Your brand is how the world sees you. It’s not just your logo and your company name - it’s the values, ideas, and experiences that people associate with you any time they interact with your company. That’s why it’s so important to regularly evaluate your brand and make sure that it’s all that it can be. You’re probably already doing the basics: you have a website, a logo, social media accounts, etc. (you’re don’t? Stop reading and start here). But you don’t want to become stagnant - you want to constantly be improving. You want to be better. No worries! We have you covered. Here are 10 things you can do to take your branding to the next level.
1. Examine your values
This one might seem pretty basic, but it can be easy to get bogged down in running a business and lose sight of the values that got you started in the first place. It’s a good idea to make sure that the values that are the foundation of your brand are evident in all parts of your company - even if it’s just you.
2. Develop quality content
Content is massively important for the success of your business. Of course, content doesn’t only refer to blog posts or website copy. It can be videos, social media posts, emails, etc. Whatever form your content takes, make sure that it’s top-notch quality. While you want to post consistently, it’s okay to post less frequently if it means your content quality will be higher. It’s better to have fewer posts that are high quality than a ton of low-quality content.
3. Invest in networking
Networking may seem unrelated to marketing, but it’s actually an important way to get your brand out there. Making professional connections in your field will help you learn and grow from your peers. It can also introduce you to potential new clients or even business partners. When you network - whether online or in person - it builds your brand by exposing you to more people by using personal connections. Networking helps you put a face to your brand.
4. Stay focused
It can be easy to get distracted by new projects or ideas when running your business or launching new marketing campaigns. But it’s important to make sure that you’re not straying too far from the fundamentals of your brand. Make sure that you’re focused on what’s important to your brand. This ties back to our point about values - it’s a good idea to periodically check and make sure that you’re still focusing on the most important aspects of your brand and business. Having a simple, focused brand will make sure that your message is heard.
5. Connect emotionally to your audience
People buy using their emotions. This fact gives you an important key to help make your brand better. When you find ways to connect with your audience’s emotions, you’ll get a much better response from your audience and experience an increase in engagement. You can connect with your audience’s emotions in plenty of ways. Start by choosing which emotions you want to elicit. Joy? Nostalgia? Sadness? Confidence? Once you know which emotions you want your brand to evoke, go ahead and bend some of your marketing around that.
Using stories is a great way to do this. People love narrative. They connect with stories about other people. Nike is a brand that has mastered storytelling. Their equality campaign, which aspires to “celebrate differences and inspire change through the power of sport,” features videos and testimonials of athletes who overcame obstacles.
Using stories of your customers, employees, or whatever it is that makes your brand unique will help people connect with your brand and make an impact on your target audience.
6. Develop a unique voice
You want your brand to stand out. To give your brand that extra edge, make sure you develop a unique voice. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Some of the most successful brands today have developed unique voices. Some of them are really out there, too! For example, Netflix has created a casual, familiar brand voice, particularly in their social media presence. They frequently make posts like the one below that features a screenshot of one of their new shows and some slightly out-there commentary:
Other notable brands who have developed a great, unique voice that resonates with customers is Taco Bell, Dollar Shave Club, and Oatly. Don’t be afraid to take on a tone that’s relaxed or maybe seems too casual. As you market your product, you want your brand to be approachable and relatable to your target audience. Developing a unique, memorable voice for your brand is a great way to take your brand to the next level.
7. Become a leader in your field
Another great thing you can do for you brand is establish yourself as an industry leader. There are plenty of ways to do this, including: interviewing experts in your industry, sharing articles and information with your followers or clients, creating compelling, informative content, and more. By making sure you’re a source for valuable content, you’ll earn the trust of your peers and your customers and make sure that your brand is one that people can trust.
8. Launch a referral program
Did you know that according to a Nielson study, 83% of respondents said that they trust referrals from someone they know? That’s a huge portion of the population - and there’s plenty more data to back that up. People tend to go with brands that have been recommended to them by people they know. One way to consider expanding the reach of your brand is to create a referral program where you reward your customers or clients for every person they refer.
9. Define your niche
You probably already know what your niche is. But if you don’t - and even if you do - it’s worth taking a look at your target markets and seeing if they’re too general. If they are, find ways that you can narrow down your focus. This might seem counterintuitive, but it will actually help you reach the audience who is most likely to buy your products. By making sure you have a clear understanding of who your audience is, you’ll be able to be much more effective at marketing to the people who will connect best with your brand. Having a clear, specific idea of who your target audience is will help you make sure your marketing messaging is as effective as possible. You want your brand to resonate with the people who are most inclined to become your customers. And the best way to do that is to get specific.
10. Increase your social media presence
You probably already have social media accounts for your brand. But are you confident that your social media presence is optimized? Is it authentic? Do you have a content strategy that you’re confident will get your brand noticed and increase interaction? If not, it’s a great time to start making a strategy to engage in social media more. When you’re looking at how to make your brand pop, looking at your social media presence is imperative. Make sure your profile pictures, logos, images, fonts, and content all contribute to your brand. Make sure all links are relevant and contact information is up-to-date. Often, your social media accounts are the face of your brand to potential customers.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a marketing veteran, it’s always a good idea to evaluate your brand and make sure you’re on track. Many of the biggest brands in America have gone through branding changes over the years. Being adaptable is a great asset to have as the market and your audience changes and evolves. It’s good practice to check your brand and make sure you’re not settling for good enough, but always learning new ways to be fresh and better.