A major factor to consider when building your business is building your brand identity. A well-developed brand tells your audience what you and your business are all about.
Have you ever asked yourself why some people will literally camp on the sidewalk outside a store for days, just to be one of the first people to buy the latest iPhone? Is it because they are made with such quality components that they are that much more superior to other brands? Is it because they have features that no other cell phones have? Or is it that Apple customers are not just buying a phone, but an idea?
There are companies, like Apple, that have a loyal customer base of enthusiastic fans. Do you prefer Coca-Cola or Pepsi? If you have a preference, chances are it’s a strong one. Yet Coca-Cola remains the number one cola drink even though Pepsi ranks better in blind taste tests.
Why is Starbucks so popular? It’s certainly not because their coffee is cheap. There are companies that have such a strong fan following their customers are willing to pay more for a product that is not necessarily the best or the cheapest available.
How do companies manage to create such avid fans? It boils down to people being able to relate to the idea that company represents… it is the brand identity. When the customer purchases that company’s product or service, they are buying into the idea of what that product says about them and how they perceive themselves to be.
If your company can make customers relate a “feeling” to your product or service, then you have created a brand identity that will help you build your own base of fiercely loyal fans.
How Do You Build Your Brand Identity?
A brand is how you are perceived by your customers and visitors to your website. It is your most valuable asset. You build a brand when you create a consistent message and present it through repetition.
A strong brand can turn a customer into something even better – a fan! But how do you build a brand?
It is true a brand is more than a logo, colors, type font, or slogan. A logo is, nevertheless, essential to your brand. If you don’t already have one, you need to design a logo. Your logo is what people will recognize first and it’s what keeps your brand in your customer’s mind. Display your logo prominently and frequently. And most certainly, include it in all your marketing efforts.
As your logo is an integral component of your brand, consider hiring a professional to design your logo. It’s an investment in your business and well worth every penny.
Your website is the face of your company and should reflect your brand identity. It presents your brand online and should reflect your brand’s message. It should be visually appealing and organized. Make sure your logo is prominently placed on your website.
Creating fresh content for your site is one of the best ways to build your brand. You build a customer’s confidence in your business when you publish informative and relevant information on a consistent basis. Consistency is the key. Consistency is what brings the customer back.
Content can be in the form of blog posts, but it’s not limited to just blog posts. Video, images, infographics, whitepapers, and podcasts are just some examples of other types of content you should include on your website. It’s important to include a variety of media in your blog posts.
According to reports, nearly a quarter of Americans check their social media accounts multiple times per day. The popularity of social media presents a great opportunity for you to engage your customers and build your brand.
With more that 75% of Americans using Facebook, it is the most popular and effective social media platform for brand building, but it’s not the only one. Twitter and Instagram are two other popular social media platforms you might consider.
Not all social media platforms will work for all businesses; it depends heavily on what your business consists of. Twitter is great for sending out one-time or limited promotions. Instagram, on the other hand, is primarily visual in nature and will better suit a company with more visual products.
A florist, for example, could use Instagram or Pinterest to help draw interest to the business by posting images of unique and varied floral arrangements. As with the florist, your brand identity will be on display, as well.
Unique Selling Proposition
A clearly defined unique selling proposition, or USP, is what differentiates your product from that of your competitors. It tells your customers what is different about your product, what makes it a better product, how your customers will benefit from your product.
Why do so many find it difficult to develop their USP when it shouldn’t be difficult at all? You understand your business better than anyone else and why you started it. You understand your product better than anyone else and why it is superior to your completion. Now you need to focus on the “why.” Why is your product better?
Consider your product from a customer’s point of view and tell them exactly why your product is superior, how they will benefit from your product over the completion… how your product will meet their needs. That is how you develop a USP.
Once you’ve developed your USP, you use it when planning your long-term marketing strategies. As with your brand, you incorporate your USP into your marketing message, and repeat it over and over again so it becomes ingrained in the minds of your customers and potential customers.
Your brand identity and USP are so closely tied together it is sometimes difficult to separate the two. But they are separate and both are essential.
Your brand identity is what your customers feel when they think of your business. But your USP is what your customers think of when using your service or purchasing your product. It reminds them why you stand head and shoulders above your competition.
Building a strong brand identity along with a clear and powerful USP can turn your customers into loyal fans, but it’s going to take a commitment to consistently provide quality content, products, and an exceptional customer experience.