In such a booming digital world, with everyone and everything now happening online, it’s now more crucial than ever to have powerful branding that can be easily shared and easily recognised. At Positive Branding we’ve spent the last 30 years in conversation with other branding experts to help our clients create the best image for their company.
How exactly can your business and website go about getting seen and making some noise within the digital world though? We’ve put together our favourite branding tips so that from today on, you’re only putting your best foot forward!
Create Connections With People
Build personal relationships. More than the logos, taglines, and colours, branding is about the bond you form with your customers.
This is especially true online. The noise level is insane. There are so many people and companies that are trying to stand out by publishing and sharing content. Jeremy Miller over at Sticky Branding tells us:
“Your opportunity to stand out is to ignore what everyone else is doing, and connect with your fans, customers, and followers directly. Get to know them. Share ideas. Spark conversations. Help others on their journeys. When you treat people as people and build personal relationships your brand will stand out.”
Research from Nielsen says while only 15% of individuals trust what a brand says, 92% of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising. The days of creating a formal, uniform corporate face are gone and the benefits of seeming relatable and human are huge!
Pick A Communication Strategy That Works For You
Creating connections with people is so important, so it’s important to not come off as false.
Your brand communication strategy should be determined not so much by what sells, but by who will be doing it. The most important thing is to pick a communication strategy that works for you, for your personality,
The key is to leverage your strengths and not try to do things that go against the grain.
So, if you are great at writing and don’t really like public speaking; focus on blogging and contributing guest articles. If you love interviews and free-flowing conversation, look at podcasting and virtual summits, then focus your energy on getting booked on those.
Once you’ve found a strategy you feel confident and comfortable using, then learn the main hosts and people with platforms in your space and campaign your story to them to start getting features.
Communicate Your Brand Definition In Everything You Do
You’ve found the communication strategy that suits you and your brand, you’ve found the people you should be talking to- now what do you say?
Think about the way you use these connections to announce your brand like writing a compelling cover letter. You can’t build your personal brand like your resume. It won’t stand out and will include useless details. So how do you do this?
- Announce credibility.
- State what you do.
- Outline how or why you got involved with what you do.
- Communicate your interests so people can relate to you.
- Provide a method and motive for people to contact you.
In branding, perception is reality. So, how others view your professional brand ‘is’ what your brand stands for, whether you like it or not. You must be crystal clear in the definition of your brand, and then communicate that definition in every single activity you do.
Know What Your Brands Benefits Are To Your Audience
The first thing in building a brand is to know your audience, know who you want to see your brand. You then want to know what your brands benefits are to your audience, why should they ‘see’ you and listen to you. Maria Ross over at Red Slice offers this advice:
“Ensure you clearly think through what they need and want before you design or write anything. Build your ideal client personas and create a real person to whom you are speaking so you can accurately cite benefits that matter to them. Too many businesses design pretty websites or use jargon-filled language that do not resonate at all with what their target market really needs.
First, determine the main benefits you offer to them, use their own language, and THEN you can determine the right look, feel, colors, tone of voice, tag lines and more. Build the foundation first so all your tactics work better together.”
Allow Time For Your Branding To Evolve
Spend time making your logo and allow it to evolve over time as you discover the essence of your business. Many new entrepreneurs rush to quickly get their logo designed first, thinking it’s needed before they can start getting clients. However, a logo is meant to represent the essence of your business, so time needs to be spent on conducting proper due diligence and analysis first. Think how many times industry giants like google have changed their logo?
Spending time developing and reviewing your logo will produce a brand look and feel that will not only accurately represent you and your essence, but will also resonate with your ideal target market, making it much easier to attract them to your business offerings.
Integrate Offline And Online Branding Strategies
Remember you’re always on. Practice consistent messaging across all your points, online and off; from your offline elevator pitch and business card to your email signature and every social platform upon which you engage. Decide whether branded workwear would suit your company, and think about creating a really exceptional business card.
Be crystal clear about the value you deliver, and to whom. Then practice consistent messaging across the board. Branding is not just about how you stand out online, utilising brand communication strategies offline makes it into a habit, rather than just a marketing strategy you adopt.
Don’t Look At Any Competitor’s Brand To Create Your Own
As humans we’re hardwired to replicate and repeat things. If you spend too much time looking at your competitors branding strategies, you’re at risk of just echoing them yourself.
Lao Tzu said ‘Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.’ This is nowhere more true than in marketing. Knowing your market can only get you so far, true success comes from knowing what you contribute to it.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading through this list, and that our experience in this field has given you some food for thought.
What would be your top tip for creating professional branding which stands out online?
Let us know in the comments below!