Building Brand Identity
The act of branding by businesses makes it recognizable in the eyes of customers and potential customers, so that they automatically think of that business – and its personality and identity – when they see its logo, hear a particular advertisement, or even see a certain color scheme.
Over the past few decades, branding has become one of the most important marketing tools for businesses, and is a veritable buzzword in the industry, referring to the act of shaping a particular perception of the brand in the public mind.
Leading on from that, brand identity is the collection of elements which sparks this particular perception – being the aspect of your brand which you can physically produce as a foundation on which to build your ‘brand image’ – including your logo, monograms, slogans, taglines, typography, and the colors you use in your designs – including your webpage, packaging etc.
When your audience sees any of these elements – if your branding has been successful – then they should instantly think of your business, and its brand.
Though the phrases brand, branding and brand identity are sometimes used interchangeably, a company’s brand refers to the unique identity that a product or service has as a whole, as a result of the execution of the brand identity via the act of branding.
In order to create a recognizable, coherent, successful brand that’s associated positively in the mind of your audience, you need to start with the basics of who your company is and what it’s trying to do.
One easy way to figure out your brand’s personality, is to consider what they would be like if they were a person.
What kind of personality would they have?
What would their style be like?
What are their values, and their mission in life?
How are they different from others, a.k.a. your competitors?
Finally, depending on all of this, ask yourself how you think this person would be perceived by others? And what effect would this have on them? Is this the effect you want your brand to have on your target audience?
If so, then you’re one step closer to branding successfully, since this is the foundation for everything that comes afterwards, and it should align with your business objectives accordingly.
Once you have a solid idea of your brand’s personality, then the elements of your brand identity will be easier to execute in a way that sends a coherent message to your target audience, reinforcing your brand’s memorability.
One of the most successful brands – if not the most successful example of recognizable branding – is that of the multi-billion-dollar corporation Coca Cola. After all, they managed to turn the originally green Santa Claus red, their trademark color.
Aside from purloining the color red from the branding palette available to all other businesses, their signature typography – coupled with their brand name – is stamped on the logo, and put onto each bottle or can, instantly making the drink recognizable, and inciting all the feelings and associations that we have when we think of Coca Cola.
If your business can achieve even a fraction of this effect on your target market, then you’re on your way to building a successful brand.
Looping back to the questions we asked before, we’ll revisit the question: how is your brand different from others?
A key feature of a brand is that its identity and personality is unique. It differs from your competitors and offers something that they don’t. Finding out where your brand and product fits within the market – in its own unique way – is called brand positioning, defined as the conceptual place that you want your brand to hold in your audience’s mind.
In essence, brand positioning is comprised of two key components: researching – and understanding – the needs and wants of your target market, and researching your competitors.
The biggest question that you need to answer when trying to find a position for your brand in the market is: what problem – that your target consumer has – does your product or service solve? How can your brand do this better than its competitors?
One important thing to note in all of this is that most products aren’t 100% unique, and it’s your brand’s differentiating qualities that you should emphasize in your branding process; products aren’t usually unique, but a brand can be.
The final stage to successful branding is reinforcing the positive feelings that your target market experiences when they are reminded of your brand and product. This applies to your whole audience, when you consider your marketing and advertising choices, but even more specifically to your converted leads.
Taking inspiration from HubSpot’s marketing flywheel, the way to reinforce positive branding is to continually delight your current customers, with a great, high quality product, unbeatable customer service, and potential perks for loyal customers.
Compared to the tired-out funnel marketing approach – which works by putting the majority of a business’ time, money and resources into ‘attracting’ leads – the flywheel focuses on delighting its current customers, to the extent that they do most of the advertising for you, through word of mouth.
If your brand delights customers, they will tell other members of your target market about your brand and product. This, studies have shown, is the most effective form of advertising and lead conversion because customers no longer trust traditional advertisements since the dawn of the internet – this is part of why branding is so important.
In contrast, consumers trust other consumers, which is why attaching a sense of ‘delight’ to your brand – which is incited every time they see your logo, typography, brand name, or even a specific color scheme – is crucial to your branding strategy.
After all, even if the whole world knows the name of your brand, it’s irrelevant unless they associate that name with credibility, trust and delight.
So, if you want to make your business’ brand the most recognizable, ‘delightful’ brand it can be, ensure that the steps you take to build each component of your business – your product or service, your website, and anything else – spreads a coherent, positive message about who your brand is and what your company stands for.
All that’s left then is to become a household name.
Digital Marketing Tips
For the majority of people, the internet is a one-stop shop for all their consumer needs, informational browsing and – obviously – for the use of social media. In fact, in 2019, internet users were recorded to spend an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social networking platforms per day.
So, it’s fair to say that the online world commands a significant portion of the public’s attention span each day and, as such, the world wide web has become the most attractive marketing platform for businesses, as gatekeeper to a pool of billions of potential consumers.
Especially in 2020, as the pandemic forced our social and professional lives online – in order to prevent the spread of the corona virus – the internet has become an even more vital part of our everyday lives, and the number of hours spent on the internet during this time has skyrocketed, and the number of internet users has increased, too.
So, what do you need to do to make the most of digital marketing, to make your business grow in 2020?
Harness the power of SEO
Search Engine Optimization is the bread and butter of the digital marketing world, and there’s no chance that you haven’t heard of it by now. However, it’s such an important part of your marketing strategy that it would be a crime not to touch on it.
On-page keyword SEO
Research your keywords before writing any piece of content – whether that’s a blog post, content for your website, or anything else.
More than their popularity – especially if you’re a smaller, newer business – you should look for keywords which are underrepresented in your niche, so that your site isn’t lost in the sea of other results of more established businesses.
Off-page SEO is what you receive when your business – or a piece of content that your business has produced – is referenced and linked by another party’s content.
So, if your content is referenced by a publication – or in content belonging to another business – then it can help you to rank more highly in a search engine’s results page.
Technical SEO is invisible to the naked eye, and applies mainly to your business’ web page.
The aim of executing technical SEO is so that the data behind your webpage can be easily interpreted by the search engine, as well as appealing to it in a number of specific ways.
There are many methods to make your technical SEO appealing to Google and other search engines, including making your website mobile friendly – since, more than ever, people are making purchases from mobile devices.
Moreover, you can implement structured data mark-up, increase your page loading speed and countless other things. You can read more about that here: Reliable Soft Technical SEO.
Don’t shy away from content marketing
Content marketing is one of the most important tools in your digital marketing arsenal, and any business can benefit from the numerous content marketing routes available to take.
Build a blog
When consumers are looking for an answer to a question, a solution to a problem, or looking for product recommendations, one of the first places they’ll opt to visit is a blog.
By providing content that has value to these internet-roaming consumers, you help to instill credibility and trust in your brand image, and your business will be remembered for future patronage.
Or, visitors of your blog may click through to your site to find out more, resulting in higher organic traffic for your webpage, and potentially higher sales.
Consider video marketing
Compared to static photo ads – which typically receive a click rate of 3 or 4 percent – video ads receive a click rate of more than double that. Plus, you can squeeze more information about your brand, product or service into a video ad, which is helpful for customers to decide whether they want to purchase from your business.
The usefulness of video marketing doesn’t end there, however. More than improving the click-through rate of ads, businesses can produce video content for YouTube, like they would a blog, for those who prefer to watch rather than read, providing access to a different demographic.
Use social media to hone in on your target market
As mentioned before, internet users spend – on average – around 2 hours and 22 minutes a day on social media, and social media platforms are the most frequented sites on the internet. As such, you’d be a fool not to jump on the opportunity to make use of such a large potential market.
When it comes to prioritizing your social media efforts, you should take a look at the demographic that each platform is most popular with, and compare that with the demographic of your target market.
For example, Facebook is the most popular social media platform with the highest number of users, but only 20% of those users are between the ages of 18 and 24. So, if your target market is young adults, then you might be better off on Instagram, since 31% of their users are within that age range.
Re-jig your email marketing efforts
An effective method of marketing – though seldom done right – is by sending out email campaigns.
While sending out a bulk email to everyone on your mailing list is unlikely to achieve the results you want, personalizing email campaigns to each consumer ensures that they’re receiving information, promotions and offers on services and products that they’re actually interested in. The emails that you send out can be tailored to their interests, based on their previous buying and searching habits.
Moreover, you could consider adding a pop-up to your webpage that invites visitors on your website to join your mailing list, providing the option to let them specify their interests further. Or, you could offer a discount for people who choose to sign up for your mailing list, so that you can expand this list – and your pool of potential customers – as well as to incite them into their first purchase.
So, if you want to boost your business in 2020, and make the most of your digital marketing budget, be sure to optimize these four aspects of your digital marketing strategy, and watch your traffic, sales and profit grow.