You may be thinking that your brand is your logo, maybe some colors, and a slogan. That’s what it used to be. Nowadays, it is much more than a few graphics and catchphrases. You have a brand, and it is always active within your field or with your consumers. That’s just how the strange cookie crumbles in the marketing world. One thing to be aware of is that if you are not actively managing your brand, someone will do it for you. Whether it’s a competitor or the general marketplace, somebody will sway your brand one way or another if you like it or not.
Take control of your brand and how it’s identified in the marketplace and public. No matter what type of marketing tools you use (print, digital, television, in-person marketing, etc), your brand is what clients expect you to deliver. So, you could focus on personalized solutions, exceptional customer service, fast deliveries, or cost-effective products. No matter what you choose to focus on, what you choose to do with your branding will set the stage for clients’ expectations.
When you start building your brand, be mindful of your branding voice. What you say and how you say it is crucial because studies show that less than 50% of a brand’s image can be attributed to just that.
Here are a few other statistics to keep in mind regarding your brand:
- 54% of people don’t trust brands
- 48% of consumers that the most critical time to gain their loyalty is when they make their first purchase or begin service
- 64% of people cite shared values as the main reason they have a relationship with a brand
So what can I do about these statistics?
The odds look like they are not in your favor. It seems that there’s a problem with “trusting a brand to perform as promised” in the U.S. That certainly is true.
So, how do you create a long-term client relationship? If you do, take time to develop and maintain a strong brand.
These 4 major milestones are critical for the start of building a strong brand
#1 – Your Name
Being a new business, this should be (and typically is) the first part of your brand. When you are creating your name, remember that it doesn’t need to describe what you do. It really just should be easy to remember and relevant. However, if you decide to include what you do in your name, then adding a tagline to your logo and anywhere else your name appears is best. That is a simple way to stand out.
Never forget to apply your brand name to all of your products and services that you offer. When your products and services are aligned with your brand name, then people will associate the two together from the start.
#2 – Define your target market and reach that audience
What is your target market? What do they “look” like? Creating a profile of an ideal client is actually the simplest way to accomplish this. Think of any “new patient” or application paperwork that you have to fill out. The information should include the following information: age range, sex, education level, occupation, income, job title, work environment, and geographical location. Do research with each piece of information on your ideal client profile because your brand should reflect this group. Use your branding to speak to your target audience.
Once you are finished with your ideal client profile, define their challenges and pain points. This will help you significantly with your value proposition.
#3 – Color, color, color
A person’s mood and purchasing decisions can be affected by color. Yes, you heard that correctly. Color can also affect their perceptions of brands, which means you better pick the “right colors” for your brand. As a rule of thumb: a brand is less “sophisticated” when there are more colors added to any design or logo. Here are a few colors and what they typically convey to your brain:
- White: safety, purity, innocence, and simplicity
- Black: control, class, power, and mystery
- Red: excitement and passion (use carefully because it causes high blood pressure)
- Blue: unity, intelligence, loyalty and legality (use carefully because different shades appeal to different demographics)
- Yellow: optimistic, happy, and cheerful (can be perceived as unstable)
- Green: nature, ecological, emotion, and the body
- Orange: youthful and creative
#4 – Your verbal promises need follow through with your actions
Make sure that your business can keep up with what it is promising. Each year the U.S. have brands that lose approximately $41 billion because of poor customer service. Try to avoid over-promising and under-selling. With the age of technology and review sites of companies and products, you do not want to be one that receives an overwhelming amount of negative mentions.
Quick word of advice:
With authenticity and credibility, you can build a truly effective brand. This means that you should be consistent between what you say and what you do. You want to leave an impression in the minds of consumers that communicates your values and skills, then follow through with that impression.
The next items to cross off your branding to-do list include:
- Your logo, fonts, images and visuals (used for your website, social media platforms, and any other marketing materials)
- Your voice and tone (should be understandable and personable)
- Have standards, be consistent, and stay current
Final Thoughts: Your brand becomes your reputation
No matter what, you need to accept that your brand becomes your reputation. Everything you say and do tell the world who you are. It’s best to choose your words and actions wisely. You start your brand, so you set the expectations for your customers. Customers will catch on quickly if your product or service don’t add up to what you’ve pledged them with your words.
It’s a good idea for your brand to find organizations or charities to support. These should align with your company’s values and mission. When your company comes alongside the community, the community and other consumers will notice. This creates a reputation. Be knowledgeable of who you partner with or support. The world takes note.