What’s in a brand? Not to be mistaken for a logo, for most organizations, their brand is the way in which they connect with their customers. It’s how they show the world who they are and what they do. Establishing that connection and gaining consumer recognition is all about developing an effective branding strategy.
Here are four branding strategies that will help you to create a genuine connection with your customers.
Clearly present your brand values
Compelling figures from Harvard Business Review indicate that 64% of consumers are looking to form relationships with organizations that share similar values. The challenge is identifying what your values are and then portraying those values in the products you develop, the services you offer, how you treat your customers, how you treat your employees.
Brands like MAC Cosmetics has taken the competitive cosmetic market by storm with its focus on diversity and individuality. Its tagline or motto “All Ages, All Races, All Sexes” resonates with consumers around the globe and its branding and marketing strategy reinforces that ethos through clever advertising such as its MACnificent Me campaign which focused on six ‘everyday’ people.
Be consistent with your brand messaging
Once you have identified what your brand stands for and how you are presenting your brand to the world, you need to ensure that your organization is consistent in that messaging. A survey by Demand Metric reveals that brands that present themselves consistently are three to four times more likely to achieve excellent brand visibility. On the flip side, brands who are inconsistent with their messaging can experience confusion in the market (71%).
In order to ensure consistency across your brand, it’s a good idea to create a set of brand guidelines. This manual should be shared with all relevant personnel and should include details of values, the tone of voice when communicating, logo and visuals, etc. Don’t forget to reinforce your brand guidelines in all communications, even in your internal communications with your workforce. It’s important for your brand to be visible and consistent both externally and internally.
Know your customer
A customer strategy should lie at the heart of any branding strategy. More than ever, organizations need to know their customers at a granular level – what they want, what their values are, how they feel about certain issues etc. A 2016 PwC survey showed that customer strategy is becoming more important to organizations with over 80% of executives saying their investment in customer strategy during the next three to five years would increase. This handy infographic showcases the 10 principles of customer strategy.
To really know your customer you need to draw intelligence from a wide range of sources: their interactions with you, their behavior, how they communicate with you, what channels they use, when they interact with you, where are they when they interact with you, and the list goes on. What you’re looking for is an insight into every aspect of their connection with your brand. Compiling all of this data can be simplified through the use of analytics and analyzing this data to develop a clear picture of the customer. This information will allow you to more effectively target them in the future with relevant content, information, products, and services.
Tap into customer emotions
Today’s consumer is looking for an emotional connection with a brand, and more and more consumers consider this emotional link as a higher priority than price. Emotional connections range from – a sense of belonging to something and feeling valued or recognized to feeling secure, and protecting the environment. Insightful research by Harvard Business Review revealed that emotionally connected customers are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied customers, on a lifetime value basis.
Apple is often cited as a brand that has perfected the art of creating an emotional connection with consumers. Its simple, clean design, which has remained consistent over the decades, taps into the consumer emotion of wanting to be part of a lifestyle movement. Apple has achieved this through smart promotional tactics – creating a sense of excitement or mystery about its product releases, teasing consumers with what’s coming down the line and generating a hype that consumers want to be part of.
Storytelling can also be an effective way of creating that connection with consumers. Through storytelling, you can link with people’s memories, needs, emotions and engage with them on a deeper level. This infographic by OneSpot offers valuable insight into how storytelling affects the brain.