Top 5 Keys to Branding SuccessfullyIn our first official podcast, I discussed a little bit about my experience and my top 5 keys to successful branding. Although there is plenty to discuss when it comes to brand development, I wanted to touch on some of the most impactful areas that promote originality and clarity. Since some people prefer to read over listening pleasure, I broke down my talk points below.
1. Brand Authenticity
First and foremost, I believe in truly being authentic. Customers want to know who you are and who they’re doing business with. They want to know what your values are and why. They want to know what your company’s purpose is and how you came into fruition. But, most importantly, consumers want to know what your core competencies are and how you’re able to execute them differently than your competition.
Is the Brand Misleading?
In addition to the reasoning behind your launch, potential customers are looking for reassurance their money is well spent and they can trust you. As consumers become more aware of selling tactics, they want to know if there’s a catch. Are they going to have to upgrade or spend more? If they download a “free guide,” is there really going to be powerful information or simply more sales funnels. Especially online, users are beginning to recognize slanted selling tactics and want straightforward answers with actual solutions to their needs.
What are the Brand’s Incentives?
This doesn’t just include cost. Do you have a cause? Is there something you do that gives back to others? Are you reinvesting a percentage of revenue back into the company or towards a customer benefit? Is there a quality culture that you’re attempting to build and maintain over time? Are you transparent or convincing enough so they know you’re putting their money to work? All of these incentives will play a role in how trustworthy or appealing your brand is.
What About the Customer Experience?
Being authentic strikes a nerve that creates a vulnerability for critique – but authenticity also shows you’re committed to developing a quality brand your customers can trust and grow with over time. As soon as you seem phony or people perceive you as impersonal, not original, or cheap – you lose your unique authenticity. Often times, brands reach for ways to gain acceptance by literally mimicking others. Not only does this prove you’re disconnected from the customer experience, but disinterested in them. Instead of trying so hard to garner attention, why not promote authentic content that showcases your unique value? You can do this by simply telling your story..
2. Staying Relevant with Your Branding.
The second key to a successful brand is relevancy. If all of your promotional messaging or content doesn’t tie back into your value or objectives – then it’s lacking purpose. Although it may seem like quantity gives you the best chance, you’re potentially ruining the perception of potential customers. Taking the time to strategically place your brand with relevant copy and imagery allows viewers to define your brand and recognize your message when they come across it.
As aforementioned, generating authentic content instead of replicating similar brands will give you an advantage over your competition. For the most part, no business is the same, and it’s not only important for you to define your audience but taylor initiatives to them.
Relevancy enables potential customers to define your identity. It may sound cliche, but establishing your own niche and staying within your boundaries is a powerful way to gain brand recognition. When you’re able to allocate the values of your specific audience and only cater to their wants and needs, you begin to develop loyal following that supports your brand personality or identity.
3. Quality Presentation & Clarity Matters.
The third key to branding successfully is a quality. This is pretty self explanatory as low quality promotions tend to create a low quality perception. Although this may not cross the minds of sustained companies that rely on loyal customers, the expansion of online search and competition should generate a reconsideration. Eventually these smaller companies are going to come after your loyal fan base.
Quality Brand Messaging
When I initially think of quality, I don’t immediately turn to imagery and design – as these are secondary, in my opinion. Grammar, spelling, confusing (or convoluted) messaging can be just as big of a turn off. Consider two side by side podiatrists in an ad directory with the same message. One is clear and precise to the needs of it’s patients and the other tried to cram as many benefits, features, reasons into their limited dimensions. Nine out of ten times, the direct message providing sought value is going to resonate better.
Quality Brand Imagery
Imagery also plays a big role in quality control. Using the same example, imagine both podiatrists used the same message, but one used a picture of a general patient smiling with a doctor. The other used an actual image of their podiatrist examining a real patient’s foot? Do you think the potential patient looks forward to taking a selfie with a random doctor or experiencing the satisfaction or happiness of being treated by real doctor John who loves what he does? Up to you, I suppose..
Quality and Cohesive Brand Design
Design also needs to be considered. Now, I don’t necessarily mean a highly technical design needs to be incorporated in order to maximize your return, but cohesive branding needs to be executed. Although this may sound silly to some, matching the designs of your business card, letterheads, templates, flyers, emails, and social media posts, (even imagery editing) creates a memorable experience for the viewer. Remember, branding is about establishing your company and becoming recognizable. You’re hindering the effect you can have by not paying attention to quality presentation and simple design elements.
4. Consistently Relaying Your Brand Message.
The fourth key to branding successfully is consistency. In order to build loyalty and trust, you have to be purposefully consistent with your message, values, promise, and voice. Once you decide to invest in branding your company properly, you have to dedicate yourself (and everyone else representing the brand) to promote the same message and value across all touchpoints and channels.
Most importantly, you need to incorporate your brand initiatives into your marketing plan. Whether that may be blogging, advertising, social media posts, or marketing materials – implementing your voice within these channels is imperative. Especially when you’re catering to each level of the sales cycle – which we’ll get into more on a future podcast.
No matter if you’re involved in guest speaking, networking events, or any of opportunities to relay your brand purpose – you have to be consistent and believable at all times. This was hard for me to do when I first launched my company as I was initially chasing revenue. Taking the time to identify and streamline my message has allowed me to become more efficient with my pitch and solidify my services – and stick to the value I can provide my clients with on a consistent basis.
5. Committing to Branding.
The last successful branding key is commitment. Aside from marketing, you need to ensure you’re people are educated on your brand and being ambassadors at all times. Setting the guidelines for representation will not only solidify expectations but it creates clarity and a culture that people understand and support. Remember, your employees tend to be your first line of defense, and if they’re not being held accountable for brand standards then you’re doing your company a disservice.
This also goes for your marketing team. Take the time to figure out how each marketing campaign ties in and determine how you’re going to commit to monitoring your a plan. Make sure that measurement management follows the guidelines of your brand voice as well.
Committing to branding isn’t something that can be done overnight, but the return and loyalty you’ll receive will make the investment worthwhile. Essentially, it’s up to you how your brand is perceived, but staying true to your brand identity allows you to zero in on your value and execute the corresponding customer process.
Want More Information?
Branding successfully can be an extensive process that’s performed best with a brand specialist. Not only can we walk you through development, but Jordan can advise you as a consultant along the way.