What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone brings up athletic wear or sneakers? What pops up in your head when people start talking about personal computers or smartphones? What about when it comes to cars or coffee?
Chances are that with virtually every product and service there’s a brand that you directly associate with it. In fact, did you know that 77% of B2C consumers purchase solely based on brand name?
Branding and brand perception are growing increasingly important, especially with so many businesses emerging due to the liberating nature of the internet. Now, every keynote speaker, blogger and influencer can be considered a brand.
That’s why today we’re going to talk about how you can build a brand identity that has the potential to create powerful connections with your audience.
Decide Between a Personal Brand or a Corporate Brand
To start with, it’s important to decide what kind of brand it is you want to establish, a personal brand or a corporate brand.
What’s the difference?
Unlike the corporate brand that we’re most familiar with, a personal brand is centred around a certain individual, particularly the leader or owner. A personal brand reflects that leader’s thoughts, views, and beliefs. Influencers and online experts, coaches, and course creators are often under a personal brand.
One good example of this would be Gary Vaynerchuck, who began his online career within the wine industry, shifted to digital marketing, and then eventually pivoted his brand towards his views, beliefs, and the kind of culture he wants to create in society.
Perhaps another, more familiar type of personal branding would be Bill Nye the Science Guy. While his main advocacy would be increasing awareness and appreciation for science, he’s also known for his enthusiasm, his skills as an entertainer, as well as bowties and science-dad jokes. All that contributes to his personal brand.
Perhaps one thing to note when choosing between building a personal or corporate brand is that like Gary Vaynerchuk, it’s much easier to pivot towards various industries and topics should you choose to build a personal brand.
Identify Your Perfect Customer
Once you’ve decided what type of brand it is you want to build, it’s time to identify who it is you want to serve.
This is an important step as it will determine both the direction of your business as well as the effectiveness of your brand messaging. Only six out of ten marketers think that their brand is aligned with their organisation’s overall strategy. This poses a problem as consumers are most frustrated with inconsistent brand messaging.
To identify who your ideal customer is, ask yourself the following questions:
- What problem is my product/service directly solving?
- Who is most likely to encounter this problem?
- Where do these people live? Which of my competitor’s products are they using?
- How is my brand different from the competition?
- What is my unique selling point? Are my products locally-made or handcrafted?
Whether your ideal customer is a start-up business owner trying to increase their leads and sales, or a busy household with little to no time to deep-clean their home, manage their lawn, or prep their meals, knowing who they are means that you’ve already won half the battle. The next step, then, involves creating the kind of resonance that enables you to connect.
Integrate Your Brand Identity & Story
Fifty-six percent of consumers are more dedicated to brands that align with their values. Building a story around your brand (who you are, what you stand for, what advocacies you support) can have a tremendous impact on your business. In fact, purpose-driven brands have been known to outperform the stock market by 120%.
Make it a point to let your audience know what you stand for and who you support. Are you all about supporting local craftsmen and tradies? Does your company support renewable energy or sustainable products? Or perhaps your main advocacy is to promote equality and cultural diversity.
People are more likely to stand behind an organisation that they can align themselves with. So if you have specific views and beliefs that you want to support, put them at the forefront of your branding.
Invest In Your Own Online Real Estate
Nothing is more important for a brand than having its own real estate. No, you don’t necessarily need to have your own office space to call yourself a brand. But you at least have to have a website that you own and care for.
Today, having your own website is critical. Before making a purchase, 70-80% of consumers research a company online. And yet less than 64% of small businesses have a website. That’s a potential 70-80% of business that you could be losing out on.
You can’t build and scale a business on rented digital land. It’s not enough to rely on Facebook or Instagram Pages to promote your business because you end up becoming dependent on their rules and rubrics. Should Facebook decide to further lower organic reach on their platform, you have no stake in it.
If you have your own website, you have more control over what type of content you can put out, what format, and what messaging. You also have direct control over the amount of traffic that you bring in. And in the unlikely event that Facebook or Instagram should shut down in the future, at least you still have a website that your followers can visit.
Your brand is more than just the public face of your company, it’s its heart and soul. The clearer and more empathetic your branding, the more powerful the connections you will build. In a report conducted by Forrester, they discovered that emotional resonance is important for branding, 50% of branding is based on an organisation’s ability to resonate with consumers.
Once you’ve set and determined your brand identity and messaging, however, marketing is a whole other beast to conquer. But that’s where our digital marketing expertise comes in. We at SponsoredLinx have helped thousands of Australian businesses succeed online through digital marketing. And we can help yours too! If you’re interested, simply get in touch with one of our agents and we can discuss strategies on how to get your brand the success it deserves.