It is easy to overlook simple things. Digital agencies tend to focus on outbound or inbound marketing, but there is something that is far more important to your company’s space in the marketplace.
It’s brand image.
If you look at any major company in the B2C sector, you will see how seriously they take their branding. Coke has beautiful people smeared all over the planet slurping their sugary drink, and Nike pays exorbitant amounts of money for top flight athletes to pose in their gear.
I am sure you know what I am talking about.
Your company may not have oodles of cash to blast into branding, and that is ok. There are some really simple things your marketing team can do to build up a brand image. While some techniques will cost more than others, the base of a successful marketing strategy is an easily recognizable brand.
No brand, no recognition.
So if you are pouring over A/B testing results with your marketing department, and can’t remember the last time someone talked to you about how to maintain your brand image, this is for you. Have a look at these brand strategy ideas, and think about how you can keep the public’s attention focused on your brand.
Number ONE Do You Have A Great Logo?
Creating a smashing logo is one of the most important parts of launching any new company. Today digital design has blown the floor out of graphic design costs, but this has come at a price. People just aren’t spending money on truly great designs anymore, and this is a problem. However, there are companies that are entering into perceived tough markets, like one of our clients who is a gluten-free bakery, who understand the importance of solid branding.
Consumers love stuff that looks cool.
I have no idea, but when you walk around any city, you will see what I mean.
There are loads of people out there that buy clothing based on what kind of logo it has on it. Some logos are larger than others, with the more affluent brands employing small embroidery to accomplish what the more the affordable ones use silk-screening to create.
What is important to see is how much influence a well-recognized brand has on consumer behavior. Having an artist design a great looking brand for your company isn’t going to be expensive. But if you aren’t taking your brand design seriously, it could be costing your company a lot of money.
How To Do It
Ask your marketing team: What do people associate with our brand?
Work up a list of common associations, and start the crew doodling. Yes, doodling.
Why do you think school children doodle when they are bored?
Because they want to draw something that looks cool!
So that can be where you start. After doodle time, have a Starbucks-fueled review session. Then take the designs your team loves and approach a commercial artist. Talk to them briefly about what your company does, show them the doodles, and let them do their magic.
The end result of this should be a few amazing vector files for your team to review. Once your team decides on a favorite, your company will have a great logo for the public to focus its attention on!
Number TWO How Do I know you?
It is getting harder to attract attention online, and for many local businesses, the prices for online adverts are prohibitive. The good news is that there are many ways to build up a brand identity, without spending boatloads of money.
Ok, so if you have boat loads of money, these ideas will work wonders. And if you need a hand getting them out there, please give me a call.
Don’t forget to bring a boat load of money.
In the times before the internet, people paid attention to local events. Thankfully, people aren’t able to live in their smartphones, so the physical world is still an option for innovative marketers.
How To Do It
When your company builds up its brand, look for events that people think positively about. A weekly farmer’s market would be an example.
Who doesn’t love a Saturday morning market, filled with lovely produce and wholesome people selling their hard work to a thankful public?
This is the perfect place to build up your brand. The ways you can approach an event like this will vary, but it is important to choose something that is extremely visible.
One idea would be to approach the local humane society and pay your staff to go to the market with puppies and kittens that need homes. If you followed my above advice, you will have an amazing logo to plaster all over polo shirts, and maybe even some fliers that describe how important it is to help needy puppies.
Baby animals are magnets for kids, with parents attached. Within half an hour of opening up the puppy giveaway, your company’s brand will be hitting the social media networks with a vengeance, and the costs involved are minimal!
Every single parent will want a pic of their kid with a kitten, and your awesome company made it all happen.
Clearly, you will have to designate someone from your team to take pics as well, and then shamelessly plug the event wherever possible. Be sure to use the comment section on Facebook as a means to interact with the local community.
And don’t forget to tell everyone how important helping animals is to your brand!
Number THREE Valuable Content Isn’t Expensive
It should be obvious that creating mind-blowing content that will make your brand a household name isn’t difficult nor expensive. But if your team is trying to use the same techniques that L’Oreal employs, your company isn’t likely to get ahead.
Inbound marketing, done right, is far more powerful and efficient than paid adverts. There is an art to creating content that people go crazy for, and it starts outside of a smartphone. In some cases, events can be used to penetrate the smartphone haze most consumers live in, but in other cases, the haze can be used to your brand’s benefit.
How To Do It:
YouTube has become a go-to source for media of all kinds, and how to guides are no exception. Producing videos is not expensive, so if you want to reach people in a whole new way, get your staff on camera.
Don’t limit videos to things that your company specializes in, as people are likely to share interesting or helpful content with friends and family. What is important is your brand, and people associating it with something positive.
If your industrial concrete company has a receptionist who is a healthy eating fanatic that cooks amazing vegan brownies, make a sassy video that shows the whole world how to do it. The connection to concrete is almost meaningless, what matters is the association people make with your brand.
The overall costs are next to nothing, and your company can host a wealth of interesting media on it’s YouTube page. In fact, the juxtaposition of a concrete company that supports vegan eating might gain as much attention as the videos, so never be afraid to try something really different.
People notice novel ideas!