Your brand is an intangible asset, yet it is your company’s most valuable asset. It’s a key element of growth and long-term success – after all, it’s no coincidence that companies such as Coca Cola, Nike, and Apple base their marketing strategy entirely around the strong brand images they’ve established.
The concept of a brand has evolved over time. It once entailed the distinctive features – such as the name or design – which made a certain product distinguishable to customers. But with the evolution of marketing strategies and the natural development of the concept itself, “brand” adopted a much broader interpretation. It is now much more than the trademark name of a product or the company logo, although these things are a fundamental part of branding. In modern marketing, the brand presents the specific perception formed in the customers’ minds regarding the qualities and attributes of a certain product.
That said, your brand identity relates to how you want to portray your company to the public – and this portrayal entails everything from your business name, logo design, and visual motifs to the more intangible attributes such as the company’s tone of voice, the customer experience you promise, and the underlying values you promote. You don’t have to be Coca-Cola to be able to benefit from your brand identity; in fact, establishing a strong brand identity is especially important for small businesses, and here’s why.
Businesses are competing for attention in a vast and overwhelmingly loud marketplace, where staying memorable in the audience’s eyes is incredibly tough. To stand out in such a hectic landscape where customers get tons of advertising messages thrown at them on a daily basis, your brand identity will be the glue that holds together all your marketing efforts, giving them sense and momentum.
You want to make your brand recognizable to your target audience and the foundation of your efforts should be using a standardized font, established logo, and certain colors in all your marketing materials as well as the company website. Simply put, these visual elements will give your brand coherence and help stay top of mind. But in order to truly make your brand memorable, you want to go beyond the purely visual aspect and pay attention to which feelings your brand can evoke.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel here – just show some personality. Does humor suit you? Do you show a bluntly honest approach in your marketing messages? In what ways does your brand reflect your target audience and how is it relatable? Thinking about details such as these and projecting them in your image and your marketing strategy will help you exhibit the authenticity you need in order to make your company recognizable.
It’s a simple truth: the majority of customers would rather trust established companies than those they’ve previously never encountered. Recognition and a strong identity translate to reputation, and it’s only natural that people will put their trust in a business with a built reputation. Having a strong brand identity, on the other hand, will help you maintain a loyal customer base.
This is what makes it difficult for novel enterprises to push through and gain momentum on the market, but overcoming this obstacle begins with weighing each marketing decision strategically with the goal of strengthening your brand identity. From your website to your product labels to your Facebook ads use the tools at your disposal to exude the professionalism and trustworthiness of companies much bigger than yours – you’ll still be showing your authentic voice, but you’ll need to meet high-quality standards.
Your website is the digital face of your company, and as such, you want each element of its design to be coherent with your brand and show visitors that you know what you’re doing. A poorly designed website will speak volumes of your brand and make you look like an absolute amateur, no matter which industry you’re in, so leave the work to trusted web design experts and collaborate with them in order to communicate your brand image effectively through the design.
When strengthening your brand identity, you have to make your tone of voice, messages, and design choices consistent across all channels and throughout different marketing campaigns. You need this level of consistency in order to build credibility and to connect all your strategies into a coherent and sensible whole, one that appeals to your target audience.
That being said, brand identity is crucial to consistency – and vice versa. This means that the brand image you want to portray will help guide your design and marketing decisions. This is especially important when crafting content, whether it’s for your website, social media, or another channel.
Video is a great example of how certain types of content shouldn’t even be considered if you don’t have your brand identity in mind. If done right, video can help you build trust by leaps and present your company in the best way possible, but if done in an amateur way, it truly makes you look outdated or even shady. If you plan on featuring any kind of video content in your branding and advertising efforts, it’s a good idea to first check out directory of the best video production companies and sift through their portfolios. This will help you gain an idea of what the big guys are doing, what kind of resources that requires, and how you can communicate with video production experts to help you craft a coherent brand identity through all of your content.
Attracting the right audience
You don’t want to try to appeal to everyone, with hopes that the vast market will be accepting your products. It’s simply not how marketing is done today because it results in a lot of wasted time, effort, and resources – all of which you could be spending on strengthening your relationship with your target audience. Those are the people who will be your best customers, simply because they share your brand’s values and they’re already open to your marketing message. And when you have a well-established brand identity, a lot of the work regarding audience targeting is already done for you. People who don’t align with your brand’s values and the identity you’ve crafted will be automatically deterred from your messaging – leaving you with only the good leads. It will save you time, help you close sales more efficiently, and ultimately promote an environment of long-term customer relationships.
Introducing new products
Every small business aims for growth and expansion, and a strong brand identity is inevitably the foundation of this kind of success. Because no matter how hard you work, how well you understand your customers, or how innovative your approach is, expansion is risky. When introducing a new product or feature, it’s all the much easier to have an established following which you know will be accepting of your efforts.
Just look at Apple – the golden example of a strong brand identity, where the loyal fan base awaits each product launch without question.
This builds on the previous points we’ve talked about, all of which combined show why a strong brand identity makes it a lot easier for you to present your audience with something new. You’ll have recognition, reputation, consistency, and trust to rely on.
Make Your Brand Stand Out
In an era where competition is tighter than ever and trust is key to winning over customers, having a strong brand identity has never been more important. It will not only set you apart from your competitors but will help you build the relationship you need with your customers to set the grounds for your growth. So take the time and effort to define the core values of your brand and how you want to portray it to the public, then put the words into action. Communicate your brand identity to your audience through your marketing strategies and design decisions. The intricate work will definitely pay off and make it only easier for your business further down the line.