Branding in 2016: Stay current, relevant and close to your customers with effective brand strategy.
In 2016, branding is more important than it has ever been. Standing out in a competitive marketplace is not always easy but with the right branding strategy businesses can make valuable connections with customers. Your brand is everything: it is how you are perceived, your tone of voice, it is truthful, on message, consistent and embraced by all. If you feel your brand is strong but you are not producing the results you had hoped for, maybe it is time to look to the future. This article will look at how to create a successful branding strategy that will engage you consumers and retain your existing.
Knowing your audience
It might seem simple enough but ensuring that your brand is aimed at the correct market is essential. In order to do this, it is important to consider who your perfect customer is and as you develop continuing to reevaluate this. Whether this be, creating a picture of common interests, backgrounds or behavioural preferences. Or from a B2B perspective understanding your clients’ services, company size and requirements. Taking the time to learn about your customer base means you will be able to correctly market to them.
Creating a strong brand identity is key but ensuring that consumers trust in your brand is vital. The brand should successfully reflect the business – there should be no surprises. Your brand is your businesses personality, so think about the whole picture. Take into consideration not only who you are aiming for but your values, what makes it unique and where its place is in the market.
Once you have created your brand this needs to be seamlessly consistent across your business. This should be consistent across marketing tools and all parts of the business from your staff, workplace and service offering. Any touch point that a client may have with your business – your branding should be clear. Brand strategy can be so successful that a brand can become synonymous with the product or service they provide. Classic examples include; vacuum cleaner brand Hoover, Rollerblades and Post-Its, all of which have become household names.
The personal connection
Marketing in 2015 has brought the consumer increasingly closer to businesses. As business continues to move online, customers still seek a personalised experience inline with the customer care they receive when shopping in store. Social media has drastically changed engagement and has seen the rise of consumers now actively seeking the opportunity to interact with business. Therefore, branding in 2016 will continue on this trend. As a result, businesses will have to focus on ‘humanising’ their brand image. This will require using the new analytical opportunities available to delve deeper into the brains of your consumers. A brand’s marketing campaign now must look to deliver a personalised experience; whether this is within their email marketing or on social media. The personal connection trend has shown to have increasingly positive effects on brand loyalty and longevity. If you can create and sustain a close connection between you consumers and your brand, you can ensure they follow you on your journey.
Keeping one step ahead
With all this in mind, a brand image should not become stagnant. In a fast-moving market your brand must remain current and relevant. Do not be afraid to change or tweek your brand image, this by no means needs to be drastic. From Kellogg to Coca-Cola, the most well-known brands are always subtly refreshing their brand. Reviewing your brand requires you to look to the future and most importantly predict who your future audience may be. If you are considering a brand update, you might want to ask yourself these important questions: how would customers describe your product or service? How is your business perceived? But also has your competitive landscape changed since your original branding? If the answers do not match up to your expectations – it is time for a rethink. However, clearly communicating with existing customers to ensure they understand the brand update is as important as using your refreshed brand to attract new customers. Keeping on your toes and thinking about your business evolution is key to ensuring you brand continues to stand out.
If you are thinking about a rebrand, seek advice on creating a brand strategy or need to identify your target market please get in touch.