In a world that's saturated by competing companies, how do you make your business stand out?
The truth is, no matter how innovative or life-changing your product or service might be, there's always going to be someone out there who can do it bigger, better, or cheaper. The only way to boost your chances of sustainable sales, and keep the profits coming, is to differentiate yourself with a brand identity that ensures long-term loyalty.
Your brand is the secret sauce that separates you from every other Tom, Dick, and Harry on the business block that's working to steal your customers and sap your sales. Your identity is made up of countless crucial building blocks, from your logo to your name, that dictates how your audience should see you.
With the right brand identity, you can transform yourself from another faceless company in the crowd, to a friend for your customers – someone who offers all the solutions to their most common problems. In the long-run, an exceptional brand can have an incredible impact on ROI. All you need to do is figure out how to use it to your advantage.
Why Should You Care About Branding?
Not only is the competition in today's marketplace fiercer than ever, but it's becoming tougher for businesses to connect with their customers too.
Today's consumers are tired of the same old marketing strategies. They ignore advertisements, block out banner ads, and actively disengage with companies who spend too much time promoting themselves online. Yet, all the while, companies with strong identities continue to thrive because they give their followers something to resonate with and relate to.
People fall in love with brands, believe in their products, and trust their services. With the right brand identity, you can:
Improve your credibility: The more powerful your brand is, the more effective your marketing becomes. For instance, if you spend time building your identity as a company that knows all about technology, your customers will be more likely to trust you the next time you say you're selling the most innovative product on the market.
Ensure consistency: It's easy to develop a sense of familiarity with a company that uses the same media and messages in all its campaigns. A solid branding strategy will ensure that all your marketing has the same tone of voice, enhancing your overall identity.
Increase the value of your products: People are willing to pay more for items that come from reputable brands. If your identity resonates with values and beliefs that your customers hold dear, then they'll purchase your product in an effort to express themselves, and showcase important parts of their personality.
Investing in your brand identity, and applying it consistently to your marketing campaigns isn't just about getting your target audience to choose you over your competitors. Instead, the aim should be to convince your clients that you're the ultimate solution to their problem.
Here are just 6 brand identity tricks that could make your marketing campaigns more successful, and an insight into the statistic-backed benefits they introduce.
Always Start With A Buyer Persona
When you create a brand identity, you do so with your user persona in mind. Doing this allows you to create a logo, a tone of voice, and an image that fits with the kind of person you want to attract. Just as great branding relies on an in-depth understanding of your market, exceptional advertising comes down to knowing what your audience wants too.
Think about how you can integrate your customer-friendly brand identity into your marketing messages to connect with your audience on a deeper level. This might mean creating custom content that's designed to reflect trending issues in the marketplace, or changing your media colors to suit the preferences of a specific demographic.
Remember, statistics show that 78% of customers feel companies who focus on custom content are more trustworthy than organizations who churn out generic content for the sake of it. No matter what your marketing campaign consists of, from email messages to television slots, you should always start with your target audience in mind.
Build Your Online Presence
As any company should know in today's marketplace, earning the respect and attention of your audience takes a lot more than constantly posting advertisements online, or sharing links on social media. Consumers are looking for new ways to build relationships with the companies they do business with.
In fact, 50% of people online today follow up to 4 brands on social media, while 26% follow up to 9 brands, and 22% follow more than 10 brands. Only 3% of all the people active online today don't spend their free time interacting with companies in some way.
When you develop your brand identity, you end up with a set of unique guidelines that you can use to help people in your organization represent your company, regardless of whether you might interact with your customers. This can help you to build your presence through an "omnichannel" approach while demonstrating the same, consistent image.
Find out where your customers spend their time, from social media to blogs, and local forums, then use your identity to spread the message of what your business is capable of.
Tell A Powerful Story
You don't have to be a master marketer to know that "storytelling" has become a powerful strategy for many companies in the online space. The reason for this is that science tells us that people make purchasing decisions based on "emotional factors", rather than logic and strategy.
While it's tempting to tell yourself that you always make sensible decisions about the products you buy, the Harvard Business School revealed that 95% of the money-based decisions we make are settled unconsciously. In other words, your emotions prompt an immediate response, which you then back up with a logical reason for your purchase.
Many marketers spend so much time thinking about numbers and statistics, that they forget to harness the "human" part of the commerce conversation. With a brand identity, you can begin to develop a narrative that speaks to your customer on an emotional level, improving their affinity with your business, and increasing your chances of brand loyalty.
For instance, you might be the underdog that suffered through years of hardship to support ideals that matter to your customer, like value, ethics, or social responsibility. The more authentic, and interesting your story is, the more inspired your customers will be to support you regardless of what you do or sell. In fact, storytelling has been scientifically proven to help companies sell more products.
Use Content To Generate Authority
Experience is the ultimate differentiating factor in today's marketplace. In a world where customers are sick of waiting in long lines, dealing with uninspiring products, and ultimately regretting their buying decisions, it's hard to convince anyone who doesn't already know your brand that you're worth their time.
Unfortunately, for companies that are just getting started in the marketplace, this overall sense of cynicism can make it difficult for your marketing messages to have an impact - no matter how much effort and money you pour into your campaigns.
Before you start trying to sell anything, it may help to use your brand communications to convince your customers that your business is valuable and reliable. The best way to do this is by creating informative, entertaining, and authoritative content.
Not only does content give you a unique opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge on a particular niche or industry, but companies with blogs also generate 67% more leads each month than companies without a content marketing strategy. Content also makes it easier for your clients to find your brand when you're not investing in marketing campaigns, by giving you up to 434% more indexed pages on Google.
Strengthen Relationships With "Transparency"
One of the many lessons that today's companies are learning as they struggle to connect with empowered customers is that people don't fall in love with corporations, they form relationships with "people". A brand identity that's based on transparency, shared values, and authenticity can help your company to feel more like a "friend" in a digital world that's full of faceless businesses.
The Harvard Business Review shows us that 64% of consumers consider shared values to be the primary reason to buy from a brand. The more you focus on showcasing your transparent nature across every channel, from your website to your social media campaigns, to your offline marketing strategies, the more people will come to trust your company.
Just remember that you'll need to be consistent if you want your branding strategy to pay off. Statistics show that brands that are presented consistently are 4 times more likely to enjoy greater brand visibility.
Expand Your Brand
Finally, when it comes to making your marketing messages count, a sustainable brand identity will also make it easier for you to find people you can collaborate with in your chosen industry. While it's tempting to think of everyone in your community as a potential competitor, the right partnerships can give more volume to your advertising efforts, and ensure that your messages reach the right people.
For instance, a new company could partner up with an existing brand in a similar field to offer packaged products as part of a promotion. Imagine a business that sells paints collaborating with a brand that sells paintbrushes, for example.
On the other hand, if you're looking at marketing from a social perspective, influencers have been proven to generate up to 11 times the ROI of traditional advertising campaigns. The key to benefiting from an influencer strategy is making sure that you choose an authority individual whose customer base aligns with your brand identity.
Branding And Marketing Belong Together
Just like salt and pepper, branding and marketing are two concepts that complement each other perfectly in today's competitive business world. As customers continue to invest more money and loyalty into companies they can build a relationship with, it makes sense to design your marketing around a strong, emotional brand.
The right brand identity paves the way to countless marketing opportunities, all the way from authority-boosting content, to engaging influencer connections. It all starts with figuring out who you are and designing a personality that resonates with your audience.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are the views of the author, and not necessarily the views of Caphyon, its staff, or its partners.
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