Startacus Join Now! /

The importance of company branding and how to market it

Startacus RSS

by Startacus Admin

startup photo

The MD of event specialists Gazeboshop shares his tips and advice on company branding...

Branding is a concept that we are all familiar with, but few of us truly understand how to build and market a successful brand. This relatively rare skill has never been more important. Consumer behaviour has evolved since the COVID-19 epidemic began and the businesses who have managed to maintain their performance, and even thrive in some cases are those that have invested in creating a distinguishable and memorable brand identity.

With so much competition in today’s economy, consumers are spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding where to spend their money. A multitude of factors play a part in their decision making, but one of the most salient factors is how consumers feel about your brand compared to your competitors. Many businesses have lost customers due to not being able to interact with them at key touch points as they previously could, while others have used branding tactics to drive new business and cement their place in the market.

The time to invest in company branding is now, but knowing where to start can often be the most difficult step. Below are the strategies that businesses of all shapes and sizes can implement to create and market a unique, uniform and unbeatable brand.

Building a brand strategy

desk office hero workspaceWe have summarised three key areas that you should focus on to create an effective brand strategy.

1/. The most important step is to understand what your brand is in the first place. Any business owner worth their salt understands their brand identity back to front and how best to communicate it with their audience. They must also regularly review their brand identity as businesses, just like people, should seek to grow over time. If your approach hasn’t been revisited recently it is likely that the values that guided your marketing activities are no longer optimal, especially in the current climate.

2/. The second step is cementing your brand’s purpose, mission and values by speaking with various stakeholders across the organisation. A good way to do this is by gathering internal feedback. A brand exercise can be a great opportunity to receive feedback from your employees on the kind of company they want to work for, and their direct experience of dealing with customers and clients can be invaluable in understanding the impression you are currently making on your audience.

3/. Finally, you need to decide on your voice and personality as clear messaging is important to build a successful brand. Will your tone of voice be personal and cheerful, or perhaps objective and inspiring? How do you want your customers to feel after interacting with you? Should they feel excited? Comforted? It is likely that you’ll want your customer base to feel a variety of positive emotions, but you should always have an overall impression that you want your target audience to take away.

How to promote your brand

Once you have your brand identity cemented in mind it is time to translate that into your marketing plan. There are hundreds of marketing models and tactics out there, everything from creating better logos to selling promotional merchandise at events. However, marketing managers must prioritise the tactics that will be most effective in light of the current economic climate, such as the three strategies outlined below.

1/. Digital Marketing

pexels 577210While waxing lyrical about the advantages of digital marketing over traditional methods is nothing new, it is worth highlighting here given the changes we have seen in consumer behaviour. Consumers who may have been hesitant to shop online before lockdown are now using the internet to purchase everything from food to futons.

The rise of ecommerce has accelerated and businesses who previously relied on retail stores are now seizing the opportunity of a direct-to-consumer (D2C) model. Likewise, B2B companies who previously relied on industry events and careers fairs to win new business and drive recruitment are now seeing more enquiries come in from their website.

Businesses can no longer afford to neglect their social media profiles. Use the opportunities available on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to display your logo and branded imagery for the world to see. Additionally, make use of tweets and posts to create a cohesive voice for your brand that resonates with your customer base, which will gradually increase their emotional priming over time.

Search marketing is another golden opportunity in today’s economy. Consumers are using search engines like Google more than ever and being visible in those spaces is key to generating revenue and brand awareness. Carry out some keyword research to see what search terms your audience is using and allocate advertising spend and time for content creation to place your brand in front of people searching for that term.

There are a huge number of free tools to help in this area, one of which is Google Trends. This tool reveals topics of interest across the world and can serve as inspiration for topics that your brand can talk about in advertising campaigns, social media posts and website guides. Certain topics like home gym equipment have exploded in popularity in recent months, and it’s likely that some topics in your industry have also become more important to your customers. Identify these topics and produce content around them.

2/. Proximity Targeting

pexels 412769While ecommerce is growing in popularity, research has also shown that some consumers are eager to return to brick-and-mortar stores. The UK high street is now almost back to normal, with retail stores, pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants now able to open their doors to the public. Being visible at this time and promoting your brand is essential.

Brand affinity in retail will likely be at an all-time low given that consumers have not been visiting shops over the last quarter. This represents both a threat and an opportunity for any B2C business, as consumers are more open to new businesses taking their custom.

It therefore stands to reason that business should target these customers and proximity targeting is one of the most sophisticated ways to do this. Proximity targeting allows companies that operate out of brick-and-mortar stores to use the smartphone location data of people who have visited them in the past and retarget them with online advertising. By monitoring the activity of your customers in this way, you can identify those who may have forgotten about your store and gently remind them that you are open for business.

Retargeting customers in this way increases the number of meaningful touchpoints they have with a brand. The messaging they receive can be adapted depending on how recently they visited the business, with more generous offers shown to people who have expressed less interest in the brand in recent weeks. Over time this audience will become loyal customers for years to come.

3/. Seize the opportunity of outdoor events

pexels 455964While it is unlikely that many events will be permitted to take place over the next three months, it stands to reason that venues with outdoor facilities will be some of the first to host events in the near future.

On May 13, the UK government relaxed its restrictions on outdoor gatherings, permitting two people from separate households to meet for the first time. On June 1 the government also allowed outdoor markets to reopen, signaling that outdoor spaces will be crucial for reopening the economy. On July 9 the government gave the go-ahead for outdoor concerts, theatre and opera to take place.

A truly holistic branding plan must incorporate both digital and traditional strategies. Providing fantastic customer service in brick-and-mortar stores will clearly be central to this, yet businesses must go further to put their brand in front of potential clients. Outdoor events will be a key battleground for brands as we come out of lockdown, and marketing managers should start signing up for outdoor conferences and trade fairs.

If you are speaking at an event or attending a trade fair, make sure to showcase your branding as much as possible. Personalise your stall with your logo and colour scheme, or pepper your social media profiles across your presentation slides to help your company stick in the audience’s minds.

Conclusion

Branding has never been more important. The relationships that businesses have built with their customer base have been hampered in an unprecedented way, and it is those who can reconnect with their audience most quickly who will come out on top.

Providing excellent customer service and crafting a memorable visual identity will certainly be crucial to this, but we must do more. We must leverage both digital and traditional strategies to showcase ourselves to our target audience, using tools like digital marketing, proximity targeting and outdoor events. Leveraging these opportunities will place forward-thinking businesses in good stead in an increasingly volatile market.







Subscribe to our newsletter

If you would like to receive our startup themed newsletter, full of the latest startup opportunities, events, news, stories, tips and advice, then sign up here.
Startacus RSS
Business DealsSubmit Your Startup
Win TicketsNetwork and Collaborate
Our Latest Features



Published on: 30th July 2020

If you would like to enable commenting via your Startacus account, please enable Disqus functionality in your Account Settings.


Create an Idea!View Other Ideas, Projects or Startups
Why not Sign Up?
Create Projects
Edit Projects
Self Interviews
Self Starter of the Year
Product Giveaways
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Startacus
Check us out at our Google+ page!