You create a particular logo design, and you feature the mark and colours all over the site.
The point of branding is to give the audience what they want.
Most are not buying products or using services just for the functions they have.
They are also doing it to show status.
In that aspect, brands are not relevant only to millionaires who want to demonstrate their social status.
Everyone has that tendency to get things that are branded, and Apple is a real example for that.
You are trying to make the audience recognise your business as a brand they trust.
The process is far from simple, in any case.
It takes lots of effort for a new business to be turned into a recognisable brand.
There are specific actions that can help you speed up the process and boost the effectiveness of your marketing campaign.
Here, we will share the top 10 Marketing and Branding strategies for new businesses and startups.
1 – Understand You are an Entirely Unique Business Entity
The way towards success starts by understanding the uniqueness of this particular business.
You are giving exceptional value to a precise base of customers.
You have a concept that's different from what the competition is offering.
When you are trying to find the perfect marketing strategy, you have to understand no magic formula works in every situation.
Facebook ads, SEO, audience engagement… all those things are important.
However, you will have to discover the unique approach that works for this business.
How do you do that?
First, research the competition.
Why is part of your target audience choosing them over you?
Identify their points of attraction and do not try to copy them.
You started your business with a unique concept.
Somewhere along the way, you started using the same marketing strategies as everyone else in the industry.
You'll need to go back at that starting point.
Build the branding strategy on that foundation.
2 – Answer the Right Questions
A few factors help you determine the brand's identity:
The demographics of your target audience
The area you are targeting
The way people search for products or services in your niche
The attention span of your target audience
The social networks where most of your target customers hang out
Keep these questions in mind all the time.
Whenever you are trying to implement a new strategy in the branding process, find a way to make it suitable for this particular business.
If, for example, you start considering podcasts as a way of marketing, ask yourself:
Does your target audience listen to podcasts?
Will they find these podcasts online?
How long should a podcast be to hold their attention?
Where will I promote it?
3 – Win Something
Award shows are a great opportunity for new businesses to trace their way to successful branding.
The owners meet famous people and make connections with potential business partners.
They get a chance to present their products or services to an industry-specific audience.
When they win any award on these shows, it gets great recognition.
If you manage to earn a badge or medal for Best Design Team, for example, you will feature it on the official website, and you will share the news on social media.
The award shows you are a brand people can trust.
It conveys quality, innovation, and prestige.
You will start small by attending business events, but with time and effort, you could take the brand to the Stevie Awards.
You better believe it!
4 – Build Long-Term Relationships with Your Customers
Microsoft is a great brand not only because it attracts new clients continually, but also because it makes them stay.
When someone falls in love with the name, he or she keeps going back to it.
That's because the company makes an effort to keep them happy and awaken their interest in the new products they promote.
If you are trying to brand a new beauty salon, for example, you will definitely want the clients to come back to you.
The loyalty shows your status as a business that can be trusted.
How can you build long-term relationships?
Just make sure your customers are happy with what they get.
If some of them complain, fix the issue, offer a replacement of the product, or give them a refund.
It's important to show you value the customers who drive the business forward.
Develop a loyalty program.
When you give promotional discounts to your loyal customers, they have a trigger that inspires them to get back to you.
Lush is a beautiful example of a company with a strong loyalty program.
The customers who bring five empty containers of their products get a free product in return.
5 – Design Recognisable Features
One of the first steps in branding a new business is the creation of a company logo design.
Here, you'll have to create with the target audience in mind.
Take a look at the logos of competitive businesses and come up with something catchier, more visually attractive, and more unique.
A great logo should be simple and memorable, but unique enough to distinguish the brand identity.
You will take the stamp of uniqueness all over the website.
You'll use colours the audience will recognise you by, and you will design the cover and profile photos for social media sites with the same features.
When someone sees these stamps, he or she should know what brand they represent.
6 – Listen!
If you do not look for feedback, you will not know how happy your clients are.
Whenever you complete a service, ask the customers to share the experience.
If your business is great, you should not be afraid of the reviews.
Offer discounts when your email subscribers complete a survey and use the results from that survey to find out how you could improve your brand to meet their needs better.
Allow your fans and followers to review your business on Facebook.
Do not delete the negative reviews, unless they are fake.
Do your best to fix the issues, and take the criticism into consideration.
When you convince the customers that you are eliminating such negative experiences, they will gain more trust in your brand.
Needless to say, the positive reviews will still be there to make up for the damage.
7 – Own Your Google Results
Maria Eldridge, a PR manager at Essayontime, explains how the company must take control over the way it is represented on the Internet.
Many new businesses start and end their branding strategy with owning a website. They do some social media marketing, and that is it. The online presence is much more than that. When someone googles the name of your company, they should see authority, reliability, and loyalty. You have control over the results, but it takes lots of effort to take them where you want them to be.
These are the strategies that work:
SEO – when you use the right keywords in high-quality content that represents your business, the target audience will see your brand at the top of Google's search results.
It is a lot of effort and work, but search engine optimisation is a necessary element of each branding strategy.
Blogging is an effective way to show expertise.
You want you potential customers to get to your brand when they are looking for appropriate solutions.
For that purpose, you need to show them how your business is a solution.
You do not want to put too much text on the homepage of your site.
The visitors want to see a clear call to action with brief product descriptions there.
The blog gives you space for more content.
8 – Expose the Brand
Remember: you control your online presence.
Expose the brand on social media, blogs, forums, and all other channels.
Craft a campaign that targets the interests of your audience!
Find out where that audience hangs out, and serve them a well-planned brand promotion.
Do everything in your power to be seen at all the right places.
9 – Stand for the Things You Believe In
MAC Cosmetics is one of the most respected brands in the makeup industry.
Have you ever wondered why?
There are many other brands that offer the same or even better quality.
It's not the most cost-effective choice.
What is it, then?
It's all about the unique brand built around the culture of diversity.
It's a bold, unconventional brand that supports people to be whom they want to be.
The creators stand behind the things they believe in.
When trying to grow your business into a distinct brand, you have to figure its identity out.
The consumers are moving towards independent, authentic brands.
They want the name to catch their vibe.
When you relate the business with the things you believe in, you will target a particular community that will make it famous.
10 – Keep Reinventing It
Your brand is not a static category.
Have you seen how Reebok changes its logo to fit the specific audience they are targeting at the moment?
That's called growth.
As your brand evolves, keep reviewing all its aspects.
It will inevitably change with the evolution of the customers' needs.
Listen to these requirements and react.
Branding is an arduous, lengthy process.
With the right approach, however, you stand a big chance to succeed!
There's a long journey ahead for new businesses, but there's a beauty in the process, too.
Author Bio: Brenda Savoie is a content marketer, private English tutor, and desperate dreamer. Writing her first romance novel. Seeking contentment through mindfulness. Check her blog BestWritingClues Find her on Twitter and Facebook