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Promoting your business

Get noticed: how to create a strong brand

Investing in branding can be challenging because it’s often difficult to prove a direct return on investment.

Today where digital marketing is critical, the definition of what a brand is, and how to measure and control it, can be difficult to appreciate and ‘sell’ to financial decision-makers. Yet branding is a valuable business asset.

Cut through the challenges of branding for business

David Ogilvy, the 20th century ad executive known as “The Father of Advertising”, famously defined brand as “the intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation and the way it is advertised”.

However, that was back in 1962 and the world is very different now. In a digital marketplace, branding needs to do so much more. A brand is in fact, a complex mixture of all the components mentioned in Ogilvy’s definition, coupled with the perceptions created by your past, present and future customers.

Branding is also a business’ identity and should reflect its personality and values. It should resonate with customers. It needs to stand out from competitors and it should encourage loyalty from its employees.

It needs to be ageless and work in a dynamic, heavily digital marketplace across a multitude of marketing and communication mediums.

Ultimately a brand needs to spring effortlessly to mind when customers are considering which brands they should include in their decision making process when selecting a product or service. 

And finally there is the challenge for branding to address the need to focus on measurables and meet short-term financial results required by management responsible for the financial side of the business. 

Build strong brand advocates

There is no use in increasing your brand awareness if the increase doesn’t result in consideration of your brand when a potential customer is evaluating their options. Therefore, make this likelihood a primary objective.

As previously mentioned, management responsible for the financial side of the business will be looking for measurables and short-term financial results.

The best way to address this is to build a direct correlation with a financial objective when developing branding campaigns. Not only will this achieve the much-needed buy-in from the rest of the organisation, it will also facilitate stronger campaigns that are well defined and have a purpose.

With a portion of your brands’ value being influenced by ‘keyboard warriors’, you need to empower these advocates, or those who comment about your products or services, by showcasing a beneficial experience throughout each and every touch point with the business.

Ensure brand consistency from advertisements in magazines and packaging to the style of communication on your company website, customer service, and post-purchase support. Also establish that you have a sound understanding of the personality behind the brand. The entire organisation must be trained to recognise the role they play with branding and the impacts it has on the perception of the business.

People are more likely to purchase as a result of an advocate’s influence so invest in the time and energy required to turn keyboard warriors into keyboard advocates for the business.

Brand awareness measurement

It’s important to regularly evaluate whether or not your branding campaigns are working. Measuring a branding strategy can be done in a number of ways:

  • Use Google Ads and Google Analytics to monitor the volume of searches for your branded search terms. If over time, and in conjunction with the launch of your branding campaigns, search volumes increase, you know it’s working.

  • Repeat purchases and brand loyalty provides considerable insight into the effectiveness of your total branding strategy.

  • Brand preference is an integral demonstrator of the success of your branding campaigns. If you are investing in a brand awareness strategy but you're not being considered when it comes to selecting a product or service provider, then there is a genuine disconnect that needs to be investigated, because either the campaign isn’t working, or reach is high. Either way, there is something about your brand that isn’t resonating with the prospective customer, so your branding campaign needs to be reviewed and refined.

  • The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is an index that measures the willingness of a customer to recommend a company’s product or services to others. Decide what is a satisfactory benchmark for your business and assess over time to see how you are scoring.

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