How to go from Bland to Brand: A branding toolkit by RSA

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When you hear the word brand what do you think of? For many, we might think of some of our favorite brands:  Nike, Starbucks, Apple, and more. But what is it about these popular companies that make them instantly pop into our heads when we hear the word “brand”? It’s because of something called brand value, or the worth of a brand to a consumer. All of these companies have created brands that are unforgettable and instantly recognizable.

So what is branding and why is it important for your business? Boiled down, branding encompasses everything your business is and how your customers perceive you. Without a definitive brand, you aren’t leaving a mark on your customers and you can’t accurately showcase what your company is about.

So, how do you create a brand that is both memorable, and showcases your company the way you want it to? Well, that’s what we’re here for!

Our team of marketing experts is sharing our tips on how to make your company go from bland to brand!

Branding builds trust

Creating trust in your audience is one of the most important components of building a successful business. If your business isn’t branded properly, or worse, has little to no branding at all, you’ll have a difficult time building trust with your customers. Branding helps showcase your credibility and increase brand loyalty. Statistics show that 77% of consumers make purchases based on brand name.

Building a strong brand image gives your audience a sense of what they can expect from your company. Your brand is what they see, hear, and think in association with your company. Creating a strong brand image builds credibility, and creates loyalty and trust which, in turn, entices people to buy your products or services.

What makes a brand valuable?

There are many aspects of a company’s brand that helps establish your business and generate brand value. First, being authentic in your messaging is a great way to generate a positive brand value. All messages on social media or in any other related marketing materials should align with your mission statement and company values. People are drawn to businesses and companies that stay true to their values and act in accordance with them. This will help you generate a loyal following of customers and make your brand more recognizable.

How can you build a memorable brand?

There are many ways that a business can build their brand. Below, we are going to discuss some of the most important aspects of establishing your company’s brand:

1: Research your target audience: To understand how to make an impression on your audience you have to understand their interests, likes and dislikes. Figuring out what kind of messaging will have an impact on your target audience will help you develop marketing materials that will catch their attention.

2: Create a comprehensive brand guide: A brand guide is a document containing all aspects of your company’s visual identity. Brand guides include things such as logos, color schemes, font styles, and, typically, your company’s mission, vision statement or brand values. A brand guide is a great way to ensure consistency through any and all deliverables created for your business. Developing and utilizing a brand guide ensures all things such as flyers, business cards, social media posts, and even your company website are cohesive. Having cohesive marketing materials helps build a signature “look” for your brand.

3: Determine your brand values: As mentioned above, the majority of consumers make purchases based on brand name. But what about that brand name entices us to buy something? People are drawn to and more likely to purchase something from a brand that has similar values and beliefs as them. For example, people who are vegan are more likely to buy from brands that offer vegan, cruelty free products that haven’t been tested on animals. Environmentalists are more likely to buy from brands that produce sustainable materials and reduce their carbon footprint. Once you have determined who your target audience is, you can determine what matters to them. Finding values for your company to stand for is a great way to showcase who you are, and, in turn, build meaningful connections with your customers.

4: Engage with your Audience: Showcasing your brand’s personality is a great way to build trust with your consumers and showcase your authenticity. While you can get your personality across in the content you publish, engaging with people is an easier, more effective way to convey the tone and personality associated with your brand. Often times businesses create social media profiles and post content regularly, but they forget one of the most important aspects of social media- being social! Interacting with your audience by replying to their comments, sharing posts that involve your brand, or encouraging your consumers to participate in polls, surveys, or giveaways are all great ways to interact with your audience. Through these interactions you can convey the tone of your brand, whether that is professional, casual, or humorous. Just make sure this tone and all interactions align with your company values and the mission statement you have set forth.

5: Customer Service is everything: Your logo, color scheme, tagline, or company mission doesn’t mean anything to consumers if you aren’t backing them up in the way you run your company, and more importantly, the way you interact with customers. We are all aware of the effect bad Yelp reviews can have on a business and 92% of people say they read customer testimonials before purchasing a product.  Every company is going to try to convince consumers that they are the best around. But, hearing that from other consumers has a much larger impact on influencing others to trust and purchase products from your brand. Placing an emphasis on customer service helps generate happy customers and those happy customers will spread their positive experience to others, leading to more purchases.

It can be difficult to make your company stand out amongst all the competition, but creating a memorable, authentic brand is one of the first steps in doing that. We all remember a company that impressed us with the way they stood up for what they believe in, or a company with a catchy slogan that’s always stuck in your head. Branding is the way we leave an impact on our consumers, and it is how we showcase what makes our business unique.

If you’re struggling with building a unique, effective brand for your business give, Robert Sharp & Associates a call at 605-341-5226.

As a full service marketing agency we can help you design a branding guide, build your social media presence, design a website that showcases your company culture, and so much more!

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