Business Branding: Key Elements to Review and Quick Wins
Having a strong, easily identifiable brand gives you a competitive edge, improves customer loyalty, and enhances brand credibility. Additionally, it improves brand recall and makes it easier to introduce new products to the market. Unfortunately, many businesses still don’t have a clear branding strategy. Instead, they rely on general marketing and advertising to get them over the line. If you’re serious about improving your business position in 2021, you must fast-track your business branding efforts.
The good news is that you can begin putting the pieces together today. The following are six quick business branding tips to get you started.
1. Define your branding goals
Why are you branding in the first place? What do you want to achieve with the branding efforts? Different companies have different goals, meaning that your aims and objectives will be unique to your business. However, most organizations engage in branding for four reasons, i.e., to establish themselves in the industry, boost awareness, earn market share, and improve recognition. Remember that great branding goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound (i.e., SMART).
2. Know your target audience
Targeting a specific audience doesn’t mean you’re closing the door on people who don’t fit your criteria for the ideal customer. Instead, it means that you’re directing your marketing resources to a specific demographic to maximize ROI. Ideally, you want to create a buyer persona (or multiple personas) to highlight that “perfect” customer. Consider factors such as age, gender, location, education, income, and occupation when creating the persona(s).
3. Research your competition
Building a brand identity is all about differentiation – showing consumers what makes you different from the rest. This makes competitor research an essential part of overall branding as such research enables you to highlight your unique value proposition. Among other things, you want to focus on the competitor’s range of products, target markets, marketing strategies, and how you compare to them. Your main aim is to uncover competitive advantages.
4. Design the relevant visual elements
Designing the visual elements of branding is also known as visual branding. The four key elements to focus on are logo, typography, color, and imagery. In all four cases, your designs must be clean and flexible. Professionalism is also vital. However, the most important thing is consistency. Using the same logo, colors, etc., on all your products and marketing materials establishes the brand in consumers’ minds.
5. Use content that reinforces your brand identity
As Patrick Shea writes in HubSpot’s eBook, Branding in the Inbound Age, “Great content, great brand. Boring content, boring brand.” You should put your best foot forward by creating content that reinforces your goals, values, and specifically your branding. If you’re a high-end brand, use professional language. If the brand is more laid-back, use conversational content. Also, don’t forget to connect emotionally to your audience. A strong emotional connection creates a solid foundation for lasting customer relationships.
6. Know what to avoid
Never give your customers mixed messages. Don’t say you offer high-end products on your website and claim to offer bargains on your social media pages. The confusion can leave customers doubting the brand.
Secondly, never copy your competitors. You’re free to get inspiration from them, but copying their logos, slogans, and colors makes it impossible to differentiate the two brands. Finally, never lose consistency between your online and offline branding efforts. The two must mirror each other.
Remember, Rebranding is Allowed
Though consistency is paramount, evolving your branding elements and goals to meet new business needs is allowed. Therefore, if you need to adapt the logo, slogan, colors, etc. to better reflect your new business position, feel free to rebrand.