For many, the concept of branding lies somewhere between an art and a science. Every year companies try to find new and innovative solutions to improve their brands. With the advent of social media and an increasing need for a digital presence, industry professionals have been forced to get creative with the way they build and grow their brands. Here are the top five tips we at VIG feel are essential to improving any brand.
1. Start with a plan
The first step every company should take when trying to improve their brand is developing a plan or strategy. Many companies try to improve their brand by implementing promotional tools haphazardly and fail to see a positive return on investment. To get the most out of your promotional efforts you need to develop a clear strategy with attainable goals. This strategy should be guided by the mission and vision statements of the company and should encompass clear communications goals such as building brand awareness or increasing exposure. Developing a strategy and goals will allow you to assess the difference between the current state of your brand and where you want to be in the future. It will allow you to see your strengths and where you need to improve. This will give you a better idea of which tactics are right for your brand and where to allocate your budget.
2. Create a clear image
Having a clear brand image is critical in today’s marketplace. It is essential that businesses of any size or in any industry create a clear and consistent image across all customer touchpoints. Everything from logos, product packaging, email signatures, and even social media accounts should consistently portray your brand’s image. Think of your brand image as having an identity. If your brand’s identity is inconsistent, customers may become confused when visiting your website versus your social media page. This disconnect can lead to confused consumers, lost leads, or even a damaged brand reputation in the future.
3. Stay active on social media
One of the easiest ways to gain exposure for your brand and build brand awareness is through active participation on social media. Posting links to articles, blogs, company announcements, and industry news is a great way to let your customers know what your brand is all about. These links can allow your customers to easily access information about your company while building credibility as well. Staying active on social media doesn’t mean having to go “overboard”. A simple tweet with a link to your blog once a month is a great way to start out. Posting content that is relevant and useful to your target market is one of the best ways to create top-of-mind awareness about your brand. If done consistently and successfully, it can drive leads to your website, stimulate sales, or allow you to engage with potential customers.
Here’s an example of a video we created for Aspire Prostethics and Orthotics to engage with their social media followers.
4. Engage with your customers
Some of the biggest brands today have found creative ways to get their customers involved beyond the sale. Everything from consumer-generated marketing to contests on social media have helped companies propel their brands. Engaging with your customers not only gets them thinking about your brand, but it also creates an open line of communication. This can be powerful and help uncover insights into how your target market views your product or service and what’s next for industry trends.
5. Do your homework
Whether you’re a seasoned marketing professional or passionate beginner, building and growing a brand requires research. Studying competitors, industry trends, and pop culture should be on your to-do list if you want to maintain a competitive edge in the market. One of the most important areas companies fail to do their research in is understanding their target market. Sometimes the simplest details make the biggest impact. Everything from basic demographic to psychographic characteristics should not be overlooked when thinking about your brand. To make the best use of your promotional efforts you need to develop a firm understanding of your target market and what these customers are truly looking for in your product or service. This will help your brand build its image over time and grow with your customers in the future.
Building and improving a brand is never a simple task. Every day our skilled team at Visual Impact Group works with a portfolio of client’s just like you. If you feel like it’s time for a change but aren’t sure where to start, maybe it’s time to Think VIG!