Do You Have Your Own Brand?
Creating a profit-making brand persona should be at the core of every business’s search marketing strategy. Branding is one of the most important aspects of any business regardless of its size. Building, developing and sculpting an effective brand strategy will give your business a major edge in competitive markets and help set your company apart from others in your industry.
But what is branding exactly, and how does it really affect a business?
What is branding?
Your brand is a message to your existing and prospective customers. It informs them of your company’s promise in relation to your products and services, your corporate personality, and what differentiates your offering from your competition. A brand is your identity as a business; it shows everyone how you see yourself, how you wish to be seen, what you aspire to be, and with whom you want to engage.
Who are you?
Start by taking a good look at your company’s core message. What does it say to everyone? And how do you think it relates to everyone?
Quite often, small business owners can be blinded by their loyalty to their business and remain out of touch with the message their company is sending out. Perhaps the website is unsuitable for its industry or market, or the copy is badly written, or there is insufficient attention to approachability.
If there is anything that gives your brand a negative image, it needs to be remedied quickly. One of the best ways to find out how others see your brand is by way of a focus group. The results might be alarming, but are worth the effort and potential pain. You may receive some unpleasant comments, but you may also receive plenty of complements. And the feedback will always be invaluable.
What do you want to be?
Ask yourself what your company aspires to be. Is it the industry maverick or a reliable, experienced stalwart? Are your products and services the low-cost, high-value option or at the luxury end of the scale?
You can’t be all things to all men – this is where many companies fail – and a brand should be cultivated to appeal to a distinct group of people: your market. This does not have to be a small section of society: supermarkets have wide target markets, but they have them nonetheless.
One thing to get right from the start is your logo and the look of your website, packaging, and communications (right down to your emails). People judge a book by its cover, so you want yours to be in keeping with the image you wish to portray.
You may choose to engage with customers through a range of techniques, from direct mail and newsletters to blog content on your website. But give all your communication and marketing channels a look and voice that overlaps, offers continuity and bolsters your brand every time an existing or prospective customer comes into contact with you.