This article was contributed by Jack Danielson.
Today, brand building has not only become the backbone of business marketing strategy, but also an integral part of business development for organizations of all sizes.
A strong brand communicates trust and credibility to customers. To put it in a nutshell, brand building is all about turning your casual customers into loyal fans.
It requires value-driven, purpose-led actions to make a lasting impression, but you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. By taking cue from what successful businesses have done in the past, you can get valuable insights about today’s brand building best practices.
So what are the best practices for getting your branding strategy on the right track? We have compiled a list of 5 branding tactics that can help you create a strong and successful brand.
Best Practice #1: Empower Your Customers
Customers are the most vital asset for any business. It’s the customers who dictate how your brand is perceived by the outside world. That’s why empowering the customers should be your first priority.
In order to establish respect and credibility, you need to go beyond the basics of providing your products and services to the customers.
Give them some added value and they will become your most trustworthy brand ambassadors.
Implementing coupons and loyalty programs can go a long way towards ensuring repeat business. You may also think about introducing a customer referral program. Rewarding customers who bring you new business not only makes them loyal to your brand, but also bring you goodwill through word-of-mouth publicity. Do keep it in mind that building long-term relationships is important for achieving long-term success.
The bottom-line is, if you can keep the customers satisfied, the customers will in turn help your brand taste success.
Best Practice #2: Focus on Your Brand Visuals
Visual branding defines the manner in which your business appears to the outside world.
First impressions matter, especially when it comes to brand recognition and awareness. If we make a bad first impression, the customer may not give us an opportunity to make a second impression. That’s why it’s important to get it right from the very beginning.
Brand recognition starts with the name of your business. Make sure to choose a compelling name that helps customers readily connect with your business. Use a tagline that conveys or summarizes your business objectives clearly. Next in line is the logo. People usually identify brands first by the logo, and it is one of the vital aspects of building trust. So it is important to have a logo that reflects your business, as well as your organizational values.
Best Practice #3: Stand for a Social Cause
Today, people are more concerned about ethics, social causes, environmental awareness and community welfare.
More and more consumers are making purchasing decisions based on what the companies are doing to make the world a better place.
Corporate social responsibility is no more a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction that businesses used to rectify tarnished images. It has become an active ingredient for establishing positive reputation and customer goodwill. If you stand for something that you believe in, chances are that people will be able to connect with your brand and look at it with esteem and appreciation.
Best Practice #4: Grow Your Social Community
In this age of digital media, the internet plays an active role in shaping a business’s connection with its consumers. The Internet allows us to communicate with customers in multiple ways that wouldn’t have been possible even a couple of decades ago.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter can help in building a brand with a strong online presence. The presence of social channels compliments traditional marketing techniques to expand your reach by leaps and bounds.
So work on building social communities around your brand.
Make use of creative multimedia tools like video, infographics and slideshows to capture the imagination of your target audience. Don’t restrict yourself to Facebook and Twitter alone, gradually expand your outreach to new generation social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat to keep your list of followers growing.
Best Practice #5: Customer Support
These days, customers are more vocal than ever to convey their dissatisfaction. To build a strong brand, you shouldn’t be indifferent to customer criticisms.
It is important to be reachable to your customers and respond to their woes. Always encourage feedback from your customers to find out what they are not happy about and honestly try to resolve the conflicts in an amicable manner. Doing so will emphasize the fact that your brand cares for the customers and it will make them feel valued.
Consider having multiple places of contact for support, whether it be Twitter, via phone, forum or email. Make it easy, and make them feel heard. As they say… the customer is always right!
Branding is just as important for small businesses as it is for the large-scale enterprises. The link between successful business and strong branding is quite evident. Building your brand the right way requires insightful observation, strategic planning, and calculated actions. With thousands of businesses crawling around for brand recognition, you need to devote a great deal of resources and efforts to stand apart from your competitors.
See here for the art and secrets of branding.
Author Bio: Jack Danielson is an industry expert with more than 4 years of successful experience in Recruiting and Business Development. He currently holds the position of consultant writer at Internet Choice, a resource site that lets you find all Internet service providers in your area with an easy search-by-zip feature.