I am always amazed when business owners and entrepreneurs discuss branding with me. The start and end of a branding discussion usually centers around a brand name and the design of a logo. In essence, branding is much more than that. Branding is the voice of your business. Branding represents the spirit and culture of your business. Branding speaks for your business.
A well built brand stays in public memory and creates a cult for itself … case in point, Kellogg’s, Coca Cola, Apple Inc. These companies did not necessarily go around scouting the best names and logos for their businesses. They simply focused on representing the product, service, or business through the brand. To get this branding right, businesses need to understand their prospective customer demographic. Brand strategies should revolve around this customer base, since they are your biggest audience.
As advertising has moved from conventional mediums to digital channels, branding has reshaped itself too. Brands now have a more direct conversation with their audience than ever before. Unlike, or more than ever before, content has become the crux of branding. Here are 5 significant ways in which you can conquer branding your business or product.
1. The Brand’s Voice
Make your content speak for you brand. Hold consistency in the way your brand speaks and interacts with its audience. Happy, sad, witty, cool, skeptical, etc. are some of the notes most brands adopt. Whatever brand tone you decide to go with, stick to it. It marks consistency in the way you appear to your audience. This helps in two ways, while it helps in holding on to the established customer base, it helps in word of mouth from this very customer base, which helps in attracting a larger audience later.
While establishing your brand, make sure to brainstorm on who your brand appeals to and what message do you want to send through it. Yes, the content is important, but from a content marketing point of view. From a branding point of view, it is not about WHAT but HOW. How you present your content and tell your story is what the audience is really looking at.
2. Influencer Impact
That Social Media will be crucial in establishing your brand is a dead giveaway, but how you utilize it will also be important in the long run. Paid campaigns usually don’t payback fruitfully, and even if they do, those are short term gains that should only be employed with organic brand building tactics.
One simple trick is to find social media influencers. While it is great to have a celebrity endorse your product in a TV commercial, on social media platforms, the hierarchy appears completely different. At the top of this hierarchy are social media influencers who usually are nobodies with a great fan following courtesy their thoughts or insights into certain subjects, their creative work, or their knowledge about something. Reaching out to 50 such influencers assures you a ready reach of around a couple of million people in one go. So many people talking about your brand at any given point of time is a sureshot way of making an impact, which will of course result in juicy leads and conversions.
3. Thought Leadership
First things first, if a brand or a person is considered to be a thought leader, he or she or it is already an established brand. But what do you need to be the thought leader? Do you ever think why people flock to Mashable the most for trending articles in digital media or why when it comes to the list of rich and richest, most would type in Forbes or why SAP is ubiquitous when it comes to enterprise business solutions? It is because these brands offer the most unique and relevant content.
Using blogs and story-telling to break down processes, narrating your business model, and explaining its motive to the audience certainly helps to establish yourself as a brand that is self-aware and self-confident, but thought leadership comes with offering insights into your entire business domain. If you are a boutique digital marketing company, your blogs should cover everything from web designing to SEO to infographics and offer unique and informative content about the same to its readers. If you are an online grocer, a lot of content on your blog should be about fresh produce, nutritional values of certain foods, recipes, etc. If it is attached to your business and is informative enough, your brand will be looked upto as a thought leader. Once you establish yourself as a thought leader in the digital space, there’s little that will stop you from establishing yourself as the leading brand in your domain.
The best brands are those that have a personal connect with the audience and a high recall value … for eg. Toblerone, Twinings Tea, Coca Cola, etc.
Branding is not just anymore about letting people know who you are and what you sell. It is a lot more. It has become a value-for-money concept in a nutshell. For case studies, you can check out how Starbucks, Red Bull, Coca Cola, or Apple reinforce their branding strategies. The one important lesson you’ll come away with is this – your brand needs to be rich, relevant, identifiable, sharable, discussable, and future-proof, all at the same time!