The word “branding” gets thrown around like confetti nowadays in a whole variety of ways but here at Pink Spaghetti we often see a huge lack of understanding about what branding actually means for businesses and what it involves.
Ultimately, establishing a solid brand is a vital part of growing your business. Your branding is the foundation of your business providing it with an identity, a set of values and a voice that is instantly recognisable and memorable by your customers.
Nowadays there is a multitude of resources available to help you begin building your brand, most of which won’t cost the earth. Most importantly, whatever brand building methods you choose to use make sure that you project messages that support your company’s ethos.
Invent your perfect customer
We have spoken in previous blogs about the importance of knowing your audience for creating effective marketing but what if you’re just starting out and don’t know your audience yet?
Simple – create a fictional customer!
We call this a ‘buyer persona’ which is ultimately a description of your ideal customer’s values and characteristics. Creating a buyer persona will help you to objectively think about what that customer is using your business for and how your business will be able to respond to their needs.
If you understand the needs of your customer then you will have a better understanding of what motivates them and where they turn to for solutions allowing you to create effective, targeted marketing for your brand.
Outline your brand
OK, so you know what kind of customers you want to seek out, now it’s time to really narrow down what kind of company you’re going to be.
What does your brand stand for, what does your brand represent and what is the tone of your brand? Very much like creating a buyer persona you need to ask yourself questions about your brand to establish what your company ethos is and what kind of impression you want to make on your customer base.
When you know the answer to these questions then you can spend time perfecting content that really backs up the ideas you want to portray. Whatever the platform of communication you want to ensure that any messages you send out accurately supports your company’s brand.
Be consistently present
At this point you know who you are, what type of customer you want to attract and even how you’re going to communicate with them – but how do you know where to look for them?
You’ve already got a pretty good idea of what your ideal customers are interested in so finding out where they spend their online time isn’t rocket science. Look at your competitors and establish what platforms work for them and how they interact with their audiences, this will give you a good idea about where to focus your efforts. That being said, be careful not to alienate other platforms in favour of just one – it’s better to have a smaller presence on other sites than none at all.
Critically, make sure that you maintain your presence. If you start to neglect your media presence, then your customers will eventually follow suit too. You are setting an example of the level of care and dedication that your company offers and let’s face it, if you can’t be bothered to post then they won’t be bothered about buying.
Capture your audience
You’ve chosen the right pool, you’ve selected the best equipment and you’ve sat on the right bank, but what bait are you going to use to land those perfect customers in your net? Why not try blogging? Yes it takes time, but it is very inexpensive. You’re also creating a bank of specific content that is relevant to the people you’re trying to attract.
Take the time to research what information your audience is looking for, what keywords they search and this will give you some great ideas for topics of conversation. If your customers come to your site and are provided with relevant information to suit their needs and identities then they will return time after time.
You could even look to schedule a blog or create an editorial schedule to help keep your communication consistent and reliable.
Treat your customers right
We don’t need to tell you how important good customer service is for retaining a captive audience. For many people nowadays the decision whether to use a new company is made after reading/hearing customer reviews.
What do you want people to say about your business? Decide what experience you want your customers to have and ensure that your business can deliver it. Word of mouth is the most effective branding and marketing tool that you can make use of and best of all – it’s completely free!
Remember that company ethos and your overall identity whenever dealing with customer issues as your customers opinions and reviews will also contribute to the overall brand image you portray. If your targeted demographic can see that people similar to themselves have had a great experience, then their decision to use your company will be a much more confident one.
Long story short, brand building, which can be done on any budget, is absolutely crucial to the foundations of any business. Whatever methods you are contemplating implementing it is important to work out how to use the tools and resources that you already have at your disposal to get the most effective result.
Stay true to the brand image that you want for your business and keep your audience at the forefront of your mind in the first instance. Once you’ve begun then you need to focus on staying relevant and consistent in your approach to brand communication.
Remember, as we’ve previously stated, creating an impactful image, strong brand and building a faithful following isn’t going to happen overnight, it does take time but with effective research and the right actions you will be well on your way to establishing a firm presence for your business.
We’ve helped many businesses build and perfect their brand so if you want to discuss how Pink Spaghetti can assist you with any aspect of branding management for your business then you can visit here to find your local team today.