Branding is one of the most important aspects to creating ones company. It is more than a logo and a slogan; your brand is the emotion consumers feel when they hear your name, as well as the illustrations evoked. With Social Media Marketing, brand identity has hit an all time high, and has become an imperative aspect to creating a business. If you are having trouble establishing your brand identity, answer the following questions about your company.
1. Who is your customer?
The essence of branding is communicating an image or emotion that is authentic and resonates with your ideal customer. The best way to do this is to figure out who your customers are. We recommend profiling your consumers – where do they work? What is their age demographic? What is their median income? What is their education level? Are they single, or married? What are their other interests? Although these answers may vary for each customer, a trend will definitely emerge that will create your “ideal customer profile,” and this will help you appeal specifically to your target audience and create a brand that they identify with.
2. What is your company’s voice? Passion? Tone?
Are you a fun loving company trying to sell a product? Are you a non-profit, trying to get your name out there? What voice or tone do you see as associated with your product? Does your company have a mission (beyond increasing their ROI!)? Ask yourself, if your company could speak, what would it say, and how? Whatever answer you come too, should dictate the voice that you use to advertise and educate about your company.
3. What do your customers want to see?
Your average customer may not know that they need your product or service, or perhaps they are currently buying a product similar to yours, from a competitor. It is imperative that you ask yourself what your ideal customer wants to see. This carries into social media management, ads, and the overall tone of your website – and the answer isn’t your product. Find a way to appeal to your target audience by asking yourself what else they are interested, and thus, what appeals to them? By showing them what they want to see, they will feel comfortable with your brand and will feel like your company understands them personally. This also carries into how you sell your product. Convey what it is your consumer stands to gain from your product or service, rather than being in your face as to why your product is the best. Remember, you may have a wealth of knowledge on your product, but your average consumer possesses none of that knowledge.
4. What emotion are your clients buying into?
If you are a health food company, what you are selling is more than just food. You are selling an image, a lifestyle, as well as reliability, nutritional information, and overall, health. Similarly, if you are a construction business, your customers aren’t just buying a building, they are buying reliability, solidity and strength. It is imperative that you think beyond the actual services and products you are offering and instead think about what emotion you are asking clients to buy into. What are you asking them to stand behind? Most notorious companies, like Johnson & Johnson, for example, exemplify much more than a product. Once you have decided on what emotion you identify with your brand, decide what is the best way to portray these! Your logo, content, even your font, need to evoke the emotion you are selling.
5. What are your brand values?
Having a set of values is imperative to any business, as it gives you a set of morals that employees must abide by as well as a level of trust for consumers. AllState is an excellent example of a company with great brand values that translate from an employee to a consumer level. Having a predefined set of values will allow your brand to work across the entire business spectrum, and it allows there to be a predetermined sense of how things are done in your company. To determine your brand values, decide which values you want to apply to your business and create sentences that convey these ideals. These sentences can be used as your company mission, and will convey what clients can expect from working with your company.
Creating a brand is a process that won’t happen overnight, but the effectiveness of your brand will definitely be apparent as it begins to resonate. It is important that you continuously ask these questions of your business to ensure that your company is staying true to the values of the brand you are creating. Remember – your brand is more than a logo or a slogan, and should be implemented wherever possible! This applies to social media management (the content and material you post) as well as the tone and look of your website, and even the promotions and sales you run. Conveying and developing a brand can be a tricky process, but having an everlasting brand ensures success for your company!