Do you have a clear brand strategy that your audience understands? This is one big and very important question to consider when you are trying to translate what you do to the rest of the world.
In short, to achieve a greater return on investment (ROI) necessitates successful brand management. This fact becomes ever truer as technology advances, and businesses that are prepared to utilise the digital environment increase their chances of success.
Alternatively, these companies will be the ones that discredit themselves in one fleeting tweet if they are careless. It can take years to build up your brand’s reputation, and seconds to lose the faith of thousands of followers in your business, simply by using incorrect spelling, grammar or an old logo. Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook are blessings if used correctly, and curses in equal measure. It is important to consider the voice you use in the digital environment, getting a seemingly simple thing such as how to talk to customers on Twitter and Facebook wrong, can be detrimental to your brand. Decide early on whether your tone will be formal or chatty, and ensure it is consistent.
Related class: Best Digital Branding Practices for Small Businesses
Investing in Your Own Brand
Of course, using social media and other digital forums is not the only way to create a successful brand. However, whether you have an established brand or you are in the process of re-branding, start by answering the following questions:
- Who is your customer – consider age, gender, whether they will appreciate a creative touch or would they respond better to something formal?
- Are you engaging with customers?
- Does your brand reflect what you do?
- Is your brand representative of your company’s values?
If the answer to one or more of these questions is no, or ‘I don’t know’, invest the time and the money in finding out the answers. Finding out who you are hoping to attract with your brand will provide you with a guide as to what it should look like, and your brand’s voice.
For some companies this is all fairly obvious, for instance if you are a legal firm you will have a formal tone and an attractive, no-frills logo. Yet, if you are a business that offers a range of services, you may find it difficult to pin point what exactly your brand’s look and voice should be. Seeking the services of a professional marketing agency can give you the guidance you need in this area, to think strategically and creatively about identifying your brand.
Making Your Brand Work For You
Once you have assessed who your target audience is, it will become easier to plan your brand around how to best engage with potential customers using both online and offline media. Justine Wright, managing director at Manchester based design, branding and digital agency Cuckoo Design, said:
“We work closely with each of our clients to develop a brand that will achieve the best possible results for them. There’s no one size fits all formula when it comes to creating branding strategies, there are too many aspects of each individual business and their target audience to consider that must be entirely unique to them.
“Using innovative and creative thinking for offline and online strategies, this enables us to provide clients with a branding strategy that echoes what they do as well as who they are as a company; which means taking into account their values and long term objectives. We then work to incorporate all of this into a digital or brochure & poster lead campaign. This not only gives us the advantage of having a relationship with the client and therefore an understanding of their business, but it gives them the opportunity to have a real impact on the finished product.”
Creating a successful brand requires an effective all round campaign, and achieving this necessitates investment in what your brand is intended to say about you. Once your brand starts to work for itself, you will notice the difference in relevant customers approaching your business – and the time and money you have spent will begin to pay off.
Want to understand the fundamentals of developing a memorable brand, and branding's role in a successful marketing program? Watch Online Marketing Institute's class, Best Digital Branding Practices for Small Businesses, and learn how branding is important to a small business’ success, and how careful evaluation and research is critical before implementing.