When you think about branding, what immediately comes to mind? For many people, it’s a logo or a tagline, which is partially true. Though somewhat ubiquitous, branding is critical to business growth—in fact, 77% of B2B leadership say that branding is critical to growth.
In a nutshell, your company’s branding is its promise to your customers, telling them what they can expect from your company and how you’re different from your competition. Strong branding is essential for companies that want to be competitive and a poor brand image could spell disaster.
So where do so many companies go wrong?
Who Are You?
Many companies have a hard time defining who they are and, instead, try to be all things to all people. Are you the innovative maverick in your industry? Or the experienced, reliable one? Is your product the high-cost, premium option, or the low-cost, high-value one? Who you are should be based to some extent on who your target customers want and what value you offer.
Inconsistency Across Channels
One of the most important and basic rules of branding is being consistent, especially since it takes 5-7 impressions before a customer remembers your brand. Start with making sure your company’s visuals match across all platforms, including your website, social media, print materials, and ads. You should also be consistent in the words you use in all of your touch points.
A Lack of Standards
Your website and social media sites are often the first things that your customers will see, so a good first impression is critical. Create a brand style guide that includes your preferred colors, fonts, voice and other elements so you’re always staying consistent and looking professional across all touch points.
Talk the Talk
Another place where many companies go wrong is the language they use to reach their target audience. Many marketers try to impress their reader with jargon and excessively wordy content—this does not make you seem authoritative. Your marketing touch points are often the start of a relationship with your customer, so communicate with them in a way that is authentic.
Not Taking Risks
It’s extremely easy for a brand to define its marketing approach and to stick with it—it works, so why change it? While it makes sense to stick with what works, a brand that is completely safe and middle-of-the-road is not going to rise above the competition. Be known as an exciting brand that’s unforgettable.
Your brand is like the story of your company and a promise to your customers. People will see your brand the way you want them to if you fulfill that promise by being honest and consistent.