We’ll start with the basics: What is a brand, anyway?
A brand is a representation of your relationship with your customers. It determines how they view and interact with your business. Put another way, your brand is like a promise.
Since the Internet has become a critical place for traffic and information, building an online relationship with your customers through a brand is imperative as you strive to make your business successful. To improve this relationship, you need to make sure your business is doing everything possible to build the brand and create a reputation.
So how do you use branding to build your business? How do you create a positive image so customers will feel a connection and sense of loyalty?
Think about your customers first
Before you can think about how your business will look online, determine what your customers want. Think about what will appeal to your customers when you start devising a business marketing strategy. For example, the types of colors that would attract them, the kinds of messages they like to hear, and the kinds of products they’re likely to buy. Once you have an idea of what your customers want in a brand, you can craft your image for them.
Think about what makes you unique
Before your customers can figure out why they’re going to choose your business over another one, you need to determine what makes it stand out among the rest. When you pinpoint your company’s strengths, you can use them to your advantage when creating your brand. On the Internet especially, your business needs to distinguish itself from all the rest, and promoting what makes you unique is the best way to market your business.
Logos are an excellent tool to help craft your image. Logos are symbols and they can generate an emotional response from your customers, if you build the right context around them. What emotional response do you want from your customers? A feeling of calm or confidence? Excitement? Strength? Think about how you feel about your business. How can you translate that into a logo?
To your customers, your brand represents a message, or a set of values, that they can internalize when they purchase your product. A slogan can help your brand create this message. The one-line slogan that you choose will be how customers remember your business and identify with it through a single idea. Incidentally, you don’t have to have a slogan, and you don’t have to use the same slogan forever either. Most of the hamburger chains you know and love change their slogans for every campaign.
Get your brand out there
Once you have your desired image for your brand, you need to make your business widely known. This means putting your brand in front of your customers everywhere they’re likely to be. Forbes publishes a list of the world’s most valuable brands, and you probably know most, if not all of them. Consider where you’ve seen their advertisements, and then consider who they’re trying to reach. How can you apply that process to your own brand?
Brands become familiar over time, and can even provide a sense of comfort. Once you build a brand, you build a relationship with your customers that rests on a foundation of reliability and consistency. So long as you maintain that consistency, you will be able to maintain your relationship with your customers and build a brand following online. And that, as you can see by the numbers on that Forbes list, can be worth millions.