The 4 Essential Ingredients to a Hearty Brand Presence
In today's highly competitive business environment, it is critical for companies to find ways to make themselves stand out in any way possible.
A strong brand presence can offer lots of benefits, particularly if you deal with a densely saturated industry – consumers tend to migrate towards the products or brand names that they are familiar with.
The best way to determine your brand's presence is based on awareness. Ask yourself:
Do customers identify with your brand quickly and do they feel any connections or have any specific perceptions about it?
To establish a clear and substantial brand presence in the modern world, several key areas will require some focus and effort. Let's dive in.
A lot of your brand presence will be heavily rooted in the design and overall look and feel of your business.
The moment that a customer visits your website, sees your product on the shelves, or interacts with marketing content, they will form a first impression.
However, most customers are not going to convert after their first interaction with your company, or even the second or third.
It typically takes between six to eight interactions before a customer starts to recognise a brand.
The important thing here is to create a cohesive brand presence so that each element is immediately associated with the company as a whole.
This comes from having a clearly established brand voice.
Before you go about creating colour schemes, logos, and catchphrases, be sure that you have a clear picture in mind of the brand perception that you are trying to portray. Then, build the details off of that description.
It would be best if you made a memorable impression that will stick in a customer's mind when they are ready for a purchase.
Of course, an eye-catching logo design is essential, but remember to stick to other memorable details throughout your brand design.
Take your time and make sure the other details are memorable, too, like catchy slogans or recognisable spokesperson.
Colour is super important here. Our eyes are naturally drawn towards it, and we can easily remember the colour of something – more than the smaller details.
Some brands even rely on their colour for brand recognition (think Tiffany blue or the famous McDonald's red and yellow combination).
A Proactive Social Media Account
Social media is becoming a highly influential part of the buyer's journey.
You need to make sure that your brand is super active and interactive on social platforms.
Often, social media is going to be one of the first places a customer will come across your brand name or product, especially given the rising popularity of influencer marketing.
However, simply having a presence on social media is not enough these days.
Just about every business has a Facebook account, and most companies post content reasonably regularly on the major platforms.
To make your brand's presence truly apparent on social media, you will need to be proactive about engaging with your followers.
One of the best ways to do this is to communicate with customers one-on-one and show your appreciation.
Be sure to respond to customers' comments on your feeds and always reply if your brand's name is mentioned on any social network.
Another great way to build engagement is by sharing user-generated content (UGC). This not only connects you with current customers; it shows the world that your company truly cares about the experience it provides.
You can easily mix this in with your original content, too.
Take a look at Ulta's Instagram feed as an example here.
They use a 50/50 mix of UGC with original content so their customers can see how the makeup products translate over to “real life.”
This helps to make Ulta's brand more relatable and authentic.
A Solid SEO-Based Content Strategy
To have a solid brand presence, your business needs to be “searchable” and “findable.”
In the digital realm, this is done with a robust SEO plan and content marketing strategy.
Your approach to SEO should be focused on building a keyword presence that is related to your industry and matches up to your specific audience's searches.
This is best done through thorough research, particularly with long-tail phrases and trending questions.
It is also a good idea to determine the area that you want to specialise within your industry.
For example, there is much competition in the health supplements and vitamins market.
To stand out, Hum Nutrition has used strategic, SEO-optimized content to build their presence.
If you take a look at Google Trends, you will notice that searches for Gua Sha (a type of skin care treatment) have steadily increased with recent spikes over the past year.
Hum Nutrition recently posted an article on their website talking about the benefits of Gua Sha.
Which in turn, worked to increase their visibility on the search engine results pages for this keyword, while establishing their brand as a credible resource for information.
They then tie in this topic to their products by recommending their skincare supplement line within the article.
Your marketing content cannot be made willy-nilly or based on what you assume will work.
It needs to have a solid foundation in SEO traffic data to create any form of visibility on searches.
Strategic and Notable Collaborations
In the business world, networking with other professionals is one way to build your brand and discover new opportunities for connection and growth.
Collaborating with other well-known businesses or entities can do the same for your business.
This is a great strategy for smaller and newer brands that want to expand their reach and break into new audience segments.
However, simply partnering with any company or influencer that extends an offer is not the smartest approach.
First of all, to make your brand truly memorable through collaboration, the partnership needs to make sense.
Plenty of brands have worked together in the past, but some combinations seem to be head-scratchers and leave customers more confused than interested.
For example, the clothing brand Forever 21 collaborated with none other than the United States Postal Service for a clothing collection.
While there may be some customer overlap for these two businesses (after all, we all need to send mail from time-to-time), this collaboration ultimately does not make much sense.
A confusing partnership is unfortunately not just a waste of time, money, and resources.
It can do severe damage to your brand's reputation.
According to a report published by Lucid Press, inconsistent branding leads to confusion, damaged brand credibility, and it can even negatively impact sales.
This is why brands need to be extremely picky, careful, and strategic with their collaborations.
The right partnership can do wonders and can help your business break into new markets.
Before you get the wheels turning for any collaboration, take the time to research extensively beforehand.
First of all, you need to define your brand as well as that of the potential partner.
Of course, you both will have your differences; but there does need to be some overlap that makes logical sense and ensures that there is some current customer association.
Secondly, you need to be able to prove that each other's messaging will be relevant to the respective audiences.
Finally, there needs to be a tangible benefit that will result from the collaboration, for both of the brands as well as your collective audience.
One good, reliable approach here is a social media contest or giveaway.
This gives you a chance to partner with multiple companies, boost brand awareness, and grow engagement rates all at once.
Again, it is best to partner with brands that share at least one similar aspect of your company.
For instance, the beverage company Solti partnered with other tea businesses for a giveaway.
Since their brand is also committed to sustainability and all-natural living, they collaborated with brands that shared similar values and sold items made from recycled, eco-friendly materials.
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Through this partnered giveaway, all of those brands grew their followership and expanded their awareness to new markets.
The benefits of creating a memorable brand are endless – but establishing one is not always easy.
Be sure that every marketing tactic you try and every strategy you implement is building a cohesive brand presence that customers will recognise and connect with.
From there, search for meaningful ways to connect with your followers, like through social media or useful content that answers their common search queries, or exciting collaborations that expands awareness to new markets.
The real way that a strong brand presence is established is through audience connection.
Keep your customers as the priority and look for ways to meaningfully impact their experience.