Regardless of the industry you’re in, branding is a factor than can make or break your company. Not only is it is vital for your company to exhibit a strong brand, but the branding you choose must resonate with your desired customers. You may have the coolest logo or the best product in town, but this is not enough to creating a lasting impression in the market. Your company needs the right amount of identity, personality and consistency to truly succeed.
When you use each of these tools together, you can create a message that potential customers cannot ignore. Your brand’s identity will help catch your audience’s attention, while its personality will encourage them to engage with your business. Above all, consistency will help you convey that your company is reliable and trustworthy. Once you master each of these elements with your own business, you can ensure that both new and old customers keep coming back for more.
Choose an Identity
Unless you have the most unique product currently on the market, there are likely hundreds of companies competing against yours. With all the competitors your brand has, why should customers purchase products from you? What makes your company different? This is where brand identity comes into play. Identity is the foundation of your company. It defines what your business is all about, who the products are for and how the company operates. Moreover, your company’s identity is what separates your business from its competition.
Having an identity provides customers with a clear understanding of what your brand’s mission is. It also allows your marketing strategies to focus on a specific audience in order to drive in more business. With this in mind, the first step in creating an identity is to determine your company’s target audience. You can build a target audience based on a certain age, culture, gender or even interest. For example, a restaurant owner who wants to attract environmentally-conscious customers may choose to serve only organic and locally sourced ingredients. This decision quickly becomes part of the restaurant’s brand. It sets the owner apart from others who choose to save money using non-organic or outsourced ingredients.
Having an understanding of who you want to target will allow you to focus on your customers’ needs, wants and values. It’s also important to be aware of how your competitors are operating. You don’t want to blend in with your competitors, or make business choices that set your company apart in a negative way. Instead, the goal is to make your brand relevant and unique to the audience you want to target. Most importantly, you want to take an approach that looks out for your customers in ways your competitors fail to.
Create a Personality
Once you determine your company’s identity, you need to craft the personality. Robots didn’t build your company, and it wasn’t produced on an assembly line. You created your business. In other words, you have a personality and your company should, too. Personality is how the audience identifies and recognizes your company. This includes everything from the logo and color scheme of your business to a particular commercial or jingle associated with it. This personality is how your business interacts with your audience.
More than colors and logos, part of creating personality is about establishing a voice. When you provide your brand with a voice, you are able to convey your company’s goal through more than words. You allow the audience to form a relationship with your brand when you create this voice. A heart-wrenching commercial during the holidays or a witty social media platform encourages customers to relate to your company. They begin to feel a connection each time they see a reference to your business. Ultimately, this encourages them to purchase your products and tell others about your company.
No matter what service your business is providing, consistency is key. If you own a restaurant, your diners expect to receive the same quality of food and service as they did the first time they visited your establishment. Customers are not likely to eat at your restaurant again if they have a bad experience or if they discover that the quality is inconsistent. Even outside of the food industry, it’s important to adhere to a certain standard with your service or product. Consumers want to visit your business and know exactly what they are going to get.
The same is true for your company’s brand. The business practices, voice, visuals and marketing strategies need to fit well together to avoid confusion among your audience. It’s important to have a consistent voice and stick to your brand’s message across all platforms. Customers who associate inconsistency with your brand are less likely to relate to your company and buy your products. On the other hand, consistency encourages patrons to become loyal customers, make multiple purchases and recommend your product to their friends and family.
In the long run, one of the most important steps you can take in business development is crafting a clear and consistent brand. When you grow your brand, you grow your business and create a lasting relationship between you and your customers.