When you talk about ‘branding’ those multi-million dollars companies pop up in your mind, and most of the small business owners and even marketers think that branding is just leveraged by brands with huge budgets & teams and get stuck in drone business methods!
#DidYouKnow – Due to poor branding and customer service, U.S brands are losing whopping $41 billion each year and 54% people don’t trust brands now.
We don’t realize, but most of us are also in the trap of delivering a poor brand experience to our customers, which is like a hole in our business and our high-value customers are gliding through it.
So, on the note, 75% of buying decisions are based on emotions, let’s dig deep into ‘how to create an effective brand strategy which can improve our customer experience and can build our business into a brand.
But first, let’s understand what branding is?
“Branding is a process involved in creating a unique name and image for a product in the consumers’ mind. Branding aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers.”
To keep it simple, branding is the experience your customers have with your business at various levels & touchpoints – digital, sales, stores, service, product use, etc. and a positive brand experience not only helps create loyal customers for a recurring revenue but also loyalists (indirect marketers) advocating your brand.
Still, most people neglect it!
Just because they forget these two important business aspects,
- People buy products because of the emotional benefit behind it
- Customer loyalty can be worth 10 times as much as a single purchase
Now, when you know how important branding is for your business, you might have question – “How you can leverage the power of Branding in your business?”
This is what we will discuss in this post and I promise you that when you are done with it, you will be much more confident with the action steps you can apply to your business to create an amazing experience for the customers which could become their primary reason to buy from you and not your competitors.
Before we get started, I want you to dump out two things from your mind:
- You need a lot of capital to leverage branding.
- Your customers are just a way to write you a cheque
Essentials to build your brand strategy:
Let’s get started.
But first, tell me have you ever experienced that awkward vague feeling when you don’t know where you should start?
I have felt it a million times and especially while I thought about Branding my business.
A huge list of things used to pop-up in my mind, like – I need to build a logo, design templates, color palettes, onboarding experience, customer service, themes, etc., etc., etc.!
It used to frazzle me to depression.
You know what saved my life?
You guessed it right, a “Brand Strategy.”
The reason to build a brand strategy is so important because it brings your branding into action.
I hope we are clear about the importance of building a strategy. So, rather than thinking about 100 of things for your brand, let’s write it down and work on it step-by-step:
1. Ask Why?
Do you remember I mentioned, your customers are not just your paying cheques, they are people with emotions just like you, this sounds very simple, but when we look at this deeply, we all find a culprit in us which sees our customers as numbers.
These many eyeballs will get us these many sales “as per the industry average!” Ah!
Now, don’t take me wrong, I am not saying not to think about earning money, of course, you have to make money, after all, that’s why businesses are for! But, a customer-centric approach is a distinction between brands and businesses.
That’s why brand positioning comes before branding.
Ask yourself, why you are in business and how will you add value to your customer’s life? How do you want to position your product/ service to your customers in the market?
Write it down and be focused on what value you are going to deliver.
2. Deliver on your promise:
We hate that friend who always breaks our promise. So, how can we expect that someone will love our brand if we don’t keep our promises?
Think it this way; in your friend circle, you have friends who have different personalities. Now think who the one you trust the most and love to hang out with is?
Obviously, The one who cares for you, the one who keep his promises, the one you know will never break your trust.
Now, compare it to your business and ask what the traits your business should have to become the best friend of your customer?
In a nutshell, keep this very clear in your strategy that how are you going to deliver the value you are promising. Follow the 10X value rule and never let it go down from what you promise.
3. Make your brand emotionally strong:
Our customers are humans, not humanoids. A Huge part of their decision making is made by emotional triggers
You would think, a business should have logic and rational features. Agree, but when 100’s of other businesses are offering the same features like you then ask what is the probability of a person buying from you is?
Find out that emotional benefit your business is offering and trigger that into your brand experience. It is the most important key takeaway you should take with you today!
4. Consistency is the key:
We are at the last step and you are clear with that what your brand stands for and how you can deliver the promise while connecting with your audience emotionally.
Now, it’s time to take your planning into action by synching your brand strategy with your Customer Touch Points and activities.
For you reference, I’ll tell you the way I do it.
I write down all the possibilities of the customer’s engagement with the brand and ask, is everything resonating with my brand strategy?
It’s just that simple.
Your list of customer engagement touchpoint might look like:
- Social Media Presence
- Marketing Message
- Reviews Online
- Colour Pallet
- Product Packaging
- Stores, etc.
Once you have the list, work on them one-by-one to make them uniform and align with your brand strategy.
Take an example of Volvo Cars Social Media Presence (Notice their brand consistency on Social media):
Keep your brand essence uniform across all the channels and be consistent with you approach.
We have learned the distinction between a business and a brand and what benefits it can cater to your company.
The question you can answer now quickly while building your Brand Strategy:
* What is Branding and why is it important to have a brand strategy?
* Why is it imperative to know the purpose of your brand?
* Why you should be clear about what you promise and why to deliver 10X value?
* Why you shouldn’t be too rational in your branding? Your customers like to spend on business which emotionally connects.
* Why being consistent and uniform on all your customer touchpoint?
One last note, Sometimes you might feel frustrated to keep everything in-line, especially if you have just started. Thus, I want you to spend time and create a Brand Strategy for your business as its the key to success for your business.
Please share your feedback in the comments below, or if you have any questions, I would love to answer them.