Branding is an effective strategy to get people interested in your business. The more you invest in it, the better. These four tools can help you out.
Maintaining a positive brand image is vital to business success and helps preserve a company’s high position in the market. Successful branding brings in new customers and encourages people who are already familiar with your company to stay loyal to your brand. Branding is what differentiates your business from other companies that are offering the same or similar services to the public.
But, is it worth the money?
Clive Jackson, a serial entrepreneur and branding expert, advises early stage startups to “over invest in your brand as much as you can possibly afford.” In a recent article on Forbes, Jackson put emphasis on branding to create an identity that can have future value. If the branding is done correctly, you can build a great brand as well as create a great story and a proposition the customer can identify with. It also makes the business more defendable and helps to build authenticity.
If you haven't been looking after your brand, it's ok; there are many ways to improve your business’s brand image. Check out some marketing tools that can help you out.
The way a business' website is designed either adds to the brand image or destroys it. There really is no middle ground. For a website to be useful, it needs to look good and work well. Elements such as the design, layout and content structure should blend together to create a well-established website that offers a fresh and modern feel to it. Even the choice of colours has a huge role to play in this because they represent your business and help to form the perception you want to create around your brand image.
An effective company website should also be able to follow web design trends and accommodate the needs of the visitor; that is, to work with the current standards. If it fails to do that, a site that has an old-fashioned look and design can easily be dismissed, and the same goes for the business.
Currently, less is more which means in terms of content you should consider following a rather minimalistic approach. This means the site shouldn’t be flooded with words or too much text, and makes good use of images and other visual content such as short clips and videos. Product marketing manager Jeffrey Vocell from HubSpot suggests using a unique large typography, responsive hero images, background videos and ‘hamburger’ menus. These tools help make the website more ‘scan-friendly’ and allow visitors to better understand what the company has to offer e.g. different products and services, without the use of unnecessary text descriptions.
Using social media is a great idea if you are trying to grow and improve your brand image. Since 85 percent of world’s population is shopping online, new customers are quite likely to look for your business using social media. Apart from checking out the official site, intrigued customers will also take a look at the business' social media profile(s) depending on which social platforms they are using. This initial ‘company screening’ is what most customers do who don’t know your business or what it has to offer. In this way, social media helps to build a connection with the client and establishes the brand image.
On social media people check how responsive you are to customers, how helpful you are, how you treat your customers and how relevant the content you post is – and how often you post. Based on what they find online they will decide whether they want to buy your products and services.
Many people believe that printed media is outdated and that digital advertising and social media have completely replaced it. But, business cards, postcards, flyers and other print media continue to be essential tools for promoting businesses and brand image. Such printed materials help to reach out and engage people who aren’t on social media or hardly ever use the internet.
But, the effectiveness of these tools has a lot to do with their design. Just like a website, you have to think about the best design to draw in more customers and get them interested in your business. For example, it’s always safer to go with the standard business card design – and usually cheaper – but what really helps to win over customers is uniquely shaped business cards that can add value to the company. These business card designs or any other printed material should reflect the brand’s image and identity and be as relevant to the company's ideals as possible.
Creating a unique business card – whether it’s square or even leaf shaped, can give your business a competitive edge because it implies vision, originality and creativity and helps to build trust in your business. High-quality paper promotional items can also show that you are a company with high standards.
Good customer service can do a lot to enhance your brand image. The key is to ensure that every customer has an excellent experience whether they are making an online purchase or visiting you in person. The best way to manage the quality of the customer service you offer is by getting customer feedback and hopefully positive reviews which can help to build a stronger brand image. This influences the way potential customers see your business as well as their decision to engage with you or not.
Creating a strong brand image for your business is crucial if you want your marketing efforts to produce positive results. Paying attention to how you present your company on social media, designing an effective website, using printed media correctly and treating your customers right are all vital to success.
Have you used any of the tools mentioned above to improve your brand image? Were they effective? Let us in know below...