Every business has a brand, and the stronger the brand, the greater the success. Kim Garst, highlights the four key strategies towards building a powerful brand. ~LSi Media
Did you know that a strong brand is absolutely essential for generating long-term sales and growth? You may not have given a lot of thought to your brand identity (or maybe you have!), but that doesn’t mean you don’t have one.
If this isn’t a term you are familiar with, here is a brief rundown:
Your brand identity is simply how people perceive you and your business.
The ‘clues’ they use to determine how they feel about you include:
- Your visual branding (logo, colors, etc.)
- Your voice on social media and your blog (casual, formal, etc.)
- The quality of your products or services
- How you respond to customer complaints or questions
- Whether you conduct your business ethically, and how socially responsible you are
- The perceived value of your products or services (for instance, a company that sells widgets for $.01 may be perceived as ‘cheap’, while one that sells them for $1.00 may be perceived as ‘high quality’).
Remember that people will pay premium prices for premium brands! Starbucks and Apple are great examples of this!
As people collect this information about you, they determine whether or not to trust you, and ultimately, whether or not to buy from you. This doesn’t just mean one-time sales, however. When people have a good experience buying from you – meaning they found value in the product and had a good buying experience – they are more likely to become repeat customers….and these are the BEST kind!
How to Strengthen Your Brand Online
We would all have a strong brand if we just knew how, right? There is no ‘magic bullet’ when it comes to building a strong brand online, however there are some good, general rules you can follow that will make a big difference in how people perceive your business.
1. Know what you want your brand to convey.
Before you can strengthen your brand online, you first need to know what your brand is! (or what you want it to be). How are you different than your competitors? What needs are you fulfilling for your customers, clients and social media followers? What is your company’s mission? What are your core values?
These are all important questions to ask yourself before you can be gin conveying a strong brand presence to others.
2. Make a good first impression.
Your website and social media profiles say a lot about you. In the first 5-8 seconds, new visitors make a gut decision about how trustworthy you are, how professional you are and whether or not you are worth listening to.
For this reason, I encourage business owners to invest in a professional-looking website, profile photo and logo. As the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression,” so don’t risk losing potential customers before they even get a chance to know you. Looking good is half the battle as they say.
3. Solve your target market’s problems.
The single best way to build a strong brand online is to work your butt off to help solve the problems and address the pain points of your target market.
One of the best ways to do this is through providing valuable information through social media and your blog. When you consistently provide valuable content, people begin to really trust you, and YOU ARE the one they think of when they need help or advice (and ultimately, when they want to buy!).
4. Be consistent.
All the things we have talked about – your logo, colors, voice, unique value proposition, perceived value of your products, etc. – must absolutely be consistent across all platforms. This means keeping the look and feel of your website consistent with your social media profiles, and keeping each of your social media profiles consistent with all the others.
It also means keeping your voice and messaging consistent across platforms; when you are conveying different values or messages, your followers will be quick to call ‘FAKE’ and all your hard work will go down the drain!
Your brand is your business’s most valuable asset, so spend some time defining it and making sure you’re actually conveying what you WANT to convey!
How would you define your brand? What do you need to work on to improve your brand identity and ultimately increase your sales?