Strategic branding is imperative for anyone looking to become successful in any type of business. Your brand will stick with you forever and will follow you from product to product or service to service, so you better make sure it is the best brand you can create. Building a positive perception of your brand in someone's mind is the key to success on or off line.
Check out the 7 top characteristics that you can apply when building your brand:
1. Audience Knowledge: Understanding the target market is critical because it provides direction for the tone and reach of a marketing campaign, along with the overall identity of a brand, while helping to create an organic, human connection between a business and its audience.
2. Uniqueness: Establishing a brand identity requires something distinctive. In terms of a selling point, TOMS shoes donates a free pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes that are bought. Do you know what your unique product, service, or selling point is within your niche? If not, start there when building your branding strategy.
3. Passion: While it’s certainly possible to build a brand in the short-term without passion, it’s almost impossible to sustain it in the long run. That passion leads to enthusiasm and genuine joy, which is infectious. Consumers often become just as enthusiastic about a product or service, leading to word of mouth advertising and referrals.
4. Consistency: When consumers come back to a business for repeat sales, they usually expect to receive the same level of quality as they did the first time. With so many industries being saturated with competitors, inconsistency is often enough of a reason for consumers to take their business elsewhere. That’s why it’s so important to adhere to a certain quality standard with a product or service.
5. Competitiveness: When it comes to the major players in any industry, none simply sit back and hope that their consumers will do the work for them. Instead, they tend to be the movers and shakers who work tirelessly toward building and optimizing their brand, going above and beyond consumer expectations. The end result tends to be a brand that is continually on the cutting edge of its industry.
6. Exposure: Another big part of being recognized as a distinctive, successful brand is the ability to reach consumers through multiple channels. The Internet and social media have narrowed the gap between small companies and large ones. There are more tools than ever before which offer any company a chance at establishing their brand. By developing a presence on networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+, anyone is able to reach almost any consumer.
7. Leadership: To coordinate the efforts of team members and guide a strategic vision for a brand, someone has to step up and steer the ship. The leader resolves complications and acts as a liaison between different departments to keep everyone on the same page. They are also expert motivators and know how to maximize the strengths of different team members.
I would suggest using this list as an audit for your own business structure, brand building and marketing strategies so you can see where there's room for improvement.
What do you feel most brands lack when trying to compete for your business online?
Image Source: Mark Smiciklas on Flickr
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