The long-term objective of every business is to get to universal brand recognition and, eventually, to universal brand awareness. In order to get there, you first need to define your brand. You can start by setting a mission, vision and goals for your business but in order to make them mean something, you need to ensure that your audience actually associates you with these markings. With that in mind and without further ado, here are the top 10 ideas that will help you get this job done.
1. Develop a brand strategy
One of the main things you need to do is develop a valid brand strategy. This way, you will know which moves to make right now and what you should focus on in the future. For starters, you should identify your target audience and do research on them. The majority of businesses fail because of the lack of market research, which is why it is an oversight that you can’t afford to make.
Wrap up: Having a general brand strategy will allow you to stay on the charted course even if some minor factors don’t go as planned.
2. Choose brand markings
Another thing you need to pick is suitable brand markings. We’re talking about the intellectual property like logo, font, colors and slogan. Keep in mind that these need to be representative of the industry and your own corporate identity. For instance, you must have noticed that so many different fast-food businesses use colors like green, gold and red. This is not random, seeing as how these colors enhance appetite. Make sure to find colors and fonts that are standard in your industry.
Wrap up: Brand markings will be a crucial part of your brand recognition. Also, make sure that you don’t infringe on anyone else’s intellectual property while doing so.
3. Make a great website
The first thing you need to understand is that people who learn of your business in 2021 have an impulse to pay it a visit as soon as possible to check it out. This is why having a quality website is a priority. A good website has stunning visuals and great responsiveness. Some would go as far as to say that responsiveness is the measure of your corporate efficiency. You would be surprised at how many people actually make this association.
Wrap up: Your website is the face of your company. This is why investing in professional website design is worth the investment.
4. Start a blog
Your website will give your business a face but in order to give it a voice, you need to start a blog. This is the very foundation of your content marketing so make sure that you start on the right foot. Sure, posting on a blog every day is a silly strategy but you do need some continuity. Therefore, aside from writing on your own, you might want to look for some contributors or guest writers. Employing a full-time content writer is also a solid idea.
Wrap up: Starting a blog gives you a platform to share your ideas and opinions. Posting constantly allows you to remain in the lives of your audience on a daily basis.
5. Make an online marketing budget
Some means of promoting your business will require an investment. These funds come from your marketing budget. This is why it’s so important that you know how to set it properly. There’s a general consensus that a business should set aside between 10% and 50% of its average annual revenue. How much you spend on your marketing should depend on the competitiveness of your industry.
Wrap up: Do not expect that just because something is online that it’s necessarily free. Be ready to invest to further your business.
6. Rework your general workspace
By reworking your workspace, you will be able to approach branding in a whole new way. First of all, this would allow you to show your brand to your employees and not just partners and potential customers. For those who visit in person, seeing the logo of your company on the side of the building is a great start to in-person interaction. Moreover encountering personalized door mats at the entrance would be a suitable first contact with your business in the physical world. Most importantly, you should display branded printed materials everywhere.
Wrap up: Investing in the fit-out of your office is incredibly important. It gives your staff a greater sense of belonging and convinces your clients that you are a serious enterprise.
7. Customer service
Chances are that the majority of people will remember you by your customer service. This is why it’s important that you hire people who understand your corporate mission and vision. Keep in mind that for people contacting customer service, the person at the other end of the line is the embodiment of your entire enterprise and it’s unlikely that they will take any excuses. So, hire the right people, train them properly and set some ground rules. Naturally, rules mean nothing if there’s no one to ensure that they’re honored.
Wrap up: Ensuring that you have great customer service comes down to three things. First, you need to hire the right people. Second, you need to train them properly. Finally, you need to have clear customer service guidelines.
8. Make sure your staff feels welcome and appreciated
Having the right people on board determines your corporate efficiency. However, it also determines the general atmosphere in the workplace. Keep in mind that WOM spreads in many ways. Your customers are not the only ones talking about your business. Your employees will be the ones spreading the word, as well. This will affect both your relationship with your customers, as well as your appeal to potential talent. So, make sure that you treat your employees well and avoid hiring toxic people.
Wrap up: Treating your staff well is one of the best ways to create a welcoming workplace environment. This may affect your hiring process, which would alone make it quite important.
9. Humanize your business through social media
Other than just promoting your business this way, you can use your social media profiles to actually humanize your business. How? Well, by interacting with your audience like your brand was an actual person instead of it being another one of faceless corporate entities. The way to do this is fairly simple and straightforward; you should share the content of your target audience as well as interact with them both in the comment section and inbox. Sometimes, even liking or following them back will do the trick.
Wrap up: By interacting with your audience, you’re setting yourself apart from other corporate entity. The last thing you want is to be seen as just another corporate cash grab.
10. Evolution of brand
Lastly, if you get it this far, you might have to evolve your brand’s visuals. You may even have to evolve your business model but this is a story for another time. The key thing is – even some of the biggest brands have reshaped their visuals over the course of years. Now, unless you’re going for a full rebranding, your aim is to make sure that there’s a certain continuity. This means keeping just as much of your previous logo in order to remain recognizable.
Wrap up: It’s never too early to think about the future of your brand’s visuals. So, make something evergreen, so that it can be easily and efficiently altered if the need arises.
The key thing you need to understand about branding is that it takes time and patience. It’s not a project that you can be done with, seeing as how both the business world and your own enterprise constantly evolve. Most importantly, you need to be systemic in your approach to branding and make sure that you cover as much ground (through as many methods) as possible.