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Brand-building is a long-term initiative that demands patience and persistence, but its benefits are worth the effort. The perks of brand-building are present in both internal and consumer-facing aspects of your business.
Below is a quick list of what you can expect from maintaining a strong brand:
- Better employee recruitment experiences: According to more than 70% of surveyed recruiting leaders from around the world, an employer’s brand plays a significant part in the hiring process. Not many job seekers will consider applying to a company with a bad reputation.
- A probable increase in profits: Consumers are often willing to pay premium prices for products from brands they trust and value. This form of price sensitivity is a significant metric for brand strength. It also makes it possible for you to improve your profit margins.
- More loyal customers: A strong brand not only attracts consumers willing to accept higher price tags but also those that will keep coming back for more. Over 40% of consumers say brand consistency is a deciding factor when deciding if they will be loyal customers.
- A safety net in the event of an economic crisis: A strong brand with a competitive edge will be more top-of-mind for consumers than weaker competitors. Shareholders may also value the brand’s potential more. Therefore, good branding can shelter a company from the worst effects of a crisis like Covid-19.
- Enough brand equity to survive bad press: Inadvertently committing public relations offenses is usually more common than dealing with a global economic downturn. Solid brand equity will give you the maximum allowance to pull your company to safety from both.
Staying true to your brand identity and having an efficient strategy to do so will help your business immensely. Your target audience will trust you more easily, leading to more customers and better conversion rates … even during a pandemic.
5 tips and tricks to improve brand strength and equity
Branding is not simply about using the same logos and fonts and colors. Building your brand requires in-depth processes that may involve website design, maintaining a social media presence, beefing up customer support, making changes in your company culture, and even rethinking your company’s philosophy.
To better understand what it takes to do this, think of your brand as a person. Who are they? How do they behave? How do they want to be remembered by the people they meet?
Let’s look at five things you can do to create and develop a strong brand.
1. Get to know your brand and your audience
Go back to the starting line. What are your brand’s passion and purpose? Why does your business exist? You can’t begin to address your company’s branding without the basic building blocks.
Once you’ve defined your ideal customer and what your products can offer them, move on to finding out what your target market thinks of your brand. Cultivate customer relationships to get into insightful conversations with them.
Only when you have these details can you build a brand that your audience will recognize, value, and trust.
2. Create a set of brand identity guidelines
Branding guidelines like this should be comprehensive and widely distributed throughout your company and beyond. Don’t limit access to the marketing and sales teams.
A complete brand identity guide must include more than design elements, though they typically make up the bulk of the information presented. Lead with the usual mission and vision statements. Add a brief version of your origin story for context. Tackle brand differentiators and unique value propositions for targeted buyer personas.
3. Don’t forget to craft your brand voice
We mentioned above that it’s helpful to think of your brand as a person. After you’ve fleshed out their attitude and personality, think about how they would respond to you if you talked to them. What would your brand sound like in a conversation? What would their text messages look like?
How you communicate with your audience is also part of your branding. To improve your brand strength, your words must resonate with who’s listening.
Most important of all, your brand voice must not change across different channels or throughout the life cycle of your company. Allow your branding to grow and adjust slightly to your audience if you must. However, your brand voice should carry a familiar quality to it that customers will recognize.
4. Update existing branded elements if needed
With your brand-new branding guidelines as a reference, take stock of how you’ve been handling visuals and communications. Standardize what you present across all presences and channels.
This can be as simple as using the same version of your logo on all social media accounts, collateral materials, and merchandise. It can also be as complicated as matching the tone of your website and customer support to the personality exuded by your varied marketing efforts.
5. Apply brand identity guidelines consistently
You need to be consistent to maximize the benefits of building brand strength and equity.
Think about the brands you find yourself patronizing again and again. Chances are that their brand consistency is high. For example, the average person is more likely to try a new beverage from Coca-Cola than one from an unfamiliar company because the former is so consistent in its messaging and branding.
Remember: Customers don’t react well to blog posts, collateral materials, emails or other communications that don’t align with your brand’s image and values.
Brand strength relies on what makes a business unique
An effective brand strategy takes expertise and resources to build and execute. But at the end of the day, even the most professionally handled branding can only take your business so far.
Sometimes, it has to do with targeting the right people. You can’t please everyone, so don’t try. Instead, focus on carving a niche for your brand through talking to consumers with similar beliefs and values. It makes sense to build the best branding possible to reach the best possible audience, no matter how long it takes to get it right.
Your best bet is to find what is at the core of your brand identity. What makes you special? What can you offer that your competition can’t? Dig deep to feature something unique that will help you come out on top. The goal is to stand out and connect with consumers even when you go head-to-head on price and marketing with industry counterparts.