Are you a business owner or a startup looking to separate yourself from the competition? There are many ways to go about this, but it starts with branding. This article will dive into branding best practices, including identifying your target market, maintaining consistency, and knowing where (and how) to reach your customers.
Your brand, defined
When you start a business, you automatically establish a brand. This does not mean that your brand is always right. Just look at Pepsi, Colgate, and other major corporations to see just how badly a brand flub can make you look.
Remember: You don’t need to have the perfect brand from the beginning. Your brand should accurately showcase who you are, what you do, and a little bit about your personality.
There are many key features that you must look at before you get to the visual part of your brand, such as your logo and marketing materials. Start by identifying your business’s position within your market. You’ll also want your brand to tell a story, so spend the time making it meaningful to the customers you need to reach.
What’s the target market?
Speaking of the customers you need to reach, you have to identify your target market accurately so you can build your brand in a way that sells. According to Square, you must have a core customer base. Take a look at your business, and figure out who wants to buy from you. Is it young adults with disposable income? Budget-conscious grandparents? When you know who you’re talking to, you’ll know what to say.
Marketing and social media
A good marketing plan is a must for any business. Start by generating some business cards that you can hand out to potential customers, or leave in places like coffee shops where people gather. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Don’t forget about PIA Design + Print for all your marketing materials.]
Next, it’s time to start spreading the word via social-media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Memes and infographics can be a big help here. You also want to pay attention to social sites that go beyond Facebook. According to the Influencer Marketing Hub, there are more than 100 different platforms that can help you build your brand and business.
Last but not least, you should look into content marketing, as well. That allows you to create high-quality content that will really resonate with your target audience, allowing you to establish greater trust and authority in your industry. If you’re new to content marketing, to learn more about how it works and how to put it into practice, click here.
Additional branding outside of the internet
While much of your branding and marketing will take place online, you must have an offline presence as well. This could mean anything from your storefront signage to the clothing your employees wear while on the clock. Smart Insights asserts that your image must be consistent, no matter where it is. In other words, don’t use one logo on your website and another on your social-media banners.
All about the customer experience
Branding also ties into the customer experience, and a good experience across the board may become synonymous with your agency. As part of your branding strategy, stay in constant communication with your customers. You also want to show customer appreciation and prioritize problem-solving.
While your brand may change and grow as your agency evolves, you always want to stay true to your core values. This starts by identifying your target market and keeping up with them on social media (and even making them laugh with memes).
Remember, your brand is what sets you apart, and it’s how the customers you don’t have yet will find and remember you when the time is right.