Branding is the totality of experiences that customers or prospects have when they interact with your company, its products or its services. When it comes to branding, perceptions about your business are as relevant as specifications and facts. Effective branding messages elicit emotional responses that cause audiences to trust and remember your business. Have you perfected your company’s pitch to the marketplace? Here are seven signs that you’re a branding expert.
1) You’ve Identified Your Ideal Customer, and You Speak Their Language
Understanding the behaviors and characteristics of your target customer helped you to create a brand that is relatable. You avoided the trap of generalizations, and you narrowed your focus to a buying persona who will get the most benefit from your company’s offerings. You continue to use information about that customer’s lifestyle and special traits to craft clear messages.
2) Your Company’s Primary Benefit Is Known and Communicated
Your company’s products consist of numerous features. However, you know that technical specifications alone don’t build brands. Based on in-depth knowledge of your company’s mission, values, products and ideal customer, you identified your company’s primary benefit. A thorough analysis of close competitors told you how your company’s key advantage is different from those of other brands. You then created content that demonstrated your company’s unique value to customers and prospects.
3) You Understand Marketplace Perception of Your Company
Many business leaders have perceptions of their companies that don’t match those of industry insiders. Unintentional biases, misinformation and faulty analyses are just some of the causes of these flawed perceptions. After you determine your company’s true position within its industry, you move forward with building on that position or changing direction.
4) You’ve Mastered Social Listening
It’s hard for today’s businesses to remain viable without social media. Even if your company decided to ditch its Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, it still would be impacted by conversations that take place on social media platforms. It doesn’t take long for a positive or negative message about your company to get posted on consumer review sites like Yelp as well as personal Facebook pages. Branding experts like you turn to social listening to find out what your audience is saying about your company, its products and its services. You also find out about their gripes with your competitors. You use the intelligence gathered from social listening to update your company’s offerings and messages to your target customer.
5) You’ve Developed a Brand Voice, and You Use It Consistently
After older consumers have an interaction with a company, it’s not uncommon for them to note that today’s businesses just aren’t as professional as they were years ago. The same company could get praise from younger customers who value its edgy, matter-of-fact messaging. You understand that each of these customer groups is having a different response to the company’s brand voice. You’ve developed your company’s voice to resonate with your target audience. You make sure that the same tone is the basis of all of your company’s content from the logo to social media responses. You’re set to delight your targeted customer rather than every prospect.
6) You Build Branding Into Your Company’s Workspaces
When customers and vendors visit your work facilities, they see subtle signs of your company’s brand everywhere. Your employees have the company’s logo and tagline on their screensavers. You offer visitors coffee or tea which you serve in logo-embossed mugs.
7) You Create Branding Opportunities That Fit Your Business
Your company sponsors community events as a way to generate goodwill in the town where it operates. You use these functions to communicate your company’s eco-friendly values by handing out reusable grocery bags that have the company’s logo and tagline.
Branding is an ongoing process. If you perform these top brand-building activities with ease, you’re likely a branding expert.