Your business needs some kind of company branding to thrive. Branding in 2020 is more important than it’s ever been in the past, but it’s also more difficult to stand out.
It seems as though everything has been taken, right? You go to start a personal brand and find that any relevant name under the sun has been taken. You wish there were more words in the English language and find yourself taking something that doesn’t feel like “you”.
What branding strategies can you use to fix your problem?
Customers want to follow a brand that stands out and catches their attention. They follow things that are memorable and forget those that aren’t. How are you going to compete?
Keep reading for a few tips on defining your brand so that your business doesn’t fall between the cracks.
1. Observe the Mistakes of Others
The first thing that you should do to learn how to brand is to learn what not to do. Learning from other peoples’ mistakes helps you because it streamlines your process. Why make things harder for yourself when you can just see how other businesses have failed?
Knowing how to avoid bad branding can start with your own observations. What brands have you been following for a long time? What brands have you found yourself forgetting?
Look into profits and customer interactions online. What brands are thriving and what brands are slowly falling behind in their industries?
Observing these things helps you to learn how to avoid bad branding which later lets you create good branding strategies.
2. Seek Professional Help
Looking at examples of good branding is just as effective as looking at examples of bad branding. Whether you’re looking in your own industry or looking at the people who are thriving in other industries, you’re learning about what works.
It’s good to look at companies that have the same target audience as you do even if they’re in a different niche. How are their branding strategies targeting that market?
Looking within your own industry might be disheartening (after all, these businesses have such good strategies. How can you keep up?) but that can help you grow. While you don’t want to mimic, you do want to see what they’re doing right so you can incorporate some of their techniques.
3. Seek Professional Help
If you’re a design-savvy people person who loves to market you might not need to hire external help. There are certainly a few things that you can (and should) do on your own, but you need an expert if you can afford it.
Good branding requires expertise. You need someone who knows how to design, someone who knows how to create effective social media strategies, and someone who is an analytics master. You’ll learn how to do these things on your own over time but when you’re first getting started it’s helpful to seek the help of others.
Whether you’re getting your business off the ground or you’re rebranding it’s important to get it right the first time so that you have a head start.
Rebranding especially requires quick and smooth transitions. You don’t want your current customer base to be confused about your company and you want to make sure new customers are lured in while you’re still fresh or else you may fall by the wayside.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Do Something New
As we mentioned, it’s good to look at people within your industry who are doing things right. That doesn’t mean that you should be following the pack.
You don’t have to just “keep up” with tried and true strategies. You can also work to rise above them. Standing out sometimes means that you need to do things that no one else has done.
This doesn’t mean that you should do it without tact. Making small tweaks is enough to be just ahead of the pack. Being willing to change and try something new puts you in a good position.
5. Know Your “Target” Audience
We’ve mentioned target audiences a few times here. What if you don’t have one?
It’s easy to say that your target audience is “everyone.” especially if you don’t have a brand that caters more towards feminine people, masculine people, teenagers, parents, or any other niche “type” of person.
Some businesses have more specific targets, like “teenagers who spend their time playing videogames” or “women with young children.”
“Everyone” is too broad. Even things like department stores have a target audience. Think of a general store like Target. Target’s intended audience is going to be families with a low to mid-range income. They price their items as such, and they gear their products in that direction.
They don’t pretend to be high-end, but they stock items in ways that mimic higher-end department stores. Their branding is minimalist and modern.
In other words, hone in on a niche even if you’re too broad.
6. Be Consistent
Your brand image is all about consistency. When you’re rebranding you still want hints of your former brand so as to not lose customers while also renovating to make room for something new.
A consistent brand image means that you’re identifiable across social media platforms, your website, and your in-store (if relevant) aesthetics.
Sometimes this is as easy as matching colors and your “brand voice”. Other times it means photos that all have the same general “look” posted across platforms and that “look” matches the feel of your business.
Take Aerie for example. While they’re an offshoot of American Eagle, they’ve made a smaller brand to target a more niche audience. Their social media has a “natural” vibe and they’re famous for showing “real people”, meaning unretouched.
Their brand voice reflects this by being uplifting and their products (underclothes and loungewear) all maintain a comfortable and “natural” feeling.
They’re easily identifiable amongst the plethora of retouched photos of shiny models.
Are Your Branding Strategies On-Point?
Having the right branding strategies is key for any business trying to get off the ground or drum up more customers.
By following our tips you’ll find that you’re getting more customer interactions. It’s your job to keep the ball rolling. Foster these customer relationships. Keep your brand consistent.
Make them remember who you are.
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