Now more than ever, consumers want to know that your company stands for—what are your core values? With so many options available in a truly global marketplace, it’s important for potential customers to know you have their best interests in mind.
This requires a shift, not only, in your business practices, but in marketing and sales efforts. The time has come to ditch the snappy sale announcements and start building quality brand recognition and a positive reputation.
Branding begins with the tangibles: a recognizable logo, typeface, and color scheme that identifies your company to consumers. However, it goes well beyond simple recognition.
Great branding communicates your values, dependability, and unique value. Achieving that kind of brand reputation requires more than a cookie cutter logo and a free website template.
How can you effectively build positive brand recognition for your business? Start with these five tips:
Create meaningful, deliberate design.
Creating a meaningful brand begins with a vision of, not only, the type of products you will offer, but also an understanding of how you want customers to feel about your business. The first way to communicate your brand image is with a deliberate color scheme.
Research supports the psychology of color and what it means for businesses. For example, an injury attorney may rely on the trust engendered by a blue pallet. A marketing agency might choose orange to exude a friendly, confident emotion. Google uses a color palette of varying 2 and 3 color combinations for each of its products. Each design choice is deliberate with a specific message in mind.
Do yourself a favor and rely on the expertise of graphic designers to help create your brand identity. They will understand the appropriate colors, graphics, and stylistic choices that suit your industry, convey the correct message and encourage visitors to buy into your brand.
Formulate brand communication guidelines.
While advertising messages may change, your business should create a plan that outlines what type of reputation you are trying to build. Stating that you want a good reputation is too simplistic. Branding requires a focus on emotion.
Do you want potential customers to feel passionate about your message, confident in your quality work or entertained by fun products? Is innovation the calling card of your company? Consult top tips for designing effective brand guidelines. Lay the foundation and keep this core message at the center of your communication for years to come.
Showcase your story.
The era of impersonal companies is over. People want to know more than your money-back guarantee. They want to know you. Maintain a professional relationship while engaging with consumers on a personal level.
Share the story of why and how you began the business every opportunity you get. Communicate your brand story on your website and at each customer-facing point of contact.
Expand offline to cement your brand.
While online marketing has become increasingly en vogue – even business networking can be done through LinkedIn! – offline branding can be just as important.
Real world advertising vehicles such as radio and TV spots, Print ads and billboards can provide a more tangible example of your brand. Choose media channels carefully. The decision of where to advertise can send just as clear a message about your business as the ads themselves.
Build your reputation for the long-term.
Many campaigns are designed, launched, and then left to slowly lose effectiveness as time goes on. Branding is neither a one-off nor a “set it and forget it” marketing technique.
Brand reputation should be monitored and maintained. This often means creating a viable company culture and hiring employees who will grow and protect your business’s reputation both on and offline. The more popular your brand becomes, the more competitors it will attract. Even more likely is the negative feedback from unsatisfied customers. Professionally handling negative customer feedback and competitive threats are an aspects of a long-term branding building.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Jimmy Winskowski is a digital strategist who specializes in helping startups and small businesses take the next step. He has a passion for tech and for helping you be more productive, happier, and healthier at work. He is sharing his insights on behalf of 97th Floor, a full service digital marketing agency. Connect with @jwinskowski on Twitter.