Tue, Mar 31, 2020
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Branding101 – What sticks?
Branding is highly contagious. Successful branding also establishes a consistent message that becomes your business in the mind of the consumer. Here are three simple but effective ways to create your business brand. Word of mouth is still the number one form of communication when it comes to opinions.
Every business, no matter haw big or small, must be branded to differentiate from competitors, capture customer attention, and establish a company identity. Savvy marketers know that branding has always been about more than a pretty logo.
You need to build a concept, tell a story, or reflect a lifestyle if you want to forge a connection with potential customers Strong branding is what gives your company an identity and makes it stand out from the competition. This is even more important in the social media age.
But, branding itself has a deeper, more intricate, connection with a startup than most people even realize. It is the bridge that connects company to product and in turn, product to consumer. There are masses of exposure to be had through Facebook and friends, but it's a crowded arena to scythe least.
The term product branding itself first emerged in the late 20th century. In its most basic form, branding means to promote a product or service by identifying it with a particular uniqueness. Strong branding is vital to make an impression, and your offline brand might not translate too well into the social media space. How can you approach branding in the social media age?
Social media is all about interaction and conversation, and you need to develop a voice which is recognizable and unique. A dry corporate tone won't cut it. For most companies, your social media presence will need to be far more informal than your regular company image. This doesn't mean you need to sacrifice your hard-won branding in other media. However, your social audience will expect you to loosen up a little and show a more human side. You can approach this in many ways- humorous, irreverent, and trendy - but for branding the crucial thing is consistency. Decide on the voice you want to develop and work toward that, no matter which staff member is in charge of social media posting on that particular day. Well executed product branding can help a company gain market share for a specific product or service. But, knowing how to properly achieve this, let alone which approach to take, can be somewhat of a challenge.
Do you know where your product/service is compared to the rest of the market? If not, figure this out first. The foundation of a great branding strategy starts with knowing where the starting line is. Next, decide where it Is that you want to be You need to know how far away from the finish line you are This will help determine whether to run an aggressive, moderate or passive campaign. If you're already almost to the finish line, don't back-peddle. Keep doing what works with any appropriate changes
Your business has a personality. A simple way to start this selection process Is to ask yourself, your employees and your customers “what three words describe who we are?” For example, if you are a parts distributor, you have a no-nonsense, no-frills business that gets parts to customers on time and at a competitive price. You can look at the array of fonts and colors and immediately eliminate most and select two or three that reflect who you are.
Social media isn't a monolith you can approach with a single strategy. Each platform has its own strengths and a distinct user base your campaigns need to take into account. There's lithe point pouring resources into targeting a platform where your audience is unlikely to be found in numbers. As extreme examples; will a major bank enjoy much success through marketing on Snapchat or WhatsApp?
Social media makes branding even more essential to business success. There are many ways to promote your business in this digital age. Branding is critical to establishing a visual look and feel that is your business identity. If you're promoting weight loss products, is Linked In likely to prove a happy hunting ground?
This may seem an obvious point, but it's an important one. Each platform requires a slightly different approach, but the essence of branding is to provide a consistent image across the full range of your customer interactions. Finding the happy middle ground between targeting a platform and avoiding brand dilution takes careful planning before making a single post.
When consumers see branding, they see promises. The link from consumer to product to company can be strengthened or weakened according to brand value. Consumers will associate and apply all aspects of a certain product to your company. Therefore, If product “x” falls on keeping its promise (of reliability, value, etc.), then the end user could draw the conclusion that the company will fare the same way.
Traditional branding is largely about projecting the image you want your customers to see and identify with. Social media is a different beast. Your brand identity is a result of how you interact with your followers, whether they're existing customers or window shoppers watching those interactions. Everything you do on social needs to use your brand's voice. This is the same whether you're dealing with praise, criticism, or general inquiries. And one of the worst things any brand can do is ignore attempts at interaction, even with difficult customers. On social media, the public is always watching, and you can't afford a misstep.
It’s important to be focused and build a following around a single topic or theme. This is especially true if you're invoked in content creation or you share a lot of third-party material. Don't let your timeline become a mess of unrelated topics. Decide on a posting style and stick to it with iron discipline.
Whether you are a law firm, a retail shop or a parts distributor, your company name is your signature. Establish exactly how your company name appears every time. And, keep it consistent. Pick a font type and color. Never vary from these specifications no matter where your name appears whether in print ads, on Linkedln, with letterhead or on business cards Font types and colors have a personality.
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