When built on a solid foundation and consistently maintained, branding can be a big factor in the success of your business. It helps to create awareness of your products/services, establishes the professionalism of your business, and earns the trust of your customers.
It would be nice to think of branding as something you take care of just once, at the beginning of your business-building journey, and then don’t have to worry about again. However, the reality is that branding is something you’ll be continuously keeping in mind for as long as you run a business. You should never forget the importance of maintaining a well-performing brand, and will constantly be finding ways to strengthen it.
Here are a few things you can consider, if you’re wondering how you can improve your branding.
Make sure you have a strong, targeted message
First, know who your audience is. Then, make sure all your branding is catered specifically for them. You want to talk directly to them, so make sure your brand voice is appropriate. Use the kind of language that they use. Specify the problems they face as a group, and let them know how your business can solve those problems.
You can also improve your branding by making sure to use emotions the core of your messaging. Let your target market know how your product or service is going to make them feel. Will they be relieved? Energised? Inspired? People tend to make purchases based on emotions more often than through some kind of rational consideration.
Related post: How to stand out with authentic branding
Use high-quality, consistent visual communication
Your packaging, photography, logo, website — all things visual — should be maintained to a high standard. Potential clients will make judgments of your business based on what they see and experience when coming in contact with your brand. Does your business look professional? Trust-worthy? Does it fit with their expectations as a client?
Your visuals are how you set the tone of your business. So you want to make sure it aligns with your message and communicates the kind of experience you deliver through your services.
Make sure your visual branding is consistent, and you’re using the right logo, colours, images and typography across all aspects of your business. Make it clear to your audience when they’re interacting with something from you — whether it’s a page on your website, or an email message, or a box in the mail.
Listen to your audience
Your brand is the relationship you build with your audience. They’re a hugely important part of your business’s ability to be profitable and sustainable in the long-run. And the key to a thriving, mutually-beneficial relationship? Listening.
Your audience might be your Instagram following, your Facebook group, your email list… wherever they are, make sure you’re engaging with them regularly. Ask them questions. Give them reasons to reach out and respond to what you’re doing. And when they do, be sure to listen to what they’re saying. Your audience will tell you what they want. What they like about your brand. How they think it could serve them better.
Look out for the feedback you receive and consider it as you continue to evolve and improve your branding.
Get help from an expert
Okay, I know I’m not saying anything ground-breaking when I say running a business is a lot of work. Small business owners have to take care of a lot of different things, and you can’t be an expert at everything. Creating beautiful marketing images, taking great photos of your products, chatting on social media, and writing thoughtful blog posts might be highly beneficial for your business. But any of those things might also be things you dread doing, or simply keep putting of for one reason or another.
Hiring help in order to maintain a strong brand is a great investment for your business. It’ll free up your time so you can focus on the things you want to do, and do well, while knowing those other aspects of your business are going to be taken care of.
If your branding feels weak, or isn’t doing enough to pull in the interest of potential clients, then it’s crucial take a systematic look at your strategy.
Start with your brand message and core values. Are they right? Are they powerful enough? Then consider how you communicate these things. Are your visuals effective? Do they reach the right audience? Think about your marketing strategies and analyse how well they’re working with your branding. And of course, don’t be afraid of bringing in professional help if you need it!
What are some things you’ve done to strengthen your branding?
Looking for more content? Try these:
- You need to do a brand audit, and here are the great reasons why
- How defining your core customer will boost your business
- A complete guide to creating a brand that perfectly suits your business
- How a strong foundation will ensure an engaging, profitable brand
- The value of a great logo and why logos are worth investing in
- How to use consistent branding to grow your business
- Useful questions to ask when self-critiquing your business’s designs
- Take the brand personality quiz