Strong branding is at the center of every successful business. When you see the Apple logo, you know exactly who they are and what they do. That’s because they’ve built an iconic brand of simple, safe, and minimal design.
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The knowledge you instantly have about the company when you read their name or see the logo shows just how effective branding can be at setting a company apart from the competition. That kind of instant recognition is what you need to strive for in your business, whether you’re building computers or the next skyscraper.
Achieving outstanding branding comes to a few basic steps, so let’s talk about how you can build a brand that sets you apart from the competition.
Start With A Story: Explain Why You Do What You Do So Customers Can Connect With You
One of the first steps involved in building a successful brand is finding the right way to tell your story. You must explain why you thought your business was needed, and how you feel you can offer valuable solutions to customers. This has to be done in a way that makes the customer’s needs the focus.
Let’s say you run a construction company that regularly builds schools in rural areas. When explaining why you started your company, you could cite noticing that there was a need for critical infrastructure in underdeveloped areas and feeling the need to do something about it.
This shows that you pay attention to the needs of communities and customers, not just what makes you money. That being said, you’ll also make money from the approach. 83% of companies that believe it’s important to keep customers happy experience financial growth.
To support you and promote your brand, customers have to know what your message is. Explaining what it is you value gives them the tools they need to define your brand in a positive way in their mind.
Inspire Feelings: Build A Connection With Your Customers By Appealing To Their Emotions
Think about commercials for a minute. How often do you see one that tells an emotional story, where the product is barely mentioned? They get you invested in the short story they’re telling you, and then casually drop their product or logo at the end.
This approach works, according to the Institute of Practitioners, who found that ads with emotional content lead to twice as many sales as more logic-based ads. Basically, people are more likely to use how they feel about you to make a buying decision than they are to use facts. This reinforces how important emotions are when it comes to defining a brand.
Someone who remembers you as “the company with the commercial about hiring homeless veterans to do construction” is more likely to buy from you. Activating that kind of emotion also increases the chance of an ad going viral, as people are more likely to share advertising content if it triggers good emotions.
Find a version of that approach that works for what you do, and use it to build a brand connection.
Create Community: Give Your Customers A Place To Turn For Advice And Answers
Humans like to feel supported by other humans. That’s why customer service is a 350 billion dollar industry, and companies annually spend 1% to 2% of their earnings on customer retention programs.
Despite all the money spent on this section of business, it’s often the simplest solutions that make the biggest changes.
Let’s use the example of a construction business again and get some more ideas on branding a construction business. If you build a Q&A or general advice section on your construction website, people will land there for answers even if they don’t know about your company.
They come to learn more about flooring or installing a sink, and they find helpful information and stick around to learn more. That gives you a chance to build a connection with that person. You can allow other customers to weigh in with advice, and even take the next step and gain more knowledge in the field yourself.
Making yourself more professional reflects well on your brand, so set aside some time today to improve yourself. If you’re in construction, you can take practice exams to get your contractor’s license. This is not only a segment of the Lean Business Model but it’ll open up more business opportunities, and it’s a move that gives you more knowledge about your industry to pass on to your customers.
The strength of the community you build will depend on the commitment you make to it. The goal is to create a space where you, and others, can come together to share a positive experience that’s beneficial to potential customers. They’ll remember that, and that’s how a brand reputation that sets you apart gets built.
The key to outstanding branding is to make moves that set you apart from your competitors. Take these steps to build a more personal relationship with your customers, and a better future for your business.