So far in our series we have looked at many aspects of your business branding from developing your branding strategy to how to brand on a budget. In the final article of our Branding Series we list the top ten tips on how you can successfully implement branding for your business.
1. Start by defining your brand
Start by reviewing the products or services your business offers, then put together a list of related words that describe and define them. Now you can analyse the feeling your business gives against the type of customer you are trying to attract. If they are compatible you can move on to address just where in your market you sit. If you find there is a gap between your product and service packages and what your audience is searching for do some research and understand the needs and concerns of your customers better. Help connect your business to your target market.
2. When building your brand, think of it as a person
If your business were an individual, what would its personality be like?
Your business personality determines a lot of things, how you appear, how and what you say, who you are attracted to, where you can be found. Describe your business personality is it loud or chic, classic or cutting edge, young or experienced, luxury or budget friendly? This also helps to objectively examine the business creating a persona of its own to build a platform on and further develop in the future.
3. Consider what is driving your business
What are your business's core principles, what is its purpose and who are its brand neighbours? What value do you offer your customer and how are you sharing that vision? Looking carefully at these attributes can help establish your brand positioning and inform the identity and character for all your business's brand communications.
4. Aim to build long-term relationships with your customers
A great way to become more interactive is by being clear and honest with what your customers can expect from you. Put them at ease by telling them the benefits of doing business with you. If you know what your fundamental passion is, talk about it, show it, prove it, then you can drive and focus the business on it every day by communicating with your audience.
5. Speak to your customers with a consistent tone of voice
Unified communication with your market is crucial to establish recognisable brand awareness. It helps to reinforce the business’ character, customers are more likely to identify you because of repetition of 'voice'. Ensure your website, marketing material, business cards, labeling, videos, office/shop, uniform, social media imagery all speak as one well put together package, highlighting a structured approach to business in general.
6. Stay fresh and up to date
The effort is worth it to keep content and key business collateral fresh. Your key engagement messages need to work together to build a clear, seamless identity without repeating the same information needlessly. Keep in touch with what your market are looking for and adapt your approach to stay in the loop and if possible ahead of the curve. If you can read, listen and watch the latest in your space you will be able to connect to your segment and stay relevant.
7. Visit your brand as a customer
Have you ever visited a website and thought 'How did this site ever get to be live', it's out of date, broken, not responsive, difficult to navigate or just badly designed. Now spend some time examining your own website, imagine you are there for the first time, what is the first impression you get? Can you easily move around and find what you are looking for? How long did it take to load? Can you also view the site via a tablet or phone or is that not possible. At present 2016, a whopping 38% of all global traffic to a website is from a mobile device, so if your site is not responsive your customers will not likely stick around too long. After you have some user testing, formulate a plan of action to put your findings to work to deliver a better experience for your customer.
8. Strive for progress not perfection
If we waited until everything we did was perfect, guess what?, nothing would be achieved. Strive for your best and be proud of if it, but don’t allow the pursuit of unattainable magnificence to stall the growth of your business. Review your website and branding at regular intervals and keep progressing towards your goals. There is real satisfaction knowing your brand is always developing and adapting to the ever changing environment.
9. Always consider your branding when communicating with customers
There is always an opportunity to learn and grow so use every day to connect with your audience, remembering to reinforce your brand strategy and identity with unified communication. Represent your brand with passion and confidence it will manifest in all your business dealings and help to solidify your brand in the minds of your market.
10. Branding is everything
Branding is everything, give it a go, get your business branded and get on with doing what you do best, running your business. You'll see positive results and attract the attention of more potential customers and keep the contact of existing ones. Remember your target market are key and they are certainly a part of your business branding journey success.
Branding your business right the first time is an exciting journey, by following these ten tips and you'll be on your way to branding bliss.