Before you can take steps to boost your online brand, you need to know what you want it to be. Your brand identity is akin to your personal identity.
The characteristics and traits that differentiate you from others constitute your personal identity. Your brand identity is made up of the look and feel of how your company presents itself including your:
Your brand identity includes any visual or audio representations that others recognize as your company.
Brands that consistently and honestly promote their message are powerful. Think about some of the most famous brands. What is it about them makes them recognizable to you?
Is it their logo like McDonald's golden arches? Or their slogan like Verizon's "Can you hear me now"? What do you think of when you hear "Good to the last drop?" That's right, Maxwell House coffee.
How did these major brands gain such recognition? By consistently and repeatedly exposing the public to their visual, audio, and content-related brand identity.
The more consistent you are in your branding, the more familiar your target market will become with your business.
Once your company has established your brand identity and chosen your logo, tone, typography, and design styles, you want to be sure all employees and departments consistently speak in one voice.
Creating a professional brand book will keep your entire team on point with your brands message. Also, being able to align your business strategy with your brand position is facilitated by the creation of a brand book.
It also saves time for companies of all sizes if you add staff to your team or replace a designer. New employees can get up-to-speed very quickly by referring to your brand guidelines.
Your brand is also reflected in what you do and don’t say on social media. Part of your brand identity is to know your target audience and to speak to them on all relevant platforms in the same voice.
Spend more time on the social media platforms where your target audience hangs out. For example, if you are selling clothes for teenage girls, your social media focus should be on Instagram and Tumblr as opposed to Twitter or LinkedIn.
Be sure that the type of language you use, like your captions on Instagram or your Facebook posts, speak directly to your audience.
All content you publish and share, such as blog posts or social media stories, should reflect your brand and be consistent.
Whether your brand voice is humorous, makes use of colloquialisms, or is more fact-based and diplomatic, as long as you "speak" consistently and authentically, your audience will feel a connection to you and be more likely to trust your brand.
Did you know that most purchase decisions are based on emotion? For brands who are trying to get more buyers, understanding this concept can help.
Your brand story should communicate feelings by appealing to the emotions of your target audience.
Even if someone in your target audience sees an online video, image, or post, and they are not ready at that moment to make a purchase, they will feel a connection to your brand.
If they consistently see the same or similar messaging that elicits an emotional response, when they are ready to make a purchase, guess whose brand they will remember? The one they feel an emotional connection to and the one they trust is the brand they will purchase from when ready.
When you are developing your brand strategy, be creative so that your online voice and content is unique, engaging, and compelling.
It is vital that your brand stand out from your competitors. So when deciding on your company logo, the fonts you use, the colors you choose, and your overall style, make sure they all resonate with your prospective customers.
To determine your correct voice and identity, study the demographics, preferences, and needs of your target market.
For your target market to purchase from you and not your competitors, you should know who is competing with you in the same space and what they are doing to attract customers.
Do some research to find out where they are hanging out online and be sure you are there, too. Your goal is to do what your competitors are doing - only do it better.
Also, try to identify gaps in what your audience needs to see or hear and develop your brand strategy around what your competitors are not doing.
You want your brand to fulfill needs, be the solutions for any problems, and be memorable and recognizable.
Some companies decide to create a fun and humorous brand identity. If you are in a niche where being comedic is appropriate, give it a shot.
Some major brands create silly or outrageous online campaigns that work. A few examples are:
Creating and building a brand identity is a process, and it is often not a finite one. In the case of Old Spice, they needed to rebrand to remain competitive.
Continue to study your market and your competitors. Measure the success of your current branding initiatives and marketing strategies.
Make changes where needed and test branding strategies frequently to keep your brand in the minds of your target audience.
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