Branding is the most important part of your business. It showcases your brand identity, establishes an emotional bond with consumers and allows you to market your services correctly. However, many entrepreneurs and small businesses overlook this fundamental part of their strategy and fail to develop a strong brand.
If you’re at the start of building your empire, somewhere in the middle or even leading a fully established business, you can learn how to improve and create a unique brand strategy.
To gain customer loyalty by defining you who are as a brand, follow these insightful tips.
1. Establish Your Core Values
Establishing your core values is an essential step in identifying who you are as a brand and who you want your employees to be. Take a minute to think about what you stand for: is it honesty, integrity or good customer service?
If you need a model of an ideal business’s core values, look no further than Zappos who do business around 10 core values, including embracing change and pursuing growth. They ensure that all members of the team fit in with these values to project the same emotions to the public.
2. Identify Your Target Clients
Who are your target clients? If your answer is ‘everyone’, then you need to reconsider your entire strategy. The more defined your target clients are, the quicker your business can grow.
Think about what age group your target audience is from, the demographic, as well as what their purchasing habits would be like. How much would they require your service and how often would they buy it?
Once you’ve established this, cater your brand to your target audience. For example, if you’re going to pay for advertising and your target market is young women aged between 18 and 25, it would probably be best to spend your budget on social media campaigns instead of billboards.
3. Create a Strong Mission Statement
By developing a company personality, your consumers will be able to understand who you are, how you were established and what your goal is. In turn, this will help them form a bond with your business. And most companies do this by creating a mission statement to show their personalities.
Customers will be interested in why you sell something, not what you’re selling. They don’t want to read the same old, boring mission statement (think: ‘we strive for excellence’, ‘we always put the customer first’, that kind of thing). They want to know more about the brand, which is why Huda Kattan has been so successful with her beauty brand Huda Beauty, as she delves into a much more personal side of her brand.
4. Design a Unique Concept
Developing a unique identity through branding is vital. To do so, you’ll need a good tagline, a well-designed logo and specific branding colours. One way to find what works best is through conducting market research on a few ideas and concepts.
Take Nike for example; they’re famous for their ‘Just Do It’ tagline. And Gucci can easily be identified from their bold, green and red stripped branding, while Channel is renowned for their iconic logo!
What these brands have established over the years is a unique concept.
5. Be Consistent
In addition to the previous point, all brands mentioned have done well due to their consistency. Once they established their logo, concept and theme, they stuck to it without diverting from it, ensuring that all products and services match up.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t adapt to local culture, though. If you’ve seen a shift in your target audience, you too should develop products to cater to their needs. For example, if you’re a fashion label, you should always produce clothes for the following season, instead of selling old ideas.
6. Build Your Business Objectives
When building a strong strategy, you need to identify what the goals of your brand will be. By having a clearly defined objective, your employees can have something to work towards, and it can also be a great a way to measure their success.
If you’re not sure what your business’s objectives are, think about what it is that your brand should represent in terms of the company and what you want others to know and say about your services and products.
7. Find Your Purpose
Although there will be a lot of competition in your industry, you need to find your purpose and discover what sets you apart from the rest. Why should a potential client pick your product or service over that of a competitor’s?
IKEA has a great purpose that’s simple and effective; their motto is ‘to create a better everyday life for the many people’. And that’s exactly what they offer: affordable furniture and appliances that everyone can buy and enjoy!
8. Create an Emotional Bond
The best way to increase sales is to make an emotional connection with your consumers. Depending on what you’re selling, you’ll be able to make the consumer feel less like than just a buyer and more like part of the family.
Many brands have done this by hosting competitions, while coffee shops and food joints are becoming increasingly popular for their architecture and interior design rather than their food.
Starbucks, for example, has become a place to hang out with friends, work remotely and make memories. People have established an emotional connection with Starbucks that goes far beyond what they’re selling.
9. Understand How Your Competitors Work
Competition shouldn’t be a threat. Instead, you should take the time to understand your competition’s strategy and to use that knowledge to improve your own. After all, you want to be the best, don’t you?
Pizza Hut is a great example of understanding their own competition. When a Twitter user asked the Twittersphere ‘Pizza Hut or Domino’s?’, Pizza Hut didn’t miss a beat and got involved in the action by sharing a witty remark! For this reason, Pizza Hut wins my vote, too!
10. Invest in Marketing
Finally, when creating your brand strategy, you need to consider how you will market it to ensure it receives maximum exposure. Even if you don’t have a large budget, you should identify what the most important marketing trends are for your niche and invest in them.
You should also develop an online presence if you don’t already have one. Creating social media pages is free and taking the time to build a strong social concept is all you need. Once, you’ve invested both your time and knowledge, it’s a matter of time before consumer interest starts to grow organically.
Your branding strategy doesn’t need to be complicated, in-depth or extravagant. Instead, it needs to be ‘on the money’ and relatable.
By following the advice above, you should be able to map out a strong brand strategy that will help your business reach new heights.
Do you have any other useful tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments section below!