Does branding matter? Yes! Having a strong brand presence means that your customers will recognise you, feel connected to your services or products and be more likely to purchase from you. It’s like drinking a glass of champagne – without the bubbles, it’s just not the same!
Having a recognisable logo, consistent messaging, and a unique voice all help give your brand that “pop” it needs to stand out from the crowd.
Branding might not seem like a priority for small businesses, but research shows that having a strong and consistent brand presence can generate up to 23% more revenue than companies without one!
So don’t make the mistake of thinking that branding is just about creating a cool logo or stylish website. It’s about creating an identity that resonates with your customers, telling them who you are and what you stand for. Every successful brand starts with an effective strategy.
Ready to go from bland to grand with your brand strategy?
Here are 5 steps for crafting an engaging brand.
1. Establish your brand’s core values
If you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to know what makes YOU unique. Think of it like making a cup of tea – each brand will require its own special blend of ingredients.
Start by gathering your key ingredients – the ones that make your brand so distinctive. Are you passionate about customer service? Do you thrive on innovation? Or does sustainability drive your business?
Once you’ve figured out what makes your brand special, use those core values to create your very own custom-made tea blend – and get ready to serve it up.
So go ahead: Get brewing and let your passion shine through!
Useful tools to help you establish your brand’s core values:
- Survey: It’s important to interact with your customers and employees to find out what values matter the most to them. With survey tools such as Google Forms, you can gain valuable feedback that will help form a strong core set of values for both your team and your customers.
- Brand management: Working smarter and not harder is always a great idea, especially when it comes to managing your brand. Brand management tools simplify your brand operations and make it easier to take care of everyday tasks like asset tracking, customer engagement, competitor research, and campaign performance – freeing up time for more important things.
- Collaboration: Collaboration tools like Asana, Slack and Notion provide an easy way for team members to brainstorm, discuss, and agree on what should be included in your list of core values. Plus, they make it easier to keep track of progress so everyone is held accountable and knows when they need to contribute their ideas.
2. Develop an effective strapline
Your strapline is like a little sip of deliciousness that captures the essence of your brand. Think of it as an invitation for people to come and explore the full-bodied flavour of your business.
Here’s how you can craft a memorable strapline:
- Ask yourself what your brand stands for and what it offers. What are the values behind your company? Make sure these values are reflected in your strapline.
- Think about your target audience; what words would best represent them and their needs?
- Use language that will resonate with your customers. Your strapline should be written in a conversational tone that speaks directly to them.
- Keep it concise! You don’t want to drag on – aim for a maximum of 10 words that concisely communicate the message behind your brand.
3. Create a memorable visual identity
It’s time to add some style to your brand. After all, your brand is essentially you and just like no two people are the same, neither should two brands look the same.
Here are some steps to help you create a memorable visual identity that captures your brand’s essence:
- Create a style guide. This should include colours, fonts, logos, and other branding elements that will become part of your visual identity.
- Make sure your visuals stand out from the competition. Think about how you can make your visuals unique and recognizable.
- Have fun! There’s no wrong answer when it comes to crafting an engaging visual identity. So have fun with it and don’t be afraid to experiment!
Think of it as if you were picking out a pair of shoes. You want something that’s visually appealing and speaks to who you are as a person.
The same goes for your brand. The colours, fonts, and visuals you choose should reflect your unique personality and message that you’re trying to convey.
Creating an eye-catching visual identity takes time, but it’s worth it in the end. Once you have a design that captures the essence of your brand, it will help potential customers recognize and remember who you are!
Useful design tools to create your visual identity:
- Canva – Canva is a free and easy-to-use design platform. You can create beautiful visuals like logos, posters, infographics, photos, and more. You don’t even need to be an experienced designer to learn how to use Canva – its library of templates makes it easy to customise your work without the hassle.
- Adobe Photoshop – Photoshop allows users to manipulate images, add text and make detailed adjustments with just a few clicks.
- Adobe Illustrator – Illustrator is an industry favourite for vector-based illustrations like logos and icons.
4. Create content that resonates with your target audience
Have you ever heard of the saying ‘you are what you drink’? (Neither have I truthfully and I just made it up, but you know what I mean.) Well, it’s just like that with your content — it should be curated to match the tastes and preferences of your target audience.
This means doing the research and taking the time to understand what makes them tick.
Once you have these insights in hand, it’s time to start crafting the perfect “blend” of content that will tantalise their taste buds: blogs, videos, podcasts, articles, etc. You know your audience best so play around with different types of content until you find the right mix.
So how do you craft an engaging content mix? Start by asking yourself these questions:
- What type of content does my audience prefer? Are they looking for funny videos or educational articles?
- What can I do differently to make my content stand out from the crowd?
- What topics will spark conversation and debate between my intended audience?
By taking the time to really understand your target audience, you can create a content mix that is sure to resonate with them. Now go out there and find your perfect blend!
5. Leverage social media to build brand awareness
Leveraging social media to build brand awareness is like brewing the perfect cup of tea. It all starts with understanding what kind of tea you want to make (which type of content will appeal to your target audience) and choosing the right ingredients (choosing the right channels, hashtags, and visuals).
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool when it comes to building brand awareness. It can help you reach a broad audience, engage with your target customers, and improve your online visibility.
But how do you leverage social media for increased brand awareness? Here are some tips:
- Pick a platform that reflects your brand. Make sure it is the right fit with your target audience in terms of content and demographics. For example, on Twitter you should craft posts with snappy, eye-catching headlines, while on Instagram you might focus more on visuals.
- Use creative visuals to make your posts stand out. If you don’t have graphic design skills, consider using a tool like Canva or hiring a designer.
- Write engaging, thoughtful content that resonates with your audience. Instead of just focusing on promoting yourself, focus on telling stories that illustrate why people should follow you. Share anecdotes and let your audience connect with you on a deeper level.
- Commit to posting consistently on each of your accounts. This will help keep your followers engaged and ensure your messages reach the right people at the right time.
Just like steeping tea takes time, it’s also necessary to take your time when building a social media presence. You won’t see results overnight; but if you stay consistent and patient, you’ll soon start noticing an increase in brand exposure.
Useful social media tools:
- Analytics: Knowing how your content performs across different platforms is essential in understanding what works and what doesn’t. Tools like Hootsuite provide detailed analytics on post reach, engagement, and other metrics that let you track progress over time.
- Scheduling: Automating your content schedule is a great way to stay organised and free up your time. Services like Buffer allow you to queue up posts and publish them at predetermined times throughout the day.
- Ads: Boosting posts and running ads can help you drive more traffic and acquire new customers. Platforms like Facebook Ads Manager, Twitter Ads, and Google Ads give you all the tools you need to create, manage, and optimise campaigns.
So why invest in creating a strong brand? Think of it like investing in a nice bottle of wine. Just as wine gets better with age, so does your brand. As you nurture and develop your brand over time, it develops character, memorability, and loyalty. Plus, just as a good bottle of wine can be shared and enjoyed for many years, so too can a strong brand!
So don’t take any shortcuts when it comes to building it. Be bold, passionate and creative – and don’t forget to express yourself through your branding. It may be the difference between making a memorable impression… or becoming another forgotten bottle on the shelf! Invest in it now, and you’ll reap the rewards for years to come.