Regardless of the size of your business, brand identity is one of its most valuable assets. If your business doesn’t stand out from the competition with its products, services, or customer experience, don’t expect it to survive very long. Your brand identity can influence how and why customers choose your product or services over another.
When I say brand identity, I’m not just talking about the names and labels of the products and services you offer. I’m talking about the identity of your company. When people interact with your company, it contributes to their overall perception of your brand. Whether the experience is positive, negative, or neutral, it has an effect on the future growth and profitability of your business. Your brand identity can even increase the cash value of your business when it comes time to sell it.
However, if your current and prospective customers don’t recognize your business as different from the competition, your brand identity is due for an overhaul.
During a challenging economy, no business can really afford to lose a sale. Therefore, it’s imperative that your business have a recognizable presence. Branding is establishing a clear but differentiating identity to your existing and prospective customers.
If your brand is undefined or if you want to change your brand, the following five branding strategies will produce results with minimal investment.
1. Conduct Research
First, determine your market’s current perception of your business. To get a view from the outside, talk to customers and others who know your business. Find out why they chose your business instead of a competitor. Determine what they like most about your organization.
Next, find out if your current branding means anything to your customers. If you know what your customers really want and need, you’ll have an advantage in adapting your products and services directly to them. Use the information you receive to grow and refresh your brand.
Analyze every aspect of your current brand. This includes your marketing materials, business cards, on-hold messaging, email signature, and website design. Put some effort into ensuring everything is uniform with the branding message you want to communicate.
2. Describe Your Brand
Write a one-page or less description of your business. Describe how you want to be different. Find out what about your products, services or the customer experience makes you different. Focus on how to deliver those products and services in a memorable way.
3. Communicate Consistently About Your Brand
Every customer interaction is potentially a branding opportunity, especially when speaking directly with a customer. That’s why it’s important to consistently communicate the benefits of your brand in all marketing materials. This goes beyond what you may typically think of as a marketing resource. Not only does it include product packaging, it extends to the appearance of your office and restrooms, the expertise of your staff, a website that’s user friendly and easy to navigate…
Anything related to your business that a customer might see, hear, taste, touch, or even smell, contributes to their perception of your business. Aim to make that a positive experience, every single time.
4. Promote Your Brand Using Social Media
Social media increasingly is becoming a necessary part of an effective branding strategy. It requires consistent time and effort, but over the long haul, can help you find new customers and enhance the customer experience of current ones. At the least, create Twitter™ and Facebook™ accounts where you can re-communicate your unique value, reiterate your brand differences, and even provide special and unique content and offers.
5. Create Top of Mind Awareness
Building a brand is a process. It may take months before you realize quantifiable results. Therefore, it’s imperative to select specific areas on which you want to focus. Then, create and execute a plan to boost engagement among customers and prospects. Most importantly, stick to it, keeping your brand ‘top of mind’ in your current and future customer’s minds. Your brand grows over time. So again, it’s important to stay positive and not quit. If a customer is not ready to buy today, your efforts in implementing steps 1-4 will help keep your business ‘top of mind’ when they do.
To get more information and receive other no-cost special audio downloads, reports, articles, blog posts, and more, visit Ron Hequet where I cover valuable topics that every person wanting to grow their business or career needs to know. And, if you’re ready to take your business to the next level, get a free assessment from me personally at Free Business Assessment or for those wanting to build your career go to Complimentary Coaching Assessment