In today’s world, the market is saturated by different services and products, all fighting for the attention of buyers and decision makers. No longer is it good enough to have the best product, the best sale, or the best reviews.
Today’s savvy consumers expect far more than good service and quality products, they expect an experience that makes them feel a part of something larger; something that makes their lives significantly better than without the business. That’s where branding comes into play.
Branding is an essential part of any marketing team’s strategy. It’s the face of the organization and encompasses the way a business looks, both online and offline, the way they communicate and the story they have to tell. So how can you develop yours?
Let’s take a look at some of the top ways that businesses can create a cohesive and recognizable brand, both online and in the real world.
Establishing a strong visual brand
Some of the world’s most successful companies, from Apple to Audi, McDonalds and Disney have one thing in common; they can be recognized by their logo and nothing else. These brands have achieved this by having a strong visual identity both online and in the physical world.
A company’s logo should be powerful, easily memorable and leave an impression from a first glance. Not only that, but it should also be accompanied by a defined colour palette, brand fonts and iconic imagery that leave a lasting impression in people’s minds.
Once the branding is nailed, it can be easily applied to everything from a website to a store interior, sales collateral, presentations, and merchandise.
Tell your brand story
Some brands have such powerful storytelling mechanisms that they can even be recognized by their font. Let’s take the below picture as an example, the Disney font is so iconic that we could take it out of the below context, and the brand would still be recognizable.
In a world of endless choices, consumers want to be able to relate to the companies they are buying from and to do that, brands need to craft a careful narrative that resonates with the morals and interests of their target audience.
A brand loyalty program is great, but the most effective way to create natural brand loyalty is to create a permanent home for your brand in the hearts of your consumers. For this reason, brand narrative should be top of your list.
It takes a lot of time and resources for a marketing team to establish a coherent brand, yet the biggest challenge is turning your employees into champions of this brand. As the people who are face to face with your customers, employees should breathe life into the brand and radiate it’s values.
Not only is this essential for employees that have physical contact with customers, either in stores, on client sites or via phone conversations, it’s essential that all employees, even back-office staff, have an online presence and part in promoting the brand.
This can be achieved by having a solid internal communications strategy that ensures employees are aware of the brand, the tagline, and its positioning within the market. Your employees should be able to tell the story of your company on command.
There are effective tools that can help to manage brands, including Canva, Hootsuite and Bynder to name a few.
In store branding
In store branding can be a little more challenging than maintaining a digital brand in the sense that there’s equipment to fit in and product inventory to stock that isn’t always appealing to look at. However, technology is helping us to cut down the amount of space we need for operations, making more space for the main show.
Solutions like a cohesive POS system that holds more capabilities and tools, while taking up less space, can be a great in store solution. Having a sleek and compact system could help to transform your physical store space and keep it modern and in line with your digital branding.
Making it a reality
The best way to get started is to get on top of your brand, either by bringing in a specialist branding agency or by hiring the right talent to nurture your brand in the right direction. Creating a successful brand is not an overnight activity but when it’s done right, it will yield powerful results.