What do others say about your business when you’re not there?
The answer to this can be the difference between a business that’s constantly stuck and a business that grows exponentially through word-of-mouth.
A powerful brand helps with awareness, PR opportunities, word-of-mouth, and a list of major benefits. Additionally, branding can also boost click-through rates and subsequently drive down costs of paid acquisition channels such as ads on Facebook, Google, Snapchat, or LinkedIn.
Overall, investing resources into creating a memorable brand will provide returns for your business for years to come and in more ways than you can measure.
To help you create a memorable brand for 2021, we compiled this list of the top 9 tips you can use.
1. Create Your Buyer Persona
Yes, creating a buyer persona is extremely basic and marketing 101.
Unfortunately, too many businesses rush through this and think it’s a one and done process. Buyer persona’s should constantly evolve as you gather more data and insights on your market.
With that said, the first step in branding is to create a buyer persona. This is a representation of who your target customers are. Once you know everything about your buyer persona, you can create a brand that reflects their core values and beliefs. This allows your target audience to have a shared worldview with your brand and develop a sense of belonging.
One common mistake business owners make when creating their personas is trying to appeal to everyone. A powerful brand will have a natural divide between people that resonate with you and people that don’t. Instead of wasting efforts trying to appeal to the wrong people, concentrate your resources into sharpening a brand image for the people that resonate with you.
2. Determine How You Want Your Business To Be Perceived
Do you want your brand to be a tough authoritative figure? Or a fun and easy-going friend?
Of course, those aren’t the only two options as there are many facets to a brand’s identity. A concept introduced by J. Kapferer, an MBA marketing professor with over 100 published scientific articles on branding, is the ‘Brand Identity Prism’.
The brand identity prism consists of 6 elements:
What design elements do you want to represent your brand? This will be reflected in your logo, colors, website, store, and everything you can see or touch.
Is your brand playful, kind, exciting, or sophisticated? If you personified your brand, what type of personality would you want it to have? You can then portray this personality through design and copy.
After your market interacts with your brand over time, a consumer-brand relationship will be formed. But what type of relationship do you want to have with your customers? This is influenced by your marketing messages, how you interact with customers, and how you support them.
What is your workplace culture like? People buy from brands they like. A major factor that determines whether someone likes a brand or not is their culture. You want your workplace to reflect the brand you want to portray.
Reflection refers to your buyer persona. Depending on what your ideal customer is like, how you portray your brand will change. For example, Nike has a buyer persona that includes a young adult with an interest in sports and fashion (this is a very simplified version of one of their personas). This influences their messaging, creatives, and even the music they play in-store.
How does your customer perceive themselves? What do they consider to be their values, goals, and image? Once you know who they want to become, you can position your brand as one that can help them achieve this.
3. Create A Brand Voice With Writing Guidelines
Once you’ve determined the personality you want your brand to have, the easiest way to portray it is to create a brand voice and use it in all your writing. This includes the content you post on social media, brochures, websites, and more.
However, ensuring that this is consistent is key as you want your brand to be instantly recognizable and distinguished.
One way to ensure your brand voice is consistent is to create writing guidelines for your brand voice. For example, you can create a chart that lists the characteristics of the voice, a description of it, and what to do or not do.
For example, you can have a quirky brand voice that takes unordinary viewpoints and doesn’t over complicate things with industry jargon.
4. Tell A Brand Story
What is the most memorable way to convey a message?
Some people may answer videos or images, but the answer is storytelling. When told effectively, a story can lodge itself into your memory and form connections with other pieces of knowledge, further solidifying the message.
But a brand story serves another powerful purpose…
Storytelling is inherently viral and manufactures word-of-mouth. Once someone hears an exciting story that tugs at their emotions, they can’t help but share it with the people around them.
However, something even more powerful than your brand story, is your customer’s story. When your audience hears about an experience someone just like them had with your brand, their level of trust skyrockets because of social proof.
An exceptional example of leveraging customer stories is Airbnb’s ‘Community Stories’. These stories explore the experiences their customers have as they travel the world and experience new cultures. As a reader, you’re able to dive into a real-life experience that another person just like you had with Airbnb.
5. Create A Brand Awareness Strategy
If your market doesn’t know your business exists, do you really have a brand?
There are 2 main categories of strategies you can use to build brand awareness online, those are organic and paid channels.
Organic channels include:
Posting on social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube), content marketing (blogs, podcasts, videos), SEO (works well in-conjunction with content marketing), and email marketing (this is usually to keep top-of-mind for people who already know of your brand).
Quick tip: One piece of content can be transformed into new pieces to post on each platform. For example, a blog post can be turned into a podcast episode, YouTube video, and several social media posts.
Paid channels include:
Advertising on Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and display networks. However, to effectively utilize paid media, it’s important to have analytics in place to measure the ROI of your investments.
Offline brand awareness:
If your business is mostly offline, some ways you can build brand awareness offline include: flyers, events, networking, and direct mail. However, even primarily offline businesses can take advantage of the online brand awareness strategies described above.
6. Engage With Your Audience Consistently
With social media and the constant need for instant gratification, customers want to engage with brands directly online and in real-time if possible.
By responding to comments on your social media, blog pages, or even reviews – you give the customer the opportunity to start a conversation. This can improve their perception of your brand and will indicate to others that you care for your customers.
An easy way to give your audience the chance to speak with you is to use customer support software that allows for live chat, such as ZenDesk or the Facebook Messenger chat plugin.
7. Monitor Brand Mentions
Have you decided to give engaging with your audience a shot? If so, you’ll quickly find yourself facing this problem…
Where are people even talking about my brand?
Responding to social media comments or tags is easy. But to find the little communities that feel strongly about what you sell, that’s where significant results can be found. If you’ve done the proper buyer persona research, you should know where your customers hang out but there will always be small pockets of people that you haven’t found yet.
Using brand mention tools can automate the process of locating exactly where people are talking about your brand. This includes mentions on social media, news, blogs, videos, forums, and more.
After using these tools to find where people are mentioning your brand, you can then create accounts to post in these communities. This way, you’re able to engage with audiences who are on the edge of becoming paid customers. Plus, the contributions you make will drive awareness to your brand for years to come.
8. Build A Community
Want to know the ultimate way to create a memorable brand?
Create a community.
If you can help your target market bond together, with your brand in the center, you can become such an integral part of their lives that they can’t live without you. Some brands that built communities include Airbnb, Nike, GoPro, Harley-Davidson, and Apple.
The easiest and cheapest way to begin building a community for your brand is to utilize Facebook groups. Unlike Facebook pages, which have extremely low organic reach, Facebook groups can allow for exponential community growth.
However, the key is to ensure the community is about their passion, problem, or desire. Not simply your brand itself.
9. Refresh Your Brand
Over time, market conditions change, and your brand needs to change with it.
If your branding efforts aren’t delivering the results you want, it might be time to refresh your brand. This allows you to re-evaluate your target audience, brand voice, visual assets, and even your logo.
For example, the current trend for logos in 2021 and beyond is to have an extremely simple typography-based design. Brands like Yves Saint Laurent have joined this movement, changing their logo from intricate typography to simple block text.
When deciding to refresh your brand, it’s important to collect all the data and insights gathered from your customer base. This allows you to make a better-informed decision on how you position your brand.
About Millennium Agency
Millennium Agency is a national, award-winning, digital, creative, content/PR, and video marketing firm. With offices in Boston and New Hampshire, our team unites creative branding and data analytics to accelerate our clients’ growth, while combining our clients’ vision with our marketing expertise to increase sales opportunities and drive brand success. From video advertising and web design to social media and PR, Millennium can guide your marketing efforts every step of the way. Contact the professionals at Millennium Agency to learn more!