To create a strong brand identity, you should focus on branding best practices that successful marketers and businesses have already tried and tested.
Building a successful brand and launching it in the market takes time and effort. But if you use these branding best practices, it can significantly help your business gain traction.
So, to make your brand stronger and make it stand tall against stiff competition, you should be razor focused in your branding approach. Your team should also be aligned with these principles.
Brands that have been successful have all had one thing in common and that is an understanding of the customer segments that they are focusing on.
The ‘Nike’ brand focuses both on the superstar athlete and the common man.
Digital media has made this possible and brands now are able to create their messaging at an individual level, which earlier was next to impossible with the traditional media.
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Here is a comprehensive list of branding best practices that you should use in your brand building and innovations efforts.
10 branding best practices which help you grow your brand
1. Audit your brand
This brand audit helps you to get a basic understanding of your brand in terms of where it currently stands.
It gives a deep insight into both internal and external branding as well as the status of systems and infrastructure that are used by the business.
It will help you to assess your competitive landscape and prepare you to define your brand’s voice and perspective.
Check what’s being talked about your brand on social media. Google yourself to gain more insights. Do the same for your competitors and identify what gaps can be filled.
2. Reassess your brand identity
When you have done a detailed brand audit, analyze the results. See what perception your customers, employees and the general public have about your brand.
Is it in line with what you want your brand identity to be?
Your brand is what people say it is.
Start building or rebuilding your brand. Be very clear about what you want and involve your team in the vision.
Take their feedback and address the challenges because all the team members will have some sort of a role to play in shaping your brand.
After having a thorough analysis, you should be ready for some rebranding exercises if the need arises.
3. Clear brand communications
A successful brand takes care of clear and consistent communications.
When the brand strategy is clear and aligned to the business strategy, it will be easier to convey to your customers what your brand stands for. This will also help your customers to expect a certain level or quality of products and services that your brand offers.
The quality of the brand experiences helps in brand building much more than merely using phrases like ‘premier provider’or ‘world-class service’ in advertisements.
Good brand experiences over time make your brand stand out and competition becomes irrelevant. This is what your brand should aim for.
This means how your brand appears to the outside world. It is the first impression for brand recognition and awareness and should be done right from start. The following elements make up visual branding:
- Brand name – should be easy to remember and be able to connect with the users. It gains strength by being used consistently.
- Tagline – these are phrases that capture brand’s essence and appeal to people’s emotions.
- Logo – brands are generally identified by their logo. It should reflect your business and its values. People identify them with their shape and colour.
- Brand Voice: should be consistent across all channels of communication, be easily understood by the target audience and reflect the organization’s vision.
A good brand is quickly recognized wherever it is encountered.
5. Deliver what your customers need
Develop personal relationships with your customers.
Respond to their requests and feedbacks, handle complaints well and be accountable for your products or services. The collective experience of interacting with your brand creates brand experiences and perceptions over time.
Providing good customer support should be among the very important branding best practices because it resolves problems, helps to build repeat customers and makes them feel valued.
Each business is unique and has a different set of customers but some ways that can work for all are engaging customers by phone, emails, personally or through other preferred means.
Among all this, social media cannot be ignored. Take cues from brand mentions there if your marketing strategies are backfiring or what customers expect.
6. Give additional services
I’m sure many customers would like to have after-sales support or some sort of a training on how to use the product.
Be reachable and try to offer customized solutions to customers’ issues. This will make them loyal to your business and brand.
7. Keep building and evolving your brand
Your aim should be to make your brand survive stiff competition, changing economic and market conditions. For this to happen, adopt a forward approach and align the brand with the changing customer needs.
Giving them more than their expectations will make them your trustworthy brand ambassadors.
Giving coupons and loyalty programs like customer referral programs also increases the business. It is also helpful for word-of-mouth publicity.
Building long-term relationships will achieve long-term success.
A branding best practice not to be missed is to keep re-evaluating your branding messages and re-inventing your business to attract new customers suit the evolving needs.
8. Endorse a social cause
For establishing a positive reputation and goodwill, brands should engage more and more in corporate social responsibility.
Caring for social causes, environmental awareness and the community are ethics that people are identifying more and more.
Brands that take up such initiatives have a fair amount of chance that people will connect with them.
9. Be social
Today, most of the target audience of any brand are present on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.
These platforms are very important for brand building, having a strong online presence and expanding their reach.
Creative multimedia tools like videos, infographics and slideshows work well on social media. In fact, YouTube is very important to have a good branding as video consumption is increasing manifold.
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Branding is not a short-term process of doing once and forget. It has to be done consistently and should adapt to the ever-changing marketing conditions.
By implementing these branding best practices, your brand will see the efforts paying off sooner than later.
What branding best practices do you use for your brands? Do write in the comments below.