Here’s a question: What is the first company you think of when you hear “electric car?” How about when you think about vacuums? Regardless of the company you thought of, the point to the questions remains the same. You immediately associated a particular company with a product genre. This is one of the biggest indications that a company has an extremely strong brand. So what does this mean for your company?
Let me tell you about Ann’s experience.
Ann had started an eCommerce store about 4 months prior but was struggling with distinguishing her store from other dropshippers. As a result, potential customers were buying from other more well known online retailers. Ann knew that to solve this she had to make her business stand out in the minds of consumers. But how? Ann started researching her problem and realized that she needed to have a stronger brand for her business. Here are some of the things she learned from her research:
What is a brand, and why is it important: Well, the short answer is that your brand is essentially everything your business stands for. It is what people think of when they think of your business. The ultimate goal is to have your brand pop into the consumer’s mind in a positive and emotive way whenever they think of the product or service you provide. How do we get there then? One small step at a time. Whenever you start a company, there are a few things that you need to decide at the beginning: the what, who, why, where, and how of what you want to do. Now when first starting your business you will be doing research into all of these to determine what you want to do with your business. Shop1 has more training for you that goes in depth into these, but how to turn them into a brand is what we are focusing on today.
The right logo and colors matterSo naturally an important place to start with creating your brand is your logo. This will be on almost everything relating to your business. Website, advertising, social media, emails, documentation, labels, business cards, and more. It is a good idea to invest some money in having a unique and high quality logo because everyone will see it. Colors have a unique effect on the human brain, and they increase recognition by a considerable amount. Because you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors, your logo must have a unique design and use different colors from what your competitors are using. Look at the banks for example. Chase uses blue, Wells Fargo uses a dark red and gold, and Bank of America uses red and blue.
A brand’s promise defines its customers’ loyalty:What is a brand promise? This is what the consumer will judge and remember you by. It will determine if your brand holds interest to them, it will give them a standard to hold you to, and it will determine what they expect from you. The company values are what this promise stems from. The company needs to live and breath this promise because if you do not live up to the consumers expectations, they will not only go elsewhere, but will do so with a negative opinion of your brand. Some examples of this would be BMW’s “The Ultimate Driving Machine”, Gieco’s “15 minutes or less can save you 15% or more on car insurance.”, or Apple’s “Think Different”. A brand promise typically is more focused on telling the consumer what you stand for, what benefits you bring them, and that you care.
Tailor your website to match your target audience:If your target audience is retirees over 70, then any material you have should reflect this. But that demographic is such a broad niche that it dilutes the strength of your message. Remember, you can’t make everyone happy, even within a niche. Narrowing your target audience down a little bit can increase the strength of your message and optimize your ad spending by encouraging a higher conversion rate. Maybe you narrow this down from retirees over 70 to people over 70 that need safety alert devices. See the difference? The clearer your message, the stronger your promise will be heard by your target audience.
Marketing reflects your branding: Your marketing material is also something that establishes your brand. We mentioned earlier that your promise and your logo would be all over it. This doesn’t just mean putting those two items on there and then you are done. This means that everything about your ad must convey your message. The image, video, script, location of ad … everything. Take a look at some of the biggest brands out there. Companies like BMW, Samsung, Apple, Charmin, and Redbull all have very distinctive ads. They speak their voice and their values and evoke an emotion that speaks to their target audience. Additionally, their ads convey a solution to a want or a need for the targeted consumer audience. If you don’t inspire a consumer they will not remember you.
Social media is how you establish yourself for free: A few years ago Wendy’s wanted to find a way to interact with their customers in a more fun way so they could increase their engagement levels and drive more sales. They started making snarky social media posts and people loved it. People would even @wendys with a question or comment specifically so they could get roasted by Wendy’s. The goal was that when people think of fast food, they think of Wendy’s. They use their social media for so much more though. People will reach out to them via social media in some way or another to express a problem they had. How good your customer service is also defines your brand. A good way to get ahead of negative public relations and also provide better social media is to engage unhappy customers on your business’ home page Why? Because it is free branding. People see that you care about your customers’ experiences, and that matters because people want to associate themselves with businesses that do care.
Ann took action after learning all of this and made changes to her branding:
Her sales revenue went up. She retained more customers from the new sales. And most importantly, she became known in the marketplace. You become more than someone that just the products you sell. You become a company that people trust to deliver on your promise. You become a brand. More doors open to companies that have a brand. Google is more willing to list you in the first page of a search results. Most importantly, people will believe in you and buy from you.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start building your brand. Ann did it, and so can you!