Here are Important Ways to Make Your Brand Stronger
Many small businesses fail to take simple steps to build a better brand and often pay little attention to the state of their brands after its initial launch.
That’s a mistake. You don’t have to be among the Fortune 500 to invest a little time and energy into the brand building process. Below we have put together 10 ways to make your brand stronger. With careful planning, some are easy to implement, even on a small budget.
1. Utilize Your Email Signature to Boost Your Website Traffic
Think about how many emails you send every day. Multiply that by the number of employees you have, multiplied by the number of recipients who are cc’d or forwarded to in those emails and you’ll begin to calculate how many eyes your brand is exposed to through email. This is why an automatically placed email signature that includes full employee contact information as well as a link to your website or social media outlets is so important. Signatures that include links to your website can dramatically increase your brand’s exposure and engagement to prospects and customers. We wrote a very useful article detailing this titled “Using Your E-mail Signature as a Marketing Tool”.
Signatures that include links to your website can dramatically increase your brand’s exposure and engagement…
2. Be Loyal to Your Customers’ Needs
Be sure you know why your customers choose to do business with you and tell them you appreciate their patronage. Always seek out new ways to improve their experience with your brand. Ask them for their opinions and listen to what they have to say very carefully. Make necessary improvements as appropriate so your brand is continually growing stronger.
Stay connected to online reviews of your brand and reply to both positive and not-so-positive reviews appropriately and intentionally. Adjust your branding efforts according to what the reviewers are saying about their experience with your brand.
3. Answer the Phone in a Consistent Manner
Think about the last time you called a business and they abbreviated their business name or used an acronym. It is a missed opportunity to start a relationship on the right foot. Make sure employees answering the phone enunciate the full name of the company. Saying “hello” “good afternoon” or “thank you for calling” are cordial greetings that should also be consistently stated. Think of it as the chance to make a great first impression.
As an add-on, formulate a voicemail greeting script that all of your employees follow for the times that they are away from their phones.
4. Initiate Internal Training about Your Brand
How can your employees discuss your brand if you don’t train them about it? A brand guideline is a perfect place to start. This guide presents the brand’s core values, mission statement, boilerplate text and communications as well as important business interactions employees will likely come in contact with. Creating brand ambassadors starts with your employees so make sure they get intimate with your brand and know how to talk about it!
Creating brand ambassadors starts with your employees so make sure they get intimate with your brand!
5. Stay True to Your Brand Values
Your brand values represent the unique beliefs of the company. They differentiate your business from your competitors and connect you to your customers in the most meaningful ways. Examples of brand values are “possibility” for Ikea, “creativity” for Apple, “happiness” for Zappos, “ultimate convenience” for Amazon and “affordable design” for Target. Always maintain the utmost respect for your values and make sure they are aligned with your customers’ values. Your brand values should be represented throughout all of your communications. Put them in print and post your brand values where you and your employees can see them every day.
6. Rollout a Consistent Color Palette Across Web, Print, Signage and Wearables
It is critical to stay focused on your brand colors to assure accurate reproduction across all media. Inconsistent color usage will confuse customers and prospects about the validity of your brand even if only subliminally. Your brand guidelines should include color breakdowns for the web and print. (Read What Content Should Be Included in a Brand Guideline?)
7. Commit to Cyclical Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great way to communicate with your customers (sign up here to be a part of ours). It’s inexpensive to reach countless people who have interacted with your brand. A cohesive design, proper formatting of content and list segmentation will increase the effectiveness of your message. Frequency will be determined by your business sector and what you are capable of managing. Create a content schedule and stick to it whether once a quarter, monthly, weekly or something in between. Some email service providers offer free accounts if your list is up to 2,000 email addresses. A nominal monthly fee allows access to additional features. It’s a fantastic way to get started if your list size is small.
8. Develop and Execute a Social Media Plan
So many businesses have social media accounts that get little use and rarely interact with followers. Brands can neglect their accounts or fail to properly identify the best channel to interact with their customers. Develop a clear social media plan that defines your goals, commit to the plan and stick with it. Know what to say and when to say it to encourage engagement with your brand. Use a social media management tool like HootSuite to help view and schedule postings to multiple social media outlets.
9. Engage in Community Involvement and Outreach
Supporting your community and being actively involved with it will develop an emotional connection to your brand. Employees exposing your brand in a positive way will help establish “brand advocates” who can become your key influencers. Plus, doing positive things always makes people feel good which can lead to better, happier employees.
10. Utilize Public Relations for Increased Media Exposure
Knowing what, how and when to say things to the media can help significantly in building a stronger brand. Positive exposure in relevant media outlets can catapult your brand to success! Combining media outreach with your social media plan, email marketing and email signature can bring significant improvements to a brand’s strength. Free media exposure can be more valuable than the most expensive advertising space. Consider working with a public relations company to help identify media opportunities and to help develop a plan of action on turning those opportunities into brand exposure.
Make Your Brand Stronger
You should care deeply about the importance of your brand and how it can benefit the health of your company. Hopefully we have helped spark a few new ideas to think about as you work toward building a stronger brand for your business. If you have any branding questions, just ask us. You can use our contact form or call us at 908.219.4703.