“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories, and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.” Seth Godin, American author and former dot-com business executive.
Branding your company or business is more than just picking the right shade of blue to use or designing a cool new logo. In order to create and develop a strong and effective brand strategy, you need to take a step back and look at the big picture while keeping in mind the important details as well.
We know how important it is for you to deliver the right message at the right time and in the right place. But in order for that message to be consistent and effective throughout your entire marketing strategy, your brand has to be well defined and effectively worked into a comprehensive brand strategy. So, here are the Seven Essentials of Company Branding you need to have crystal clear in order to have and expand your brand’s presence and awareness.
What is a Brand Strategy?
Developing an effective Brand Strategy encompasses combining different components of your company´s character that ultimately make it identifiable throughout a wide myriad of platforms and media. To create and evolve a successful brand, there needs to be a well-defined strategy that includes and affects all aspects of your business and is directly connected to the needs, emotions, and environments of your customers/clients/users/consumers.
So, your brand is not your product, it’s not your logo, website, or even your company name. Your brand is something intangible, it’s a feeling or emotion that lives in people’s minds and hearts and makes the difference between mediocre companies and long-lasting thriving brands.
Purpose, Why you do what you do?
As a brand, you’re making a promise to the public. However, consumers have become more untrusting and very vigilant, to separate yourself from other brands it’s necessary to have a very clear and consistent “defining purpose”.
It’s not only necessary to know what your business promises is to define your brand, but also know why you wake up every day to continue to do what you do day after day. This is what will differentiate your brand from your competitors. Although making money is almost every company’s objective, it can’t be your sole purpose if you truly want to stand out from the competition. So, your success has to be more than just economical, it must be almost altruistic and noble, it must include making a positive impact in the world and in people’s lives. So, while defining your brand’s purpose make sure to dig deeper and find a more noble vision and mission.
Consistency, the Fuel to Brand Recognition and Customer Loyalty
In order to keep a consistent branding strategy, everything you talk about throughout your marketing and communication efforts must relate and/or enhance your brand and brand message. Consistency is the platform upon which your brand will stand to keep a cohesive and synergetic communication with the audience throughout every point of contact.
So, avoid confusion by creating a style guide that encompasses everything from tone of voice, to colour schemes, and channels where you’ll position your products and services. A great way to add consistency to your marketing mix is by carefully and thoughtfully adding promotional merchandise to your marketing mix. This will not only expand your brand´s reach, but it will also create a long lasting impression on the public.
Emotion, the Key to Strengthening Brand-Customer Relationship
Brands that provide customers with opportunities to connect at emotional levels by feeling like they’re part of a group, or connected to others, as well as feeling love or affection, tend to have much higher customer loyalty and brand presence rates. Not to mention higher ROI on their marketing campaigns, including measurable ROI in promotional merchandise campaigns.
So, find a way to connect with your audience (customers) on a deeper level by providing them some sort of emotion, such as tranquility, peace of mind, belonging, care, affection, understanding, etc.
Flexibility, Don’t be Afraid to Change
By remaining flexible, you’ll also maintain the ability and freedom to be creative and reach customers new and old in fresh ways that will keep your brand relevant and vibrant. Keeping consistent standards and guidelines for your brand strategy, you´ll be able to freely expand your approach by making adjustments that continue to build interest and differentiate your approach from your competition.
A strong enough brand should be flexible enough to be consistently identifiable while remaining fresh and new. So, be creative and daring with new tactics and search out opportunities to engage your followers in unexpected ways. Some examples include out-of-the-box partnerships, highlighting new brand attributes, or utilising promotional products that work even if your budget is limited.
Employee Involvement, More than a Trend
If you think about it, your business is made by your customers and your employees. You already use much of your resources in keeping your customers happy, engaged, and well taken care of. However, a considerable amount of resources should be dedicated to caring for your employees as well.
This not only includes well-rounded workplace wellness programs and onboarding processes, but it also includes making sure your brand values and message remains consistent at all contact points, including your employees being well versed in how they should be communicating with customers and representing the brand.
Loyalty, Last but Most Certainly not Least
Your customers are your most outspoken and public brand ambassadors. Their loyalty is key to expanding your brand and thus creating more profit as well. So, nurturing their loyalty has to be a priority. Doing so is sometimes as easy as saying “thank you”. However, as with any relationship, a more meaningful detail is required sometimes. Some fantastic tactics include writing them a personalised letter or sending them a special gift.
A great way to have a constant channel to cultivate loyalty is having your own Branded Online Company Store. This branding platform allows you to constantly provide your customers and employees with useful merchandise to be part of their everyday life. Additionally, programs such as Store Points, Gift Cards, and Reward Systems create very effective ways to build engagement and expand your brand´s reach.
Red Tomato is here to help you take every element of your brand strategy to the next level by including top-notch promotional merchandise in your marketing mix and helping you set up your own Branded Online Company Store to further nurture and elevate your brand strategy.