When I was growing up the first time I heard the term branding, I was watching a lot of westerns and prominent was Red River with Montgomery Clift and the Duke was at his pomp. But I also remember Coca Cola with the red can with the white strip. It was instantly recognisable and they were always on T.V. with their songs and during the Xmas period, they definitely made an effort. Okay, there was other Cola’s but you could spot a mile away in a supermarket. Today, I have a different appreciation of brands and in conversations, it appears that whilst brands are known other factors like price and discount’s may be mentioned first and brands are for other companies who might be established in the market. But brands help to distinguish you from the competition, creates loyal customers, implies quality and is a promise to your customer. So where do I start? If you are a start-up from day one. If you running a company, it is something you need to consider especially if you doing some form of marketing. Branding will open new opportunities and some work will need to be addressed. Introducing a storytelling approach will not be expensive but if you can start by telling your customers how you got started, share some of your values and blend your story to suit your audience, if you are a start-up your story starts with a colour palette for your website and the about you section of the website. Start-up or unaddressed in a running company, here is a chance to develop a distinction. Whether you are providing a service or selling products, customers are buying these items to solve a problem, so make sure that the benefits your product or service supplies benefit them. Clues about understanding your audience can be gleaned for social media, customer reviews or sending out surveys. You can try here as a suggestion to get you on your way.
Promotion using your website
Another option is by generating promotional content for lead pages, promotional content lets visitors to your site know what your business is all about, and lure them into becoming your customers in the form of discounts, other options can be any social media accounts (compared to other forms of advertising, FACEBOOK is considered great value for money with a conversion rate of just over 9% and is highly targetable) and emails if you have a sufficient database. If you are a bit braver (especially if you are a start-up) considering video marketing either on your site or using a company like YouTube, they are the second biggest search engine and will increase the traffic to your site. Promotion can also come from referral schemes, it can take a bit of organising but it focuses on using existing customers to bring in potential customers.
Slow but rewarding, SEO.
People won’t know about you or your business if you don’t optimize your site. The easier it is for consumers to find your site online, the more popular your business will become. SEO is an industry on its own, by using phrases (keywords) that browsers type into a search bar when searching for a product or service can lead to a potential sale. This will require investment, but to generate free traffic searching for a solution that you can provide, it will mean you ranking higher in search engines and rankings take time!
Targeting your audience
One thing is for sure, trying to appeal to everyone at once is difficult. A more efficient method is to qualify customers to more specific groups. A common method uses demographic information items like those below:
By using this profile, it is more likely to appeal to the type of consumers who are more likely to convert into customers. This smaller profile makes the campaign cheaper and provides a better ROI.
Customer Service and brand
In Britain, 76% of adults have said that a positive customer experience is more important than the actual product they’re interested in purchasing BUT it is suggested that customer experience should be constantly reviewed so that the ways that you can improve the overall service maintains a high standard and a figure of 84% purchase because of recommendation. Finally, you may not beware of this comment but it said that customers shop based on their emotions. Research has backed this up, proving that over 50% of the customer experience (CX) is based on the emotions that push a shopper in a certain direction. The product on its own may not tip the customer over the edge, but using the brand to create a feeling is more likely to make the customer take action.
Educating your customers
For a prospect to buy from your company, they need to trust your company, your brand and your products. The easiest way to build trust is by educating them.
Free educational content is what many businesses around the world now offer in the hope that their customers see them as helpful, reliable and trustworthy. Moreover, the more free educational content you give away, the more goodwill people will feel towards a company and as mentioned In the previous section, feelings make customers take action.
Colour palette and their use in branding
I cannot say just how important that colours are in branding as an overall percentage but as a method to measure how much a customer could recognise a brand it came to 80%. It seems that the primary colour of the logo scored higher than the name of the company. Each colour has a different significance and the company coolors can help especially if you’re a start-up looking to pick ideas.
Whether rebranding the company. or operating a start-up having a brand style is your “go-to” reference for a homogeneous appearance throughout the company. The brand style affects the typography, logo, imagery and colours chosen for the company and this can be seen in the stationary, blog posts, colours and infographics, in facts all presentations. This consistency is a signature across media. In order for core brand colours to be absolutely clear, the hex codes, RGB VALUES and CMYK values are also recorded in all media. Other companies like Canva, Venngage and Visme have templates to help if you want to D.I.Y. any ideas.
Typography, just like the rest of the brand style doesn’t need to this extensive–just focus on your most used fonts, usually just one or two. Specify your font and design hierarchy concerning font sizes (big for headers, medium for sub-headers and smaller longer paragraphs) and font weights (light, bold, heavy, etc.). Creating a "voice" for your company that reflects your brand may take some research. This voice should be applied to all written communication and incorporated in the visual imagery of all materials, online and off. Is your brand friendly? It can be conversational, casual, formal or ritzy (as examples), but it has to be consistent. As for the logo, once it is designed, place it everywhere!
Comparing Branding to Marketing
If you are the decision-maker the words can be interchangeable but in reality, some differences need to be taken into consideration. Branding is what you stand for whilst marketing is letting customers know that you are there. This means that marketing will deliver the brand even if the marketing changes, but the branding can inform the customers what they can expect.
Branding is the core of any marketing themes and this is why it demonstrates its primary importance and will promote customer loyalty and keep them coming back as repeat customers through qualities such as quality, community (especially if you are a local business), clear communication, reliability and many other factors relating to empathy and trust. It is also what gives a company its distinctiveness and makes your service unique.
In order to develop and produce a successful brand, four points can be addressed to differentiate a company from its competition, these areas can be considered below:
Outline how you want to be understood.
After consuming or using your service or product, how you would like the customer to describe their opinion and experience should be at the forefront of what they have to say. This can range from the speed, price or level of satisfaction and if it meets their expectations
Prepare your business based on your assurance.
Apart from delivering what is made by certain assurances, how your standards of performance/ delivery compare to others is equally important. Your model must be flexible enough to satisfy customers requirements whilst maintaining profitability.
Communicate your commitment.
Your business style i.e. the logo, the colours you choose for the business, a website must all chime to match your promise (your brand). These should all be associated with any communication between you and your customers.
Once all your declarations are made so your message is understood the idea is to develop trust. Your customers must no longer see your brand as a promise but as a reality. Being consistent is where the rewards lie along with customer expectations. This challenge is a continual process of monitoring which might lead to higher prices and sales due to satisfying supply and demand.