More than product or services - brand is a key factor that determines your relationship with new and existing clients and your ability to bring in new business. Your company's image to the public holds a strong correlation with your new sales and repeat business opportunities. The tricky thing about brand is that it is not as straight forward as other more tangible assets of your business. Products and services, for example, can be evaluated based on an objective set of criteria relating to the net value they provide to customers, and their effectiveness at achieving your customers' needs. Brand, on the other hand, cannot be evaluated on such objective criteria. Brand is subjective and in many cases lies in the eye of the beholder. Companies that are able to effectively build and maintain an effective brand that functions in line with their value proposition and business model are able to establish themselves as industry leaders. Here are a few ways to grow your company's brand.
1. Follow the three-step rule
Brand recognition isn't something that you can demand or beg for. It is something that you have to establish and earn. Here are the three steps you should take when building brand:
1. Make prospects aware of your brand
The first step is just putting your name out there. Don't worry about purchases, and don't worry about even whether your prospects consider your brand or take it seriously. Just get your name out there. This is just putting your toes in the water; break the ice and put your brand in the consciousness of your viewers. Great ways to do this include strategic ad placements targeted at relevant viewers on Facebook and Pinterest (or other forms of display ads,) and also search ads like Google adwords. While Google Adwords is fundamentally set up as a purchasing tool and not a brand-awareness tool, it can still serve this function. Inbound marketing techniques also provide good ways to build brand. Content can help get your brand out in front of your customers.
2. Make prospects consider your brand
Once your brand is recognized and accepted by customers, the next step is to make them genuinely consider your brand in context with the competitors in the industry. To do this, you need your customers to be more than just merely aware of the existence of your brand - they need to respect it. Demonstrate your product's value proposition clearly and convincingly.
3. Make prospects buy your brand
This is where you need a call to action. Most of the time, even an interested buyer wont make the purchase without a nudge. Make sure to include a call-to-action in your marketing content and ads, encouraging a customer to place an order or to follow through with your desired action. That action might not be to place an order - it might be to capture their email or visit your website.
2. Use targeted marketing
Don't just put flyers up on telephone polls. The biggest waste of resources when it comes to marketing and advertising is marketing to a crowd that is unrelated or too distant from your target audience. The more specific you can be the better. If you're using digital media ads, make sure to filter the audience appropriately. This is especially important if you are using PPC (you don't want to be paying for clicks made by uninterested or irrelevant shoppers.)
3. Provide relevant information
Content needs to match the potential needs of your customers. If the content is unrelated to what the customer is looking for, they will be uninterested.
4. Focus on SEO
Web optimization and placement is key for brand awareness and recognition. Utilize blogs, social media, and strategic key word placing for boosting SEO. Content marketing can help you build a library of content and raise your SEO over time.
5. Pay close attention to your ROI
Your advertising and marketing efforts are only as effective as the return they are bringing. Don't be too quick to judge an advertising campaign simply based on the amount of money you put in compared with the visitors your got - make sure to examine the important metrics that lead to revenue.
6. Don't fall for the wrong KPIs
People often think that "vanity" metrics are good indicators of ad performance. Items like click through rate, cost per impression, and cost per click, while they provide helpful insight, are actually not indicative of the true value of the ad. The metrics you should really be examining are whether the preferred action was executed by the customer (did they click the web page, buy your product, or whatever the preferred action is.) If you preferred action is web views, for example, then you shouldn't gauge the success based on impressions or Facebook likes. Cost per action, spend, desired frequency of ad, and revenue are other metrics you should be considering when evaluating your campaign.