Last week in our Viral Solutions branding series we discussed how you can research your target audience to get a better idea of the kind of brand image that will resonate with them. Now it’s time to talk about the strategy itself.
How can you be sure the branding strategy you have developed will actually help your business achieve its goals?
Here are a few elements that are characteristic of a strong branding strategy.
A sense of purpose
It’s not enough to have certain promises that your business makes to its customers — there must be a reason why you make these promises, and why you are focused on delivering a high level of service. This will help to differentiate you from other similar companies in your market.
Businesses tend to have a purpose that falls into one of two categories. A functional purpose focuses more on the evaluations of your success, such as the amount of money you are able to make. An intentional purpose is one that defines success as the ability to do good while making money.
Clearly, an intentional purpose is going to resonate better with your customers. People want to spend money at businesses that seem to have a purpose outside of making money. Without an intentional purpose, it is easier for people to view or portray your company as greedy or cold.
Consistently reinforced brand image
Every marketing step you take should either enhance or at least relate to your existing brand. On social media, for example, the photos or statuses you post should never feel irrelevant or inappropriate to your company.
Consistency is absolutely crucial for developing a recognizable brand, which in turn is critical for creating customer loyalty.
One great marketing strategy to use to help your business stay consistent with its branding is to develop an original style guide, which outlines every aspect of your marketing from the tone you take in your content to the color scheme you’ll use in images and web pages.
A more distant, corporate tone might work with some types of businesses, but in general you want to be able to form an emotional connection with your customers. This sort of connection will reinforce your brand. All people are born with a natural desire to form relationships, and that is not limited to just relationships between people.
Therefore, you should find ways to connect with your customers on a more meaningful and emotional level. The strategies you use for this depend on your target audience and the brand image you have developed, but the ultimate goal is always the same: to foster a sense of community and belonging that appeals to your audience’s emotions.
If brands are going to stay relevant for the long haul, their campaigns must be flexible.
This is not to say that you throw consistency out the window. You can still be flexible while being consistent. Consistency sets a high standard of quality and style for your brand, while flexibility allows you to remain nimble enough to make adjustments that continually maintain high levels of interest in your brand while separating you from the pack.
If you know there are people who are already loyal to your company and your brand, it is important that you regularly take action to reward them for their loyalty. A brand that is able to cultivate and enhance existing loyalty will get more returning customers and will find it easier to make profits.
Loyalty is an extremely important part of any branding strategy. You should always aim to highlight the positive relationships you have with your customers. This helps new customers get a better idea of what they can expect from working with you.
For more elements of a successful branding strategy, contact us today at Viral Solutions.
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