Your brand matters.
A brand isn’t just a logo, it represents your company, your mission, and is the center of every aspect of your marketing. Some businesses pick a quick design and call it a day—which is troublesome if you want to move your business to the top of the charts. The last thing a company should do is decide a brand image on a whim or chose one that looks stale and generic. Brands need to be carefully crafted and strategized.
Lois Geller, contributor for Forbes Magazine, says that in order for your brand to be effective, it has to be memorable.
“Your brand is the focus of all your marketing efforts,” she explains. “Yes, it needs to say something about your company, connect with your target market, be motivating in some way, and always create loyalty.”
A brand is filled with many marketing elements including promise, personality, look, voice, service, attributes, and memorability. Geller says the world’s best brands, like Apple, Prius, and Ralph Lauren, for example, have something called patina, meaning the product or service says something about the people who pay for it. So, when you’re crafting up your vision it’s important to take into consideration these five essential elements to a brand.
Your logo is obviously the first thing that a potential client or customer sees. It appears on everything you’re are putting out. It’s on your office building, on every page of your website, in your team members’ email signatures, business cards, scattered throughout your social media, and even on letterhead, brochures, and pens. In that regard, it must stand out and be memorable to customers. You’ve got a lot of competition, so making a good first impression is key! When people see your logo, they’ll need to understand what your business is about, have a positive reaction to it, and recognize it when they see it again. Without that, you can kiss business growth goodbye.
Consistency Is Key
Consistency is important because it contributes to brand loyalty, igniting customer growth, and loyalty—something that every company needs. Keeping branding consistent means eliminating the things that don’t relate to or enhance your brand. Before you post a Tweet, blog, Facebook post, or send out an email, make sure it aligns with your message and your company’s voice. Many marketing experts have a fun and easy exercise to find your company’s ideal voice. Just answer this question: if you could combine any two celebrities to speak for your brand, who would you choose? What would they say on your social media and website as the spokesperson for your brand? This question should help you develop a unique, likable voice that really speaks to your key demographic.
“The best way to do this is to create your ideal client avatar in crystalline detail,” says Laura DeCarlo, from Career Directors International. “Consider geography, age, parental status, favorite TV shows, goals, online status, education level, fears, dreams, weaknesses, dislikes, etc. When you know who this person is, you can shift messaging to speak directly to this person.”
You need to be able to build your brand up so that it has it’s own platform to stand on. In order to do that, all of your messaging needs to be cohesive.
I Second That (e)Motion
How many people do you know that are extremely brand loyal? These are the people who will spend more on a certain brand rather than a cheaper version of a product. Maybe you’re one of these people yourself. The reasoning behind this process is all about making an emotional connection between a customer and the brand.
“A key way to build a successful brand is to use emotive appeal by creating an association between the product or service and an emotion,” explains CEO of Carolin Soldo Coaching & Events Carolin Soldo. “When we understand the key desires and struggles of our target market, we can build a brand persona that shows how our product can help our target market achieve their desired state of feeling. Most buying decisions are emotional in nature.”
Connecting to your customers on a deeper, emotional level is essential. Using emotional triggers, such as the need for love, affection, and being part of groups, creates a sense of loyalty to your customer base.
Niche Niche, Baby
It’s important that your company specializes in one very specific thing, and doesn’t get its hands dirty trying to “do it all.” When you tell someone about your company, be as specific and detailed as possible.
“For example, saying you are an image consultant for men and women is a much less powerful message than saying you are an image consultant specializing in women over 40 who are re-entering the workforce after being stay-at-home moms,” says Barbara Safani, owner of Career Solvers. “Being specific allows you to be memorable and the best in your niche.”
Keeping your entire team in the loop on how to represent the company is essential if you want to keep up with that consistent image that we talked about before. Think about it: If you present your business as upbeat and motivational, then you have an employee creating social media posts that have a negative tone, it’s just confusing your image. Not to mention that you wouldn’t want to portray a negative image in the first place. Remember, people buy from people.
Make sure your entire company is well versed on your core values, along with how they should communicate with customers or clients in order to represent your brand in its most positive light.
Does your brand represent your ideal company image well? Utilize these tips to construct a concrete brand that will be remembered and loved by loyal customers.