Having a successful startup or a new business takes more than just offering products or services. Most of the businesses that fail have great products but have poor branding strategies. In order to succeed in business, you need to get recurring customers, in order to get these customers, you need their trust, in order to get their trust you need branding. This is the reason that having a poor branding strategy will prove failure to your business from the start. In this article, we shall be focusing on the 11 branding strategies that will make your business successful.
#1 Identify your target market
It is very important to be clear with who your target market is; failure begins with marketing your product to the wrong people. Study your target market along with your current competitors, make comparisons between their product and yours, this will ensure your product meets the needs of your target market.
Thinking that you can just get in the market and sell your product to everyone is a good signal to failure. You need to focus on a specific group that needs your product the most, learn about them, and learn about what is missing from the competitors that you can provide.
#2 Understand your competition
It is very hard to start a business today without having several competitors already in the market. This is another very important factor to observe if you need to succeed. If you study your competitors, understand their strategy, and their weaknesses, it will help you penetrate easily. What makes them your competitors is because they’re in business, that means they’re also smart. If you decide to ignore them, they surely won’t ignore you.
#3 Don’t just think different – Be different
The best way to beat your competition is by differentiating yourself from the rest of the crowd. Add a little sauce to your product/service that will benefit the people, and can’t be found elsewhere. People are always looking for something new and different from what they’re used to. Now, this doesn’t mean you should start struggling to change the product you already have. Being different may apply to your product, or marketing, or cost-effectiveness, or discount offers, and so much more.
For your branding (or re-branding), make sure you stand out from the crowd. I always advise people to find out what they’re good at and find a way to blend it with their business. Having an incredible customer service is enough to land you a ton of customers in your business, while others are struggling.
#4 Strategic naming
Most startup businesses give little attention to the names they choose for their business. Until it comes to branding is when they realize that the name doesn’t carry their vision. You have to also understand that customers are very attentive in relating your name, to your product/service, and to their expectation.
Be creative when choosing the kind of name you want for your business, choose the name that relates to your business. Make sure that your name is unique, simple to pronounce and to type as well. It’s great if people can remember your business name just by hearing it once. You should also relate your name with the mental picture you want your client to have by hearing it. This will help you a lot in simplifying your branding strategy.
#5 Work on your image
After finding a great name for your business that aligns with your vision, it’s about time to start creating an image for yourself. You notice that if a popular brand is mentioned to you, there is a certain kind of image that comes in mind, right? This is exactly what I’m talking about; you need to create your image in the mind of your customers. To do that, I suggest you to create a branding kit for your business. This is done by the kind of logo, color, pictures, and other visual images that represent your business.
It’s not difficult to create an image for your business in today’s world of digital platforms. It is not difficult to destroy your image either, so you have to be very keen when doing this. Create images that will appear great in various digital platforms, focusing on the modern and professional look.
Among the things that you can’t mess up from the start is your image, since it will stick in the minds of your customers for a very long time. Therefore, if you’re not good at doing your logo and brand design, it’s good to seek professional help, rather than messing up.
To build a powerful brand image, you don’t obviously need to be a professional photographer or designer. There are many free branding tools you can use to do so.
#6 Narrate your story – Be a storyteller
It is important to know that humans are storytellers, we like listening to something that tells a nice story. That is the only way you can grab people’s attention, by telling a story which has an emotional connection. Your story should trigger the emotions of the listeners so that you can get into the minds of your audience (customers).
The power of storytelling has been effectively used by great politicians, teachers, as well as parents for many years. As a startup, you can tell a story of how you came into existence, what motivated you, where you expect to position your customers, and so much more. Try to dig deeper and be very creative to come up with something worth listening to, the more people understand you, the more they trust you.
#7 Determine your business personality – Set Values
Creating a personality is very important since people will need something that resonates with them. Most businesses never give attention to this factor in their branding strategy, and they wonder why they never have loyal customers. Here is the thing, if you can resonate with your customers at a personal level, they will be loyal to you.
Once your name pops up in someone’s mind, they should be able to come up with words that best describe your business. You do this by trying to resonate with your business; try to see what people are likely to think concerning your brand. It’s best to narrow the business identity to a few phrases that will easily stick into your customer’s mind.
#8 Share your narrative
After having done all the work of designing your brand, creating a narrative story for the business, with the help or not of a branding agency, it’s time you start sharing with the world. Now, this is not as easy as just posting stuff in your website and social media, remember that people are very selective to what they attend to. There is a need to be very strategic in your offline branding, content creation, and social media marketing activities. These are the main ways you’ll be using to share your narrative, so be creative, strategic, and consistent.
#9 Be authentic and consistent
Consistency and authenticity are essentials to build a successful brand. As a new business or a startup you need to act very fast but at the same time very strategic, and authentic. You have to earn your customer’s loyalty and never lose it because your competitors are also seeking an opportunity to take those customers. The only way to make your customers loyal to you is by making sure that you’re always authentic to them. If they sense that you’re lacking this quality in any way, off they go.
Not only you want to be authentic, you also want to be consistent with your image and the message you convey.
Some people think that telling their customers what they expect to hear is the only way to keep them; this is not true at all. You have to stick to your core values and stand for what you represent and are willing to offer to your customers. Doing this will build trust to your customers that cannot be easily broken, it won’t be very easy in the beginning but it won’t take long to see the results.
#10 Don’t overcomplicate – Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
Branding usually takes a lot of work for any startup or new business, but this doesn’t mean you should also make it more complex by overcomplicating things. Trying to do a lot of complex things at the start of your business will end up taking you in the wrong course. There are things that are best done as you get along in the business when you’re already serving the people.
Take a simple example of creating a logo for your business, when you start thinking of every assumption that your customers could come up with, you might find it hard to design a simple logo. Instead, if you could just take the general opinion of you target customers in currently in the market, the process could be very easy. Make things strategic but simple to implements.
Don’t confuse creativity with complexity, these two are not the same, you can be very creative and simple. In fact, the more creative you become, the simple it becomes to implement, if this doesn’t work the same way for you, then probably you’re already overcomplicating.
#11 Boost Presence with Blogging, Video, and SEO
The best process of sharing your brand narrative to your target market is by utilizing the available internet tool. This is also the best way to beat the competition, being able to reach your target customers easily and effectively.
Design a simple website which will carry the image and the name of the business to your customers. Use experts that will enable you to design contents that will rank your website on top of the search engines, by building your SEO. Create attractive and eye-catching videos that tell a story of your business, as well as the services you offer to your customers. Be consistent in communicating with your customers, to make sure that you always stay in their minds.
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