Building up your brand is critical to the success of your business. But before we go any further, let’s define what we mean by a brand.
What is a brand?
Every company has a brand to some extent. A brand isn’t just your business name, logo and website. The real essence of a brand is how people associate with your products, services and the company as a whole. The emotions and connections that your business creates are all part of the brand. You can try to shape and guide your brand, but ultimately it lives in the mind of your individual customers and audience.
What’s the Big Deal about Branding?
Branding is crucial. The question is, why?
According to research by the Journal of Business Research, 85% of consumers choose known brands over unknown brands when deciding on an initial purchase. The influence of establishing and growing your brand cannot be underestimated. A known brand creates trust with customers and heavily affects buying decisions.
For a new business, the good news is that only a small percentage of consumers are loyal to just a single brand. So you will always have the chance to enter a new market and compete.
However you do need to quickly establish you business brand. Most people find it risky to buy from an unknown brand. The majority of your sales will be generated from loyal customers. They will only become loyal, if you position your brand well. The other advantage of brand loyalty is that is costs much less to keep existing customers, compared to gaining new ones.
Why Social Brand Marketing?
The influence of social media networks on your brand image and reputation is immense. People are influenced by their friends. Social media users are often swayed to buy into a brand due to friends liking and following the particular brand. On Twitter, brands are mentioned often in tweets.
Your aim with social media branding is to:
- Get your content reposted
- Grow a following on fan pages
- Appear on personal newsfeeds and effectively
- Use social media ads.
Increase engagement and the chance of people sharing your branded content with the use of:
- Images, pictures & graphics
- Jokes & memes
- Links to articles & blog posts
An 11 Step Branding Plan
Growing your online presence might seem overwhelming at first. But by breaking the process down to actionable targets, you can quickly make your brand known and loved.
1. Pick a distinctive name
2. Choose one purpose to focus on
3. Make a promise to your audience
4. Be Different to stand out from the crowd
5. Define your brand personality
6. Align yourself with a good cause
7. Develop a distinctive look and image
8. Find you unique voice
9. Encourage user engagement and interaction
10. Become a thought leader in your market
11. Launch a community around your business
Establishing a strong brand is a long-term proposition. Don’t try to rush it and take shortcuts. Guide it along but also allow it to naturally grow. Once you have built your brand, don’t forget about it. You need to maintain your brand presence and customer loyalty to secure you business stability.