Your brand is more than “just your logo”
When people think ‘brand’ they might narrow the term down to ‘branding’ and think about just a logo but there’s far more to it than that.
In the past, ‘brand’ was tied up in advertising, and it makes sense, we all have our own favourite jingles and slogans that are instantly recognisable. While advertising still has an important role to play, times and consumers have changed considerably. We want to buy from businesses that we trust, that have more presence than just a catchy slogan or a shiny product.
Your brand should provide meaning, insight and understanding into what you’re about – that’s where authenticity and trust comes from, and so it should be visible at every touchpoint. Digital marketing strategies are a great way to make sure your brand is visible at every touchpoint to ensure consistency, from product to delivery vans, to employee uniforms – everything should be succinct. (top tip, you can do this with consistent imagery, even stock images)
This really helps a company to question their message, whether they are speaking appropriately to target audiences, and whether they are emphasising the right issues and aspects of a product or solution.
First impressions are everything
As consumers, when we discover a company or a product we like, the first thing we might do is start with a Google search and see what we can find. In fact, 89% of customers begin their buying process with a search engine.
The first few clicks will shape our perception of that business and ultimately whether we go through with a purchase or not. So, getting this right is crucial for companies.
There are plenty of ways to do this. First and foremost, a great website, your digital shop window. A functional and useful website gives customers a taste of what products and services you offer, and will entice them to purchase from you.
It was found that a single bad experience on a website makes users 88% less likely to visit the website again.
The next clicks will bring them to reviews and customer experiences, and here they will be able to see how your brand performs when it is customer facing. Do you give your customers everything they want? Are you actively responding to queries?
Brand representation in the social media sphere
The personality of your brand can be shaped with an effective social media presence. Take Wendy’s on Twitter, for instance, it blew up when it created a whole personality around its brand, and the results were fascinating and hilarious. There are some other great examples of this, but this does fall under ‘viral marketing’ and will inevitably have a short shelf life. Don’t forget that these are still companies at the end of the day, that last thing you want is your company to go viral for the wrong reasons.
Brands that have a strong presence on social media do also use it for customer service. Responding to customer queries and complaints through Twitter has become very common in the 21st century, but with something so visible comes a lot of scrutiny.
Think about what your customers will find when they look up your company page on Twitter. People want to read interesting and engaging content but also engage with the company on a more social level, so the tone of voice, delivery and customer service provision is important. Nearly 60 percent of customers try a new brand or company just to find better customer service, so you need to be getting it right.
Consistent content throughout on your social channels is key too, it’s important to make sure the right communication reaches your social team. If spokespeople and executives are active on Twitter, have a think about how they will be perceived. Their bio and content should reflect the values of your brand too.
Your brand out in the wild
A consistent brand doesn’t just exist online.
Your brand values should be echoed out in the real world too – this includes your suppliers, your teams, your vans, your signage, and anything else a customer might come across. Think about merchandise, promotional products and campaigns – with 50% of Europeans listening to the radio at least once a day, and the average person being exposed to between 6,000 and 10,000 ads every single day, are we missing out on huge opportunities here?
Everything should reflect your brand values, if friendliness, warmth, and creativity are the pillars of your business, you should inject where you can.
A fruitful outcome
If you bring all of these factors together, your business will be far more memorable and consistent and you’ll see more customers come your way. You will be able to demonstrate your value better, setting you apart from competitors and helping you to cut through the noise.
It takes time and attention to create a successful brand, and the process never really ends. As the world around us changes, your approach will need to adapt too.