Whether you want to or not, your brand influence affects almost every aspect of your business – from brand awareness, through effective addressing of the target group, marketing, customer interest in your products or services, to your employees and the overall functioning of your company. In this second and last part of the article, you will learn the remaining 5 points out of 10 that will help you and your business or company get more brand awareness, better reach your customers and gain their trust.
If you missed the first part of this article, you can find it here: 10 tips for brand building (part 1)
6. Be your best customer.
You can not ask your customers to be loyal to your brand unless you are loyal to your own brand or product / service.
Customers, even potential ones, will ask themselves “Why should I trust this brand and use their products / services if neither its owner / director believes in it?”
So be an example. Let everyone know that you believe in what your company does and what your brand does. Show that your products or services are exactly the ones you want to use and that there is nothing on the market to replace them.
7. Know your audience and reach them.
Knowing your audience, the target audience for your products / services, is as crucial as knowing yourself as a brand. If you do not know the target group of your company, you cannot have an effective strategy, marketing, sales, communication or visual brand identity.
Your entire strategy, communication and overall management of the company will be different if you focus exclusively on B2B or directly on sales to end customers. Similarly, if you focus on women, men, the younger population vs. older population, and so on. Each focusing on a specific target group defines the overall functioning of your company and its behavior.
So ask yourself, for what target group you want to focus on. Set aside your funds and conduct a survey to collect as much data as possible about your market and your existing and potential customers. Create a persona (profiles of persons, including the most detailed information about the person or relationship to your brand, the starting point of interaction, demographic information and psychographic information), whether based on your previous customers, or fictitious, which will represent the ideal customer.
All this data will help you objectively assess whether your company is moving in the right direction, is effective and has all its activities aimed at the right group of people.
Once you make sure that you focus on the right target group and you know it, do not be afraid to reach and interact with it. This part is critical for brand building. By interacting with your target audience, you can tell people what your core values are and why you do what you do. You can largely control how your brand will ultimately be perceived by the public.
8. Don't be afraid to invest in your brand.
Since everything in business is connected with everything, it is important to take care of your brand. So do not be afraid to invest in it, both time and money. It will reward you properly, with a return on investment (ROI) ranging from hundreds to thousands of percent.
And because public interaction with your brand has a certain hierarchy, you can also easily develop a strategy on which segments of your brand to focus first.
On average, 94% of your first public impression of your brand is based on visual perceptions. From this, we can conclude that one of the first key areas will be to ensure dignified and appropriate brand identity, mainly the visual one. This goes hand in hand with overall messaging, tone of voice and copywriting, thanks to which you can easily obtain new customers, or even lose – if the style of communication and overall messaging is not in line with your brand vision, core values or it is clear at first glance that insufficient efforts have been made for these segments and the lack of any strategy.
There are dozens of other segments you can invest in terms of brand building. Whether it is already mentioned design, hence the brand identity, strategy or style of communication and messaging. Also, there are significant opportunities in content marketing, social marketing, events, PPC campaigns for brand visibility, infrastructure and HR.
By the way, did you know that every $ 1 invested in brand design will return on average in the form of $ 20 profit over one year? So there is a return on investment (ROI) of about 2000% on average, which is much more than the investment in PPC marketing, where the ROI is “only” 200% on average.
9. Be one step ahead.
It may sound a bit disrespectful, but the fact that you being in business for 20 years does not mean that the market, functioning of companies, customers and technology does not change.
It is critical to keep up with the times (or in the best case be a step ahead), watching what is happening around you and not ignore it. Do not resist changes, learning of new things and advice. Let your ego and emotions aside, do not be afraid to take note of expert advice and above all keep pace and still learn, study options, or new procedures. While many may think that what they once learn in given field / topic nothing fundamentally change in it. Unfortunately, this is not entirely true.
A beautiful example may be the design industry. The average “obsolescence” of teaching at design schools is 4 years. And this figure applies to one of the world’s most prestigious design colleges – the California Art Center. Unfortunately, in other world schools, this figure is even higher. This means that in 2019 students learn things that were up-to-date in 2015. However, the design industry changes approximately every 6 months and new principles, practices, trends, and technologies are emerging.
A similar example could be SEO and Web technology companies. One of the main goals for SEO is Google. It changing its technologies and search algorithms at approximately 4-month intervals, and in most cases, these are very fundamental changes to search algorithms. So it is very strange to see some companies in Central Europe offering search engine optimization, but unfortunately for the customer, it has almost no effect as it targets the algorithms that Google used almost 10 years ago.
You don’t have to identify yourself with Art Center students or SEO companies. The primary purpose of these cases was to show a point. Whatever you do best, you can’t do it still the same way. You have to keep educating yourself, learning new things and not resist the idea of that the world around you and your industry simply changing every day.
And what is the connection with brand building? If you do not keep up with the times or don’t be step ahead completely, you will be limited in the broad possibilities of bringing your brand closer to people and choosing from the media to communicate with your target audience. You can communicate only through your website, or not at all and communicate only through classic flyers, but you spoil the experience of interacting with your brand to customers, or potential ones.
Investigate and therefore possibly take advantage of all the opportunities that will help improve public interaction with your brand. According to surveys, more than 85% of people expect a seamless experience while interacting with the brand. This means that they want to interact with you not only on your website but also at social networks and use new technologies to communicate with you. An example might be a tremendously growing popularity of live chat on the websites, where more than 63% of visitors expecting this communication option.
Thanks to the fact that you will not stagnate but constantly evolve, you can easily gain an advantage over your competition. What’s more, people will also see you as a leader and innovator.
10. Share your story and your values.
Feel free to tell your story and your values. How and why did you get to do what you do and what was your journey to it. People love stories! Statistically, for 64% of people shared values are the main reason for establishing a relationship with a brand.
It may seem crazy, but people often do not buy what you do, but mainly why you do it. And what you do simply proves what your values are and why you do it.
This is related to evoking emotions in customers, about which you could read in the previous first part of this article. It is stories that are an effective tool to evoke emotions in people, thanks to which they can connect and identify with you better.
So share your story and core values with the public or your target audience. Tell why your company was founded, why you get up every morning and go to work or why you believe your product is something more than a mere thing to make money, but it also serves a greater purpose.
For brand building and marketing as effective as possible, it is important to direct all your brand messaging and communication from the center out. So you did not start by describing the benefits and features of your product / company, distinguishing it and inviting people to take action. On the contrary, start with a clear statement of what you believe in, what values your brand holds and why your product was created. Only now you can go to the part where you differentiate your product / brand and tell how or what makes them different. Describe certain behavior or characteristics of the brand. Lastly comes description of your product/brand, benefits, features and possible call to action.
Leading an overall messaging and marketing strategy from the core of the brand is much more efficient than going from outside to the middle. It is based on psychology and how the human brain works.
Maybe you have been in a situation where you have compared two products / two companies of the same category, one had more benefits and was cheaper than the other. They had the same quality workmanship and overall there was not a big difference, but still, you bought the one that had fewer benefits and was more expensive, because you simply “liked it more”? This decision is most likely their strategy, where messaging and marketing were conducted from the very core, and you consciously or subconsciously identified yourself with the story behind that brand and product.