building your own site is an essential way of using whatever imagery, content, and formatting you like to design your very own brand display. Social media networks offer more restraints on the expression of your brand. At the same time, they’re valuable tools so learning how to work well within those restraints is crucial. For instance, lifestyle brands might use the visual appeal of their products and focus more on sites like Instagram compared to other brands. If you do, then Econsultancy’s exploration of different ways to use the format can show that there are a variety of ways to use the channel to fulfill different goals.
Another use of social media is, of course, to get others involved in the brand. The message, the imagery, and the name are only as powerful as the people who believe in them. Focus on building a community around your brand to give it the public prestige and the positive social proof of its place in the world. Your community doesn’t have to consist of just your customers and brand fans, either. It can also include partnerships with other businesses that offer a greater platform to share your content and latest news, often in return for the same favor. Of course, you need to be careful with who your brand associates with. If you espouse one value and you’re sharing content that espouses the exact opposite, it harms the consistency and thus the trustworthiness of your branding.
Marketing the brand doesn’t all take place online. It takes place in conferences, at trade shows, in one-to-one meetings, and customer support phone calls. A sense of personal charisma and confidence in the business and the brand is crucial if you’re in a front-line role. People simply listen more to a confident speaker and are more likely to believe what they say. You might not necessarily get the Steve Jobs effect in every single startup, but you can have a great impact on how the brand is perceived.
Finding your values are part of the initial development of the brand message. But acting on those values are how you reinforce that brand. For instance, many business owners are recognizing the importance of their corporate social responsibility and how it affects the consumer’s impression of them. Finding the right causes to cross-promote with and work with through services like Engage For Good can help you live up to the promises that the brand makes. Otherwise, certain political or social values you claim to have are going to look like little but lip service to the consumers. It’s also been shown that a company engaged in public good also tends to have more motivated, engaged employees.
The points above should help you plot out the transformation from a brand into a real marketing force to be reckoned with. It’s easy to get caught up in the power of belief in the brand without really implementing it in a way that’s going to catch the target market. Don’t let that happen to your business.