Branding is critical for anyone selling services or products. Whether you’re selling to consumers or businesses, you must have a clear branding message that tells the customer who you are and what you’re offering. Let’s take a closer look at why branding is important.
Out Of Obscurity
A properly branded business is one that can move from obscurity to recognition and respect in the consciousness of a customer. When companies create a cohesive and recognizable brand, not only will customers become aware of the businesses’ existence, they will begin to recognize the symbols of that business. For example, everyone knows Nike’s “swoosh” and McDonald’s “golden arches.” This is because those companies created so much brand recognition that the symbols of their brand became imprinted in the minds of customers and non-customers alike.
There are many ways to go about blasting your business out of obscurity but the underlying goal is to get attention. You want as many eyes on you and your product/services as possible. At the very least, your business needs an online presence and an offline strategy for raising awareness about your brand. It’s about selling your products/services but it’s also about building relationships with people, and that takes a lot of time so you should start now. Here are just a few ways to gain attention for your brand:
- Do something newsworthy.
Get involved in your community, hire someone interesting, or do something else that other people would like to know about then share it. Local reporters are always looking for an opportunity to write about interesting people so become a news source.
- Create a platform.
If you want to get attention for your brand, you need a platform where people can go to get more information. Social media websites are a great start, but you should always have a platform that you control such as your website, blog, or mailing list. Social media platforms sometimes remove or ban accounts for no reason. You don’t want to be dependent solely on one platform to build your brand.
- Connect to community.
Do you know other businesses that complement your own? If so, get involved with their platforms and contribute. Write guest posts, comment on their blogs, do interviews on topics you have expertise in. You can also follow them on social media and repost valuable content they share. Getting connected to a community is a great way to get recognized.
There are a lot of ways to pull your brand out of obscurity. It’s just a matter of being creative enough to think of which tactics work best for you.
Branding isn’t just about selling your products and services, it’s also about building trust. No one buys from companies they don’t trust. Businesses that can’t or won’t keep their promises are remembered for the wrong reasons. And if a company breaks trust enough, they will find themselves gaining the wrong kind of attention. Don’t earn yourself a bad reputation. Focus on building trust for your brand. Here are a few tips on how you can build trust for your brand:
So many businesses hear the advice to “be authentic” so often that it may sound a bit cliché but authenticity is the primary way to build trust around your brand. What does it really mean to be authentic? The simplest way to describe authenticity is to say it’s about being true to what you really are, your values and your ways of existing. Every business has a “personality” that makes it different from others. You need to discover and project your business personality in your branding message.
Remaining consistent with the type of message you project in your brand is closely related to being authentic. As you build your brand, you need to think specifically about what message you want to communicate to customers then you need to consistently stay on message in every post, marketing brochure or other branding material you distribute.
People see brands as people and people make mistakes. When you’ve made a mistake be willing to acknowledge that mistake, ask for feedback, and make the necessary improvements to better your customer’s experience. You should also share with your customers both your successes and challenges so that they can see that you are very much like them in that you too experience ups and downs.
Think and Act Long-Term
Branding is a long-term investment in your customer relationships. Think of branding as a lifelong courtship between you and your customers and potential customers. Your goal is to continue to keep the attention of your customers and remind them why you’re a great partner. Branding is not something you do once and forget about, it must continue over the life of your business. Once you stop branding, your business will begin to suffer.
Many businesses put off branding because they’re afraid to get it wrong. The truth is that there is no perfect way to do branding only some general best practices. If you’re making an effort you will inevitably make a few missteps and mistakes but that’s okay. The most important thing is that you begin building your brand today. You can start with something as simple as a website and go from there.
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