Branding is a staple in marketing for all businesses, no matter how established or new, big or small. Your brand is not just what makes your business unique, it is also unique among marketing tools as it doesn’t have business hours. When created and maintained properly, a business brand can be working for you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, even as you sleep. So how do you get your brand to do this? Personalizing your brand is the key to reaping its benefits. Read on to learn more about the importance of personalizing your brand as well exactly how to do it to drive your business growth.
Branding is essential for businesses of all types and sizes, for several reasons. Three of the most important reasons involve your credibility, competition, and brand loyalty.
For one, branding builds credibility. Investing in your brand shows potential customers that you’re serious about what you do. Branding, when done right, reflects quality and trust.
Branding is also important because it encompasses and summarizes the experience your business provides. It goes beyond just your products or services, and taps into the emotional side of marketing, by which you can distinguish your business.
Among other things, your business brand helps to demystify for your target audience the following:
The last reason why branding is important is because it encourages brand loyalty. When people come to know and love your brand, they become repeat customers. Repeat customers refer other customers. In this way, a healthy brand can create a nice balance of repeat and new customers.
So what makes a healthy brand? Authenticity. To attract new customers and retain existing ones, you need to make clear why you are different from the rest. There are countless competitors who offer the same products and services that you do. You need to provide a different experience from the rest.
Generic brands inevitably get lost in the sea of other generic brands. Even worse, they are often overshadowed by the personalized brands of competitors.
So what do you have to do to develop a solid, unique brand identity? The process involves identifying a target audience, honing in on business goals and defining a persona. This is the foundation of brand development. Next, choose the methods of personalization to support your brand persona.
There are a number of branding ideas to help your business to stand out. The key to using these ideas to drive your specific marketing goals is in personalizing your brand. Here are some ways to create an authentic identity for your business.
“Voice” refers to the language, tone, and terminology your business uses. This should be consistent across your website, social media accounts, product descriptions, blog posts, and so on. Why? It’s an identifying mark. It has a lot to do with what people remember about your business, and how they remember it…that is, if they remember at all.
An inconsistent voice will make it hard to remember or recognize your brand. Plus, it is likely to send mixed messages and cause confusion. It can make people doubt what you’re all about, largely because you yourself seem unsure.
Consistency is important when it comes to messaging as well. Again, you don’t want anyone to doubt or be unclear about who you are, what you do, the results you drive and so on. No matter where or how your company’s message is presented, it needs to be the same at its core.
When appropriate, think outside of the box as far as how you convey your messaging and express your voice. Are there more colorful, less ordinary, or more impactful terms that you can use to strengthen and increase your brand name recognition? You should avoid being so “out of the box” that your audience can’t understand or relate to you. It’s okay to be unique, just make sure that it fits in with the overall image of your business.
Real people want to do business with real people. It’s important to be organized and to show your expertise, but not to the point where you come off as unapproachable or robotic. In all of your content—whether it’s your homepage content blog posts, social media bios—write as a human speaking to other humans.
Having a human voice will also improve your SEO (Learn more about it in our 2017 Marketing Must Dos).
Some business owners mistakenly think they’ve got to be serious and officious at all times. While you want to avoid being too relaxed or unprofessional, that doesn’t mean you can’t let your personality show. To incorporate your personality into your brand properly, draw from your personal core values. In particular, think about those you possess that have influenced your business’s mission statement or that guide you in your day-to-day. Those who share your core values are highly likely to be part of your target audience. They will pick up on those values and will be far more likely to choose you over another business.
Social media is a great tool for making your brand more personal. Here you can initiate a dialogue with your target audience and express your brand through various forms of content: posts, conversations, videos, audio, pictures, disappearing albums, Boomerangs, and more. With social media, you can make use of all of the senses (except maybe smell!) to convey the many dimensions of your business.
To personalize your brand, avoid appearing private, secretive, or as if you have things to hide. Have an “open book business,” so to speak, to make your business more transparent trustworthy in the eyes of potential customers. Be honest in all of your interactions and with all of your content, and don’t be afraid to get on online review sites. No business is perfect, and showing that you have nothing to hide is better than showing nothing at all.
It’s not enough just to have a brand. In the constantly-evolving world of digital marketing, it’s far too easy to be overshadowed by competitors. Use these guidelines to personalize your brand and achieve maximum success with your business.