8 Branding Strategies to Get Your Business Noticed
Are you feeling left out because you’re not a mega-corporation like Amazon, Nike, or Tesla? Do you think branding is only for the big boys? Think again!
No matter the size of your business, branding is essential for getting noticed. And don’t worry; you don’t need a Facebook-sized budget to make it happen.
You may think, “But how can I compete with the big guys?” Well, let me tell you, it’s not about size; it’s about strategy.
Think of branding as your business’s superhero costume. You want to stand out from the crowd and make a memorable impression. So, put on your cape and start brainstorming ways to show off your business’s unique superpowers.
Your top-notch customer service, eco-friendly practices, or secret ingredient could make your product oh-so-delicious. Whatever it is, ensure your branding showcases your strengths and sets you apart from the competition.
And remember, you don’t have to do it all alone. Get your team involved in the branding strategies, and enjoy it! You may discover that your accountant has a hidden talent for graphic design.
So, consider the power of branding, whether you’re a small mom-and-pop shop or a growing startup. You can make your business unforgettable with a bit of creativity and a lot of passion.
1 – Establish Who You Are
Before you start slapping logos on everything, it’s time to do some soul-searching. Don’t worry, this isn’t an Eat Pray Love moment, but it is essential.
So, grab your notepad and ask yourself some deep questions. What do you want your business to be known for? If your business was a person, how would you describe them in three words? Are you trying to change the world or make it a little better? What are your business’s core values?
Now, don’t stress if you can’t answer these right away. You can always go to a mountain top and meditate on it, or take a coffee break and brainstorm with your team. Whatever works!
Once you’ve a clear idea of what sets your business apart, it’s time to figure out your POD (point of difference). This is your special sauce, your secret ingredient, the cherry on top of your branding sundae.
Your POD is that your products are ethically sourced or offer the fastest and most straightforward solutions. Or you’re the healthiest option since sliced bread (which, ironically, Subway is).
Whatever it is, make sure it’s something that sets you apart from the competition. If you’re just like everyone else, why should customers choose you?
Now, here’s where it gets even more exciting. It’s time to incorporate your POD into your brand promise. You deliver this experience every time a customer interacts with your brand.
Maybe you promise to make healthy eating accessible and delicious like Subway does. Or you promise to be the most eco-friendly option, like a tree-hugging superhero.
So, grab your cape and your coffee and get ready to make your brand shine. You’ve got this!
2 – Get Visual
Let’s talk about what’s at the heart of your branding strategies: visual elements. You know, the fun stuff that makes your brand look cool and snazzy.
First and foremost, your logo is like the Beyoncé of visual assets. The Queen B should be memorable and be a jumping-off point for all your other visuals. As Beyoncé’s music videos give us all the feels, your logo should give customers the right vibes about your brand.
But before you start designing anything, you must figure out the details of your visual branding, such as typography and brand colour palette. Don’t be like a wild animal in a zoo, aimlessly picking colours out of a hat. Create a brand style guide that lists all the do’s and don’ts regarding your visual brand strategy.
It will ensure everyone working on your visual brand strategy, such as your web designer, is on the same page. Think of it as a rulebook, but way cooler and more fashionable than the one your high school principal gave you.
And while we’re on the subject of colours, let’s talk about colour psychology. Yes, that’s right, colours have feelings too! The colours, shapes, and fonts you choose significantly impact how people view your brand. It’s like choosing the right outfit for a job interview – you want to make an excellent first impression.
Specific colours communicate particular messages and emotions. For example, blue is Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn’s go-to colour. It’s like the Meryl Streep of colours, able to play any role flawlessly. Blue communicates calmness, trust, honesty, strength, and authority. It’s also the most popular colour in the world, so it’s like the cool kid in high school that everyone wants to be friends with.
3 – Humanise Your Brand
Humanising your brand can seem like a daunting task, but it’s essential to connect with your audience. After all, humans like to engage with other humans, not with soulless corporations.
One way to do this is through storytelling. You can craft stories that convey your brand’s values and mission while entertaining your audience. But be careful not to come off as too pushy. Nobody likes a pushy salesperson.
Spotify nailed this with their 2020 Wrapped campaign. They created personalised stories for each user, showcasing their listening habits and preferences, which was an excellent way to connect with their audience personally.
Another way to humanise your brand is by introducing your employees to your audience. Sharing your team members’ stories and company experiences can add a personal touch to your brand. Take McDonald’s, for example. They share the achievements of their employees on social media and even use Twitter to congratulate them. It’s a great way to showcase the people behind the brand.
Airbnb uses Instagram to share the lives of its hosts worldwide. They showcase their experiences and the unique spaces they offer to travellers. It’s an excellent way to connect with their audience and build trust.
But why stop there? Technology can also help humanise your brand. Consider using a chatbot as your brand ambassador. You can design it to use the same language, voice, and tone as your brand, giving it a more human-like personality. Starbucks and American Express have done an excellent job of this. Their chatbots use a friendly tone that makes them approachable and relatable.
Thanks to advancements in conversational AI, chatbots can even use small talk as we do in our daily conversations. So why not give it a try? Your chatbot might become your brand’s new best friend.
4 – Create a Voice for Your Branding Strategies
Branding your company is like giving it a personality. And just like with people, a good personality is essential to making friends. Your brand voice is crucial to how you talk to your audience. So, make sure it’s a good one!
Your brand voice can be as formal or casual as a business suit or a hoodie. It can even be funny, like a stand-up comedian, or serious, like a lecture on quantum physics. Whatever it is, it should speak to your audience.
Before you pick your brand voice, know your target audience. Use Facebook Insights or Google Analytics to get to know your customers better. Learn about their age, occupation, and interests. It’s like being a private investigator without the trench coat and fedora.
A friendly and casual tone is a good idea if you’re targeting Gen Z. They love to text and use emojis and GIFs, so it’s the perfect way to engage with them. You might even create your slang, but please, nothing cringy.
On the other hand, if your target audience is entrepreneurs, you need to sound professional yet friendly. It’s like having a conversation with a business partner over lunch. You wouldn’t use slang or abbreviations, and emoticons are optional.
When creating your brand voice, decide what’s acceptable and what’s not. Will you use slang? Will you use abbreviations? Will you use emoticons? These are the critical questions you need to answer.
Wendy’s is the queen of bringing its brand voice to life. The fast-food giant has been using its playful and witty voice to target millennials and Gen Zers. On Twitter, Wendy’s roasts fans, cracks jokes, and even calls out its competitors. It’s like watching a rap battle but with burgers and fries.
In short, your brand voice is like a first date. You want to make a good impression, so be dressed to impress, be yourself, and remember to crack a joke or two. You never know; you might even get a second date.
5 – Maintain Consistency
Have you ever visited a fancy restaurant with mismatched tablecloths, chairs, and cutlery? It’s like they had an identity crisis and didn’t know what style they were going for.
Well, the same goes for your brand. You want to avoid giving your customers an identity crisis. If your logo is green and your website is pink, it will confuse your audience.
Consistency is the key to building a solid brand image. You want to ensure that everything you do, from your messaging to your colours, fonts, and voice, is consistent across all channels.
Think of it like dressing up for a party. You wouldn’t wear a cowboy hat with a tuxedo, would you? You want to look put together and consistent.
Now, let’s talk about promises. If you promise your customers same-day delivery, you better deliver. Otherwise, your customers will be disappointed and question your brand’s integrity.
Consistency is the glue that holds your brand together. It’s what people will remember you for. Imagine if Coca-Cola suddenly changed their logo and started using a different colour scheme. It would be like seeing a unicorn on a crowded street – unexpected and confusing.
So, don’t change everything if you’re bored with your brand. It’s a sign that you’re doing an excellent job of maintaining brand consistency. Keep up the good work, and your customers will thank you!
6 – Build a Community Around Your Brand
Building a brand community can be a great way to engage with your target audience and establish a loyal following. But don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it sounds. With a little effort, you can leverage your brand’s mission to create a fun, engaging, and relevant community for your audience.
First, identify an area of interest that resonates with your target audience and brand. This could be anything from puppies to sustainable living, as long as it aligns with your brand’s mission. Next, start a conversation around the topic. You can create a Facebook Group, LinkedIn group, or even a forum on your website to get the ball rolling.
To keep the conversation going, share relevant content that encourages engagement. You can post interesting articles, videos, memes, or whatever tickles your audience’s fancy. And remember to ask open-ended questions or conduct polls to keep things interactive. Remember, your community should be a two-way street, not just a place for you to post promotional content.
If you’re ambitious, you can take things further and organise events or start a club. For example, Nike created its Nike+ Run Club to connect runners and build a community around fitness. By creating a space where people can connect and train, Nike has positioned itself as a brand that cares about its customers’ health and well-being.
So, go forth and build your community! With creativity and strategic thinking, you can create a space where your target audience can connect, engage, and have fun with your brand. And who knows, you’ll even make new friends along the way!
7 – Take a Stand
Have you ever wanted to be known for more than just your products or services? According to a Sprout Social study, about two-thirds of consumers think it’s essential for brands to take a stand on social or political issues. And if that’s not enough to convince you, the 2018 Edelman Earned Brand study found that belief-driven consumers are now the majority across major world markets. So, if you want to build a strong brand image and increase consumer trust, it’s time to take a stance on a cause that matters to you and your target audience.
We know what you might think: “But won’t taking a stance on a social issue turn off some customers?” Yes, it’s possible. But with the right approach, you’ll gain more loyal followers than you lose. Just look at Always, the famous manufacturer of feminine hygiene products. They created the #LikeAGirl campaign to support the empowerment of women and girls. The brand knew that a low percentage of women have a positive association with the phrase “like a girl,” so they created a video that shows that doing things like a girl is awesome.
And you know what? The campaign was a hit! According to research by Procter and Gamble, the brand’s owner, 76% of girls and women who watched the #LikeAGirl Super Bowl ad no longer considered the phrase an insult. Not only that, but the research also claims that 66% of men who watched the video no longer have negative associations with the words. Talk about a positive impact!
So, feel free to take a bold stance on a social cause that matters to you and your target audience. Use your brand to spread a positive message, and you’ll earn the trust of many consumers who share your values. Remember, losing a small handful of customers is a small price to pay for gaining an army of loyal brand followers.
8 – Involve Consumers in Brand Advocacy
Now, you may wonder, “How can I get more eyes on my brand without being too pushy?” The answer is simple – let your customers do the talking for you! Yes, you read that right.
By encouraging your customers to create content related to your brand, you can draw attention without appearing overly promotional. Plus, user-generated content is like a secret weapon that can help you win over those customers who trust brands that use less smoke and mirrors.
So, how can you get your customers to create content for you? It’s easy. You can start by encouraging them to share photos, videos, and stories about your brand on social media.
Pro tip: Creating contests with relevant hashtags is a great way to motivate your customers to participate.
Let’s say you own a travel agency that specialises in European vacations. You could create a photo contest where customers post pictures from their previous European trips. The post should include your branded hashtag and a caption explaining why the destination is worth visiting.
The person with the most likes wins a paid trip to the destination from the photo! It’s a win-win situation.
By getting your customers involved, you’ll not only boost brand visibility, but you’ll also create positive associations with your brand. Plus, the user-generated content you’ll get will be a valuable resource to promote your business further.
So get creative, and let your customers do the talking!
In conclusion, you can use creative branding strategies to get your business noticed, create user-generated content, take a bold stance on a social cause, or leverage your brand’s mission to build a community around it.
Remember, the key is to stand out from the crowd and make a lasting impression on your audience.
So go ahead and embrace your brand’s unique personality, let your creativity run wild, and don’t be afraid to take risks.
After all, as Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Now go forth and brand boldly, my friends!